Please Play With Your Food
As a grandmother I think I get to admonish others, even if just once in a while. So here’s today’s ADMONISHMENT – PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD (okay, do NOT run with scissors, like you’ve always been told – unless they are sheathed….). But DO, and I mean DO!!, play with your food.
Play with it daily. Get your fingers in it. Cut it up. Splatter it about. Embrace it! Hug it close to you. Sniff it. Run your hand over and through it. Become connected to it. Please. PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD.
Last night I was given a little pinch of an idea that said, “DO SOMETHING with that Banana Squash you picked from Lita’s dad’s garden. In fact, do as many things as you like – but have fun with it!”.
So I did!
I sliced it thin like potato chips (ruffle-style, to be exact).
I cut it up and steamed it to freeze and make delicious winter soups out of.
I made big chunks to roast and treat like a proper fall roasted vegetable.
I even tried the suggestion of using nutmeg and cinnamon on it (my least favorite of all of them).
I even chopped it into tiny little square chunks to use in making black bean veggie burgers.
Then I released myself EVEN more into the experience and grabbed three organic sweet potatoes and made them into Potato Chips with lemon pepper and Italian seasoning (my hubby’s favorite). Luckily he likes them nearly burnt and I like them to retain some of their original sweet potato consistency so there’s no waste based on taste.
We both agreed that the Sweet Potato Fries in the traditional french frie shape which I usually make were better.
But the experience was PHENOMENAL. I was truly exhausted when I began this adventure of playing with my Big Bold Banana Squash (couple hours in the pool with grandchildren will do that to you), but three hours later I was still using my Mandolin and slivering up potatoes and squash; testing out spices, rotating cookie sheets in and out of the oven, steaming more squash, freezing more squash (and admittedly, wondering what one woman was going to DO with all that squash.)…just playing my little experimental chef heart out!
I also took it one step further (Have you MET me?)! I kept the seeds, googled how to save them, dried them on paper towels and then this morning set them outside to get more dried up. [And I learned that banana squash save easily, but they have a strange propensity to take on neighboring vegetables in their DNA make up – resulting in some strange hybrid of zucchini and banana squash. Since I picked this myself and KNEW that the only neighbors were 15 piglets and a large corn field, there was little chance of this happening to my Big Bold Banana squash.]
I REVELED in the colours of my adventure…..reds of spices, yellows of squash, orange of sweet potatoes, greens of Italian herbs and spices. I felt like I was fingerpainting with food and I was in love with the experience. (Banana squash just happens to smell just like a watermelon – did you KNOW that?)
I want that for you too, the full experience of immersing yourself in your food – so ignore what your mom and dad told you. PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD. Okay? Good. Have fun.
[Spaghetti sauce and tomatoes are especially good to play with but involve your nose.
The Nose Knows.]