I’ve signed Pumpkin up for a GO KIDS! Food Challenge and am tracking our progress on the Banner Health blog (my day job).
This week’s challenge is focused on vegetables, and we’re supposed to introduce a new vegetable each day this week. I’ll write in more detail on that blog about how we’re doing, but wanted to share one story about last night.
I was standing in the kitchen chopping up zucchini to make Grilled Lemon Garlic Zucchini and started cracking up.
Back when I was in college, my grandmother and an uncle passed away. I decided to take six weeks off work and spend the summer with my grandpa while I still had the chance. My grandpa lived through the Great Depression and his parents immigrated to America to escape the Armenian Genocide. He was not one to throw food away.
One day he grilled what must have been his entire zucchini harvest (at least, it seemed that way to me) to serve with dinner that night. Then we reheated leftovers the next night. And the next night. And the next night. By the end of the week, I never wanted to see grilled zucchini again. It was a looooong time before I ate zucchini after that. I suppose he didn’t know what else to do with it. My grandma would have found more uses for it, including making her zucchini bread.
In any case, I realized the irony of trying to force a vegetable on my kids that, at one time, I couldn’t even stand to look at.
But also, I love having those reminders of that summer with my grandpa. It wasn’t always easy, at 22 years old and having lived on my own for four years. There were times he thought my shorts were too short, and I’d change my clothes to appease him, only to change them again once I left. I learned an appreciation for black-and-white Western movies, and Wheel of Fortune. On Saturdays, we’d visit my uncles’ race horses at the training track, and go out to breakfast after. We made dinner together. And there were moments we laughed so hard we cried. I will treasure that time always.