the beautiful salad my kids did not eat

Dear Jamie Oliver,

I am enjoying your show.

And while I may never truly recover from watching you make a chicken nugget by putting a carcass in a food processor, bones and all, and then squeezing the goo through a strainer–I do feel like sharing that moment with you somehow made me a better person.

You’ve re-inspired me to raise the bar on the stuff I’m cooking.

Which is why we went to the farmers’ market near our house the other day.  And we bought some strawberries.  And then we did a taste test between the farm ones and the grocery-bought.

Try to guess which ones won.  (That’s my wedding china, by the way.  Nice to put it to use!)

We got some lettuce at the farmers’ market that day, too–enormous, gorgeous lettuce!–and made a big salad for dinner.

And then, a couple of days later, I made a pizza from scratch.  And then a pasta dish with spinach and bacon (from one of your books!).  And I’m fixing their lunches from scratch, too, because I do–I really do–want them to grow up with an appreciation for homemade food and fresh, crunchy things.

Sometimes they eat these meals.  And sometimes they don’t.  But they’re helping me cook most nights.  And we’re talking much more about food and what makes it good for you, or not.  And even those times–like tonight–when they wind up rejecting everything and eating cereal for dinner, I know for a fact that I tried.  And with all of this, they’re more taking away a feeling than they are learning anything in particular.

But how beautiful that the feeling that they’re taking away, in the end–what they’re really learning about–is love.