Sometimes, parenting feels like being an optimistic, wild, very patient gardener (as all gardeners must be), just walking across a fertile field and throwing seeds out there, trusting something good will grow. Or something useful. We don’t know what will grow first, or when, or how.
And so last night, Pablo was being particularly charming by saying ‘merci’ to us every time we handed him something, and absolutely sensing this little inner satisfaction any parent probably feels when they hear their kid say “thank you” spontaneously. As if it were proof of good parenting. Wish it were that simple!
Feeding off our validation, he happily went on, “Merci, maman. Merci, papa. Merci, mamette.” Then he paused and looked down at his plate (which happened to contain a warm plum chards goat cheese salad he really likes). And he said, “Merci, miam miam.” Thank you, yummy food.
It took me a couple of seconds past the cuteness factor to realize what Pablo had just expressed: he was grateful, for the food, for dinner.
Gratitude, that’s definitely one of those wild seeds to throw in the wind with no clue in what form it might grow in our children. I certainly wasn’t expecting it then. Made me feel so warm within.
One of the things I’ve been trying to do since the very beginning with Pablo, is create good food associations. Food equals pleasure, family connection, laughter, friends, interesting smells, discovery… And beyond that, hopefully, food is generosity, love, harmony with the body, with the world.
And gratitude and appreciation of a wonderful, ordinary moment of the day.
I heard the sprouts of that food association when Pablo said it. Now it’s just keep nurturing it and watch it grow more.
Speaking of gratitude, I am most grateful to Vermont Creamery for giving me an opportunity to come up with some recipes, using their wonderful goat cheeses, as part of their Kid & Kid Campaign, like the cherry gazpacho with herbed goat cheese I shared last week.
If you know this blog, you probably know that I don’t do kids’ foods. Pablo eats what we eat (or we eat what he eats!). Past 12-15 months, nothing’s off limits as far as I’m concerned. So these fritters are as close to a kid’s food as I’m ever going to get, and our whole family enjoyed them thoroughly.
I posted another fritter recipe last year and was so surprised at the response it got! People really like fritters! These zucchini mint goat cheese fritters are not only good, they’re good for you (thank you, coconut oil!), and they’re easy… But I shall rest my case now, because I bet I had you at “fritters” 😉
And with one treat comes another: presenting now my first giveaway! So, for a chance to win a Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery gift basket, with three different kinds of goat cheese and some vanilla crème fraîche, use the Rafflecopter tool below to enter in a variety of ways. The giveaway ends next Friday night.
And scroll below for the fritter recipe!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Zucchini mint goat cheese fritters, with smoked salmon, dill crown & red pepper creamy goat cheese garnish
Makes about 10 fritters
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 15 min approx
Age for babies: 10-12 months, great finger food.
1 pound of zucchini
1 tsp coarse salt
1 tbsp chopped mint (= 2-3 sprigs)
3 oz fresh goat cheese
1/2 cup of spelt flour (AP works too)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup milk (goat or cow)
Coconut oil for frying
To serve (optional):
10 small slices of smoked salmon
Crown dill (or dill) for garnish
Roasted red pepper creamy goat cheese
Cut off the ends of the zucchini, wash them, and grate them by hand or in a food processor.
Pour in a bowl, add the coarse salt and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, finely chop the onion and mint. Lightly beat the egg. Crumble the fresh goat cheese with a fork.
Put the grated zucchini in a thin dishtowel (or cheesecloth), and wring the heck out of it to get rid of the excess water. Quite a bit of green liquid should come out.
In a bowl, mix the flour and baking powder. Add the egg, coconut milk and milk. Add in the zucchini, chopped mint and onion and stir. Gently incorporate the crumbled goat cheese.
Preheat the oven at 200°F.
In a frying pan, melt 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil on medium/medium-high. Drop large spoonfuls of the batter in, pressing on top to flatten a bit. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the edges are golden. Flip them and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Cook in 2 or 3 batches depending on the size of your pan. I had to add about 1 tbsp of coconut oil with every batch.
Set on absorbent paper, then transfer to a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 10 minutes to keep warm and increase crispiness factor.
Serve warm with a slice of smoked salmon on top, and garnish with a bit of roasted red pepper creamy goat cheese and some crown dill.
Or you can skip the salmon and just spread some of the creamy goat cheese on, Pablo enjoyed that part very much!
(The fritters keep well in the fridge, reheat in the oven at 350° for 5-10 min).