Foreign Exchange…progress

The thought of an international event in which our family learns from someone else and they learn from us sounded fabulous. Language and culture and lifestyle and food experiments without even leaving our own home? Sign us up!It hasn’t quite happened that way.

In the first week Rosí and I had a few intense discussions about poverty and universities and family and priorities and feminism and cancer. And we watched each other in horror as one of us ate egg and ketchup sandwiches and the other faked burgers out of cauliflower and lentils. We squirmed under the new living arrangement, both of us used to living with another adult and two children, and now juxtaposed in a space with four voices to contend with rather than three.

Then we settled a bit. We agreed to disagree. We found a way to respect each other and allow idiosyncracies to go unremarked.

But now I’m totally winning.

When she ran out of white bread, I bought her whole wheat. And she hated it. But a month later Spouse did the same thing. And she ate it. And now she’s having grilled cheese on bread labeled “sprouted multi-grain” the first ingredient of which is “organic high protein sprouted wheat berries.”


Yesterday she laughed until tears came out of her eyes when Spouse asked her if she’d every tried making mashed potatoes with the skin still on. She’s told me often that her favorite mashed potatoes are those Mamí makes from the box. But today, she mashed her potatoes with the skins still on the potato.

Double win.

The nuanced point that Spouse has gotten her to change her ways on both these carbohydrate fronts is not lost on me. But I will pretend I’m at least partially responsible, because I got the girl to eat a salad.

No, seriously. King me. I totally win.

Our visitor told me a story about how every year for Christmas her mother makes herself a salad. The rest of the year she knows none of the house’s residents will eat greenery. Of any type. Last night, Rosí ate half of the salad I put in front of her. Baby lettuces and raw spinach and Italian dressing. Ate it. Without gagging or laughing or rolling her eyes.

My dear readers, our teenager is now my favorite kid. Because she’s the only one doing what Spouse tells her to do. Mostly Spouse. But also kind of me.

I did it! I did it! I made a whole international exchange of cultures about forcing fiber into another person! Yay me!


10 thoughts on “Foreign Exchange…progress

    • She made us mashed plantains and made extra fried onions for me because she knows I’m the only one in the house who’ll eat them. They were fabulous. Fried in butter and vinegar. What? Awesome. I’ve replicated with balsamic and they’re like balsamic roasted onions but with better texture.

      I’m the only one in the house who liked the plantains, which were like potatoes but starchier and without the earthy flavor.

  1. lol This is so funny! I should send you my entire family (I have four kids!) I have a hard time feeding them whole grain pasta, never mind anything with the word sprout in it. You go girl! I think you should charge for your services! I’d totally pay.

    • LOL.
      I got my boys to eat veggies and whole grains by 1)hiding them in smoothies and 2)letting them help cook. The eldest wouldn’t touch hummus until he made it himself in the blender. Now he’s a hummus fiend. Ditto the little guy and roasted cauliflower because he gets to sprinkle the spices on it before we roast the stuff.

  2. I double dog dare you to get her to eat Raisssinnn Brrraaan! I want to go to her country just to see what the grocery store is like! (not like I can eat any of it anyway with my food allergies).

    And I wonder if she would like a fruit salad? With her sweet tooth, she must like fruit.

    • Oh, honey. She won’t eat raisins. Or bran.
      Or plums or melon or berries or oranges. Bananas and nectarines in a salad and she’d be in heaven. I’m proud to say I introduced her to nectarines her first day here. She’d never had one. That was a super cool moment.

      Because nectarines are goddess food, yo.

    • Alison, I’ve been figuring all this time, since back when we had four-year-olds and newborns, that yours were fine and mine needed to be sorted out. Are you saying all of my life confusion is a lie? ;-)

  3. Ditto to what Alison requested. I thought the same as I read this post last week. I know you are working on your book and are working on your professional writing/editing website, but I need you to be my life coach in your spare time.

    I mean, you have lots of spare time right? Are you at all tired? You are not right?

Comments are closed.