Sunday, January 16, 2011

Well, where do you start?

That's easy. In the beginning.  The Dad Foodie is just a normal guy.  I'm not a chef...I'm a cook. I liken my cooking ability to that of playing the guitar. I'm a "play it by ear" kind of guy. I cook with my nose.  My sense of smell can make or break a dish, but most of the time, it's spot on.  Foodies come in all shapes and sizes, and I happen to think that the best foodies aren't great chefs, but just good cooks in general.  Being able to see or smell something you like, and describe it is such a powerful thing.  But what is more impressive than explaining something to a complete stranger is to get them to take action.  And that is exactly what happened to me.

I was chatting with a local chef, blogger, food stylist, radio contributor, foodie and soup extraordinaire the other day about if she'd ever spent much time developing recipes for baby food.  I explained that I am a new dad, and I have aspirations of learning a new technique of preparing baby food for my new son, which is now 3 months old to the day. Her response led me to begin an exploration of the community and the Internet for other parents that are interested in leading their children down the adventurous food path.  One which is not paved with bland and beige colored, processed products.  I have found that there are lots of parents like me that "believe" in doing the right thing, but the harsh reality is that it is really tough.  Issues with time, to convenience...I hear it all. A good marketing ploy by a clown in big red shoes promises happiness. Well, happiness doesn't come with daily insulin injections or a week at fat camp.

So how do we walk that fine line between food happiness and convenience?  I think the answer lies in what "I/We" want to eat.  Kids like to eat what parents eat. I remember growing up eating the same food my parents ate.  And when dad grilled steaks, by golly, I ate steak. No macaroni and cheese with cut up hot dogs for this guy...well, unless my dad ate them too-then it was cool. I'll never forget the time we had the family reunion in Colorado and the cousins got to sit at the "kids table." Nothing was more upsetting to me knowing my mom and dad didn't stick up for me and my big sis...Tenderloin vs. Mac/Dogs combo. What a croc.

In my biggest dreams, my son will want to eat what his mother and I eat.  And that all begins at the home.  I like to tinker around with a garden...okay, if you saw my 1st year garden in my current home, you'd think that I have a lot of extra time on my hands. The fact is, I get myself in over my head with things, and instead of a few tomato plants, we put nearly 30 large items in my garden.  Not much thinking in picking produce to grow that year.  We picked pots at the garden center like we were shopping at the grocery store before lunch....we weren't thinking too clearly.  This year is going to be gardening with a purpose.  We're going to research what foods we like, crossed with foods my baby should be eating after attaining 6 months of age.  I have 3 months to research foods, get the garden planted and growing, and practice my promising new pastime.  I am a beginner in so many ways with this project, so this blog is really about the process of discovering.

My first step in this journey is to review some cookbooks and online resources for ideas of plants to grow.  If I have any big revelations or ideas, I'll share them along with sources.

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