Lately, I’m not allowed in the kitchen from 2:30 to 3 pm. That’s because J has been making us fruit snacks. Sometimes they’re two courses, frequently they’re accompanied by fresh-squeezed juice, and they’re always presented with flair.
Honeydew melon in an orange peel with strawberry-sliver garnish (served with the orange juice):
Frozen mango chunk with sliced banana served with a kiwi puree:
Frozen raspberry-grape-peach salsa displayed on an icy mosaic plate:
It’s rather delightful. Of course, there are a few drawbacks. Sometimes there’s a bit of a mess. Often a fruit snack will require the use of several dishes and cups and a juicer and the sides of our box grater that are the most challenging to clean. Sometimes food is abandoned. . .
or the fruit is prepared in a way that doesn’t perhaps take advantage of all that it has to offer.
For the first day or two, I overlooked this, not wanting to rain on J’s fruit-snack joy parade. But on a particularly egregious day that included spills and a bag of frozen fruit abandoned to defrost on the kitchen table, J got some coaching. I told her that delightful snacks become less delightful when the mess involved takes more time to clean up than I spent enjoying her creation. Since then the clean-up process has vastly improved.
Occasionally, J’s creativity is. . . more creative than I’d like. Like the time she explained that the little black decorative flecks were “avocado zest.” But in general she makes some pretty good stuff, and M is game for the snacks, too. She likes to be fed and served, so it works out great. One day M was late and we had another sixth grade friend over, and I was grateful when she politely choked down a Dixie cup full of kiwi-orange juice.
And I think that she’s getting better, actually. Here’s today’s creation:
It was such a success that she insisted on making more for dessert tonight.