My children should be fruit inspectors, because the instant any produce shows the slightest blemish, they refuse to eat it. It may have just come in through the door, but if they perceive it as less than straight-from-the-tree, it’s toast.
I had a bag full of perfectly lovely Granny Smith apples in the fruit drawer, sitting untouched. In truth, I think the Granny Smith apples were suffering from bad PR, because I’d bought them to replace another bag that had gone uneaten and had to be thrown out. Perhaps they thought the new bag was the old. But no amount of logic could encourage them to eat the apples, even though I know they both like apples and Granny Smiths are their favorite. If I had any kitchen skills whatsoever I’d bake up an apple turnamawhatever, but that’s a post for another day.
“Mommy, we’re out of raspberries.”
“You should eat those apples. I just bought them.”
“I’m not hungry.”
“Then why are you looking for raspberries?”
Eye roll. Skulking off to grab a bag of potato chips laced with trans fats and death.
So a few days ago I went off to stock up on berries of all varieties – blackberries, strawberries, raspberries. I should probably just invest in a berry orchard (orchard?) and a full time fruit gatherer. It would more than likely be cheaper, because that’s how many berries we go through. I came back, filled the fridge, fumed about the apples again and the fact that one or two fifty cent apples could fill their bellies just as well as a three dollar basket of berries, which they tend to eat several at a time. Then I had a stroke of genius. I took two of the neglected apples from the drawer and placed one each on top of the pile of berry baskets. The tableau looked lovely, like an ad for healthy living, the crisp green showcased beautifully against the red of the raspberries. I even turned them around to make sure the stickers weren’t showing. The fact that I positioned only two right below eye level made them somehow look more unique and rare.
A little while later my daughter came downstairs to forage. She casually engaged me in conversation while she was in the kitchen and I in the living room. I heard her open the fridge, then close it. She started heading to the living room to finish telling me what she had started in the kitchen.
I heard it before I saw it – the unmistakable crunch of a bite into an apple. She kept telling me the story casually, but all I could focus on was the fact that I had finally “sold” my apple, simply by savvy positioning. I waited for her to go upstairs before I ran to the kitchen to replace the now-missing apple from atop the berry basket with one of the orphans from the fruit drawer. Then I created a new arrangement with ignored oranges to boot. She was oblivious to my merchandising genius, and the fact that she has zero interest in reading this blog should ensure that my refrigerator arts keep working.
Now if I could just figure out how to put video game characters on broccoli, maybe I could get my son to eat something green.