Well, this is a cheery photo to start off with, right?Â Look at myÂ happy, happy son, eating his vegetables with nary a mite of pushback.Â Hah!
First, a little background.Â When I was in middle school, I was in the GATE program.Â If I remember correctly, that stands for Gifted and Talented Education, but it has been a number of years, and it might have actually meant something else.Â I wasn’t sure why I was in the program, and in fact, when I was asked to participate, I told them no.Â The school called my mom, and she told me I had to do it.Â What exactly I was objecting to, I’ll never know.
In any case, the leader of the GATE kids was a teacher whose name escapes me right this minute (clearly, whatever got me into the program was not memory related) who was either from France, or his parents had been.Â Often, our field trips and extra-curricular activities had a tinge of the Gallic to them.Â We visited museums, created art en plein air, learned some classic French insults and made up a few of our own, and most memorably for me, we learned to cook.Â Not a whole lot, but this teacher (why can’t I remember his name?!?Â He clearly made a big impression.Â I can see his face in my mind right now…) would pull us out of our regular classes to learn to make cheese souffles and crusty french bread.Â In fact, being able to leave math to go punch down my dough, feeling the yield of the glossy mass and smelling the yeast ranks up there as one of those formative memories from that period of my life.Â Not a bad moment to remember, considering this was, like, sixth or seventh grade and I was neck deep in tween drama most of the time.
Anyway, one time, we were asked to bring some vegetables from home.Â Other kids brought carrots, but I was asked to bring pearl onions.Â Not my favorite veggie, to be sure, and I was not so enthusiastic when I found out that we’d be eating the results of our cooking.Â I didn’t know we’d be slowly sauteing the veggies in butter until they were tender, and then finishing with a bit of chicken broth so that the veggies were tender, flavorful and amazing.Â Those pearl onions made me reconsider my dislike – and I have never looked back.Â So when I found these little beauties at Trader Joes a while back, I tossed them in the cart.