Monday, February 17, 2014


This past weekend, we took Kid out to dinner.

Okay. That makes it sound like we went to some kiddie restaurant with the purpose of bringing Kid out for his first restaurant experience.

That was not the case. At all. Instead, we went out to dinner and didn't have a sitter. Plus, my husband's coworkers were bringing their kids as well. So, maybe I should say that we went out to dinner. Kid came with us. All of our resident babysitters were out of town. And I refuse to pay for a babysitter during the first year of Kid's life (besides daycare, of course!).

We went to a restaurant that features a fresh kitchen, sushi, and cocktails. It's near-ish to our home and, since we don't go out much, we decided to go for it. We wouldn't be concerned with price, or bedtime. And we had so much fun!

But I was shocked when some of those within our group had no clue how to use chopsticks. Now, I know that we aren't a culture that uses chopsticks. Nor is sushi a traditional food of ours. As a culture, we don't regularly eat rabbit or goat. My family isn't concerned with kosher and non-kosher foods. We don't eat 12 grapes at midnight on New Year's Eve.

Do I want Kid to grow up not knowing any of these traditions? Without knowing the importance of these things?

Of course I do. I would like him to be exposed to sushi more than twice in his life by the time he reaches adulthood. I would like him to know why the Spanish (and the Peruvians) eat 12 grapes at midnight on New Year's Eve. I would like him to make lefse and krumkake. He should know about rabbit as a main ingredient in traditional paella. He should try gumbo and jambalaya.

Food can open the doors to so many lessons about our world. I hope to introduce Kid to different cultures through food. I knew this when we first got pregnant, but my eyes were opened while we had him at dinner with us.

I hope he learns to use chopsticks at a young ages. I hope he enjoys jambalaya, lefse, and pickled herring. I hope he enjoys eating 12 grapes at midnight on New Year's Eve.

learning culture through food


  1. It's so true... It's important to give kids every opportunity to experience different cultures. My boys choose NOT to use chopsticks when we eat out, but it's not because they don't know how. Teenage boys just can't shovel the food in fast enough when they use chopsticks! As a fellow Minnesota blogger I'm glad I found your blog on "The Dwelling Tree" Let's Be Friends Hop!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! It's so fun to have visits from fellow Minnesotans! I am sure that, in a matter of years, Kid will be the same--chopsticks won't be fast enough! He already eats so much anyway!