When we were young (Baby bok choy, sugar snaps & garlic en papillote: French Fridays with Dorie)

Growing up in a household where more than a decade (13 & 14 years, to be more precise) separated my birth from the birth of my siblings, I was never 100% certain under what circumstances they were raised in.

Which of us had the better deal growing up? What were the pros and cons? Advantages and disadvantages of growing up in each era? These are all important things when one is trying to navigate the delicate balance of sibling relationships. Each facet is weighed carefully in the quest to understand who had the greater advantage. These things matter.

From what I have been able to piece together, the jury is still out.

They had snowmobiles back in the day. I had roller skates.

They had Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts (and parents as pack leaders). I took gymnastics.

They had two parents. I had four (or at least two parents + two others that thought they were my parents).

They had plenty of cousins in the same age group as them. I got to be the youngest.

They had to share. I didn't.

There are plenty of other compare and contrasts that could be made. In some areas, they won; in other areas I won. (Yes, it really is about winning...)

The other night, at my dad's 84th birthday party, we discovered one area where nobody won. The battle of the vegetables at dinner. Apparently, I wasn't the only one not allowed to leave the table before eating whatever unappealing vegetable du jour graced the table that evening. My vegetable nightmare involved cold canned beets with margarine. My sister's involved mushy peas. In this, we were equal. Game, set, match.

In this week's French Fridays with Dorie, peas once again take center stage - hopefully, in a less terrifying manner than the peas of my sister's childhood.

Bok choy (no baby bok choy to be found this time of year) and sugar snap peas were placed in a cradle of foil. Chopped garlic, baby white onions (thank goodness for the pre-peeled frozen ones), orange zest and mint joined the party. A little bit of oil, salt and pepper were thrown in for good measure. After that, the foil was sealed up and the pouch was thrown (figuratively) into a hot (400F) until everything was tender (~20 minutes). The best part - no clean up.

I served this up to my own child - unlike her Aunt, she willingly ate her peas and bok choy. No coercion needed.

Peace out. XOXO

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie.


  1. I remember those vegetable days as I was growing up. I did enjoy this weeks vegetable side. Like you said the best part was no clean up:) Have a nice weekend.

  2. Oh my goodness, beets were the one thing I would sit at the table ALL night refusing to eat. (yes, we had to stay until we had at least a bite too.) I don't think they were cold, but they were definitely from a can. I still can't eat them. This little bundle of heaven looks fabulous. But may I say that sugar snaps aren't the same as "peas" in my book.

  3. LOL, the only meal I remember refusing was a desperate last minute entree of sliced and fried hot dogs. I'm sure I was quite the pill. Yeah, I would have needed a lot of coercion to get my family to eat these veggies!

  4. See my cauliflower post last week. I did battle over it and had to negotiate my way out. My grandmother would put a big dollop of mayo on some canned sliced beets and say 'eat your vegetables' and that just was abuse.

  5. Most of the boys in my family had one "can't possibly eat that no matter what" food, but it definitely wasn't something that got much leeway. Funny story!
    I thought this was pretty good, but could have used a bit more flavor. Yours looks delicious!

  6. Nice. Always good to find veggies kids will eat.

  7. As the oldest child, I'm guessing your older siblings felt like you had it easier, whether that's true or not. I don't remember having major vegetable battles growing up...either my parents were softies, or my mom just decided not to pick that battle and served mostly veggies we would actually eat. Either way, not a strong memory.

  8. I was like you my oldest sister is 11 year older than me and most of my cousins were born around the same time as my older sisters and brother. Yes, I had many parents, but I think my mom and dad were burned out on parenting when they had me... I got to run wild for the most part, which wasn't always good. No food battles for me... but everyone likes Italian food, don't they? Thanks for making me laugh.

  9. Cher, your vegetables look perfectly steamed and utterly delicious - and reading your post certainly made my (very late) evening!
    Wishing you and your family a very happy Easter!

  10. This was good wasn't it - definitely no coercion required.

  11. OK, what's wrong in the universe this week? You followed the directions and Mardi went rogue. This is not what I'm used to. I'm glad you and your child enjoyed the veggies en papillote. I love that word. Happy Easter to you, Cher! (And hopefully spring conditions accompany the holiday, finally.)

  12. I grew up in a similar family, but I was on the older side and my brothers are the 10+ years younger ones. My father once said that the difference from the perspective of the parents was, they had more energy for me and more patience for my brothers. But like you, we all had to eat our veggies. I feared the steamed carrots the most.

  13. That is quite an age difference. I have to imagine that your folks were more lenient with you. The "I've already raised two others" syndrome. I do hope you played that "only child" card to the max. Glad the culinary kid like the veggies - she's a good eater, right?

  14. I LOVE bok choy it is such a versatile vegetable :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  15. Hah! I know what you speak of. My brother is ten years younger and we definitely did not have the same experience. I had to be perfect, and got to be homeschooled. I loved this one. I'm thinking of trying it on the BBQ next time.


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