My friend Nat lived in San Francisco when my daughter was born and she was the only person I knew with a baby. We quickly became allies as we dealt with an identity shift and a new life focus. I hate to age myself (it really wasn’t all that long ago) but we didn’t have the ultra contemporary hot rides that babies cruise around in these days, or so many amazing stores brimming with every conceivable accoutrement to assist in soothing, entertaining and styling infants. We had bustling Union Street as a distraction but the stores and restaurants were oriented around being single and unencumbered, with a focus more on colorful cocktails, skinny jeans and home decorating. Being a mother didn’t seem as hip then. The magazines didn’t have dedicated sections with a who’s who’s of pregnant ladies and a few months later, their fashionable youngsters.
One of the biggest changes I’ve noticed though is that there are so many amazing wholesome baby and toddler food-for-purchase options, far beyond the Gerber variety pack. This is stuff you’d actually eat yourself, maybe.
If I could start over though, I’d be more like Nat and avoid the “kid food” trap altogether. For dinner, there was no extra effort put in for a kids meal. She just prepared one family meal (see the Bay Area blog One Family, One Meal for great recipes that follow this idea). Which is how I was happily introduced to this delicious marinated salmon. Not only was I surprised that our daughters didn’t chuck the fish right off the high chair tray, but I found that it was good enough to serve guests at a dinner party. And since then, it has become my go-to preparation. Even the salmon-haters like it! Try it out on the barbecue this holiday weekend.
And speaking of feeding kids what we adults eat right from the start, I will be sharing over time many great resources starting with Karen Le Billon whose common sense approach to feeding children I much admire. In her book, French Kids Eat Everything, she shares 10 “French Food Rules” which sum up their philosophy on eating which she experienced while living with her family in France. Eating well is considered an important skill and is taught in school and reinforced at home.
Check out her website in which she shares ideas, tips and recipes along with some eye-opening realities about how differently food is viewed and valued in France. Here is a sample menu of a typical school lunch which is estimated to cost the same $3 as our often not-so-good fare and is funded not nationally but by local municipalities.
You can read more about french school lunch here.
I’ll close with a fun trailer that summarizes Karen Le Billon’s book. Thanks Karen!
And now for the recipe.
Grilled Salmon Marinade
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard
- 1 small green onion / scallion (alternative: onion)
- 1 garlic clove, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
- 2 tablespoon tomato sauce (alternative: ketchup)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Measure soy sauce in a measuring cup and then add remaining ingredients.
- Stir with a whisk.
- Pour over salmon and marinade for 30 minutes.