(toddler) top chef

Since Oliver’s birth, I have been avoiding dairy (and gluten and soy) for reasons I’ve already described (so I won’t bore you with them again). Because of this, Eleanor has increasingly become interested in what foods contain dairy, and which ones do not.
Eleanor: “Do carrots have dairy?”

Me: “No. They don’t.”

Eleanor: “Why?”

Me: {Silence.} (How does one answer a question like that?)

Eleanor: “Does ice cream have dairy?”

Me: {sigh} “Yes. It does.” (I love ice cream, and have, daily, mourned the loss of eating it.)

As a result, she’s become a lot more creative in the kitchen, and has been keeping a supply of suitable foods for me on hand. She regularly offers me a scoop of her mint chocolate chip ice cream (with the qualification that it “doesn’t have any dairy”) and BBQ chicken soup with cinnamon.

The other day we were playing outside in her “home”, which is a semicircle of bushes around a tree in the front yard, when she prepared me a special treat.

“Here Kiyah,” she said. “it’s blueberries with coconut milk.” She handed me a few leaves she trimmed from one of the bushes and turned to walk away. Then she stopped short, “and peppermint salt,” she added over her shoulder with confidence.

I’d like to see Padma Lakshmi come up with something like that.

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