Roasted Fennel

My mom used to cook fennel quite a bit when I was young and I remember really liking it. It does a have a strong flavour but today Son #2 ate mustard covered pretzels so I decided he could probably handle it.

To start preheat your oven to 425 °F. Take 1 fennel bulb and  trim off the stalk, leaves and rough bottom. Then cut it in half lengthwise and continue to segment it until you have 1/2 inch think pieces.

Place your fennel in your baking dish and add 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil and some salt and pepper.  Bake for 20 minutes, flipping it over at the halfway point.

Who ate it?

Husband- YES!

Son #1- Tried it and liked it a little.

Son #2- Licked it once. Perhaps too many mustard pretzels before dinner should be avoided.

Around our house:

Although there are still several weeks until the boys go back to school, the topic is starting to creep into our conversations. Two days ago at lunch Son #1 had many questions. He is going to be starting grade one come September and being the worrying sort, it gives him lots to ponder.

Where will I eat lunch? What am I going to eat? What if I get sleepy? Who’s my teacher? When is recess?

I’m afraid my answers were rather pitiful, mostly consisting of “I don’t know” and ” we’ll have to wait and see.”

After he seemed to be done asking his questions, I turned to Son #2, “What about you, do you have any questions?”

Son #2  is starting JK and being the preschool drop-out that he is, we are all collectively holding our breath hoping that this year is a little less intense.

“Yes.”

Son #1 and I turned to face him, both of us amazed that he didn’t shout his usual, ” I don’t want to go to school!”

“What’s your question?”

“Will I get my own hooker at school?” he asked.

As I was trying to wrap my mind around what I had just heard, Son #1 simply started to answer his question,

” Oh yeah. Everyone gets their own hook for their coat and a cubby for their shoes.”

“What if I can’t reach my hooker?”

“It’s a HOOK! not a hooker! A HOOK. A HOOK!!” I shouted a little too loudly.

Son #2 stared at me for a while, probably wondering why he was saddled with such a crazy mom and then said, “okay.”

The problem is that it is not ‘okay.’

This is what we language teachers call fossilization. A process by which a person has learned an earlier word or grammatical structure and now can’t stop using this usually incorrect version.

Reversing fossilization takes hard work and determination. Even if the person is successful at sticking with the correct version, the incorrect version unfortunately pops up when the person is stressed or in a hurry. Turns out that while our brain is very good at acquiring, it is not so good at deleting.

So while I’ll be making Son #2 repeat, “hook,hook, hook” from now until school starts, we all know what’s going to happen when that first day comes around.

In the best case scenario, he’ll shout, ” Mom, I can’t find my hooker!” and in the worst case scenario, he’ll shout, ” You were all wrong, we don’t get our own hookers. We have to share!”

Which leaves me practicing my best  ‘that is not my son’  face.

-Mom on a veggie mission

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