I heard on NPR that what a mother eats while pregnant influences the food preferences of her child. So, a mom who loves steak and spuds will bear a like-minded child. This inspired me to try to recall what the hell I ate when my first daughter was in utero.
I know I was obsessed with grapefruit. I had never gravitated towards it before. Can you imagine me, a crabby cook, A) purchasing a grapefruit knife and B) cutting all those little sour triangles of fruit, one at a time, to release them from their mother ship? I don’t think so. But I did it when I was pregnant, at least twice a day, because I had to. I was drawn to the sourpuss of citrus like I’m usually drawn to Krispy Kremes.
My memory stops there. My brain didn’t function very well during pregnancy—I’m still waiting for its recovery—and I can’t remember one other thing I ate. But I do recall the day my thighs started rubbing together all the way to the knees, so I’m pretty sure I was well enough fed.
Anyway, I’m certain that I did not eat much chocolate (since I am a vanilla head) and I tried to avoid pasta due to the thigh situation. So how do you explain the fact that my now-grown daughter’s favorite foods are brownies and spaghetti? Is it possible for a kid to pick up her father’s preferences, even though it’s not his amniotic fluid she’s been dining on for forty weeks?
While I ponder this question with my diminished brain, I’m actually grateful my daughter did not grow up to love grapefruit or I’d have had to face that irritating prep every day. If you are pregnant, eat foods that are easy to prepare, just in case NPR’s theory holds water. Like this soup recipe…..
Sweet Potato Vichyssoise
6 leeks, trimmed, rinsed and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 ½-inch chunks
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher alt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup half and half
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add the leeks and cook until tender, about ten minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for two minutes.
2. Add the broth, raise the heat and bring the soup to a simmer. Simmer the soup until the vegetables are tender, about fifteen minutes. Puree the soup in batches in a food processor and return to the pot. Stir in the half and half and nutmeg. Allow the soup to cool, then chill it in the refrigerator, covered, for two hours or up to three days. Adjust the seasonings and serve cold.