I suspect that most readers here, and in particular anyone near the Pacific Rim, will know about edamame, green soybeans in salty pods, a nice Asian hors-d’oeuvre which I normally associate with cold beer and friendly talk. You can have them at home too, and this evening I discovered they have a surprising effect on children.
Good supermarkets have them in the freezer, next to the frozen peas and beans and so on, and they work just the same: boil up a pot of water & toss them in for five minutes or less. Then, very quickly after you drain them but before they dry, sprinkle on lots of salt.
Our ten-year-old boy disdains fruits and vegetables, and would live entirely on hot dogs, cheese, and bread products if it weren’t for us forcing fruit at lunch and (at least) a serving of salad at dinner down his throat.
But edamame... they’re salty, and if you squeeze the pod just right the bean will shoot six inches into your mouth. Then you get to loft the empty pod into the empty-pod bowl in the middle of the table. This is fun! For the first time in an awfully long time, he was digging eagerly into a bowl of healthy green-colored food. Mind you, there was a certain amount of floor cleanup afterward.