Friday, November 21, 2014

The power of the parental lie

When I was little, like maybe 7 or 8 years old, my parents went away on vacation.

To Hawaii.
Without us.

My sister and I were very confused.  Our family always went places together.  This was beyond mystifying. We pestered them with questions.

Where is Hawaii?  
How are you going to get there? 
How long are you going to be gone?

And most importantly,

Why can't we go, too?

Our parents patiently answered every one.

Hawaii is in the middle of the ocean, on the other side of California.
We are going on an airplane.
Seven days.

And then they told the world's greatest whopper.

We're going to go by ourselves first, to make sure Hawaii is fun for kids.

Well, that makes total sense, we agreed contentedly. As children who'd been subjected to many adult-oriented Washington dinner parties and boring work events, we knew all about stuff that was no fun for kids. Mom and Dad were doing us a favor by leaving us behind.  We cheerfully waved good-bye and waited for their report.

A week later, they returned home, literally glowing with happiness.  It turns out that when they landed in Hawaii, beautiful ladies gave them wreaths of flowers.  The beach was right in front of their hotel, they gushed.  The water was as warm as a bathtub, with little colorful fish swimming and swirling around their toes.  There were hula dancers and drinks with umbrellas and a swimming pool with a huge curvy water slide. They ate pineapple every single morning and it was spectacularly delicious.

We stared at them in awe.

Then, they opened up the luggage, and gave each of us a giant lei made entirely of candy bars.

Awe turned to skeptical disbelief*.

Hawaii seems like A LOT of fun for kids.

Our suspicions were well founded. My parents never did take us there**. But when I finally got to go as a grown up, one of the best things about the trip was indeed having pineapple for breakfast every single morning.

It is spectacularly delicious.

Fresh Pineapple with Mint and Tajin | Cheesy Pennies

Fresh Pineapple with Lime and Spicy Salt (aka Instant Hawaiian Vacation for All)

by Sharon Graves
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: none

When the weather turns nippy outside, you'll likely find plenty of pineapples in the produce aisle.  Pick one up.  I add a little lime and Tajin seasoning to mine in a grateful nod to the amazing fruit vendors at the park where my daughter plays soccer.  Something about that kick of lime and chili makes this a truly transporting, and low calorie, treat. And for heaven's sake, don't eat it all yourself.  It's fun for kids, too.

  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • 1 lime
  • a handful of mint, finely chopped (optional)
  • Generous sprinkling of Tajin, a spicy Mexican lime salt

Peel, core and cut your pineapple into bite size pieces. FYI, I cut mine the same way this guy does.

Place into a serving bowl.

Squeeze the lime over the pineapple and add the chopped mint. Chill for a bit in the fridge if you like.  Then, just before serving, sprinkle generously with the Tajin seasoning. 

Fresh Pineapple with Mint and Tajin | Cheesy Pennies

* In fine family tradition, we told our kids some great big whoppers too.  One of our favorites was that Toys 'R Us was a toy museum.  They could visit every weekend, but couldn't touch anything.  It worked for years.
** It was also the one and only extended vacation they ever took away from us, so it's hard to be truly mad at them.

No comments:

Post a Comment