“What kind of vegetable is that?”
I’ll admit…. It was a strange looking veg. Bright green with pointy spikes all over it. It could have been a green cauliflower if all the sharp parts were squished down. And in fact, as I learned after looking it up, the Romanescu is similar to a broccoli or a cauliflower. It is frequently seen in Italy and prepared roasted or steamed (like the other vegetables mentioned). Of course…. With lots of good olive oil!
The interesting thing about this overhear, though, was that coming from many children, including my daughter, it would have sounded like… “What kind of vegetable is that?” In fact, though, there was nothing derogatory about how this young child asked the question. It was pure curiosity and it made me think that someday I will be eating in a fantastic restaurant this budding gourmand owns.
Fostering a sense of curiosity, rather than contempt, for the unknown is one of my most disappointing failures so far as a mom (I am sure there will be more as she gets older). I am not sure how it happened…. I’ve tried to expose her not just to interesting new foods, but also new places, things, people. Still, maybe it is her age, 7, or simply her
personality, but she already has that tone when faced with something strange. You know the tone…. It is the you
have got to be kidding one.
We have been talking a lot about curiosity lately because she is considering her next science fair project. The very best scientists, in my opinion, were able to ask questions no one else thought of…. And this was due to curiosity. It requires imagination, certainly; and this is one quality my daughter definitely has. But beyond this, I think it also requires faith….
Quick freedictionary.com definition: Faith is a belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.
Discussing science alongside faith may seem like a contradiction, but in fact I think the relationship is mutually dependent. Recently, at a Catholic school open house, someone explained it this way: As Catholics, we believe that neither science nor faith alone can explain our world; they depend on each other. But Albert Einstein, as always, said it best; "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."
We don’t always need to know the name of the vegetable to know it is delicious… but it certainly helps when looking up recipes for how to cook it.
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