I have a new expensive habit, and strangely this one doesn't contain alcohol. I am completely enamoured with Rozendal vinegar, represented here in Saskatchewan by Doug Reichel, owner of Fine Wines Saskatchewan and importer of Rozendal wine. The wine is also excellent, but the vinegar, at $35/500 ml bottle, is even more expensive than the wine! It is also harder to find; here in Saskatoon it is only available at Cava Secreta.
I know many people are of the philosophy that expensive food items are wasted on kids. I am straying further and further from that philosophy all the time, and am constantly rewarded for it. I personally know many adults on whom expensive food items would be even more wasted than on my own children. My kids DO appreciate good food, and are far more likely to enjoy their meals if the food is real, and not what passes for food on most children's menus in restaurants.
Case in point: a recent meal that I made for a girlfriend and her kids, as well as my own family, involved a simple main course of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches: slices of a round brioche loaf, and a melted mixture of shredded smoked Gouda, broccoli, mayonnaise and sunflower seeds as the filling. Beside that, I served a salad: spring greens, toasted almonds and craisins, simply dressed with a splash of Rozendal vinegar, a splash of olive oil, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
My kids don't normally go for salad very much, so I usually provide raw vegetables as well. There were raw veggies available that day, too, but all the kids asked for more salad, and eventually scraped the bowl clean. You might think they were going for just the craisins, but they weren't. They inhaled the entire thing. I thought to myself, if that vinegar is what inspires kids to eat salad, then it's worth the price tag. On top of that, the vinegar itself is packed with health benefits. So really, there's no reason NOT to serve it. From now on, there will always be a bottle in my cupboard (currently we're enjoying the Green Tea flavour); I'll consider it an investment in my own and my kids' health, and their palates.