Of babies and summer squash

I was home for the weekend, looking through childhood memories. I came across some early clues that I’d become entranced with food. Here’s one:

Baby got into the produce again

If you can’t tell what this is, it’s Baby Rhea (yes, she was a blond!) crawling around on enormous summer squash set in a pastoral scene with homemade jams.

(Incidentally, this is a result of my mother’s brilliant pre-PhotoShop techniques, which achieved the same effects as hundreds of dollars worth of software with two photo prints and a pair of scissors. Ok, a glue stick may also have been involved, but you have to admit it’s pretty impressive for just using those basic ingredients).

Other early indicators of my culinary intrerests included flashcards I illustrated in kindergarten. One card helped me learn the word “eggplant.” This must have been a pack of cards where I got to choose the words, and of course I chose a few foods. On the back of the card, I depicted this word as a person peering into an open refrigerator. This was a far cry from the singular purple vegetable I had expected to see drawn on the other side.

It’s funny how my perception of things like an eggplant have become so narrow. Why show a context-less object when you could build a whole scene around the idea of it?

Other cards included such concepts as “ever” (a scene in the woods with a princess, I think having to do with the phrase “happily ever after”) and “never” (a redheaded outcast looking longingly at a merry band of blond triplets).

Ah, to be in my 5-year-old brain again!

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2 thoughts on “Of babies and summer squash

  1. kindergarten like when we homeschooled? hurrah, those were good times! and see how smart we were; even before pa english we knew that words could not be separated from their context. 🙂 sorry to have missed you last weekend, truly, but i am tentatively thinking about a south trip during june. will you be in dc for me to swing by if i manage to pull it together?

  2. Wow, Rhea, when I visited your website, it was great to see my photo of you, not even one year of age, climbing boldly over those squashes. Imagine already showing an enjoyment of vegetarianism! I thought you might be interested in another photo that has surfaced. It clearly illustrates that by the age of 13, you had expanded to fruit. Note the energy your diet clearly gave you, not to mention the muscles you look rightly proud of.

    With much love,
    Your e-Ma

    (Note: You can see the photo by clicking here -Rhea)

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