Taste testers

We were three nephews and one brother short of a full house at the family farm on Sunday for a combination birthday party for Mom (Saturday was her special day) and Father’s Day for Dad. As in all summer gatherings at the farm, the grill gets a work-out – hot dogs (or hot gogs as one little niece calls them) for the little kids and burgers and brats for the rest of us.

Kids are great entertainment at the dinner table, and today was no exception.

For starters, I put a couple of pieces of cantaloupe on Godson Reece’s dinner plate.

"What’s this?" he asked.

"Muskmelon," I replied. "Cantaloupe – it’s really good."

He took the smallest bite and, while it didn’t come back out of his mouth, I noticed he didn’t eat the rest of it.

Alayna, the 2-year-old, was seated on the other side of me. I tried to feed her a bite of hamburger, but she clamped her lips shut and shook her head.

What she did take, however, was a chip from the bag in front of her – some kind of jalapeno flavored variety that burned my mouth a little earlier in the dinner routine.

I missed the reaction, but my oldest brother burst out laughing when Alayna spit the chip from her mouth, placed it back in the potato chip bag (sure to keep anyone else from sampling the chips!) and proceeded to rub her tongue with her fingers.

Strangely enough, her brother (my Godson) had the same reaction to Grandma’s potato salad. I told him to taste just a little, but it quickly came back out and a napkin, of all things, was shoved into his mouth to "clean" his tongue off.

It was no surprise the two left food on their plate, yet had room for Grandma’s special, made-from-scratch chocolate birthday cake with whipped cream topping.

It was, after all, the cake that lured the Fairmont Buntjers to Worthington for a quick afternoon visit. (The kids called Sunday morning for Father’s Day and Grandma told Reece that she had baked her own birthday cake. After that, all she could hear in the background of the phone conversation was, "I want to go to Grandma’s for birthday cake!")

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