Did you know I grow vegetables because I don’t like vegetables? But after all the sweat and blood (secateurs are not for daydreamers) I drop on their little crowns, I'm compelled to eat the buggers.
There are blogs, so many blogs out there where people take romantic, almost pornographic, portraits of their squash and snap peas, then wax rhapsodic about biting into the crisp delicious goodness. These bloggers get all up in your face with their piety and root-bound poetry, as if this vegetative compulsion makes them one of God's chosen.
They’re wrong of course; it is I who am closer to god. I tell the truth. No vegetable on earth tastes as good as a Snickers.
In my house, we were not allowed to eat candy at all when we were children. Probably because the parental units knew their tiny subunit was born with a long, root canal-waiting-to-happen sweet fang. When they finally relented and opened the gates to sugary heaven, I would chew a whole pack of gum (Stripe or Juicy Fruit) in thirty minutes. A roll of butterscotch lifesavers? Don’t blink. My mom tried poetry. “How about this beautiful red apple instead.” Or “Take this ripe, juicy, sweet plum.”
Right lady, kiss my apricot. Pass the M&M’s. And a Pepsi. (Oh, please, I didn’t say that. I would have been murdered on the spot. In truth, I just stole some change from her purse and walked to the country club vending machine for a Heath Bar.)
I’d make peace with raw vegetables if they tasted more like butter and garlic. But that heirloom carrot is like sucking on an old tire, even though it costs more than a set of Michelins to grow it. Tomatoes are ok because tomato sauce over pasta requires lots and lots of cheese and meatballs.
But with the others -- the zucchini and cucumbers and green beans and eggplant -- cheat. Braise ‘em, roast’em, sauté them. Fry them in bacon lard. Douse them in hot pepper sauce, and cover their little tasteless bodies in sausage. Melt some Roquefort.
Better yet, throw a party. Everyone will swoon over your spring onions and bell peppers. But at the end of the night, the only thing missing will be the Cheetos.
(Note: I of course like all those soulful vegetable blogs. Also, there is blogger activity going on in philosophical support of the protest in Iran. You’re welcome to join in. You’re also welcome not to join in. I’ll try to contribute something brief and barely readable on Saturday. To get my brain working, I’ve heard a plate of fish (fish! don't get me started) might help.