Tuesday, February 19, 2008

While I’m day dreaming the garden layout and the imaginary bounty of my vegetable garden, can we talk about peas?

Oh how much I hated the grayish army green peas that tasted like can and reliably appeared as the designated vegetable perched on the edge of every single plate of spaghetti threatening to contaminate the noodles with watery iridescent can juice. I had to always eat at least one forkful. I don’t think I ever ate more. Imagine whirled peas, indeed. My wily sister figured a way to smash the wrinkly waterlogged orbs to the underside of her plate and flick the vegetable interlopers to the dogs while she was clearing her place to the dishwasher. (There was also the time she taught my mom never to force her to eat anything ever again, when she threw up on the curtains in the kitchen and again on the carpet on the way to the bathroom- but that is a different vegetable.)

Dear peas, how could I have misunderstood you so? I love the flirtatious wispy tendrils of your early vines barely sautéed in garlic and olive oil or butter. I love the early delicate harvest that can be eaten pod and all. So sweet that cooking is just a formality. The wet crunch snapping the later peas, then unzipping the tough string from the edge of the pods and slipping a finger inside to pop each pea out one prayer bead at a time. Stray ones escape skittering across the counter and bouncing their pointy heads irregularly on floor. The dogs run after them knocking rugs and furniture aside to tilt their heads and dart their tongues into crevices that even good housekeeping (unlike mine) would miss.

On the phone with my grandmother the other day we were probably talking about my fantasy vegetable league draft picks from the seed catalog when she reminded me of the carrot salad she used to get from the Gentilly Pap’s market especially for me for family dinners. Apparently I was the only one who even liked it. I hadn’t known that she didn’t make it from scratch either.

As a kid who didn’t like to eat almost everything, my mom at some point figured out the carrot salad recipe:(mayo-phobes should stop reading here.)

Shredded carrots (I remember being tasked to help prepare dinner with a stack of carrots, the potato peeler, and the box shredder.)
1 can of pineapple chunks with 2/3 the juice drained off
Dollop of mayo
Handful of raisins or 2 of the small red boxes full

I’ve been thinking about it since the call but it is one of those kinds of coveted kid foods that may not work for an adult palate (like twinkies), so I wasn’t willing to invest in new ingredients to make it happen. No, not for a mayo based salad, but tonight the refrigerator remnants all fell together.

3 Shredded carrots (I should have peeled them and it would have been prettier bright orange but I was feeling lazy)
All the nearly done citrus in the fruit basket (zest, skinned chunks and juice of 1 blood orange, and 1 ½ tangerines)
Handful of golden raisins
Handful of dried cranberries
Spoonful of soy-naise
Ruby grapefruit, dried cherries and chopped walnuts or pecans would have also been good additions or substitutions.

Is it too trite to say I was thrilled that it was just as good as I remembered?

Also isn't it weird that citrus is a winter crop? Doesn't it seem like it's you know essence is hot?

Also my dad used to mix his peas into the spaghetti and meat sauce. I'm no longer a plate food seperatist, but this is still disgusting.

Also, remember the carrots and peas candy? What did it taste like?

Something about this reminds me of Hawaii. Maybe because the original was made with pineapple? It seems like the sort of thing that would be right at home in a plate lunch. But what do I know? I don't see anything wrong with buttered rice.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Happy Super Fat Tuesday everybody, or is it Fat Super Tuesday... some clarification from those who know would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

For those of you who knew about Carbon/Silicon and did not tell me: I loved you just a little less, just for a moment.