Monday, July 5, 2010
The Vegetative State
A Plea to My Neighbors, In-Laws and Co-Workers:
STOP GIVING ME VEGETABLES!!!
I know you're really proud of these wonderful vegetables that you've grown from the soil of your own yard with the back-breaking labor of your own two hands (not to mention your own back), but for pity's sake, NO MORE PRODUCE!
You see, I am a child of 60's, when a combination of terrible weather conditions and totalitarian policies created widespread famine. When I was a kid, I couldn't flip on the television without some huge-eyed child staring longingly through the screen at my TV dinner.
"Here," I would say, holding out a forkful of green beans to the skeletal figure on the screen, "take them! I don't like them anyway."
From across the room, my mother would eye me reproachfully.
"Children in China would be glad to have those vegetables," she said.
And guilt would force me to choke down those stringy, nasty green beans, but the experience scarred me.
Here's how badly: A few years ago, I made a bowl of Kix for breakfast, only to realize the milk was sour But instead of tossing it into the garbage, I dumped it into a colander and rinsed it under the tap. Then I put the Kix back in the bowl, poured on fresh milk and ate them.
I cannot throw food away.
So if you give me a zucchini, I must make zucchini bread.
And if you give me 20 cucumbers, I will make an industrial vat of cucumber salad.
And if you give me two dozen tomatoes, I'll be up half the night, peeling and freezing the damned things.
This summer, thanks to a spring of consistent rain and perfect temperatures, local gardens are yielding bumper crops and inspiring their owners to spectacular acts of generosity.
And all this, mind you, to a woman who DOES NOT COOK.
But, they say if life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
To which I would reply: what the hell else am I going to do?
It's not like I can throw them away.