One great thing can be ruined by a small terrible thing.
I don’t want to name names, but I was once served chicken with a delightful cheese bechamel sauce. I might even make it myself someday. Anyway, it was music to my taste buds. I snuck a bite before I even left the kitchen, but then the cook lumped some canned corn on my plate. *record scratches* Watery, mushy, sickly yellow kernels. Ew. Like I said the chicken was rock-on-awesome, but what was with the corn? When you present a plate of food to someone you are going to be judged either openly or privately. I like vegetables, I really do, but I know a lot (a lot!) of people hate them and that lump of yellow is why. They’ve hated veggies since they were kids and mostly because of the way vegetables are treated. When I see a mom scheming to sneak veggies into her daughter or son’s meal I wonder why they need to be hidden. When that mom treats vegetables as something kids won’t like, as something that has to be hidden you make a distinct mental impression: vegetables are bad. There seems to be some collective thinking in our country that kids, without exception, hate vegetables from birth. I never knew that children are born with the hate of greens- probably because they aren’t.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a vegetable hater. Most of my childhood. I think another big mistake is serving and being served plain as Jane Eyre vegetables that haven’t been loved or coaxed into greatness. Aside from the health problems this mentality breeds we’re also missing out on some damn good chow. In Tony Bourdain’s book Nasty Bits he writes that we should, “Eat for nourishment, yes, but eat for pleasure”. I want to sit down at a diner, get a burger that means serious business, but I also want a side of perfectly stir fried vegetables atop some rice.
So, what is the point of this long tirade? From now on when I go to family functions or parties I am bringing delicious vegetable based side dishes. I’m bringing veggie back. I’m going to expose people to vegetation. Coming to a plate near you…