Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wake up and smell the lemon.

Well it’s been a week without blogging, too long I admit to go without updating. It has been a week of fairly uninspired cooking. I have somehow managed to aggravate my knee again, and the thought of standing in the kitchen prepping anything is less than appealing. Even so I decided a trip to the grocery store and some yummy veggie meals would make me feel better.

You see it’s the one week I can cook without dragging a hunk of meat out for my husband. He could live on steak alone and I veggies until the end of time. Opposites attract, that much is plain to see. I couldn’t pass this opportunity up to try out some of the recipes I have been hoarding for such an occasion. Don’t get me wrong my husband enjoys fruit and vegetables as much as I do, as long as there is a good amount of protein on his plate as well. I miss him dearly when he is gone, but as I told my mother when she said she hated cooking for one “this is an opportunity to experiment and not have to worry about anyone else complaining”

So with that philosophy I headed to the grocery store for some fresh fruit and vegetables, there I encountered one fateful glitch. At the risk of sounding like my Oupa (grand-father), “In this modern world” freshness isn’t a priority. I grew up with a garden, and I used to spend my days eating strawberries right off the plant. No washing and no worries. We didn’t use dangerous chemicals to preserve them until the end of time; you ate them when they were fresh and ripe. They tasted of, well, strawberries and smelled of strawberries. I find that fruit here in the states, is bland. It may be the shape of a strawberry, but it sure doesn’t taste or smell like one. I miss fruit, real fruit with real taste.

I believe that if more Americans had access to fresh fruit and fresh picked vegetables they would enjoy them more. Here is a little hint an lemon is supposed to smell like a lemon. When you pick it up the aroma should be apparent. Lemon is not just a scratch and sniff scent.

Everyone is too concerned about perfection, your food cannot have the slightest blemish or else it is tossed away. I watched a women at the grocers pick through a bunch of broccoli heads, tossing aside every single one with a slight bruise. Come on people; are we that caught up with looks that we will forgo taste? Do you think those in rural Africa will toss a tomato just because it has a soft spot? No they don’t, they cut around that part and eat the rest. It isn’t going to kill you. What is going to kill you are all the hormones they pump into fruit and veg nowadays so you get a uniform look. Fruit is supposed to be imperfect, it’s not man-made it’s grown by the earth. Give me a deformed peach picked off a tree over a perfectly round supermarket find any day of the year. At least mine will taste and smell like a peach.

So there you have it; my rant from my fruitless shopping cart.

I’m off to find a farmers market, or even better a farm that will let me pick my own fruit and veg. Might I suggest you do the same.


Mel said...

I hear you on that. I will be attempting to grow tomatoes and possibly peppers and some melons this year, for exactly that reason; store fruit & veg are so bland. Are you interested in coming over and helping me figure out how to handle mulberries this year (usually in early-mid May)? I think I am feeling brave enough. Might try some jam or, if the jam doesn't set, syrup ;)

elra said...

I add lemon to almost anything I cook. It adds more flavor :)