We’re seated at the dinner table as a family, a cozy little scene, when my oldest daughter takes a bite of her vegetables, screws up her face and says, “Mama, there’s something not right about these vegetables!” A usual comment at dinner tables across the country I’m sure, but not with this daughter. Chloe likes vegetables, she loves kale, broccoli, steamed spinach and asparagus. Hasn’t always, but does at twelve.
“They taste fake. Wrong. Chemically.” Yes, they do, I admit. Once again, I can’t sneak anything by her palate. The vegetables of which she speaks are ones that were given to us by a well meaning relative. You pop them from the freezer to the microwave and 5 minutes later or so, you’ve got your so called vegetables. The problem is they are terrible and don’t taste real.
These veggies were part of my I’m-not-going-to-the-grocery-store-until-we-eat-more-of-what-we-already-have campaign. It usually lasts a few days, occasionally nets an oddball dish, but mostly leaves me feeling frugal and terribly accomplished for not breaking down at the first sign that things are getting low and rushing to the store only to find, weeks later, sodden, unrecognizable things on which I spent money, but have now wasted due to my lack of either attention or perseverance.
Fast forward to another dinner where, again we are all gathered, this time having a “snacky” dinner, which is to say, cheese, baguette, sliced sausage, apples slices, homemade mustard and… a cheese loaf. You know, the kind that is really a cheese spread rolled in nuts with a shelf life of small children. I love these things. I don’t care if it’s not politically correct in the food world. I do. They remind me of home, my mom, my grandparents and bridge nights when I would fall asleep to the laughter of ladies playing bridge in several rooms of our down stairs.
Not so Chloe. One taste. “Ugh! Mama, how can you eat that! It’s chemical cheese!” I now realize I’ve created a monster. A food snob. Truly, we don’t go around criticizing this food or that. I am, however, finding it interesting how she’s echoing our unspoken endorsement of handmade, local, organic. They watch, they watch, they watch…