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confessions of a vegetable snob

January 21, 2010

I stopped by the grocery store on my way home last night to pick up a few essentials.  I was tired after the long day, but I zipped through the aisles, picking up only what was needed.  I was rather impressed, considering I was not only tired but hungry too.  I finally made it to the check-out lane, where the poor young man at the register got a crash course in produce.  Obviously, he wouldn’t have known that I don’t eat peas of any variety when he first mistook the green beans for snow peas.  The error was quickly corrected, and I was saved from sounding like a know-it-all vegetable snob.

I am a lover of most vegetables – the proof of which can be seen in my extravagant holiday veggie trays – but that wasn’t always the case.  There was a time when, as with most children, I loathed vegetables.  My siblings and I had no choice when it came to what was served at meal time, but we were given the choice of eating the food or going hungry.  Mom always served up a well-balanced meal, which included a side of detestable vegetables.  My refuse-to-eat veggie list was rather extensive in my youth.  (See example.)

I look back on those days wondering how I survived, and then I remember my ingenious veggie-evading tactics.  My parents’ always thought I was a very clean child because they never had to remind me to use my napkin.  On the contrary, I made good use of that napkin.

We didn’t have a dog to eat anything that “accidentally” fell to the floor during dinner, and if anything did “accidentally” fall to the floor, we were given another serving.  I learned from experience, not mine – my siblings taught me what not to do.  That’s when the napkin became my friend.  You can guess where my veggies went when I daintily wiped my mouth.  It worked for a while – my little scheme.  I thought I was so clever until the fateful day Mom made vegetable soup.  My parents caught on pretty quick when the crumbled napkins piled up next to my bowl.  Before I knew it, I no longer had access to the napkins and there was more soup in my bowl.  Knowing me, I probably cried.

I remember Mom and Dad both saying at various times, “You may not like vegetables now, but you will like them when you are older.”  That never went over well with the younger, more stubborn version of myself.  I would insist that I would never like vegetables, usually with a stomp of my foot for dramatic effect.

Well, reader, Mom and Dad were right.  Veggies are now an major part of my daily diet.  They are a favorite snack, a desirable side dish, even (I hate to admit it) a comfort food.  Many of the vegetables I couldn’t stand as a child are now on my can’t-live-without list.  But there are still a few veggies I won’t touch.  Peas fall in that category, along with lima beans and cauliflower.

When I saw snow peas appear on the register screen last night, I began to panic a little.  For a split second I had the urge to grab a napkin.  I regained control of my senses and recognized the error was not mine.  I looked at the fresh, yummy green beans that were hand-picked from the bin with relief.  I’m not a know-it-all vegetable snob, I just know what prdouce I’ll eat and which ones I’ll let the napkin take care of.

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