Saturday, December 15, 2012

Eat Your Vegetables!

Conventional wisdom suggests that in order to get a reluctant entity to ingest an object that is inherently good for it, one has to use the ancient art of subterfuge.

Most commonly, this involves hiding or disguising the good thing (be it medicine or carrots and celery) within something far more desirable, which is then eaten. Pills can be crushed and blended into a hamburger, or some carrot blended into a tomato soup: the unsuspecting recalcitrant is none the wiser.

Mothers, in particular, are experts at hiding good foods within bad ones. They’ll try to squeeze in as many vitamins and minerals as possible — the way cereal companies do when they offer sugar-crusted candy corn shapes which have been infused with micro quantities of the ingredients heavily advertized in fun colors at the top of the package.

Occasionally, however, you get a Mom who is either profoundly incompetent at this necessary skill, or who just doesn’t give a fuck, and fails to appreciate the very notion of “cloak-and-dagger” nutrition, and serves a sackful of carrots embedded in a translucent mold of clear jelly.

Under the impression of elegance, she will artlessly suggest that her creation isn’t in fact what it appears to be; she will have you believe that what are clearly carrot discs are some exotic orange fruit whose deliciousness will be a revelation. “Look,” she will say, “would I have taken such trouble to arrange all that flat-leaf Italian parsley around it if it wasn’t worth it?”

She’s the sort of person who will insist you eat the garnish too.

Salads, Time-Life Books, 1979

Also from this book: Mind Your Tongue, Jellied Salad
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