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If you are hungry don't read this post

7 Jun 2005

Every week I do the same thing. I go to the local fruit and veg shop and upon entering the door with the trolley, the soul of a mad gourmet chef overtakes me.

And so it replays over and over again, week after week:

Ohh look at the potatoes. Need some big brushed ones for mashing, some pontiac for baking - and what's that up the back? Let me looky - aww cute little tiny baby potatoes (or King Edwards, or those tiny black nubby ones), must get some of those for a herby potato salad.

Brocolli, cauliflower, carrots. Essentials for the good health of the kids.

Tomatoes, oh yum. Truss tomatoes for french bread bruschetta. a punnet of cherry tomatoes for salads.

Herbs. I must have some coriander for a fresh salsa. And mint for the Thai beef salad. And chives for the potatoes. And continental parsley for the bruschetta. And English spinach for the eggs florentine.

Asian greens. Must have at least three types. One for the stirfry. One to steam with ginger and soy. One to have as salad.

Bean shoots, alfalfa, snow pea sprouts.

Onions, garlic, carrots, eggplant (homemade baba ganoush), beetroot (middle eastern beetroot dip), green beans, zuchinni, cucumber, sweet potato.


Apples, granny smiths and gala. Mandarins - in season and yum. Fresh pineapple - I'll do a salsa with that and some mint and coriander onions and vodka (Jacqueline I suggest you immediately try this one), mango just because I love it, lemons for the fish I'm going to steam in the fish kettle with some of those herbs, limes for cocktails and sorbet. Fresh coconut to grate on the thai curries, blood oranges to boil and serve with the passionfruit caramel sauce.

So it goes. My trolley groans with the weight of all this goodness. I can feel the vitamins and goodness in my blood already as I pay for it all.

And every week I throw almost all of last weeks fruit and vegetables away, having spent the week careening from swimming to school to medical appointments to whatever else. Every night's dinner is usually very similar; grilled steak or chicken breast on the George Foreman and steamed carrots and brocolli and super quick mashed potatoes, possibly with instant gravy. "It's boring," I say to the kids, "but at least it's not bad for you." Hublander (long story) works such long hours that he is grateful for anything he doesn't have to prepare himself after his commute.

I hate myself for it. Such waste. Such excess. Starving children in Africa and all that. I am deeply ashamed. If only the spirit of the chef didn't disappear the minute I get out of the fruitshop. If only he'd hang around and cook something. But alas, he doesn't. I return from the grocer alone - I am excellent in theory and a bit shaky in practice. What a shame.

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