Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Eat Your Greens

The title is a reference to a movie bit that David and I quote all the time, from the documentary series Seven Up. (BTW, if you've never seen these, you MUST: they're world-changing. Director Michael Apted has been following the lives of 14 British children since 1964, when they were seven years old, releasing a new film every seven years. 56 Up will be next. But start at the beginning. For Pete's sake, do it. You'll thank me.)

So, in Seven Up, the children were interviewed on a playground, and one shy boy speaks to an unseen interviewer about his future. To paraphrase:

"I never want to get married. No, because a wife would probably make me eat my greens. And I don't like eating my greens."

David could really relate to that concept before he met me. We still struggle with the greens issue around here.

Today's post is about green foods. Why? Well, I got the idea from you wonderful Readers. Thank you!

The Salad Days

Salad is good. Until I was 15, I always ate my salads completely dry, since I hated dressing. Then I started to love dressing after that. Why couldn't that timeline have been switched?

Vegetables Will Put Hair On Your Chest

I love broccoli, green beans, cabbage, spinach...probably some other greens, too. But not zucchini. Evil, evil zucchini. The taste, the texture. In England, they call it "courgettes." Which sounds lovely but still tastes bad. Rubbery. I also hate asparagus. People yell at me for this. Or they say "Oh, you just haven't had my asparagus. I'll make you some beautiful, just-born, farm-fresh, gorgeously seasoned asparagus, and you will fall in love." Hasn't happened. Tastes bitter to me. And is hard to chew.

Green Eggs and Ham

I can't really deal with food coloring. Unless it is applied to cupcake icing, then I can totally deal with it. But in things like eggs? Ick. I am a very suggestible eater. Eggs are not green. Ergo, green eggs are no longer food. I'm sure I would hate green beer, too, but I don't drink beer. And green bagels? That is just not right. If the fox in socks had worked his persistent and annoying skills on me, the book would have turned out very different. Yes, yes, my name notwithstanding. If there's any question I've been asked more than "So you're a witch? Can you turn me into a frog?" in my lifetime, it's "Where do you stand on the green eggs and ham issue?" I stand over in the other line, ordering eggs that are the right color.

The Moon Is Made Of Green Cheese

And that's where all the green cheese should stay. In outer space. Because it freaks me out when I order a cheese plate and they put some green cheese next to the other lovely stuff. Oh, I've tried it. It tastes spoiled. I don't get that.

Someone Left The Cake Out In the Rain, All The Sweet Green Icing Flowing Down

Mmmm, cake. Mmmm, icing. 'Nuff said.

Yankee Doodle Mint

I seem to be drawing a blank on other green foods. Oh, mint jelly! Which you're supposed to eat with lamb! I've never done that. Miss J mentioned Shamrock Shakes. I've never had one. 'Cuz they're green. But I recently learned it's because they're mint. I like mint. Just not in jelly. OH! MINT! My absolute favorite ice cream in the whole world: Baskin-Robbins Mint Chip. Now THAT is green. It's super-green. But scrumptious. Writing "super-green" reminds me of this noxious-looking thick green "super-juice" I drank when I was trying to get pregnant. Guess what? It didn't work. I also did wheat grass shots. Those are VERY green. I hate to quote myself (no, I don't) but my review of drinking a wheat grass shot: "For the rest of the day, I was belching what tasted like a new-mowed lawn." But to bring this back to happier topics (and sad at the same time) my favorite ice cream in 1976 was "Yankee Doodle Mint" at Baskin-Robbins. It was green ice cream with clear green chunks of candy in it. It was retired after that year, never to be heard of again. I still mourn it.

The Green Ones

In every box of candy. The green Mike n' Ikes. The green Skittles. The green Dots. Poor greenies, what did you ever do to me? I don't remember, but I don't like your kind. I instinctively mistrust you. I give you away the minute I spot you. Greenies, I've known candy. Candy is a friend of mine. And you are not candy...to me.

What's In A Name?

When I lived in England, I used to go to Pizza Hut, which for some reason was a fancy restaurant. I always ate the same thing: spinach fettuccine with mushroom cream sauce. It was green, and soooooo good. When I came back to the States, I rushed to a Pizza Hut for my fix, and guess what? Pizza Hut in the United States doesn't serve pasta. It's not even a fancy restaurant. Who knew?

Now That's Italian

When I lived in Boston, my "T" stop for work was right near the North End, which is filled with Italian restaurants and food purveyors. One time my friend Amy said we should buy the ingredients to make fresh pesto and serve it to some friends for dinner. I was too embarrassed to tell her I didn't know what pesto was, and felt certain I would hate it, just from the name. I watched with interest as the grocer wrapped up the fresh pasta, helped us choose an olive oil, and sliced an unruly wedge from a giant hunk of parmagian. I continued to be intrigued as we scooped pine nuts from a barrel into a paper bag, and picked out chocolate chip cannolis for our dessert. Then we were suddenly buying what looked and smelled like an entire row of someone's herb garden and I was horrified. That was going to be BAD, all that green, leafy stuff. Back at my apartment, there was a lot of crushing and blending, and then we were eating pasta with green flecks all over it, accompanied by a loaf of crusty bread, a sweet bottle of wine, good friends, and the sounds of Friday afternoon traffic wafting through the summer windows.

And that was when I realized: green is good.


Caroline said...

It took me a disturbingly long time to make the connection between Green Eggs & Ham and your name. :) Nickname, Caroline, not last name.

Pizza Hut has pasta now, but I looked, and I didn't see spinach/green anything.

DrSpouse said...

Are you absolutely sure it was Pizza Hut in the UK? And not Pizza Express?

Because Pizza Hut is not (at least, not now) a fancy restaurant...

Incidentally I also love Seven Up, and would really like to be able to watch the whole series - it's very hard to get hold of.

Sam said...

@Doc: Yes, it was Pizza Hut. Weirdly, I had never been to one in the States before, though I recognized the name. I love Pizzaland, too, in the UK. It was such an endearing place, what with the pizza that seemed to be coated in ketchup, and the fact that they served root beer floats with your meal.

I'm a little joking about the fancy restaurant. ;)

Jen said...

I'm with you on the wheat grass, but have you ever tried Green Machine? I think it's actually great, though it looks like (is) a green smoothie.

And speaking of green in smoothies, I have discovered you can put kale in a smoothie and no one notices. :-)

Anonymous said...

What kind of cheese is green exactly? I'd probably LEERRVV it since blue & bleu cheese is one of my favorites. Give me mold on my cheese & I'm a happy gal!!