Posted tagged ‘Vegetable’

“A vegetable garden in the beginning looks so promising and then after all little by little it grows nothing but vegetables, nothing, nothing but vegetables.”

July 5, 2012

It is the loveliest of mornings, sunny and cool. When I let Gracie outside, I followed her and stood on the deck for the longest time surveying my world and enjoying the start of the day. My vegetables are growing, and I need to stake my tomatoes as they are growing over the wire tomato thingies ( I don’t know what they’re called. Thingies works just as well for almost anything).

When I was growing up, the only fresh vegetable I remember eating was corn in the summer. I didn’t like tomatoes, and my mother didn’t serve salads. She knew we’d all turn up our noses. I ate canned peas, the small ones, the Le Seure peas; they were my favorite. My mother tricked us by hiding the carrots. She mashed them with the potatoes, and for years I thought potatoes were orange and white. My mother also served canned green beans, and we had to eat a few. All his life my father ate canned asparagus, long after the rest of us had found the joys of fresh vegetables. I remember my mother serving them to him at Thanksgiving. If you held up a spear, the top would fall over; they were a bit mushy. He always had the entire can to himself.

My father loved native tomatoes. Around here, when the vegetable season is at its height, people put out tables in their front yards with a variety of vegetables on them. The prices are usually on a piece of paper taped to the table and the money goes in a can. I’d load up on tomatoes and bring them up to my parents’ house when I visited. My dad would cut the tomatoes, load mayonnaise on his plate and take them into the living where he’d snack and watch TV. He always said there was nothing better than native tomatoes.

My dad would love my garden though I suspect he’d say dibs on the tomatoes!

“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.”

April 8, 2011

Warm weather is coming. Starting tomorrow it will be in the 50’s for the next four or five days. My only wish is that the wind takes a break and stays off-shore so we can enjoy the weather. Gracie and I have a few things to do this morning then we’ll be back to watch the Red Sox play their home opener. Never in my scariest nightmares did I expect them to be 0-6 to start the season. Maybe playing the Yankees this afternoon will raise them to a higher plane.

I don’t cook for myself very often. It just seems too much trouble to pull out the pots and pans. Most times I just fall back on cheese and crackers or a sandwich. I keep hummus in the fridge, and there are always eggs, but, if the truth be told, my diet is sadly lacking in vegetables though I do take vegetable credit for coleslaw with its cabbage and carrots. I really like vegetables so there are no reasons to avoid them. I swear it’s just laziness as most go best with a meal to complement them. Carrot sticks might just be my salvation.

I don’t think I have had okra since I was in Ghana, but okra stew was one of my favorites though I had to overcome the slime when I first ate it. In the far north where I lived, it was often served with tuo zaafi, better known as T-zed in English. T-zed is like a thick porridge and locally it was made from millet. I’d grab a piece of T-zed and then dip it into the stew. It was delicious. Groundnut stew was another favorite to eat with T-zed. I never would have imagined a soup with a peanut butter base, but it was wonderful. Usually it came with chicken.

In Bolga, chop bars lined the lorry park. They were hole-in-the wall places to eat with unmatched tables and rickety stools or chairs. In the back, the sound of fufu being pounded was a sign dinner was nearly ready. I’d buy my fufu with whatever stew was available, place it in a pot and drive it home on my motorcycle holding the pot with one hand and steering with the other. I guess I’d call it take out.


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