The Vegetables, They Talk to Me

2 Jul

I always thought I had some sort of culinary ADD. I’ve always had trouble sticking to a recipe. I’m always straying from the ingredient list and making substitutions. I thought it was because I was creative and curious but I have since found out that my actions go deeper than that. I think I am listening to the ingredients.

I start to hear them the minute I go into a store or stroll through the farmers market, “Hey you, the one with the curls… I’m talking to you. Don’t I look delicious, green, and crisp, and I’d be oh-so-good with caramelized onions and crunchy toasted almonds. You have those at the home right??” “Pick me, pick me!”

No, I’m not hallucinating. I don’t really believe in talking veggies, but I do believe that if we open our ears we can hear all kinds of important things.

I guess when I’m walking around the grocery store, I fall into a sort of culinary meditation, a trance-like state where I become like a kid in a candy store. Mouth agape, I pick up things, smell things, look closely at the spices and fruits. And my brain is quickly calculating whether anything in my pantry would taste good with this particular pear or with that ripe red tomato.

I listen to the people around me too. Being used to the high-pitched sound of my daughters voice, my ears perked up when I heard a similar voice nearby. Right next to me a child was begging for “rainbow” carrots–a beautiful bunch of golden, beet-red and orange carrots. I saw a few more moms and dads shopping with their kids and I heard their conversations clearly, “Dad, I want to try these tomatoes, please.”

I was so taken by these little ones who were so interested in the fresh produce section. It was such a departure from what I am used to hearing in the store–the frantic scurry to find the sweetest, most colorful boxed snack or lunch item. I smiled to myself and wondered if perhaps the vegetables were talking to them too?

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