I love broccoli and fresh green beans. I love cauliflower and Brussel sprouts, artichokes and corn, asparagus and spinach. Especially spinach.
But I didn’t always. Remember when you were a kid, and your parents made you eat those obnoxious green stringy horrid disgusting things called “vegetables”?
Why did we hate them so much? I remember plopping my peas into my glass of milk (whole milk, back in the day before the choices of non-fat or low fat) in order to hide them. Drip. Drop. Drip. One pea at a time. Thinking I’d get away with it. But my parents also made me finish my glass of milk every night. And surprise! A half dozen round peas lay in the bottom of my glass like tiny drowned smarmy green mice. My tears and histrionics drowned out the parental order: eat those mice or ‘NO DESSERT!’
When did I learn to appreciate the finer aspects of the green goodies that help us stay lean and mean like a well-oiled machine (wasn’t there an ad somewhere, sometime, like this for say, asparagus? If not, should have been.)
I can’t remember eating spinach enthusiastically until I was pregnant with my first child. Then, I couldn’t get enough of it. I’d stroll down the grocery aisles surreptitiously, sneaking into the freezer section, piling boxes of frozen spinach one at a time, looking right and left to make sure no one saw. After all, who eats spinach voraciously like a wolf attacking red meat?
I’d rush home and start a small saucepan of boiling water, dropping in that iced square of green stringy stuff, timing the steaming impatiently, sighing with satisfaction as I gorged on the delicious delicacy with pure delight.
Some say my body craved iron; I say I just finally learned to let go of my prejudices and discover the goodness of vegetables.
Aldous Huxley once wrote: “The charm of history…consists in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is quite different.” Same with broccoli and childhood. My grandchildren are now squirming through the difficulties of eating their vegetables. Sophie, 3 ½ years old, shows her quiet resolve to make it through this ordeal with good cheer as she “eats the broccoli.”
Check out her secret here, and then go eat your vegetables!