I wanted to keep this post short and sweet, but I know with my penchant for rambling on, you’ll just have to bear with me. Now, I titled this an ‘ode’ but it’s more of a tribute and I have to thank my mother for that.
You see, when I was young, such was my disgust for eggplant, spinach and zucchini (and basically all the rest) that I would simply refuse to eat vegetables. To my 8-year old mind, they were bland, slimy creatures out to make life very difficult for my tastebuds. This would frustrate my dear mother to the point that she would refuse to let me leave the table until every last thing on my plate was gone. This would never happen. In the end, I’d just run to my room, sulky and hungry. And desperately craving a pizza or meat pie.
Whilst I was snacking away on salt and vinegar potato chips before dinner and unashamedly discarding my soggy cucumber and cheese sandwich after school, at home mum was still serving up what she knew best. This included various Turkish vegetable stews, dolmades, vine leaf rolls, she even attempted ‘steak’ to make me happy (I don’t know if it could even be considered a steak…). And of course, the good ol’ salad, every single night.
I don’t remember exactly when my daily food-induced tantrums stopped and I started to enjoy unprocessed food but once it happened, there was no turning back. I discovered low-fat mayo at this point and it worked perfectly at covering up the bland salad flavour (yes, very healthy). I also started watching cooking shows where Huey would teach me things about food I never knew possible and my love affair with healthy produce started like that.
Anyway, long story short, I am now so very fond of the cucumbers and tomatoes that taunted me as a child, amongst many other plant foods which I have grown to love. Except celery, sorry odd one. If it weren’t for my mother’s determination, I’d just be another overweight person trying to come to terms with the term ‘diet’.
I marvel at the site of imperfect produce; every irregularity shows the uniqueness of something which has not been mass-produced. These are from a home garden in Mittagong, where one of mum’s friend’s grows her own fruit and veges. Enjoy!
Hello there, pretty cucumbers.