A million years ago when I was still cooking professionally I had the luxury of having the Pike’s Place Market a scant few blocks from work. Whenever possible I would pop down to the Market and gather the finest produce, cheeses, meats, breads and flowers to use in my cooking.
Coincidently at this same time I also moved into a house with my first “real” vegetable garden. I had tried my hand at a few basics with some success and some failure (who knew cauliflower should be blanched?) but hadn’t attempted anything really unique until a friend of mine gave me some seeds.
The seeds he gave me were a kaleidoscope of rainbow hues: purple cauliflower, candy cane radishes, rainbow carrots, chocolate bell peppers, Swiss chard and more. That year’s garden produced a bounty of healthy, vibrant produce, some of which I used at work and some at home.
Less Colorful Vegetables
Since then my life has changed in a myriad of ways. It is now entwined with my longtime partner who, while he has many endearing qualities, an adventurous palate is not one of them. When you live with a guy who thinks ‘vegetable’ is a four letter word you tend to keep things simple.
Today, we still grow vegetables but of the more traditional variety. The beans are green if you please and the sweet bell peppers red, certainly not brownish. Cauliflower isn’t even grown, let alone purple cauliflower. Compromise is evident everywhere in the garden which seems to become more and more replete with fruit…he’ll eat fruit.
Sometimes when I am puttering amongst the vegetables in the garden I feel a twinge of nostalgia for the good old days when this gal could grow and eat produce that wasn’t readily available at the local supermarket. But then, I think the lack of more interesting veggies is more than made up for by the companionship and love I receive from my partner. That, and that he is more than willing to mow the lawn, not my favorite chore!
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