Earlier this week I was food-shopping in Fairway when I saw they had stalks of Brussels sprouts. “Oh happy day!” I gushed to myself. This is not a very common occurrence. Just as some may dream of designer clothes, swanky sports cars, or other hard to attain bling, I am so steam rolled by this dismal economy I prefer to keep my fantasies in check. Therefore, I muse about finding cheap theater tickets, Tom’s toothpaste on sale and food.
Yet, what exactly would I do with this fantasy vegetable considering that I often go out after work, and I try to avoid having vintage foodstuffs growing fur in my refrigerator? I reflected on my social calendar for the week, and noted that it would be another three days before I would be home to indulge that stalk of sprouts again – if I could possibly fit a tree-branch sized vegetable inside my tiny bar-sized refrigerator in the first place.
My miniscule fridge is primarily packed with beverages and a few condiments, the telltale sign of the stubbornly single who considers take-out cuisine within a three-block radius of home base home cooking. The last site I want to see as I reach for an icy cold one is a moldy branch of Brussels sprouts that I purchased on a whim like the bottle of Japanese Miso salad dressing I only ate once last summer. As winter approaches, it is looking a little more like a bottle of a cream-topped toxic cocktail every day.
A few weeks ago I felt disgust when I had to toss one rubbery asparagus that I had fully intended to eat along with its peers had it not entered the vegetable protection program inside my vegetable bin. I did not realize it was there until I began smelling something turning rancid every time I opened the door. I am relatively conscientious of my food inventory and could not figure out what had chosen to die inside my refrigerator. In October, there was a plastic bag containing a few stray green beans that had escaped my food focus until they atrophied into a stiff soup, nothing like any made by Progresso unless they’ve recently added a variety called, “What the hell is that?”
Yet, that stalk of sprouts looked so enticing to me. For a fleeting moment I considered if Fairway still has stalks of sprouts available next week, I could carry one with me on the plane when I visit my family in California over the holidays, even though both my father and brother-in-law hate Brussels sprouts, and I will probably fall even more out of favor with my niece, Sweet Pea. I can imagine what my sixteen-year-old heir might say:
Sweet Pea (in a loud whisper to her mother): Mom, look she brought us vegetables! Vegetables, Mom! She’s so weird.
Dovima: You don’t have to eat them. They’re good. I like them.
Sweet Pea: Whatever.
My life-long supporter, my sister, Dovima, is more of a vegetable enthusiast. Maybe gifting her with this stalk will make up for once again failing to get her the kirsch-filled chocolate she likes. Then again, maybe not.
Therefore, I passed on the stalk and bought a small bag of far less sexy loose sprouts that I had for dinner that night. I’ll also pass on bringing a stalk with me to the Bay Area, if only to stay on my niece’s good side since she does the seating arrangement for Christmas dinner. I know I am fast approaching crossing the line where she’ll seat me alone in the outdoor patio with the cat.