Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (and Beets and Radishes and …)

Autumn has descended upon our drenched New England-ish suburb with a cascade of sewage-colored leaves, ending a plentiful summer harvest that overflowed under temporary tents and makeshift stands filling roadsides and parking lots across our SUV-infested region.


I say that having marinated our garbage disposal, again, in lemon juice and baking soda to rid our kitchen of the stench of "fresh" beets and radishes.

At least beets and radishes are what I think those fuzzy little beasts were I found nuzzling the baby carrots. Thank science for cellophane. In another day or two, we might have unleashed a mutant root vegetable upon the world or, worse, another Republican candidate for president.

Don't misunderstand me. I love the idea of farmers' markets dotting our landscape. If you have the time, money and determination to browse them regularly in effort to eat only locally grown foods, I applaud you, but discretely and only when you out of earshot. Get some people talking about their all-natural, carbon-footprint-reducing ways and you soon understand why the word "locavore" is just two letters and a space removed from "loco bore."

Instead, my greatest concern with this green grocer revolution is keeping My Love far, far away from it.

In our barely dual-income family, she's the breadwinner and I'm the bread buyer. Circumstances reversed somewhat this summer, leaving my normally better-paid half with the need to occasionally help with my prior household duties, including the quest for food. So imagine my surprise when the woman I married, the one always quick to declare how she loathes shopping of all kinds, kept filling our home with crates of tomatoes and bushels of peppers, and buckets of ... well, I really don't know what those buckets of puce-colored things were.

"Oh, I stopped by the farmers' market," she'd say, looking proud of the bounty spread before her. "Everything looked so beautiful and fresh."

I'd agree. The acre of farmland produce and fruit spilling off our kitchen counter would look pretty and scrumptious. For about three days. That would be when I'd open a crisper drawer and pray that exposure to this organic and rapidly disintegrating goo I discovered inside didn't somehow trigger my lifelong allergy to penicillin.

I'm not averse to eating healthy. I do my best to avoid the salty, sugary and tasty evils of processed food when I can. Breakfast tends to consist of egg-white omelets or artery-unclogging oatmeal so long as a doughnut doesn't try to leap to its death down my gullet.

While My Love is normally a big proponent of moderation and portion control. However, when she  passes a farm-fresh stand of berries or squash she suddenly comes under the delusion that our home doubles as a way station for ravenous armies of vegan extremists.

"Oh, I'll just freeze it for later," is her standard reply to my dismay at the sight of our cupboards jammed with fresh reds, greens and yellows that I know inevitably become a fuzzy lot of spoiled grays, whites and blacks. Therefore, she freezes.

And freezes.

And freezes.

That's why when Tropical Storm Irene knocked out our power for three days, I rejoiced. Our light company’s failures were my success at blamelessly clearing the lower depths of the Frigidaire of another forgotten icy crop.

But what am I to do with all this room now that a chill is in the air?

If you are a dairy farmer interested in opening an all-natural ice cream market, please -- give me a holler.


  1. I have issues with gullet leaping donuts, too!

  2. This reminds me..... I have an open bag of Halloween candy. Now where did I put my coffee?

  3. We have the opposite problem, hubs is always trying to get us to buy all this fresh produce when I know darned well that we are not going to eat it - there are ONLY two of us and I can only get a couple of the dogs to eat veggies.
    Not to mention, I also have a life long, life-threatening, allergy to PCN. =)

  4. I'm guilty of the produce lust, too. We DO eat it, and then, inevitably, it gets fuzzy. Being wasteful is worse, I think. Still - right now I'd damn near kill for a roasted beet - that someone else prepared.

  5. You did not know, but that is life spawned in those there drawers, the same ones the aliens who visited us some 3 billion years ago dumped after some aspiring health food spacie emptied their disenigrating goo on us!


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