Spicy Pineapple Collard Greens and The Great Vowel Shift

[This entry is cross posted at ordinary-times.com]

I wasn’t a very good vegetable eater as a kid. My sister was. She was evil about it. I’d be midway through the go-to opening pea deployment – a spread with a rise towards the plate edge, a scooped out crater in the middle, and a spread of green dots like a monochrome Pollock painting whisping along the curvature cunningly contrived to make it appear as there were less peas than before – as that little shrew was asking for seconds she didn’t really want. She didn’t just want to be Mom and Dad’s good little eater. She wanted to highlight that I wasn’t. A stray dog bit her once when we were playing in the woods and she had to endure a painful series of injections “just in case.” The rabies shots and the venal display she put on mugging for vegetable praise are probably unrelated. Contrary to popular usage, karma doesn’t act within the same incarnation so she won’t get hers until the next life. But she will get hers.

My oldest son claims to love veggies, but he’s got a narrow definition of them that includes French fries, pickles, and corn on the cob and excludes everything else. His younger brother will eat his brother’s list plus anything we’ve grown in the garden. It doesn’t have to be from our garden, it just has to be a variety of edible plant he’s seen come out of our garden at some point or a bell pepper, which isn’t really a vegetable but gets lumped in with them like tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and a lot of the things I immediately think of when I think of vegetables but aren’t. Both turn their noses up at the bulk of our dinner sides.

Continue reading