catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 5, Num 1 :: 2006.01.13 — 2006.01.26


Top Ten re: vegetables

Top Ten Memories and Words Related to Vegetables

  1. Silver Queen White Corn: My mom would drive out into the ?country? to get this tender corn on the cob by the bushel. All five of us children would help shuck it. My mom would blanch it and slice it from the cob to freeze for winter. In our home in metropolitan Philadelphia the only things we ?put up? in the freezer for winter were Silver Queen and blueberries.
  2. Vidalia Onions: When I was an exchange student in England the year between high school and college, my English mum, Jean, taught me a trick I still use. If dinner preparations are not under way, saut? onions quickly as your family enters the door. ?Hmmm, something smells good!?
  3. Kapusta: My best friend in college was a Polish Catholic woman from a small town in western Pennsylvania. She took me home to meet her mom and initiate me in the passion of Polish cuisine. We had kapusta (sauerkraut to my German background) and peirogies. It was such a delight to find that my son?s favorite recipe in Hungary, where he lived for two years, was kapusta testa (fried cabbage with egg noodles and a bit of sugar). Really good!
  4. Heirloom Tomatoes: The summer after I graduated from college I lived with the Hutterites at New Meadow Run in western Pennsylvania. They grew acres of tomatoes for their community of 300 people. My friend Norma and I would leave our chore of setting the tables for 300, and go pick and eat warm tomatoes. We always carried saltshakers in our pockets that summer.
  5. Garlic: And how can you use onions without garlic? Well, in my home growing up, we never did use garlic. My dad hates garlic due to the second hand doses he received as a family doctor in a community of European immigrants. But, when we would go to his sister?s house, he being the ?golden boy? and she the ?black sheep,? we would always be served a humongous bowl of hummus! I loved it!
  6. Aubergines: When my friends at Tiffin Girl?s School would go on a walk at lunch time, they would all speak French. I knew Spanish. Ah, well. But when I found out that aubergine was both the word for eggplant and the fashion name of the delicious deep purple color of the same, I fell in love with the sound. Now I have fallen in love with the taste as well when I cook the one-inch diameter French eggplants grown by Kate Lind (at Sustainable Greens farm near Jones, MI) in a stir fry.
  7. Zanahorias: That is the Spanish word for carrot. Carrots are a ?free food? on Weight Watchers. What more can I say: beauty in name and in freedom! And Mrs. Nash, my Spanish teacher in Jenkintown schools from 4th through 10th grade, would be proud!
  8. Guisantes: Well, Mrs. Nash would smile as well. My English family had mercy on me and took me to Spain for Holy Week, to satisfy my longing to speak Spanish. One night I carefully ordered ?guantes? with my meal. Guantes are gloves. Guisantes are peas. The macho waiter smiled condescendingly and with a wink, making a gentle correction. And I was able to laugh.
  9. Sweet Potatoes: I use them now often in place of white potatoes, for their glorious color, taste and fiber! When my friend Katie was bummed out two falls ago, I created ?Katie?s comfort soup.? The requirement: ingredients must be golden-orange. Try your own blend of sweet potatoes, red lentils, carrots, and acorn squash flavored with curry and turmeric and cumin (and of course, saut? with onion and garlic).
  10. Diva Cucumbers: Cool! I especially like the fact that Dale Hasenick of White Yarrow Farms in Marcellus, Michigan, brings special varieties to the farmer?s market in Goshen. The Divas are firm and sweet, and I never put them on my eyelids.

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