That would be my house, more specifically my vegetable drawer in the fridge. I really can’t understand it unless…my kids are playing pranks on me and moving around the temperature lever on the crisper. Not that I would notice or even know what coldness a cucumber needs in order to stay fresh. Not that I know the lifespan of any given cucumber once it leaves the supermarket. The truth is I often tempt the kids into taking a fruit and veg to school but they all prefer fruit. When the only fruit left in the bin is moldy or bruised (insert girlie shrieks and protestations) nectarine I beg them to take the crunchy red pepper but alas the answer is almost always ‘no’ and sometimes the ‘ugh, Mom, seriously?’ But then I remember that I bought cucumbers…only to find the last one half smashed and leaking cuke-juice on the bottom of the drawer – ick.
And, I never learn my lesson. Standing in front of the cucumber bin in the market I am drawn to the gorgeous, hard and shiny cucumbers all screaming ‘pick me’! So, of course I do, but have since learned my lesson. I only buy a few and really try to push them when the kids start whining about which snacks to take. I urge them, reminding them how crunchy and juicy and refreshing they can be. With eyes rolling back at me they beg me to give up. So I do. Until I am struck with a horrifying morning of late-wakers and shoving the cucumber circles in a baggie pleading them to ‘Please take these, you’ll thank me later when you’re hungry!!!’ Finally, at a last attempt: ‘This is all that there is. Yes, I promise…the bus! The buuuuUS!!!!!’ And that’s the day I felt like a hero. I saved the cucumber. Unfortunately, that was short-lived since the next morning when I had sliced an apple (score one for Mom, to not forget to pick up fresh fruit) and went to put it in her book-bag and there all goopy was a tied baggie of cuke-juice mixed with bits of the cucumber it once was.
Poor, sad, cucumbers, I often think. Then my mind turns to dinner and I start rummaging the bins and pantry to try to concoct a creative dinner (since all I remembered to buy was apples). And there at the bottom of the veg bin is a sad a partially wrinkled red pepper. And I sigh. Poor, sad red pepper I think and scream out, ‘Hey! Stir fry for dinner guys!’ – and guess what they eat? Yup, they eat just the chicken and rice.
I’m not sure why I even bother, part of me thinks I have no choice, really. I am held hostage in the fruit and veg section in the market. Everything looks so darn good and healthy and I have visions of the Iron Chef guy taking a huge bite out of a red pepper and think, yum! I stare at all the varieties and opportunity for healthy meal options and am struck with this need to fill my basket with ALL of them. I even bought dragon fruit because it was so pretty not having a clue what it was since the sign in Hebrew gave me no hint. I bought quince and kiwi and endives and radishes thinking I was adventurous and the kids would applaud my creativity. One child likes kiwi (yay), no one likes radishes and the quince are still hard in the fruit drawer. I can’t even remember what happened to the endives! I’m not sure I’ll ever truly learn my lesson – I get sucked in by all the pretty colors and am hooked week after week. The one good thing to come out of all my bruised fruit was this week I made fruit shakes and everyone at least tasted one cup. Go Mommy, go Mommy – get your fruit on, go Mommy. Now, I wonder, has anyone had any success with vegetable shakes?