When it comes to vegetables, I am the first to admit that I am absolutely clueless.
I’d like to claim I grew up in a vegetable-free household which would explain this and several other unexplained mysteries, such as why the heck I can’t use cutlery like a normal person, but it would be a lie.
Adding to the confusion, I was a dedicated vegetarian for seven long years and I still have no idea about vegetable-related matters!
I recently found myself making a salad at someone else’s house. I was trying to be all helpful and enthusiastic, but quickly found myself having a small panic attack when faced with something I suspected was a zucchini, green skin and all, and didn’t know what the hell to do with it… peel it? Don’t peel it? Slice it? Bake it? Throw it in a cupboard and pretend it was never there…?
Turns out it was actually a cucumber and yes, you can eat the green bit!
This is just the most recent of many situations I’ve had resulting from my lifelong vegetable confusion. Others include:
I’d heard of the elusive yam but was pretty happy living in the knowledge that it had never crossed my path. It just didn’t sound like a friendly vegetable, or a tasty one for that matter, but more like some kind of angry little man in a cape wielding a Bamm-Bamm style club.
That was, of course, until I blogged several months ago about my fear of mashed potato and for some reason, these yams kept coming up in my comments.
Do you like yams?
How do yams make you feel?
Do you eat mashed yams?
Things were getting weird.
I was confused and finally accepted that it was time to consult my friend Google.
So, for anyone who is unfamiliar with the yam equation, here it is:
Yam = Sweet Potato = Awesome!
You know those cultural miscommunications you have when you are so clueless as to what is going on you just smile and nod and accept that you will never know the truth? For me, Kumara was one of these.
For quite a few years, when kiwi friends kept saying things like ‘it’s kumara, right?’, ‘does this have kumara in it?’ and ‘I’m going to get kumara on the side’, I was seriously confused. Initially I thought kumara was a bird or maybe a person, but after much smiling and nodding and a whole lot of confusion, I realised they were simply trying to say ‘sweet potato’!
Better than that girl I once heard about who told her boss at a staff event at a chalet that he ‘had such a nice long deck’.
Ah, bless those little kiwis!
However, the real beginning of my vegetable confusion can only be blamed on one vegetable…
Many years ago, while still reasonably new to the world of vegetarianism and after a chinese doctor told me I was going to die if I didn’t eat meat, I made it my mission to learn to cook vegetables. I bought myself a cookbook, aptly titled ‘Learning to Cook Vegetarian’ and dog-eared the pages of anything that looked even remotely manageable (ie. Had less than ten ingredients) for experimentation.
One of my first attempts was some kind of baked creation, which seemed pretty straightforward. I copied down my little list of ingredients… garlic… onion… potato… turnip… turnip? Turnip! What the heck was a turnip?
Keep in mind here that this was before the days of Google on your phone, or even readily available high-speed internet, so my investigation of what the heck a turnip was consisted of squinting at the photo in the recipe book and by process of elimination and some vague recollection of a turnip character in a childrens book I had read long ago, came to the conclusion that it was a root vegetable with a sprout, which may or may not also have big eyes and wear a pair of runners…
Not one to shy away from a project I have committed to, I decided not to scrap the chosen recipe and chose another, but to take my new found knowledge to the supermarket to source the aforementioned turnip and everything else that the recipe called for and, of course, me being me, I got everything else and left the turnip for last.
With pretty much no idea what I was actually looking for, I had been standing in the root vegetable area for a good twenty minutes, reading all of the price labels when I found it. The excitement was overwhelming:
Turnips – $3.50 per kg | Beetroot $4.00 per kg
I looked up to the corresponding box and to my horror, there was no separation between the two vegetables – just a whole load of round things rolling around in one big box!
Having never seen beetroot except from can, I had reached a whole new level of confusion. Refusing to accept defeat or ask for help, I took a gamble and grabbed what most closely resembled the turnip I had envisaged – I figured if they had been stored in the same box without proper labels, there can’t be much difference anyway… Right?
Needless to say, to this day, I have never cooked or bought a beetroot OR a turnip ever again.
Other awkward vegetables I have encountered include ‘Green Onions’ (which, it turns out was my Fast and Fabulous cookbook seeing how far I would go to find a vegetable that DOES NOT EXIST), ‘Chinese Leaf’ (otherwise referred to as any leafy Chinese vegetable, walking around the markets asking for Chinese Leaf is not recommended!) and ‘Pepper’ or ‘Bell Pepper’ (which, contrary to popular belief is referring to a capsicum, NOT a chilli!) amongst many, many others.
On a side note, a few weeks ago I finally worked out how to install emoji emoticons onto my iPhone. Clearly a fairly simple task once you realise it’s an app.
My newfound love of emoticons was going well, I’ve been throwing them in here and there to create confusion or make a completely unclear point. In the midst of a recent texting conversation, I needed to throw in something completely unexpected. Insert Emoticon:
Think to self: A PURPLE zucchini! Of course! No one will see it coming!
The response: “Eggplant?”
Okay, so this week I am being totally boring because I’m having bloggers block and my attempts at writing my next post are not getting me anywhere! So I have decided to take the opportunity to respond to a blogging award nomination and also share some random nonsense, to justify this as a REAL post for the week!
So, when I can’t finish any of the gazillion drafts sitting in my blog, there is only one way out – to write a list! This week I have mainly been inspired by the weird and slightly disturbing search terms that have been coming up on my blog, but also by the many other blogs I have been reading and what I have learnt since I started blogging just over two months ago. The following are the top ten of these:
1. People, or more specifically, people who write and read blogs, are awesome and they brighten my life!
2. They are also sometimes insane… as is evident in the following search terms which have led people to my blog.
- Tenis player not wear pant – okay, I guess I was asking for this one with all that talk of Marat Safin and his flood pants, but seriously, who were you hoping to find?
- What is hi fives porn – If this is something that exists (and by the number of referrals, I’m guessing it does), I can guarantee this is NOT something you will be finding here. Move along!
- Eating my ex on the couch – I’m fairly certain I do not ever want to meet you…
- High five? Potato – If this was ‘high five? Mashed potato’ I would assume you were my arch nemesis. Alas, I have no idea what you were hoping to achieve. High five? Potato!
- Ecards about stupid people – I think I have Googled this exact search term, let’s be friends!
- What is the fear of high fives called – Oh. My. God! I am not alone!
- Potatoes with cotton buds – I’m confused. Why does the potato have cotton buds?
- I can count to potato – Good for you!
- Women crapping – I am not even joking!
- Some people just need a high-five. In the face. With a chair – Wow, you have a way with words. I suspect you may be the reason for my fear of high fives…
- You call it madness but I call it love – Yes, and I call you insane. Have we dated?
- Green balls – I think you should get off Google and get to the doctor… Now!
- What is this shitload of mashed potatoes day – I think I had a nightmare along those lines just last week… a whole day of being chased around by a giant plate of mashed potato with legs… it’s all coming back to me…
3. I am not alone in my pug love – Yep, my blog has received visits from people using 31 different Pug search terms so far! Some of my favourites are ‘pug with backpack’ ‘thank god it’s Friday pug’ and ‘pug true love’. I feel my heart warming just reading them! This is from one particular morning several weeks ago:
4. WordPress is my friend – It’s true. I’ve actually found I spend more time with WordPress these days than with most of the people in my life. It makes me happy!
5. Twitter is not my friend – Also true. I Tweet… I get sweet nothing back… but I shall persist….
6. I wish I was cool enough to have a Facebook page for my blog – Alas, I am not, but I shall continue to sit back and silently envy those of you who do… Sitting there all smug in your popularity…
7. I want to start taking photos for my blog – I’m making this one of my missions in life. Having broken my iPhone camera and with minimal chance of lugging my SLR around with me each day, the likelihood of this happening is slim to none – so I’m aiming to post one photo I have taken by the end of 2012. Achievable? Achievable!
8. www.someecards.com is a sarcastic bloggers best friend – Seriously, the best resource ever! And they’re FREE!
9. There’s a fairly good chance I will fail in my attempt to blog every week of 2012… although I remain 100% committed to trying my hardest!
10. Blog awards are great for the ego – and a great excuse for spending an entire day reading other blogs… And on that note:
The rest of my entry today is to accept and pass on a little blog love with four (yep, FOUR) awards rolled into one… I don’t even know how this happens and am slightly overwhelmed, but I’m going to go with it and see what happens!
So, first and foremost, many many thanks to No Sugar, Just Spice for nominating me… in perusing your blog I see we share some embarrassing old music tastes… well, taste, I should say… I’m not at the point of publicly admitting to such a thing, but just for you *ahem*:
“Have you ever stood outside a picket fence… you’ll see through… but you can’t get to the inside… oohhhhhhh!”
I still remember all the words… how embarrassing… let’s never mention this again!
So, the awards are:
- Mrs. Sparkly’s Ten Commandments Award
- The Sunshine Award
- The Candle Lighter Award
- The Liebster Award
To roll all the questions into one, I’m just going to answer EVERYTHING in one go and then nominate those blogs I would like to pass the love onto.
So, here goes:
1. Describe yourself in seven words.
Small, Energetic, Loyal, Passionate, Impatient, Blunt and High-Pitched (although that’s kind of eight!)
2. What keeps you up at night?
3. Whom would you like to be?
Noone, really. I’m pretty happy just being me.
4. What are you wearing now?
Tracksuit pants, a hoodie and my ugg boots… exciting, I know!
5. What scares you?
Mice and Horses.
6. What are the best and worst things about blogging?
Best: Interacting with other bloggers and getting feedback on my posts.
Worst: Writing a post when I’ve given myself a deadline. I always leave it until the last minute!
7. What was the last website you looked at?
I was Googling the lyrics to the song quoted above… I can’t believe I actually second-guessed myself!
8. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
I guess being a bit more tolerant to stupid people…?
9. Slankets, yes or no?
I think you mean Snuggie… and I would go with a no.. except on little kids and dogs, have you seen the dog snuggie? So cute! I wonder if there is a photo of a pug in a snuggie somewhere out there…
Oh. My. God…
10. Tell us something about the person who nominated you.
She sorts her fries by size. True story.
11. Favorite Color:
12. Favorite Animal:
Dogs, Elephants and Seals.
13. Favorite Number:
14. Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink:
15. Facebook or Twitter:
16. My Passion:
17. Getting or Giving Presents:
18. Favorite Pattern:
Pattern?? Weird question… any of Cath Kidston’s floral prints?
19. Favorite Day of the Week:
20. Favorite Flower:
And ten blogs to nominate:
Just a quick post this week as I figure no one is reading courtesy of the Australia Day public holiday… Also because I don’t have much time… I’m too busy watching the tennis and drinking beer in the 30+ degree sunshine!
So I started writing a blog entry the other week about the last date I went on, which I would classify as one of the worst of my life. In all fairness, the guy was nice, just a really bad match for me and it was a complete disaster. The post I started was about the many signs and opportunities I had to escape the date, yet I stuck it out to the very awkward end, so as to not seem rude.
I hadn’t finished the post, as with most of my half baked ideas, it was sitting in my drafts waiting to be finished, polished and published. But then, I was walking back to my office the other day, my mind swirling with blogging ideas for the week ahead, when I actually bothered to look up at the exact moment that the bad date guy flew past me on a skateboard (yes, I dated someone who travels by skateboard – stop judging me). For some reason, my heart raced, not in any lovey way, but just in a moment of utter shock.
I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that you are reminded of people from your past as necessary. I would never have stopped him or spoken to him, mainly because I was totally not interested and had a bit of difficulty expressing this at the time, but I am convinced I saw him for a reason - I’m very conscious of my blog not personally attacking anyone or being negative and I think I saw him to bring me back to earth. He was a nice boy, it was a bad date, but no harm was done. So I came back to my desk and deleted the draft.
I figured this was as good a time as any to do a bit of a draft-cleansing and started going through some of the random crap I have been writing over the past few weeks. So, in no particular order I would like to share a few of the little gems that have been lurking in my drafts list – but which I have decided will never see the light of day.
1. What’s the easy let down? As mentioned above, how long should you stick out a bad date? Maybe at the point where you find yourself wondering if your date has the mental capacity of a seven year old? Just an idea.
2. All the things I want to say to your face but never will - Pretty self explanatory. When I realised I was listing an abundance of items directed at one person in my life, I decided this wasn’t helping my mission to become a more positive person.
3. Graduating from Slut High - A reflection on the truly awful high school I attended and how it made me a better person.
4. Crazy dog lady - I realised any exploration into whether I am or am not a crazy dog lady was not going to end well.
5. My iPhone is trying to tell me something - When your iPhone auto-corrects ‘love’ to ‘live’ or ‘lie’… it’s time for a bit of self reflection.
6. My jumper ate my underwear - I’m not even going to try to explain this one, but it was a very difficult time in my life.
7. Horses scare the shizz out of me - Actually one of my first drafts, but I later realised that it could be misinterpreted as a dig at someone… and really, horse people aren’t THAT weird, right? But just fyi – horses do actually scare the shizz out of me.
8. I’m not being cute, I just don’t like you - When your lack of tone starts working against you.
9. The owl addiction - Yep, this one was also briefly titled Crazy Owl Lady.
10. That moment when you find your favourite canned tomatoes on sale - and other moments of pure joy and happiness. Inspired by a recent trip to the supermarket when I found Easy Off BAM for $3! $3! I’m not even joking!
I could keep going… there were a fair few that were too embarrassing to include… and you never know, I might return to finish them off one day!
And on that note, I’m off to enjoy the sunshine. Yay! Happy Australia Day!