Choppin' broccoli


With the temperatures suddenly going from pleasant to deathscape, summer has come upon us with a bang! As I may have mentioned a few hundred times, this is my least favorite time of year. I really don’t even understand the purpose of summer. Was God just mad at us? “OK, so part of the year we will be cold, part of it we’ll be comfortable, and from June through September I want complete and utter misery.”

Just kidding, God. We’re cool. But really, why?

My kids are home 24/7 now … why is this the best time to make the outside a place where I can bake bread on my deck? It’s the only time we have “time” to really do stuff together, it would be nice if I didn’t feel like assaulting everyone I come in contact with when I walk outside.

And if the temperature wasn’t bad enough, the mosquitos, wasps, bees, and those jerkface biting ants are insane. “OK, kids, time to go outside, let’s douse ourselves with buckets of chemicals to keep the sun and bugs away so we can go enjoy the fresh air and all that nature has to offer!”

Speaking of chemicals and nature, this summer I tried something new. I joined a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) where every week I go to a farm and pick up my basket of fresh veggies so I can make healthy, delicious meals that my kids won’t eat. It was a good idea in theory. The one thing I didn’t really consider? The bugs.

I know bugs live in gardens; I’m not stupid. I remember as a little girl having to husk the fresh corn and dreadfully anticipating getting the ear with the big fat worm in it. But that was a long time ago, and I guess all these years of being spoiled by grocery stores that magically remove all the critters have really blinded me to what actually lives in broccoli. Have you ever seen what naturally lives in broccoli? All those little nooks and crannies are really just low-rent worm apartments, FYI.

The other day I was preparing my fresh broccoli and cauliflower and it went like this:

1. Oh, look at me, I’m so good! Fresh veggies right from the garden, we are so healthy! I better soak this to get rid of the dirt and maybe a little buggie or two.

2. Oh, look at that. That’s a lot of bugs. Um. Wow. Ok. It’s ok. This is natural. The plus side is we aren’t eating all those nasty chemicals!

3. I got all the bugs off! Yay! That wasn’t so bad. Time to cut it up … (I start singing the Dana Carvey “Choppin’ Broccoli song. Every. Time.) Choppin’ brocco-lay WHAT IS THAT OH MY GOD I JUST SLICED OPEN A BIG FAT GREEN WORM NO NO NO. This was NOT in the song!

4. OK, girl, you can recover from this. Clean the knife. Clean the board. Wash off the broccoli again. OKAY THAT IS A SAC OF WIGGLING WORM EGGS THIS IS ALL GOING IN THE TRASH.

5. Chemicals aren’t really so bad. Pesticides for life.

The moral of the story? I guess I need a lot of chemicals to survive summer. Don’t worry, I will try to stick to the legal ones. And store-bought broccoli.

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