I drove to Gravenhurst today because I didn’t have much else to do. I visited my friend Annette and dropped off some stuff of hers. Then I went to the grocery store because I had some crazy idea of making pad thai with spaghetti squash instead of rice noodles. Why would I do such a thing? Fit April. Anyways, the grocery store didn’t have spaghetti squash. They had butternut squash, acorn squash and some other kind that I forget now. Nothing that would replace long strands of rice noodles. (I don’t think it can be called pad thai with roasted squares of squash – even spaghetti squash is pushing it).
When I go to the Independent (a Loblaw’s branch), I always look for the pink triangle labels that say 50% off. This means I can get a deal. I find most of those deals are on things that are for my convenience or slow movers. Like sweet potato strips – no peeling, no cutting, just sweet potatoes already cut up. Or Broccolini – which is some grotesque hybrid of broccoli and asparagus? Carrot Matchsticks – no orange wrists from grating carrots for me. Spring Mix – there is someone in California laughing away at us having eating all those weeds from his garden. Bean Sprouts – I swear those things go bad just looking at them. Broccoli Coleslaw mix – I bet the only people who buy this is when it is 50% off.
Anyways, I bought all the above things today because What! A! Deal! Except I paid the full price for some better looking bean sprouts. Come on! They are only $1.29/bag to begin with and they are so so yucky when they start to melt.
So, I come home and find that my fridge and cupboard full – there is no space for these new 50% off veggies I bought. I pulled out everything I bought and covered the island with it. Kale, beets, heirloom carrots, orange pepper, wilty broccoli, broccolini, 2 bunches of cilantro, rusty celery hearts, whitish baby carrots, sweet potatoes, romaine hearts, “eyed” regular potatoes, spinach, fresh basil, slimey mushrooms, broccoli coleslaw mix, wrinkled cherry tomatoes, green onions, bean sprouts, red onions, and cooking onions. Seriously? What is wrong with me? (I also found frozen corn, edamame, roasted veggies, chopped spinach, and lima beans in the freezer).
Okay, I must have had some vague notion of this embarrassment of riches in the crisper as I pulled out some homemade vegetable broth from the freezer last night. (Yes, I am the kind of person who collected all the leftover veggie bits for a couple of weeks and then made 16 cups of veggie broth with them. Once.) Vegetable Soup it is! And pad thai made with Broccoli Coleslaw mix instead of rice noodles! Yes! Your tepid response will NOT damped my enthusiasm!
So, I start chopping heirloom carrots. I bought these a week ago feeling smug, feeling good, feeling like I was saving a species of carrot from going the way of the do-do bird. I have eaten heirloom carrots before, but never prepared them. Well, watch out! The purple ones are like roasted beets – purple everywhere. Stained my hands, the cutting board, the dish towel and the floor (2 second rule!) during preparation. Who knew? (yes, yes, I am sure you did – well I didn’t) I think the Dutch knew what they were doing when the made the orange hybrid that has saved the vision of children the world over.
March 26, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Making vegetable soup the colour of borscht. Yep. Those carrots dye broth too.