Thursday, March 31

Broccoli and women

What is it about broccoli that women like so much? Sonia dabbled with vegetarianism a while ago and though I wouldn’t call her an avid meat eater, she now will indulge in the “pleasures of the flesh” as I like to call it. She has a book called “The Enchanted Broccoli Forest” (which I must admit, isn’t exclusively about cooking the stuff) but is completely vegetarian. It makes for depressing reading.

Now I believe that a balanced diet (and here I mean a bit of everything but with meat or fish being the heart of the meal) is the way to go and a fully vegetarian diet is not “normal”. I wonder who originally thought of eating broccoli. They would have to be pretty well near starving to attempt it. Just look at the stuff. It’s hardly a sight to make you say “Yum yum! I REALLY want to boil that to a pulp and eat lots of it because it is so healthy”. I suppose that it is a bit like the medicine I was forced to take as a child. If it didn’t taste foul, it wasn’t any use. So broccoli is eaten in the same way. It tastes disgusting so it MUST be doing you good.

Well, actually, I beg to differ. It has an unfortunate effect on me and the day after I eat (or to be more accurate, the day after I’m FORCED to eat) the stuff, you really don’t want to be down wind and within 100 yards of me. It’s that bad even I can’t stand my own company. But no! Sonia is an avid fan of the stuff and will buy and cook it at any and every available opportunity. I refuse to touch the stuff and this causes the inevitable clash of wills. For me, it is a case of mind over matter. I don’t mind and it doesn’t matter but my little “You will eat healthily if it kills you” girlfriend takes it as a matter of honour. She’s convinced she’s RIGHT and will not stop until she has convinced me of the correctness of her stance.

Thus the “discussion” about what she refers to as broccoli and I refer to as the foul effluvium from Beelzebub’s backside (and if it is dredged from the bowels of a freezer – just so it can be inflicted all year round and not just in season - it is the frozen, foul effluvium from Beelzebub’s backside). But I digress.

I pointed out to her that I don’t like it, it has the aforementioned unfortunate effect on me and that I was too busy looking for the meat among the mountain of vegetables on the plate to discuss things.

One of the many nicknames I have for my little food fascist (“lips that touch MacDonald’s shall ne’er touch mine”) is Hiroshima – and it isn’t because she looks Japanese. “What’s wrong with broccoli” she exploded. Go back and read the last paragraph just to see if I missed anything out. I repeated it verbatim.

There are occasions when I act a bit thick. This was one of them. I never realised that she could talk non stop about broccoli for long enough for the meal to go cold, the gravy to coagulate into a forlorn brown rubber mat, the day to draw to its weary and gloomy conclusion causing the room to darken so much that the lights needed to be switched on to continue the meal and the will to live to be sucked out of my very bones.

I asked myself “Am I a man or a mouse?” NO, BY GOD, a thousand times no!!! I am a free born Englishman with the blood of the archers of Agincourt flowing in my veins. If they can stand up to the full might and power of the French Army and prevail, then I can stand up to Sonia. I WILL NOT EAT BROCCOLI!!!.

I ate the rest, including the meat, but I left the broccoli on the side of the plate. The frostiness following this defiance was enough to make me consider sitting in the refrigerator to warm up.

Eventually she decided that it was time for an after meal snack.

It was cheese on crackers.

She can be subtly sarcastic when she wants. But the resistance continues.


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