Monday, June 25, 2007

lettuce soup

I've been back in Vanderhoof for the last several days - not Vanderhoof proper (if such a place could be said to exist), as it is currently quite flooded - but ye olde homestead, a good fifteen minutes out of town. Ye olde homestead is quite the idyllic spot, if mosquito-infested, but what really makes this place great to me is the many and random eccentricities of my beloved mater et pater. They're both slightly insane, and this isn't just Petra-the-child saying this, it's also everyone who has ever met them. We are not the black sheep branch of the family, but rather the purple polka-dotted sheep who say 'quack' instead of 'baaaa'. (My brother and I, of course, are quite normal. Indeed.)

Right now, the greenhouse is apparently churning out the lettuce production non-stop. My mom, previously quite deliriously happy with this, has become highly annoyed. Her soul abhors waste, and so we can't simply turn the excess lettuce to fertilizer; no, instead we must, in some method or manner, consume it. This means that she has been progressively working lettuce into the family diet in various 'creative' ways. Last night's experiment: lettuce soup, flavoured with a hint of miso, served with a side of rice. It was bitter. But of course to do other than slurp it all down is to be a horrible daughter. Ah. My stomach. It will gain its revenge upon me in my elder years.

My mother has a habit of experimenting with foods: two years ago, it was the seaweed-and-potato soup; a year before that, a strange concoction made out of eggs and -- well, I'm not completely sure what the other stuff was, and I'm a little too afraid to ask in case I actually I get an answer. But in the lettuce vein, aside from lettuce soup, there have been multiple salads and multiple lettuce 'garnishes'. My mother will randomly bring me bowls of lettuce and tell me to think of them like chips. She assures me that with all the lettuce eating going on, I'll soon have beautiful skin. I'd like to know what's wrong with my current skin.

Yesterday I had the strange fear of a new dish in the making (aside from the lettuce soup) when I walked into the kitchen to the sight - and smell, which was oddly sharp - of my mom dumping buckets-full of lettuce onto frying pans and steaming all the water out of them, before dumping the limp pieces of vegetation into plastic baggies and throwing them into the freezer. It turns out she was just laying away some greenery for the lean winter months. (On a similar vein, my father has asked me to enquire into attaining a home freeze-drying system. Non-surprisingly, there doesn't seem to be such a thing. Not that he's letting it stop him.)

Of course, lettuce-growing season is just about finished, and soon we will no longer have this problem. (And I can go back to feeling like a human girl rather than a bunny-rabbit.) My only trepidation is that the cucumbers show a similar trend of overproduction. My mind shudders to contemplate what new culinary horrors will arise a few weeks hence. Ahhhhhh.