Friday, November 20, 2009

for love of cauliflower

 I like my doctor because his office is just down the street from the most fabulous grocery store in the whole world, Jungle Jim’s. Frolicking in a playground of fruits, vegetables, fish, sauces, candy and crackers from around the world softens the blow of having to see the doctor every other month for blood work. My regular visits keep us well stocked in exotic garlic-stuffed olives, flavored hummus and fresh buns like I haven’t eaten since Grandma died. Olives for your birthday, an act that would lead to divorce in most marriages, works for ours. Instead of flowers and jewelry, my husband surprises me with more olives when I’m running low. I like to sock one away in my cheek, nursing the flavor out of the thick green skin much as tobacco chewers are wont to do with their vegetable of choice.
Yesterday as I walked through the acres of produce at Jungle Jim’s, I came upon a beautiful sight. Sitting before me was a table displaying the largest cauliflower heads I’ve ever seen. The densely-packed-white-flowers peered like coral from their thick-veined greenery. A perfect package; and all for only $2.50. I know Erich’s been wanting a new car, maybe he’d like this instead. I bought one, but I wanted two. On the way home I kept thinking of things we could do with it. At each stop light I’d gaze at it through its clear plastic bag – sitting bold and beautiful in the passenger seat next to me. What a lovely table decoration it would make. Visions came to me of my daughter Emily someday walking down the aisle with a head of cauliflower such as this as her bridal bouquet, ribbons flowing. A sprig of cauliflower in a button hole – the perfect complement as the groom and best man’s boutonnieres. I wanted to call all my friends. The good thing is that Jungle Jim’s is a twenty-minute drive from our house. By the time I got home I had come to my senses and decided that Erich, Emily and my friends would probably not be as tickled with the huge cauliflower head as I was.  I resisted the urge to take a photo of it and resigned myself to carve it up for cauliflower soup.
No matter how the world tosses me about with troubles and cares, I will always have that moment - just me and my most gigantic cauliflower head - on our twenty minute ride home, when anything was possible.

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