Vegetables Now Versus Vegetables Then

Russ texted me to see if I wanted to go out to dinner with one of his teammates. Since I had not actually cooked anything for dinner I said sure. Then Russ texted back that the teammate had too much work to get ready for a meeting tomorrow. “If you want to go out we can.” He texted back, thinking he had already gotten my hopes up.

I had a dinner out in Raleigh last night and was in no need to go out. “No, just come home, I am sure I can find something for us to eat.”

I pulled two frozen pieces of salmon out of the freezer that I packaged in individual portions because they thaw quickly. When Russ got home I gave him the news that I was going to cook the fish, but that was all I was going to cook fresh.

“No problem, I pull the containers out to see what we have.”

In the blink of an eye he had six different vegetable containers out on the counter. Amazingly there was no cross over of vegetables in any of them. I wondered why I bothered to make salmon.

I grew up in the 1960’s where every dinner had to contain one protein, one starch and one green vegetable. The idea of eating lots of colors had not entered the thinking. My mother was very strict about what qualified as a starch. Of course the easy ones were rice, potatoes and pasta, but corn and perhaps even carrots might get thrown in the starch category. Yeah, I agree corn is a starch, but not carrots. It was just because if she were going to let carrots qualify as the vegetable we might go a meal with no green. This was totally unacceptable.

The only caveat to the rule was spaghetti night. We ate a lot of hamburger in my childhood house. If it wasn’t an actual burger, it might be stuffed in a green pepper or made into spaghetti sauce. It would have made sense to have a green salad with spaghetti night, but salad was not a big thing in my childhood home. Perhaps because it had to be fresh and most of our vegetables were frozen.

I can only imagine what my sisters and I would have thought if my mother pulled all these vegetables out of the fridge. First of all there is only one green one amongst them and secondly we might have thought she was going to try and convince us that many of them qualified as a starch since they were not green.

Thank goodness I don’t have such strict dinner rules. I would go crazy trying to comply to the three item rule, but Russ wold be happy to have rice every night.



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