I like to go to farmer’s markets. The feeling I get at a market is similar to the feeling I get walking into Whole Foods. Even though I’m not a great cook, I think shopping there will make me better. Even when I don’t know what to do with beets or chard or mustard greens, I’m inspired to buy them. I experience these same delusions when I’m at a farmer’s market; I feel healthier just being there.
One thing I learned about healthy eating is you’re supposed to have a lot of colors on your plate. So, my decision to buy certain foods at the market is often based more on color than how I could possibly use them in a recipe. If my bag has a full spectrum of colors, I feel proud; I have had a successful shopping trip.
Jordan, on the other hand, knows when I’m buying something I will never use. It comes from several years of watching various foods I buy wilt. He used to hold up the flaccid vegetable and give me this look:
Now he tries to cut me off at the source. When I reach for a goofy-looking vegetable, he’ll give me the same look that says, “Are you really going to eat that?” To which I usually respond by putting the item back.
Sometimes, though, I’m defiant. Either I buy something out of habit, even if I don’t always use it, or I buy something because I don’t have enough of that color in my bag. Zucchini squash is one of those things. I have always liked the long green ones—my mom used to cook with them a lot. But even more, I like to see the saucer-shaped yellow ones for sale. Even if Jordan gives me the look, I still drop one or two in my bag.
Jordan’s looks put a lot of pressure on me, though. I know that I have to use the item before it goes bad or I will never escape Jordan’s disapproving stare.
You see, if something goes bad in our fridge, and it’s my fault, Jordan likes to remind me in ways that only Jordan can.
For example, when I open the fridge he might say, “Oh, are you going to cook your zucchini now so it doesn’t go bad?” or “Oh, are you going to eat your moldy zucchini now?”
Sometimes I will open the fridge and find that he has placed the zucchini on top of my leftovers just to remind me that it’s still there. Recently, I found a wilted zucchini on the floor outside my office door. When I asked him what it was doing there, he said, “Oh, I just assumed you liked using them for decoration.”
I put that zucchini back in the fridge but it wasn’t long until the vegetable reached the point of no return, so I moved it to the compost bin. I forgot about it until two weeks later when I saw this:
Yes, that’s my moldy squash next to our other fall decorations.