Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day Thirty-Four: Cabbage Patch Kids

Here is one of the many fun facts I've learned from Alton Brown, this one from Iron Chef America: cauliflower is a member of the cabbage family. The word cauliflower, in Latin, means "cabbage flower," which makes sense, given the cauliflower's lovely bouquet arrangement and cabbagey base. And tonight, while prepping my cauliflower, I made sure to taste some of it raw. Guess what? It tastes like cabbage. It just has a different texture. And color. And shape. (Though there are green and purple varieties of cauliflower, it's just that outside Wikipedia, I've never seen them.)

I don't know where my aversion to cauliflower comes from. It's probably one of those prejudices I developed in elementary school, and since cauliflower is not one of my parents' favorite vegetables, either, I was never really forced to eat it. In fact, I could not remember what it tasted like when I cut into it today. I just knew I didn't like it. My husband was not enthused about the whole cauliflower thing, and when he tasted it at last he said, "Oh" with a dour look on his face. He said it was fine (which is sometimes his way of saying he hasn't thrown up yet, so things could be worse) and that he hadn't remembered what it tasted like. Oh, the way we rule out foods. Sometimes, without ever trying them.

So--tonight, I made a sort of cauliflower gratin, though if I had placed it in front of you, you might have thought it was a creamy tomato soup with cauliflower in it. I like to improvise, and while it came out well, I think, it might have baffled many. I don't know why I didn't look up a real recipe. Okay, I do. I like to play around. And I like to use ingredients I already have. How annoying to have to walk to the grocery store. Which is funny, because my new issue of Food Network Magazine arrived today, including what looks like a delicious cauliflower risotto, which I might have to make with my remaining florets. Sounds like a plan to me.

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