Friday, October 12, 2007

The Jig is Up

There are quite a few people out there who believe I am smart. I was in gifted classes when I was younger. I have a friend from high school who tells me all the time that her mom would say "That Dodi is just so smart," and because of this, she also thinks I'm really smart. (I am not sure this lady knows that I snuck in and out of her house drunker than Cooter Brown on more than one occasion.) I tell my husband I'm brilliant and sometimes he believes me. I have a college degree and frankly, didn't have to work that hard to get it. I have family members who call me and ask me for information because they think I know. My mom called me just the other day and asked me about a book we are both reading. I said "I know, I think it's hard," and she said "Oh good, if you think it's hard then that makes me feel better," like I'm so brilliant that if even I think it's hard then it's impossible for her. (I happen to believe my mom is really smart, but having four kids sucked the brains right out of her.) I love to read so I read a lot of books. I watch shows like Bill O'Reilly, Hannity and Colmes, Dr Phil, Oprah and Dateline. I keep up with current events through the internet and Us Weekly magazine. I know a lot of big words, probably due to the reading, and I have a photographic memory. I speak correct English and notice spelling and grammatical errors in email. I think that makes me seem smart (or annoying, ask my husband.)
I'm not bragging and if you haven't shut down your computer in disgust yet, you'll see that I'm not trying to perpetuate the myth of my intellect any longer. In fact, when you read the following story, you will most likely think I am downright stupid. And I will most likely agree with you.
I recently watched an Oprah episode featuring Jessica Seinfeld. She has a new cookbook out called Deceptively Delicious. It's a book of recipes and ideas for incorporating vegetables into every day recipes, essentially tricking your kids (or husband) into eating things they would normally never dream of putting on their fork. She does this by creating vegetable purees and just putting them into any recipe or sauce. She puts things like cauliflower puree into boxed macaroni and cheese. She swears her kids can't tell the difference.
I thought this idea was brilliant (can't believe I didn't come up with it) and promptly got online to order the cookbook. The book still isn't here, but I was grocery shopping this morning and decided that, I didn't necessarily need the cookbook to get started. Because I'm so smart, remember? So I bought all kinds of veggies. Zucchini, butternut squash, summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower and spinach. I came home, cleaned and chopped all the vegetables and got to work.
I labeled snack sized baggies. I measured 1/2 cup of each vegetable after it had been sufficiently processed and poured it into the bags. I felt like Martha Stewart or, even better, a capable mom who spends her "free" time making her kids' meals healthier. When I got to the butternut squash though, my excitement wavered. The squash was all hard and tough to cut. In fact, it shut down the food processor and I had to clean it out and hit reset and all that to get it going again. I've never worked with butternut squash, so I kind of thought maybe I picked one that wasn't yet ripe. Or that I was supposed to peel it better or something.
Ever the information seeker, I came in here to look up "vegetable purees" on the internet to see if I needed to maybe add some water or if I just got a bad squash. Guess what I learned? YOU HAVE TO STEAM THE VEGETABLES BEFORE YOU PUREE THEM. No wonder my broccoli isn't squishy. It's coarse, seedy green stuff in a bag. The only things that seem like a puree are the summer squash and the zucchini. Well, and the cauliflower, because I hadn't done it yet, so it's the only one that was actually done correctly.
I didn't throw anything away, though. No way was I throwing away 15 baggies of fresh veggies. We'll just have chunky purees until next time, when I have the cookbook. And follow the directions. And no longer have the misguided notion that I am, in any way, smart.

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