So here’s a first.
My loyal fans know I cook weird stuff. I find it, slay it (or at least charge it, usually with the “tap,” if you must know), research it, cook it, and then feed it to some lucky victim … I mean … friend or family member.
There’s a certain part of this process that gives me great joy, besides watching the terrified faces of my victims when trying an odd food creation. The grocery checker part, prior to the tap, is always lots of fun. You see, weird foods aren’t often labelled well. For some reason, they don’t have stickers. They’re usually all jumbled up in the same section as all the other weird foods, so even when they do happen to have a header card thingy, you can never be sure what is labelling what. Most times I take a picture of the name sitting above the weird food display for two reasons. 1. I’m pretty sure the memory section of my brain is the size of mulberry, so if the label is right I’ll be needing it when I get home 2. The grocery checker often says, “Um, what is this?” and because my memory is the size of a mulberry as already mentioned, I show them what I think the weird food is and then I don’t have to store the odd probable-name in the mulberry.
Ninety percent of the time, the checker person says, “Um, no, it’s not that. Don’t you know what it is? You’re buying it, right?”
Then I greatly enjoy saying, “No, I don’t know what it is. I like buying foods when I have no clue what they are.”
Then checker person says something along the lines of, “Vern to cash four please. Vern,” into their microphone, and that store’s inventory expert food nerd, who I have just anointed, “Vern,” shows up and says, very matter-of-factly, “It’s a blah blah blah.”
Checker person does a dance of joy because they can take my tap and chug ahead with their line, I make a note of the chosen name in my phone (mulberry), and the rest of the weird food order of business can proceed.
Until the other day, when there was a first. I nabbed two of these:
To my great delight, the Vern was called in, and he/she said, “That’s a lotus root.”
I Googled lotus roots, and here’s what the insides look like:
And here’s what the insides of my veggie and/or fruit looks like:
And folks, coincidentally, for this, my one hundredth blog post, for the first time, I’ve come across a food that I can’t figure out what it is. I’ve Googled until my Google finger was sore. I’ve sorted through pictures. I’ve searched, “Kind of like an artichoke,” because it peels like one, and “tropical edible tree fruit” and “common South Asian edibles,” and everything else I can think of. And I’m coming up empty.
So I cooked it up anyway. Butter and garlic, can’t go wrong with butter and garlic. And I ate it. I tried some raw, and some cooked. And then I left some leftovers on a plate on the table in case I dropped dead at my son’s swimming lesson and Dr. House’s people had to break in and do an investigation (those guys are smart, but I don’t think they’d know what it was either).
And I created a contest and giveaway, in honour of my one hundredth blog post, and also in honour of a really sweet review and giveaway my blog friends at Midwesternbite.com are doing for my YA romantic comedy novel. I’m really taken aback by the support they’ve given me. So here is how this contest is going to go:
1. You need to follow @midwesternbite on Twitter or subscribe to www.midwesternbite.com to be eligible. As per the really great support they’ve provided to me. While you’re at it, if you’re a chick, go subscribe to www.thepurplefig.com too – more BFFs, and you’ll love the stories. Hey, and don’t forget about me either! That’s a lot of subscribing, but I know you can do it.
2. You need to take a guess at what the heck this weird food is and tell me in the comments. I’ll give further observations to help with your research after I finish the contest rules.
3. If the weird food has already been guessed in the comments by someone else, you need to provide one serving suggestion in the comments. The first person to guess what the food is will get TWO ballots to win, and everyone else who follows the rules will get one.
4. Sorry, but you’re only eligible if you live in North America. I still love you if you live across an ocean or way down south, but it’s expensive to mail crap to you.
And as for the crap that’s getting mailed… (Kidding, this is one of my favourite cookbooks, obviously)…
And now for the further details about this odd fruit or vegetable:
1. Apparently I’m not allergic to it, nor is it lethal, neither cooked, nor uncooked.
2. Its protective leaves are kind of like corn husks. Which might make them husks and not leaves. You tell me.
3. I think it’s some kind of super food, because I’m still awake and it’s after 10pm.
4. Its inner leaves are soft and downy, like a monkey’s paw. Or a kitten’s paw. Or a kangaroo’s paw. (I Googled each of these and it’s not that either, FYI)
5. It goes well with beer. And wine. This, I can say for sure.
6. It kind of tastes like a cross between an almond and an artichoke heart. I Googled almondichoke, but no dice.
7. It helps with virility. Wanna know how I know? Ha ha, not really, but I’ve been waiting all day to make that joke.
So that’s it!! Best of luck! And if it’s something really silly, like a carrot, you may never see this post again (and it won’t just be the memory part of my brain that’s the mulberry). Oh, and the contest closes March 1, 2014.