Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vegetably Numb

I am having a slight domestic er..situation today.

I came back from a trip from Bombay to see that the stock of vegetables had been depleted to the bare minimum - viz. two potatoes, a stinky onion and some stray okra and orphaned beans lying around morosely in the tray in the fridge. No problem I thought to myself, time to call the vegetable wala.

A small sidebar: When Ma had come down to Pune, I in one of the more misguided moments of filial candour informed her about my vegetable-challenged-ness. Much melodrama and dialogues like "kala mooh" and "sasuma kya sochegi" and "that's the reason I should have sent you to buy vegetables" ensued which resulted in me being marched to a vegetable vendor and given a live demonstration (in fairly clarion tones) of each and every vegetable under god's own universe.

I did that for a while. But it was a struggle.
Standing in front of the cart and peering at the item in question, going through a quick check of my mental excel list was pretty arduous.

And then I had a revelation. The said vegetable wala home delivered. And that took care of two problematic birds with the proverbial stone - viz. a) the effort of actually going there to purchase something and b) actually identifying the damn things.

And this system worked beautifully. I would order some stuff which I know ( hmpf I have been married and managing a home for two and a half years, I can recognize some of the veggies, what do you take me for?) and bung in the odd tendla wendla for comic relief. When the tendla would appear I would, by elimination arrive at a proper identification and feel smugly complacent and quite domestic goddessy.

This useful tactic was also followed in the cooking process for the said vegetable. I would hand it over to the cook-femme and tell her magnanimously that today we would try her style of cooking and hmmm and haw very knowledgably as she explained the process to me. (Much as I do in office meetings as well.)

But now I cant get through his phones for some reason. So mild panic is happening.

I had a trial run at the supermarket today – sidled up to an aunty and tried to replicate her model of choosing the right vegetables, until she started to eye me suspiciously.

And what is adding to the confusion is the fact that I have been working on organic food for the last month. Apparently the vegetables with bright shiny faces are chemicals in capsicum’s clothing. It’s the sad, drab looking fellows who are good for one.

I wish someone would start personal vegetable shoppers. Sigh.


sra said...

Loved some of the phrases in this post! I know a lot of veggies, don't see all of them here. That's MY problem.

Nandini Vishwanath said...

hehe :) I love veggie shopping. Learned a lot in the last one year :|

shub said...

A for aloo
B for baingan (blech!)
C for capsicum
D for dunno what.
E for egg?
F for french beans! (ooh la la!)
G for green capsicum (bwahahaha)
H for hmm...
I for imli! (counts as veggie?)
J for jeeez this is tough I give up!
Anyway, hope that helped. Google up the names for images and you have an encyclopedia ready!

PS: You're welcome!

mindspace said...

that is exactly why i say google is my best friend..

Twilight Fairy said...

why not go to ze malls?

They are all in one place, in AC & vegetable comfort & they are all labeled for you :)

Iya said...

go to the malls, they are labeled!!

Rada said...

I somehow enjoy shopping for vegetables. Even though I may not know the names of 50% of the vegetables on display, I manage with some astute finger-pointing and set phrases like " woh vala aadha kilo" etc..

Time to get creative, lady! :-)

richajn said...

LOL. Couldnt help but laugh.
I wish I cud get a sabji wala to home deliver!! I also find it quite tiresome to go and buy veggies twice a week. tried getting them once for the whole week - but then they go bad.

I know the names - its just the prices I cant remember. I cant never figure out whether the sabji wala is cheating me or charging me a fair price!

I tried going to the malls/spencers etc, but the stuff there is usually stale. and have v limited options.

I am sooo with you on the 'personal veggiee shopper' :)
Please tell me if you find one!!

Arunima said...

hahaha, I can really imagine that aunty whose choices you tried to replicate. If I were her, I'd act as if I am selecting things that are not required and comment loudly on how good they are just for kicks sake.

??! said...

I suspect you are doing this only to get comments. I also suspect you are actually a master-chef and manage a side-business in vegetable wholesale supplies. And that you know your pak choi from your parsley.

And to complete shub's list -
D is for Dhania
E is for eggplant
G is for gavar/goovar
H is for haricot beans

Also, capsicum is the Indian term for green bell peppers. You can't (or rather, shouldn't) have red or yellow capsicum.

Cynic in Wonderland said...

sra - where is here?

nandini - actually the only kind of shopping i like is book shopping. hate everything other type.

shub - what is withthis brinjal antipathy child? every other day you bash the brinjal. ( idont like it too) -
D for dum aloo?
WOT is the point of having names. They all look the same at the damn outlet no.

mindspace - today i am a bit anti google. it has been throwing fantastic leads which are all anticlimatic. hmpf.

Cynic in Wonderland said...

twilight fairy, iya - dont like mall stuff - very stale. open the packets up and funny things start sliding out.

rada - but that woh wala would work if they gave me fresh fellows. they dig out very old, depressed chaps and palm it off on me. that is what saddens me.

richa - and its a never ending process. im either having no place to stock vegetables or getting hyper becoz there are no veggies. sigh.

arunima - hmmm. wonder whether thats what she was doing. hmmmmmm!

??!!?? you are very, VERY scary person. I have till this date not heard of pak choi. i googled it and got this thank you i shall now casually drop it into conversations and all. also WHERE is your recipe for bhajifried eh? all this knowledge about pak chois going to waste.

Just call me 'A' said...

i love buying vegetables.....there is so much of color around .......and supermarkets have them all neatly arranged and labeled.
What i don't like about delivery vegetable wallas is that they don't take care while picking the veggies. I'm just finicky about these things

Thanatos said...

Who needs vegetables when you have vitamin supplements? That's my reasoning for living off KFC and McD.

Anjana R said...

i hate shopping in general. (i get the feeling im in the minority here) hate shopping for veggies the most. :(

Meira said...

train the husband :P it works really does :P

Cynic in Wonderland said...

A- well, the vegetable fellow used to send good ones no. thats why i liked him. unlike stupid supermarkets with stale oozing stuff.

thanatos - pls to see ( or not see) super size me. on kfc and mcd's. life changing it is.

anjana - i hate shopping too. in fact i started a shopophobics anon. want to join?

meira - will straight lead to triple talaaq. even if i take him to shop for clothes for him, he looks traumatised.

Maddy said...

know what - i was reminded of the TV ad with juhi and narayani and all those frozen vegetables paid by credit card..

zamana badal gaya --says both..

Miri said...

Well, guess what happens when you have been dragged every Saturday morning to Matunga market and BB Dadar for veggie and flower shopping where your mother drools and oohs and aahs about veggies?
you turn into her one day.Sad but true.