Throw It Away!

My housemates and I are graduate students.

My housemates and I belong to a vegetable co-op.

We pay ten dollars once a week from our meager funds, and in return receive a huge bag of goodies from the local farmer’s market. Every thirteenth week it is our turn to get up early o’ a Saturday morning and do the shopping.

We can – quite suddenly – be over run by a sea of potatoes and grapefruit. And then we are faced with the challenge of disposing of our all our food stuffs while, while keeping up on all of our homework.

This tends to result in incredible adventures in food and literature.

Keeping body and soul together is difficult enough, without involving the intellect!

One week, we were recipients of a great quantity of cucumbers. Many, many, HUGE cucumber. I do not know which shopper thought buying 20 cucumbers for each household was a brilliant plan. But it happened.

Only, none of us at my house – The Wabe – particularly like cucumbers. Not unless they are carefully prepared to taste like something that is not a cucumber. But doing that requires time. Time that poor students lack.

But one night, in a fit of desperation about the tubular green vegetables crowding our fridge, one brave housemate decided to make Le Grande Gesture.

She ate a cucumber.

She chopped it up, drizzled it with oil and vinegar. Tossed in a few garlicy seasonings, added salt and pepper, covered the bowl, and proceeded to shake the darn thing to the rhythm of a waltz.

In fact, she waltzed with  it around the house.

Then she carefully opened the lid . . .

(It did not explode, which we have discovered is usually a healthy omen.)

. . . and tasted.

She made a face, and said regretfully, “I should have tried it to a rumba.”

Despite the shaking-cucumber tempo, it really tasted fine and was quick and easy enough for a ravenous grad student.

Later, this housemate realized that she should have done her reading assignment first. For there, in the pages stoic philosophy, were the proper instructions for dealing with our cucumber infestation.

“A bitter cucumber? Throw it away!” ~ Marcus Aurelius

Thus did Liberal Arts and Culinary Skills meet, and a new blog was born. One where Literature and Cooking intersect, where the stir-fry is stoic, the cheeses are Chesterton chosen, and the desserts are straight from Dostoevsky.

Here both the mind and the stomach will be fed!

Dancing Cucumber Salad
(To Be Devoured or Discarded, As Desired.)

  • Two (preferably non-bitter) cucumbers, cut into prefered shapes.
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/8 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, smooshed.
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Cover bowl that contains all ingredients with lid.
  3. Shake the covered bowl in which the afore-mentioned mix is housed while dancing to the rhythm of your choice. (although we do recommend a rumba or a salsa.)
  4. Nourish yourself with the sustenance now found in the bowl.
(Reblogged from “A Bitter Cucumber“.)
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8 thoughts on “Throw It Away!

    • Ai! I thought that was the correct spelling, and then I told myself that I was always wrong about spelling that word and so changed it to one ‘s’. Grr. Stupid Treesy.

      Which one is the word that goes in the phrase “Your just deserts”? Can that work as “desserts”?

      • The thing about the phrase “just deserts” is that it derives from “what one justly deserves” and therefore has one ‘s’. But it trips people up because *that* use of “deserts” is pronounced the way “desserts” is spelled. Talking of someone’s ice cream being her “just dessert” is simply punny.

        Unrelatedly, I should learn IPA.

  1. You do not even like a good cucumber sandwich? It has less rhythm, I suppose, but it goes better with tea.

    1. slice cucumber and wrap it in paper towels to drain away moisture
    2. butter bread
    3. salt and pepper cucumbers and put them on the buttered bread
    4. eat with a cup of tea
    5. dancing optional

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