“Only an Aunt can give hugs like a mother, can keep secrets like a sister, and share love like a friend.”
~ Spanish Proverb
About a month ago, I posted a picture of the first beautiful head of broccoli harvested from our garden. I couldn’t believe how perfect it was. The entire broccoli was used on our garden vegetable pizza baguettes, and we devoured them. I even got comments about how broccoli wasn’t usually a favorite but that THIS broccoli was really good.
There were a few times that I was out in the garden and I would snap off some broccoli and eat it raw but somewhere in the back of my mind, I had a recent conversation swimming around in my head. My Aunt Roxie had told me that she had shied away from planting broccoli in her garden. She said that the perfectly camouflaged green worms that like to hang out on the broccoli, kind of freaked her out. Hmmmm…Why did she have disgusting little worms on her broccoli while my obviously superior broccoli was worm free?
After eating several more heads of broccoli, I decided we should start freezing some of the heads so we could enjoy it over the winter months. I read about the blanching-process which included some helpful hints to getting rid of bugs. Bugs…what bugs? I was going to skip the debugging step, but it seemed easy enough to soak the broccoli heads in salt water for 30 minutes, so I did. While the broccoli was soaking, I set up the two other steps in the blanching process, which include dropping the broccoli in boiling water and then directly into icy water, for 3 minutes each. I went back to retrieve the broccoli from the bowls of salt water and found that the broccoli was not alone. Floating next to the heads were little yellowish-green worms. Holy Shit! Where the f’ck did those come from? I don’t think I said that out loud, but I am not totally sure. My two daughters were sitting at the table, and perked up when I did or did not use the F word. What crossed my mind at that moment was that we had eaten several heads of lightly washed broccoli up to that point. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to divulge that after eating those broccoli laden meals, my daughters were no longer the vegetarians they thought they were.
My honesty about the hidden worms will probably affect broccoli eating in our house for years to come. Every step of the damn blanching process brought out more disgusting looking worms. I swear they just kept getting bigger too. I even spotted a worm staring out at me as I placed one of the plastic bags, full of power blanched broccoli, into the freezer. It sent a shiver down my spine.
I know we accidentally eat bugs all the time and they are ingredients in a lot of our food, but this process was possibly too much for me. I have 5 bags of frozen broccoli in the freezer that seem particularly revolting to me right now. So, forever more, when Auntie Roxie tells me that there are worms in the broccoli or anything else for that matter, I am going to f’ing listen.