Friday, July 6, 2012

The vegetable man

Photo: step-by-step cook

The first Savoy cabbage I saw was grown by a Dutch immigrant who'd arrived in Canada after WWII. He was probably relieved to be able to grow food in peace, in the rich black alluvial soil of Braun's Island in the Skeena River. The farmer went door to door, selling freshly harvested vegetables from his truck.

The first time he came to our house, Mom bought onions and a cabbage; later she bought his yellow and green beans, beets and carrots. In the fall, she purchased sacks of potatoes and different kinds of turnips.

I don't recall Mr. Giesbrecht having peppers or tomatoes for sale. In those days in northern BC, tomatoes were a summer treat. We ate them two ways: in salad with iceberg lettuce, or sliced in sandwiches with mayonnaise, salt and pepper.

Mom wouldn't have bought peppers, even if the vegetable man had them. Like broccoli, they were off her culinary map, and Dad probably wouldn't have eaten them either. Fresh peppers only entered our house when as teens, my brother and I began to cook.

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