After a relationship ends, whether it ends maturely with a hug and wishes of good luck, or whether a girl feeds all his J. Crew work shirts through an industrial paper shredder and FedExes them to his office COD (that wasn’t me, I swear - that was some other psycho-beeyotch ex-girfriend of yours, and besides, I'd do something much more creatively cruel) a girl might say that what it all boils down to is that the guy is afraid of commitment. Hmm. Afraid of commitment? Please. That is an excuse. It’s a feeble attempt at an explanation as to why the relationship's end is his faulty fear of commitment and not her faulty fact that she is too clingy and let herself get fat and ugly while unemployed. It is an excuse to cover up and make yourself better, not an explanation, for why he plainly, simply, dumped your ever-spreading, ever-blogging ass.
He’s not afraid to commit, dear. He just doesn’t want to commit. To you.
Either way, it’s about commitment, and the C-word is a scary thing. I'm certainly not afraid of commitment. I just don’t like commitment. There is a difference. I don’t want to be tied down like that. I don’t want to be stuck doing, seeing, saying, and hearing the same thing every day and every night. I’m still (relatively) young. I’m still exploring. I want the freedom to be able to grab my keys and wallet (but not my cell phone) and go out whenever and wherever I want to. I don’t to feel obligated to “check in.” I don’t want the burden of someone else’s worry when I’m wild-childing out on the town!
Ooooh. Kaaay. That is not me. I am not a spontaneous, whimsical girl.
But I still want that freedom to do it, if I ever did get up off my lazy butt. :)
I was standing in the produce department shivering a little every time the tiny misters spritzed the vegetables with a glossy sheen. The misters were hidden under the shelving and blinked out a spray quickly, quietly, hoping you might not notice that the vegetables’ outward image of natural, sparkling beauty was really just make-up. Facing off with the cruciferous section (that’s all the vegetables that grow into “heads” like broccoli and cabbage), I could not commit. The cauliflower was there, robust, tight, heavy. I wanted it, but it was an entire head. For a girl like me, without a family of five screaming kids who would polish off a cauliflower casserole drowning in cheese in one night, or a planned dinner party with a dining room full of guests who would nibble on cauliflower crudite between sips of their wine, an entire head of cauliflower is commitment. Day in. Day out. I’d have to eat cauliflower at every meal if I buy a whole head. Maybe at one time in my prodigal youth I would have plunged into a whole head of cauliflower with reckless abandon, knowing full well that it might not, likely would not, go beyond one night. I’d knock off a few florets for exotic roasted curried cauliflower, then toss the rest to the wayside without a second thought.
Such waste was okay back then, but it’s not like that anymore. I can’t afford it. If I get home and I find out I picked a bad one, I have to live with my bad choice. If tomorrow night I want carrots, I have to want them on the inside, but on the outside, I’d have to eat the cauliflower. I wasn’t sure I wanted to take such a huge, responsible step in the direction of maturity. Buying a whole head of cauliflower is commitment, and commitment itself is a risk.
I bought the cauliflower at $2.99 a pound. For some reason, that $6 seemed like a very expensive commitment.
The way to make it work, that is, the way to make it not seem so boring day after day, is to get creative. Yes, it requires work, but no one ever said commitment was easy, either. One night, it’s the usual – a simple steam with a little olive oil and salt that allows the true, pure flavor of cauliflower to come through. The next night, it gets changed up a lot with something new and exotic – a dark, deliciously sweet and caramelized roasted curried cauliflower. The third time, I made cauliflower and garlic soup, also a first for me. I even went so far as to garnish it with little toasted garlic slivers. I loved every smooth, creamy delicious slurp, all the way down to the very last scrape of the bottom of the bowl. I would have licked up every drop right there alone in my kitchen if it weren’t for the bowl being so narrow and deep.
As I gazed down into the empty bowl, I realized commitment wasn’t so bad. It’s not that I didn’t ever like it. I just hadn’t ever had a reason to commit until then. Cauliflower is a very good reason.
Cauliflower and Garlic Soup That Made Me Commit
Steam cauliflower florets and whole cloves of garlic (I used 4) in a small amount of liquid. I used water because I wanted to keep the soup as light as possible, but chicken or vegetable stock would certainly make it .
Puree steamed cauliflower and garlic in a food processor, adding the steaming liquid slowly until you reach the desired consistency. You can also add warmed cream or half and half to make it thicker and creamier. Salt and pepper to taste.
To make the toasted garlic slivers for garnish, fry thin slices of garlic in olive oil for about 30-45 seconds on each side until they look "toasted."
Curl up on the couch and enjoy your commitment.
** a year ago today, i had dinner at the Governator's **