Some of our tens of readers may have got us wrong; assumed that by our very nature we must be anti-vegetable.
No. Broadly-speaking, the opposite is true. Vegetables are the ultimate average food, rolling around in the mud, not minding being manhandled by barbarians of all shapes and sizes.
As a food that can ascend from low beginnings to heady heights, veg has few peers. The flexibility, range of colour and outright flair of the vegetable is within the grasp of all those who believe, and back up that belief with some sort of tangible effort.
I personally have the belief but completely lack the effort, so achieve zero qualitative ascent with vegetables almost a hundred percent of the time and are left with a drab experience. But in my life I have seen third parties achieve brilliance with broccoli, colourful conceptions involving carrot and kale, and other things that had no easy alliteration.
I feel I needed to say this at this time of year because it is exactly this time when vegetables get hideously misrepresented. Vegetables selected at a corporate level purely for unthinking aesthetics are frenetically grabbed from supermarkets – that’s without considering the logistics of the cook-up. The flaccid horror of it.
Throwing at least two superfluous vegetables into an already pressurised situation is a recipe (geddit?!) for disaster. Vegetables, like high-value professional footballers, are extremely sensitive sorts, and as we know, it’s hard to keep the bloated modern football squad a happy unit. So you’re left with vegetables on the fringes of the Christmas Dinner preparation processes, not getting the loving game-time they feel they deserve, providing only a disruptive influence and mouthing off about tactics on Twitter.
But Christmas is at heart all about lurid misrepresentation and superfluity – so the trick here is not to use that particular occasion to judge the massacred vegetables that land on your plate.
Pick that watery carrot up and give it a loving hug. Ease the itch on that blitzed parsnip’s skin with a caress of the fork. Pull a cracker with some unidentified greens that appear to have been accidentally double-cooked. Tell them all that you understand; they’re not always like this. Everyone has off-days.
All vegetables, generally: 8/10
All vegetables, at Christmas: 3/10