Monday, 23 June 2008

sensational salads

The packaging of the salad I bought in my local supermarket describes the contents as "peppery wild rocket and vibrant baby-leaf red chard". I know what "peppery" tastes like; but Mr Sainsbury, please explain how "vibrant" tastes. The Concise Oxford, 6th edition, defines vibrant as: "Vibrating; thrilling with (action etc.); responding readily to emotions etc.; (of sound) resonant." The salad is quite nice, and I'm likely to buy it again, but I cannot say I found the red chard thrilling or resonant, synaesthete though I am. Didn't get too much of a response to my emotions either.

While you're at it, Mr Sainsbury, please tell me why you consider pea shoots an acceptable salad ingredient. They may be green and non-poisonous but that doesn't make them edible. Don't you know that most green stuff is not in fact edible? Grass, tree leaves, hedges, weeds, brussels sprouts - we don't like to eat them.

All the same, I love the man-made miracle of supermarkets. For a pound or so - the equivalent of about three minutes of work - I can buy a fresh, washed, bug-free pack of salad. How much would it have cost me to grow that, harvest it, prepare it, and have it ready just when I wanted it?

Friday, 20 June 2008

Goldilocks and Christian de Bear

I just found this off-the-wall cartoon ("A Bear Attempts Romance"):
Thanks to Chad Hansen, via HBL, who posted a link there to another Wondermark comic strip.

The Bear's script doesn't sound like the work of Cyrano de Bergerac. Here's a sample of what Cyrano, pretending to be Christian de Neuvillette, said to Roxane as he stood in the shadows beneath her window:

Little things, pretty things -
Arrows and hearts and torches - roses red,
And violets blue - are these all? Come away,
And breathe fresh air! Must we keep on and on
Sipping stale honey out of tiny cups
Decorated with gold tracery,
Drop by drop, all day long? We are alive;
We thirst - come away, plunge, and drink, and drown
In the great river flowing to the sea!

(from Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, Act III, Brian Hooker translation).

Now that's romantic.