Friday, June 19, 2009

Miracle at Whole Foods

Over a year ago I went to Las Vegas with some gal pals for a conference on self-improvement, enlightenment, and focused thinking. Between listening to lectures and going to workshops, we made eating one of our major activities and since we were all moms/kitchen slaves, one of the rules of dining we followed was that we would go places where people brought the food to us. We, the servers of food 361 days out of the year, would be served for these four days. AH!!!!

Now, one of these feasts there featured a lovely, light lentil dish that had the four of us swooning around the table like Weebles after a good slapping by a group of three year-olds and making sounds most often heard in the Pinniped show at Sea World.

Oh my. The lentils themselves had a greenish hue and were firm and stayed separate from one another--not in a snooty Prom Queen kind of way, but in a self-assured, confident Smart Girl kind of way. It was one of those dishes that you eat every bite of and then talk about later. You may even find yourself in a room listening to a World-Renowned Speaker talk about the search for the Meaning of Life, Finding your True Calling and Fulfilling Your Destiny and you turn to your friend and whisper, "Man, those lentils were so good, weren't they? What do you think they put it there?"

I paid a lot of money for that conference only to discover my true calling was to search for these suckers.

I have always wanted to like lentils, but the brown ones I cooked at home were always mushy and had a muddy quality that reminded me of unpleasant camping experiences in many ways. (I won't go into these in detail, but think dirt/mud/overcooked food/port-a-potties.)

Then I discovered black, Beluga style lentils. OH. These were good--I mean seriously good, and believe me, there was a period of time when nothing emerged from my kitchen without a least a sprinkling of these on it. I threw them in salads, chili, on spaghetti, in casseroles, even vanilla ice cream. I should have been happy with my black lentils. They were good and nice and patient and yet...even when I was alone with my bowl of black lentils, the memory of those green lentils invaded my thoughts, filling me with longing. I knew I had to keep searching store shelves and Internet sites for the elusive dark green lentil of Las Vegas....

THEN, about two weeks ago, there I was checking out of Whole Foods, watching the little screen that shows the bill rapidly getting higher and higher like a candy thermometer on a batch of rock candy, when I saw the bag of lentils I had picked up whiz by. I thought I had picked up my usual black lentils, but, looking again, I saw it was a bag marked Du Puy Style Lentils. I looked at them suspiciously. Were they just a fancy form of the brown lentil? (An RV camping experience, but still a camping experience just the same.) I examined them more closely and detected a faint dark greenish/blue tinge. Could it be? I began shaking a bit. Apparently the cashier at Whole Foods was used to this kind of reaction at the register when the bill is totalled and just gave me an "I know..." look. Fearing a complete breakdown in the store, I waited until I got in the car to look at them again.

I paid the bill, and proceeded to my car where I peeked into the bag. There, sitting solidly in my bag, atop my three slabs of tempeh were the fabled green lentils. It was as though they had leaped into my cart, into my arms, into my world. I share this miracle with you now AND tomorrow as lentils step from the shadows to take their place of honor as Grain of the Month.*

*I know, I know. They aren't a grain. Just relax and go with it just this once.


Anonymous said...

oh -- i understand completely! i am very much looking forward to the continuation:)


Bossy Betty said...

I knew you would!

More to come!

LLTL--Long Live the Lentil!


Leviathan sin said...

wow that cool