As I sit here jazzing away to music making me think of bright Mardi Gras colors and Big Brass Jazz numbers ringing in the streets I can’t help but think of how very easy it is for one little shift in perception to make all the difference in the world.
This time I’m referring to food. Namely, “Fake Foods“. In particular, Smashed Cauliflower. Now, as any other low/no-carb dieter or retiree from that full-time mental occupation can tell you, smashed up cauliflower (with a TINY smattering of butter and maybe spices) was intended to replace the texture and desire for good old mashed potatoes. And boy during my South Beach Diet era did I ever TRY to look at these mashed up white florets and BELIEVE that was the truth. I mean, it was written down, others said it was so, it MUST be true! Mashed cauliflower was JUST like potatoes…for those who had been denied actual potatoes for maybe 15 straight years. Living on an island that grows nothing but cauliflower. Devoid of potatoes. Or perhaps to someone never having tasted an actual potato….but I digress.
The point was that this tip was out there and Confirmed with Actual Confessionals (your results may vary) so I tried my damnedest to make these buggers taste like something they were not. And you know what? Not ONCE did this vegetable taste like a potato. Not. One. Single. Time. No, not even if you use enough butter (even more than that TINY smattering “legally” allocated in whatever plan you followed *gasp*) or if you whipped them beyond recognition so you could “fool” your friends at Thanksgiving. Sorry. No. Still cauliflower in disguise. Like a sad clown wearing his nose only half on and most of his make-up gone: it wasn’t foolin’ anyone. Yet I kept at it, determined that if I just tried HARD enough I would see this veggie as the potato it just knew it could be if I could just do it right. But you know what, I’ve never been real good at those optical eye illusions either.
BECAUSE I was always forever trying to make this poor vegetable into something it was not (namely a delicious carb) I developed resentment towards its obstinate ways. How it would just sit there; all mashed up and denying me potato flavor like that. I never could appreciate how it DID taste because it would never taste the way I WISHED it would (you know, like a freaking POTATO!) Talk about never being satisfied; I was not at any point content with this cauliflower stubbornly refusing to alter its biological desire to REMAIN cauliflower and not magically form into a potato that I would be ALLOWED to eat on a low-carb diet.
SO. Now we come to today. Or, rather, last night. I had a head of cauliflower in the fridge. On sale. I thought I’d give it a whirl again. Let by-gones be by-gones and try to let this veggie redeem itself in my eyes. I stared it down for a while, debating even making the attempt but I WOULD prevail. I mashed it a bit after steaming, drained all the water. Added a good few tablespoons of butter and spices and a bit of shredded cheese mix.
And then….I tasted heaven. Pure, unadulterated food-porn style delight. Creamy but with a bit of texture still, cheesy and spicy and so full of delicious cauliflower flavor! It was in NO WAY a potato…but you know what, because I wasn’t trying to force it to mimic a food it would NEVER be I actually fully enjoyed each burst of amazing flavor it imparted into my willing mouth. And now? I look forward to when it will be on sale again so that this formerly Fake Food can again grace my palette with its Real deliciousness. Oh, and for the record, no it STILL did not remotely resemble mashed potatoes.