December 11, 2007

'Tis The Season...

Cranky Fitness Headquarters? Uh, No.

Mary: [sings] Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat…

Crabby: What's that sound? Is that caroling I hear? I'm not sure we allow that sort of thing at Cranky Fitness.

Mary: We can't sing a few Christmas carols? Even songs about obese waterfowl?

Crabby: Bah, humbug. We pride ourselves on not getting into the Holiday spirit here if we can help it. The Holiday spirits, now that's another story... I'll have a little more of that fruit punch, please.

Mary: Delicious isn't it? And filled with healthy antioxidants.

Crabby: Mmm... Wait, vodka has antioxidants?

Mary: There's a little fruit juice in there too!

Crabby: Ah, that explains the pinkish hue. You were saying something about getting goosed?

Mary: No, The Goose... oh never mind. So if I can't talk about the holidays, can I at least talk about the season?

Crabby: As long as it's not the season to be jolly. There'll be no cheerful fa-la-la-la-la-la-ing on Cranky Fitness property, if I can help it. But sure, I guess you can mention the season.

Mary: Actually, I was thinking about how vegetables are best when they're in season. Which, in the Northern Hemisphere, is not this season. So what do you do to ensure fresh veggies on your table?

Crabby: I make sure my table is located in a nice restaurant where someone else has figured it all out for me! Or I go to the grocery store and see what they have.

Mary: So you buy foods from Chile.

Crabby: Um, well...

Mary: Even if the food is organic, that would mean it's coming from several thousand miles away.

Crabby: Really? Oh dear. Those poor tired vegetables! That's a long way to hitch-hike. I don't suppose a vegetable can afford air fare?

Mary: Sadly, most vegetables are dirt poor. Plus, after spending several hours on a plane, how fresh would you be?

Crabby: So if I'm not supposed to buy Chilean vegetables, what should I do?

Mary: Well, one thing you could do is grow your own.

Crabby: I tried that once, and boy did it make everything taste really good. Even out-of-season vegetables! But funny thing--turns out it's illegal.

Mary: No, I meant you could grow your own winter vegetables.

Crabby: Oh.

Mary: For example, in a lot of climates kale is grown outdoors in winter, and Dr. Weil says it's full of good stuff. Or you could get a plant lamp and a window box to grow fresh greens indoors. Mizuna, arugula, that sort of thing.

Crabby: Huh? Mizuna? Arugula? Oh wait, I remember... the Beach Boys wrote a song about them!

Arugula, Jamaica,
Ooh I wanna take you,
Mizuna, Bahama,
Come on pretty mama...

Mary: Crabby... Crabby...

Crabby: (louder)
Key Largo, Montegro,
Baby why don't we go...

Mary: Crabby!

Crabby: Huh, wha?

Mary: Vegetables. Remember? We were talking about vegetables?

Crabby: That's right. (Sigh). But I want to go to Kokomo!

Mary: You could sprout bean sprouts.

Crabby: (Longer sigh). Bean sprouts, sure.

Mary: They take a few days more in the colder weather, and you need to be sure to rinse the sprouting beans thoroughly twice a day, but they're chock full of nutrition.

Crabby: Here I was, lounging on a nice white sand beach in a tropical paradise, and now I'm rinsing bean sprouts.

Mary: But Kokomo is in Indiana, isn't it?

Crabby: No! The Beach Boys were singing about Indiana?

Mary: If that's your idea of a tropical paradise, you might want to invest in a cold frame. The Frugal Zealot raved about them. You can grow fresh veggies outdoors in the middle of winter – even in Indiana!

Crabby: Now you've got me outside in a cold frame, in the middle of winter in Indiana, with a raving zealot? Perhaps I should rethink this no-holiday-caroling rule, it seems to have some unpleasant side effects.

Mary: Here, have some more of this "fruit" punch while you're rethinking.

Crabby: Well...(Various inarticulate harumphing sounds).

Mary: Joy to the World...

Crabby: (Sighing, but no longer in such a melodramatic way...) So anyone out there have any thoughts on Holiday Spirit or Winter Vegetables or Anything At All? You may need to write loudly, there seems to be some rather distracting background noise here at Cranky Fitness Headquarters.


  1. You're cool :)

    I'm currently obsessed with squash and yams...
    In french fries. Mashed with maple syrup. Baked too.

  2. Geosomin--
    Could you help me with something? I can never tell which one is a yam, and which one is a sweet potato. I like the one that's darker inside(more orangey) and sweeter, but can't remember which is which, nor recognize it. Does the dark purpley skin one go with the orange flesh or the lighter yellow flesh? I don't buy them often enough to remember but really like them when I get the right kind!

  3. Way up here in the frozen north, if you want fresh vegetables at this time of year, you eat imported food. Simple.
    The Bag Lady has her winter's supply of home-grown veggies in either cold storage, or the freezer, but if she wants a salad, she has to buy veggies that have traveled a great distance.
    Of course, she could probably put some grow-lights in her basement (if she had a basement), but how do you explain to the authorities that, honest, officer, it's lettuce!!

  4. Oh my Dog this post was hilarious.
    It almost made me want a cold frame in Kokomo.
    On the veggie front turnips are good and can be turned into pie.

  5. Ahhhh...The fabulous Holiday Spirits! I like mine in red grape form :-)
    I love the thought of growing indoor winter veggies, but unfortunately plants + evil cat do not mix.
    Yams, sweet potatos - just know I love them both! mmmmmmmmmmmmm

  6. Hey, Crabby - have you been eating pomegranates in the Bag Lady's shower? She found one of those sticky little circles (that they put on fruit) in the drain! (almost laughed my ass off - have no idea how it got there...:)

  7. I'm running into this problem as this summer I developed a serious greenmarket addiction, and though I've been doing well on collards, caluflower and brussels sprouts, I'm worried for when the farmers pack up and all that's left is the egg stand and the jam people. What do you do if you want to eat local year-round? And live in a tiny apartment and can't afford fancy growing equipment? A girl cannot live on squash alone.

  8. I must object.
    Turnips are never good. :)

    Yams have a bit darker skin and are the darker orange inside (often sold as sweet potatoes in US just to be confusing).
    Sweet potatoes are lighter inside and look a lot like a potato, only bigger. To me yams are the bigger ones and the sweet potatoes are smaller and look more like a potato and taste more turnipy (YUK)...personally I like Yams best myself. Someone took a picture of the 2 side by side here: I'm hungry.

  9. Hee, hee....At first I thought that your cute little Cranky headquarters was a snow covered outhouse!

    I seriously always thought that yams and sweet potatoes were the same thing, just different regions used different names.

  10. Yams have thinner, redder skin. Sweet potatoes have more potatoey skin. But can be either size. I like sweet potatoes better, and they're better for you, too.

  11. Jaime, I totally relate! I've been trying to eat locally, but given that I live in a shoebox and don't have a garden to speak of, it's hard to find local foods. I froze a bunch of tomato and corn stuff back in August. But apart from that, I pretty much try to just buy the food that comes from the closest (usually CA or FL this time of year, and I'm in New England).

    I've read that yams and sweet potatoes are actually two completely different species that evolved separately, they just ended up pretty much the same.

  12. Swede turnips (rutabagas) are delicious, mashed with butter and brown sugar.
    The Bag Lady has never eaten a sweet potato or a yam. She leads a sheltered life.

  13. Mmm, squash, yams, kale... my favorite simple meal at the moment is lentils with baked sweet potato or acorn squash, with a side of kale (steamed or sauteed with garlic). I am hungry.

  14. Mmm... kale. We get 3 kinds here at our local farmer's market.

  15. Blech. Vegetables! I eat my required one serving a day. Oh, wait, it's more than that isn't it? I have the hardest time eating veggies. If they're not thrown in a big bowl covered in salad dressing or on top of a pizza they don't get eaten!

    Okay, so I do have a soft spot for asparagus and zucchini. Parmesan zucchini, zucchini lasagna, zucchini gumbo -- well, all of them except for that last one...

  16. so glad to know that crabby does not blog from an outhouse.

    sweet potatoes. sweet potatoes. damn, i love me a sweet potato!

  17. Well, I haven't been in quite awhile, but the Farmers market here in Edmonton runs all year and the last time I was there in the winter, some of the stalls had locally grown veggies and such. I know that there are a couple of farms around here that have year round greenhouses, but you do pay for it.
    As one that is perpetually broke, I find it is cheaper to get the imported, wilted, chemically dependent variety at the grocers - or just wait 'til spring and eat frozen stuff.

  18. I asked Karen about where her veggies come from in the winter and she said, and I quote:

    "Super Target. Same place they come from in the summer."

    I've got to get a better staff.


  19. Comedy gold!! Thanks for the laughs.

  20. Ok. I have just had THE longest day EVER.
    and then I came here and laughed. You guys are hilarious.

    (we'll get there fast and then we'll take it slooooow...)

  21. I want some of what Crabby is growing. And then I'll want some of what everyone else is growing.. or buying.. or cooking..

  22. Thanks guys, you all are hilarious!

    And I really appreciate the yam/sweet potato coaching--bought a YAM yesterday now that I know which is which.

    So I'm glad I clarified that the picture was not actually our headquarters, since I'd thought it was a cute little snowy cabin and didn't get that it might be an outhouse!

  23. it's illegal to grow your own vegetables?? what about homegrown tomatoes?


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