Friday, December 19, 2008

Freezer Surprise

The mysterious objects in my freezer (as mentioned in Freezer-Peek-a-Boo, please forgive my tardiness regarding this follow-up-post) turned out to be:

a) an ice pack. While not especially exciting, it may come in useful in future.

b) a bag of frozen vegetables. At the time, I was notably more excited about this than I was about the ice pack. As I viewed it, eating vegetable was going to make a welcome change from not eating vegetables.

Ominously, the instructions written on the back of the bag were written in Russian, which meant that I was forced to make an educated guess as to how to prepare them. I had one clue, though. From an expanse of Cyrillic appeared the vaguely recognisable phrase "1.5 l". Thus, I brought about a litre and a half of water to the boil, allowing for a margin of error which reflected my uncertainty, and threw in the vegetables.

So good, thus far.

After a few minutes, the water in the pot began to turn a brackish black-brown colour. In addition, as the cooking progressed, I was forced to reassess what most of the constituent vegetables were; some things seemed to change identity (for instance, what I thought were mushrooms were in fact slices of potatoes), other ingrdients lost their identity (there was no obvious tomato in the finished product), and some things remained completely unidentifiable throughout the entire cooking process (beans?).

Not really sure as to how long to cook the vegetables for was beginning to seem a peripheral issue. Having boiled them for an arbitrary period of time, I drained the muddy water from the pot, and looked inside with no small measure of concern. I encountered a mess of what I had been lead to believe were vegetables -- intermingled, stuck together, and giving off the kind of odour that some organisms have evolved in the interests of dissuading predators.

I should have stopped at this point. I should have stopped before this point, perhaps, but curiosity is a harsh mistress.

Without really even being aware of interacting with a fork, I was soon chewing a mouthful of unidentified vegetables. I was really only chewing as a matter of posterity, however, as the food dissolved almost entirely upon contact with saliva. Interestingly, it didn't taste especially bad. The fact is, I couldn't suggest an appropriate adjective for it at all; it simply didn't taste of anything. It wasn't even bland, it was simply -- devoid of stimuli. I decided to take a follow-up sample, in the interests of rigour; and took another bite. Sample was found to be consistent with previous data.

I stared into to pot for a little while longer, indecisive. The onset of a slight, bitter, aftertaste tipped the balance of decision in favour of disposal of the foodstuff.

It just seemed so wasteful.


konstantine-vi said...

Update damnit!

O Graeme Burns said...

I have to say, I'm a little dissapointed: I write, not one, but two posts about eating notably unsafe food; and I would have expected you, of all people, to reprimand me on the matter.

konstantine-vi said...

I could'nt even get you to not eat that kind of stuff when you lived here, let alone when you're not even in the same country