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We love sprouts so much we are apparently making our own! Not intentionally, of course. Nothing in our kitchen is ever intentional — at least not since  The Kale Twins moved in.

If you will recall, finding adequate storage space for all of our food (and for the other imaginary ten people who MUST be buying food and storing it here) has been an ongoing battle. Even Gill commented that things seemed to be more out-of-control than usual when she was here for the holidays. It is, therefore, not uncommon for things shoved to the back of the fridge to start growing appendages…or changing colour. Blue is a favourite shade — I have voiced the opinion that we should begin selling some of our more imaginative items. I mean, if blue cheese is such a delicacy, can blue beef stew be far behind?

I am intrigued by one particular thing. A couple of years ago, there was a nationwide scare warning people against eating sprouts: bean sprouts, pea sprouts, bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts…It seems they are very susceptible to toxins that can make the unsuspecting diner very ill. L’il Sis was aware of this and gave up on sprouts for a period of time. But it seems her love couldn’t be permanently squelched. Lo and behold, last week a bag of fresh sprouts appeared in the fridge.

“Eek!” I shrieked. “Have you forgotten already about the sprout toxins? You of all people who is so concerned about eating healthy food.”

“Relax, Mom. These are organic sprouts, grown locally and they are very careful with their sprouts. Everything is very clean.”

“Yeah,” I muttered under my breath. “Very clean until they give you botulism…”

Having just had this small showdown, I went searching in a dark kitchen cupboard, looking for something in the nature of a (my) contraband snack foods. At least I admit to MY  hypocrisy and love of not always healthy options.I have to hide them either a) so The Pig won’t find them, open the cupboard and help herself b) one of my two offspring won’t find and eat my ‘dirty’ food choices (all the while declaring that they don’t see how I can possibly put such crap in my body or c) the garage chipmunks don’t make a foray into the house to see what’s up.

As I reached into the cupboard, I felt something long and ever-so-slightly slippery. Deciding (after a short bout of apoplexy) that no live critters like spiders or worms were involved, I peered further into the recesses. What did I spy but shoots from a secret onion supply?

Normally we store the bag of onions on the counter where it can take up the most inconvenient space. To whom did it belong? I suspected it of being from Crazy D’s secret food stash but he was the one who, sick with a cold, miserable, so tired he could barely stand, decided to cook some spaghetti sauce for himself–from scratch — and  couldn’t find any onions. Now, it is possible this stash was so old he forgot about it…our stashes travel from laundry room to basement to cold cellar to on top of the garage freezer. The only predictable thing is that the stashes will never be in the same place twice.

“Family meeting!” I yelled.

“What’s wrong, Mom?” they asked as they came running.

I held up the rather fecund onion. The sprouts were eight inches long. There were so many and they were so long they would have made lovely braids.

“There may be a certain ‘cache’ to having your very own ‘grow-op’, people. And at least pot is a cash crop. Onions stalks lend neither edginess nor financial stability to this family farce. Knock it off with the sprout farms in the cupboard!Jeez, can’t you people eat junk like everyone else?”

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