Yes, there has been what is affectionately known here as the Great Courgette Crisis (courgette is what they call zucchini here for those North Americans in the group). They have not been available in the supermarkets. There has also been a serious lack of lettuces. And to read the news, you’d think we were back in war time rationing. People have been freaking out. Panic is setting in.
Perhaps, though, all this panicking and freaking out over a couple of veggies is an improvement over the many other things that we ought to be panicking and freaking out about. The list is ever-growing and so long that to even consider typing it up for you here has sent me into a deep malaise. Suffice to say that if you read the news, or live with someone who does, or even just walk outside these days, you’ll have a good enough sense of why bemoaning a lack of two vegetables seems preferable.
Anyhow. It’s got to the point where supermarkets are putting up little signs instead of the vegetables in question. But leaving the baskets where they’d normally be found empty. I don’t quite understand why they’re doing this. Is it to highlight the large amount of such things they’d normally have? Some kind of protest against the snow they’ve had in Europe, in places where our food comes from? Or is it to hint at something deeper, and darker, like the consequences of leaving the single market during the Brexit negotiations? It’s difficult to say.
A friend of mine posted on Facebook at the height of the crisis a picture of some beautifully roasted courgettes with chilis. Looked delicious. People pounced upon him immediately demanding to know where he’d found such things. His reply: I know a guy. Is this our future? Black market lettuce?
I was telling The Mom about the problem the other day and bemoaning the only bit of courgette I could find that I wanted to add to my spaghetti sauce (which since we were children she’d been secretly – and then not so secretly – adding grated zucchini to).
“I found the spiraliser version of courgette,” I said.
“What in God’s name is that?”
“Idiot people think that eating pasta is making them fat, so instead they have a thing that makes zucchini into noodle shapes.”
“I don’t know. I don’t understand it. But it’s what I could find. And it cost £1.09 and I tell you it’s a handful of zucchini in there.”
“That seems a high price to pay.”
“Normally one courgette costs less than 50p.”
“It’s a marketing ploy.”
“This is what I’m thinking.”
“They’re toying with you.”
“I know. I’m retaliating. I’m considering growing my own veggies. Well, not all of them obviously, as I have no garden and no green thumb. But I saw a thing on the internet that says I can put the bum of a lettuce in a glass of water and then when it spouts I can put it in dirt and come back some time later and there’s a lettuce.”
“That sounds like fake news.”
“You think?”I said.
“Remember when you tried to grow watermelon? You made that big mound of dirt and went out worrying the damned thing for weeks, to no avail.”
“I think worrying it is the same as gardening, no?”
“Well, never mind then. I guess I’m not eating veggies for a while. They still have frozen peas though,” I added cheerfully. “Peas!”
To this, The Mom rolled her eyes. “God save you if they ever run out of peas.”
I don’t quite know why, but I love frozen peas. I’ll eat them day in, day out. Nobody else in my family cares for them.
“Yeah, the courgette/lettuce crisis I can kind of cope with but a peas crisis and that’s it.”
The Mom perked up. “You know, we don’t have these problems back here. We are the breadbasket of Ontario.”
“Crohn’s still doesn’t like the all-veggies diet.”
“Still,” The Mom said. “Something to consider.”