Thursday, March 25, 2010

For the Love of Celery

Growing up as a child in the 1970's, I spent a lot of time with my grandmothers. They were both amazing women who helped shaped who I am today. I also loved visiting them because of the fun food I got to eat at their houses.

Now I know that most kids looked forward to the fresh baked cookies or apple pies they got to eat during their visits to grandma's house. But not me. I used to get super-duper excited about the crudite. That's right--I am a freak. I wanted raw veggies. Every time I went to visit my grandma, she would make up a special platter (just for me) of fluted celery, radish roses, sliced cucumbers, carrots and broccoli. And I would gobble down the entire thing.

My favorite part was the fancy celery. She used to make it special with the ends ruffled like so:

To this day I have no idea why I loved raw vegetables so much as a child, but I still credit my grandma with my love for crudite to this day. And I feel very fortunate that I have the ability to chow down an entire bunch of celery instead of a bag of chips when I have the urge to binge. This is a key weight loss skill that has come in handy for me on many an occasion.

But the question is: Could my love of celery withstand the next Retro WW Recipe experiment -- Celery Parmigiana?

It sounded simple enough. Cut up 3 cups of celery into 3inch pieces and boil in some chicken broth until tender. Then transfer 1/2 the celery into a small casserole and top with thickened tomato juice, mozzerella cheese and onion powder. Repeat layers and top it off with a sprinkle of parmesan. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes until bubbly.

Because I was pressed for time, I had to bake this dish in the morning before going to work and then cover it up & put it away for my evening dinner. I waited in suspense all day wondering what this interesting celery casserole would taste like.

The hours crept by, until I finally made it home to my Celery Parmigiana. I eagerly tore off the plastic wrap and placed one single portion on my plate. The moments seemed to drag as I waited for the dish to heat in the microwave. Then, at long last...DING! It was done, and I was finally ready to sample my celery bliss.

As I chewed on the first bite, I realized that it tasted... just...... like.........

Cooked celery topped with tomato juice and cheese.

Well that was anti-climactic.

I was so hungry I ate the entire casserole. But I think I'll just stick to raw celery next time and save myself the trouble.


Jules said...

Yeah, celery wouldn't be my first choice of veg to put in a Parmigiana dish, I have to say. Zucchini maybe, or even asparagus. Eggplant of course... I think they would all have the same point value too.

All that suspense too! Sigh... :)

Chantel said...

(chuckle) Even as I began to read this, I was thinking, "can you actually alter the taste/texture of celery??", no. Rocks with dip, peanut butter...even like it plain. But it will forever be...celery.

I love Jules ideas though--what could we do with zucchini?!?

Helen said...

Ewww. I agree - just have the celery spread with one of those nice low fat cheeses. Remember ants on a log? Celery, cream cheese or peanut butter, with raisins dotted across the top.

The Crazy Suburban Mom said...

First, OMG. Im not sure that that dinner looks as good as ruffly celery. Which I would rather eat, I hope you're not insulted honey?

And second - its funny my friends mother always cut the ends of hot dogs like that and I always do it and it always makes me feel very special.

Rock on with your ruffles :)


heidi said...

eww. eww. eww.

i likey fancy veggies, too!

Fashion Meets Food said...

I so love your blog and the retro weight watchers aspect

Mara said...

This is the kind of meal you need to make in big portions and take to meetings. Put it next to the WW brand products as a comparison between then and now. I bet sales would spike. ;)


Ally said...

I love celery! I think I prefer it raw and with low-fat, low-sugar peanut butter though. Hee hee :)

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