A flower by any other name...

Like many others I'm sure, my first job at the tender age of 16 was waitressing at a local restaurant.  Every Sunday I would pitch up to earn my £15 plus tips dishing out lunches for families in my small South Wales town.  Every Sunday was the same menu - roast meats and an assortment of veggies followed by gateauxs of every description. 

In amongst the tureens of peas and over boiled carrots were small earthenware dishes filled with cauliflower cheese.  Health and Safety didn't seem to pay a big part in the kitchen, and so these were left on a side table, just under the window, baking in the summer sun.  The smell of the over cooked vegetable turned my stomach every week and the congealed and, sometimes, slightly split cheese sauce over the lumpen florets made the whole thing look like a bowl of baby vomit.

At the time I put this down to my general hatred of all veggies but, over the years, as more and more of the green stuff was introduced onto my plate with little or no quibbling, it started to stand out.  In fact I've gone from eating no vegetables to having quite a multicoloured diet with only a few stand out things (cauliflower among them) that I just can't stomach.  Even my old nemeses from childhood - peas, have become much loved, popped fresh from the pod in my garden and straight into my mouth.

This week saw the arrival of my Riverford vegbox and I was determined to crack my cauli hatred once and for all.  If I could learn to love spring greens then surely cauliflower was a natural extension of this?  Sadly it wasn't to be.  That old, familiar smell emanated from the kitchen, refusing to be hidden under a blanket of spices.  One mouthful of the veggie curry and I knew I'd made a mistake.  The taste and smell were almost overpowering and suddenly images of curdled cauliflower cheese came flooding back. 

Twitter were a helpful bunch, suggesting everything from soups to raw salads in a bid to get me to eat this tricky customer.  I'm going to give it one last try with a recipe from Riverford themselves but if that doesn't work then I have to call it a day and just accept that this is one flower that doesn't smell, or taste, very sweet.  Wish me luck!


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