Sarah R. Callender


In General on October 2, 2011 at 9:45 pm

It has come to my attention that sometimes the pronunciation of my made-up words does not translate perfectly from my brain via your computer screen to your brain. So, the title of this post, Tomanus, should be pronounced in the following way: Toe-MAY-nuss. Not TOE-manus or TAH-manus. Toe-MAY-nuss.

Good. So now that all things pronunciationish are out of the way, let me return to my topic: homegrown fruits and vegetables, a seemingly dull topic which I will attempt to humorify and lighthearten to make up for a summer’s worth of serious and somber and depression-laced posts. And we’re off!

One of the things I love about Husbandio is how much darn time he spends in the garden, tending to his summer crops. I didn’t used to love this about him. I used to be really annoyed by this. Until, as I shared with you in this post from summer 2010, he told me that one of the ways he loves me is by growing things that we can eat for dinner. Who knew!?!

So now, instead of lamenting the fact that he’s out there in the garden, pruning his whatevers and dividing his thingiemahoochies, I realize he’s out there loving me. It helps me be patient.

In addition to him expressing his love through mulch and compost, creating and tending to a fruit and veggie garden leads to laughter. And for me, there really is no Love without Laughter.

Once this summer, Husbandio walked into the house, holding a small red strawberry, one only slightly bigger than the Darth Vader head on the Lego Darth Vader.

“Look at this!” Husbandio said, holding up the berry, his voice raised a few octaves. “This one looks like a little man!”

Indeed. Right there on what I can only call the butt of the mutant berry, was the face of a little man.

Husbandio and I spent a good number of minutes making the little man-faced mutant berry talk. We both agreed he had a cartoonishly high voice, this man-berry, one that was almost Britishy in affect. “Cheerio!” the berry chirped. “Anyone care for a cuppa?” And then we may or may not have named the British Little-man Berry, “Benny” and carried on with a fairly extensive photo shoot.

That’s the thing about homegrown produce: you’d never find British Little-man Berries at Safeway, not even in the organic section at Whole Foods. We humans prefer to eat pretty fruits and veggies, not fruits and veggies with names and faces and British accents. I get it; we Americans, even more than other cultures, prefer that which is considered pretty. Even if the pretty produce has been genetically modified. Even if the pretty produces tastes bland and blah.

It’s the same with fake breasts, of course. There was an old(er) lady at the gym who clearly, CLEARLY, had had modifications done to her pectoral region. When she was lying down on her back for chest presses, the rest of her sagged, while her bosoms stood at full attention. And, the cut of her Lululemon tank revealed the sides of her modifications, filled like taut water balloons.

I thought it was kind of gross. Or, maybe as someone who’s got less and less that stands at attention, certainly no modifications, I was just jealous.

So I checked in with Husbandio. “Hey,” I asked. “Even if you know breasts are fake, even if they look totally out of place on the wearer of the breasts, even if they stand at attention when everything else is sagging, is that still hot?”

“Yes,” he said. “It’s still hot.”

OK! And that, boys and girls, is why we have genetically modified produce. The End.

Husbandio’s Harvest o’ Romance was supplemented by weekly pick-ups of Tiny’s Organic CSA. Donut peaches that looked like baby bottoms. Heirloom tomatoes that reminded me of when Sweetie was a baby and her squishy little thighs had crevices and crevasses and folds that often became the resting place of graham cracker crumbed saliva goo. Summer squash that looked like Gonzo’s silhouette.

Then, just last week, Husbandio brought in this late-summer harvest from his love gardens:

Most of it was beautiful. One item, however,  made me feel icky.

In case you didn’t read my post where I discuss my dislike of things that have other things growing in them, I do not like things that have other things growing in them. I definitely don’t care for goiters. I don’t like critters that “burrow.” But while I dislike these things, I am also weirdly intrigued by them. Like when I worried that I had a coral colony growing under my ankle skin, I couldn’t stop touching it, poking it, studying it for signs of intelligent life.

So when Husbandio brought in this tomato from the garden, one that appeared to have what I can only assume was an anus, I turned away. “Ew,” I said. “That tomato’s got an anus. A tomanus.”

But then I turned back and examined the anus-ish thing. I’ll admit I even poked around the anus-ish region. I couldn’t help it.

Which made me and Husbandio laugh some more and tell a few off-color jokes and THEN made me wonder what other photos I could find of inappropriate and/or unattractive produce. Well, God bless the internet, because sure nuff I found this photo on Love Carrots, a British blog, which has a special section called The Rude Carrot Club. I’d say this guy (and it is a guy, no doubt) is likely el Presidente of the RCC :

And apparently my friend, Stephers, is no stranger to rude carrots because she sent me a photo of this fellow . . . I mean, these fellows:

Then, when I mentioned rude carrots to my friend, Anne, she promptly emailed me this photo of a rude avocado (this is Anne’s husband’s hand, not hers. Anne has lovely hands):

So what’s the moral of this blog post?

I don’t know.

I do know that there is something refreshingly honest about homegrown produce. Yes, the avocados may have protuberances and the tomatoes may have bottoms and the carrots may have been caught mid-orgy. But there’s something kind of cool about getting what nature gives you. Even if it has a man-face and speaks in a British accent.

As I get older, I find myself seeking that which feels Real: people who wear their undies inside-out or almost run over a cranky Orthodox Jewish gentleman or can’t help but prod the tush of a tomato. The Realest of people may not be winning any beauty pageants, but most times, being Real is far prettier and certainly more fun and funny than being Miss America. Unless you’re Benny. I think if you’re Benny, you just have to learn to skate by on your wicked-awesome personality.

  1. Thanks for keepin’ it Realz Yo! And speaking of real, here’s what my week has consisted of: My oldest ending her day by asking me “Why don’t you like being a mommy?”, my other daughter telling me there couldn’t be anything worse than middle age, and my son patting my butt and saying, “Your bottom’s so big Mommy!”

    • Yes. And sometimes Real feels like a punch right in the face. Thanks for the laughs, Zandra. You KNOW your realness makes you appealing to so many (and scary to a few!). 🙂

  2. You’re talking about me!:) I wear my underwear inside out!

    • See? I love knowing there are more of “us” out there. That’s what it’s all about . . . connecting with like-minded, inside-out underwearing folks. 🙂

  3. So funny! And I re-read “Solitaire” –they are great second run. I smell a book!!!!! Keep it: Inside-out Underpants! It’s a great title!!!!!!

  4. As someone who just observed an entire gymnasium full of vegetable creations for “Harvest Fair” at second grade, I am absolutely in the mindset of vegetable protuberances! I am, however, deeply impressed by Husbandio’s bounty in the love garden, esp from the plum tree. This is an old standby we love with Sunday coffee:

    • Yay! The kids were just wondering what Husbandio was going to do with all of those plums. I bet he has cut up and frozen at least five hundred of them. LOVE the Martha recipe. Love the idea of 2nd grade harvest protuberances too. Thanks for your great comment. 🙂

  5. Yes, Sarah, as the fellow wife of a gardening man, I know it can make for some lonely summer days! But it is pretty great when the harvest comes in! My kids made a Potato Gnome at Paint the Town whose job it is to Watch Over the Potatoes. I’m looking at him right now from the comfort of my warm house, which is my usual vantage point when looking at our garden. Glad to hear your garden is entertaining you as well as feeding you!

  6. This made me laugh! Especially Husbandio’s short yet brief and very honest reply about silicone.
    We used to have a watercolor print on our wall called Carrotica. That was BP (Before Parenthood).
    Do you know that the only reason Red Delicious apples are popular is because they are pretty, although they are really tasteless? Many “uglier” apples taste much better.
    And apples grown in Enumclaw are too “ugly” to be sold as apples, which is why they make them into cider?
    Doesn’t breast surgery interfere with ability to lactate? Which renders their original pupose null and void?
    Aren’t we just the silliest creatures?

    • We ARE just the silliest of creatures. And you’re the funniest of creatures. LOVE Carrotica. I’d totally eat Enumclaw apples . . . I’m also the one who likes to pick the weirdest looking Christmas trees and Halloween pumpkins. I like me a little personality in my holiday decor! Thanks for your lovely comment.

  7. Hah! So cute. I love the idea that there are many ways our husbands can love us. Making us food is one of my favorites. 🙂
    Also, I heard there’s a lady at PCC, who for the right produce mark-up fee, will discretely walk you past the organic produce, out the back, and to the limited selection orgyanic produce. Sure to make any dinner party more fun.

    • Orgyanic produce! LOVE it. I knew those PCC employees looked happy for a reason. Thanks for the tip. Let’s do a field trip. You bring your camera and Robin. I’ll bring my laptop. xo!

  8. I love to get the occasional truly funky fruit in our garden. It’s just one of the pleasures of growing and overseeing the natural outcome of growing things. There’s so much more beauty when you stray from the cookie cutter perfection that is offered in the mainstream. I love that in people, as well, and enjoyed your post, Sarah.

  9. What is the moral of this post? Not about Real, but about Real Funny. You slay me! I cannot get enough of your writing style. You are truly blessed with a wonderful gift. Thanks for blogging.

  10. Love the honesty and humor. Jeff’s and yours!

  11. Love this! It reminds me of a story you will appreciate. My business partner is always telling me about her botox injections and how every woman over 40 (at least in LA) gets botox. While I am not opposed to plastic surgery I think you should save it for something that really matters. That being said, she tells me one day, “but it would make you just look more rested.” (Hmm, she must be referring to the multiple lines in my forehead and the weariness in my eyes that, no doubt, have an awful lot to do with the fact that I am over 40 and am constantly chasing a very active, not quite 2 year old.) My response? “I don’t care how I look, but if you can find me a shot that actually makes me FEEL rested, I’ll pay a lot of money for it!”

  12. Hi, um, gosh.. now i am struck dumb with awe at your vegetables, we grow piles of veg and even meat on our wee sustainably managed farm (I know that is a mouthful) and so i was entranced to come across your wonderful pictures of scary vegetables.. awesome.. c

  13. Great photos. My husband is also a provider of all things gardeny. He just brought in the last of the tomatoes. Excuse me now while I go look for a tomanus.

  14. Here, here for the real, the funny, and the “wicked-awesome personality”. Another fabulous post Sarah!
    In that vein, I’ll confess that my eldest daughter recently told me that she loves my “soft pillow belly.” I had to stop and breathe deeply. I’m still not sure I’m over it.

  15. I happened upon your blog via Query Tracker and I must say I now appreciate the fact I can actually call myself a writer because I have paid my dues with hours of research and a love affair with the written word. I laughed my head off at your age justification (maybe it’s actually because I am older than you); but the garden produce had me laughing the loudest! Thank you for making my day!

    • What a great comment, Susan. Thank you so much for your kind words (and for reading). I was at a party last night, and a friend, across the room, held up a “naughty” carrot from the buffet table. I love that people see a rude carrot and think of ME. I so appreciate your time. Thank you!

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