At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Human beings are social creatures. Throughout our development as a species, for tens of thousands of years, those who "played well with others" have, generally speaking, had a better chance at contributing to the gene-pool. This accounts for our evolved ability to feel on behalf of others, our sense of empathy, and our softer side. As a result, we have programmed into us the desire to be liked.
Knowing that we are liked is profoundly reassuring, and protective even - the association of others who like us must mean that they aren't likely to whack us and eat us for dinner.

What we don't have quite so well programmed is the ability to effect that eventuality.
Consequently we all have different approaches to the question, some of which are entirely below our conscious mind.

I, for instance, always have a faint aroma of fine tobacco. It is one of my most likeable characteristics. Who wouldn't enjoy the comforting company of an urbane gentleman with sparkling eyes, a healthy level of perversion, vim, vigour, and above all that intoxicating perfume?
You're right, it's hard to imagine.

One of my coworkers, however, may be quite defective in that regard.
For the past few days he's radiated the robust reek of cooked broccoli.
Which, truth be told, is one of the ghastliest things ever invented.

Years ago I visited some friends, and inquired politely about the nauseating ponque in their house.
They told me that they had prepared steamed broccoli, and lit incense to cover the smell.
Cheap Indian hippie joss DOES NOT combine well with overcooked broccoli.
Something their own noses should have told them.
It was a cumulation of gaggable.

My coworker is a married man. That's TWO people who should know that broccoli is repulsive.
Alas. No.
Apparently they made a BIG batch of broccoli and chunked chicken breast.
He believes that one should eat five small meals a day.
Which means that every two or three hours, he sticks the plastic container he brought from home into the microwave, then slowly mouths his second, third, or fourth lunch while vouchering invoices.
The malodour sticks around far past feeding time.
It's a VERY big batch of broccoli and chicken.
He has enough to last at least another week.

Clearly a delicate and appealing aroma is not part of his preprogrammed likeability toolkit.
If anything, broccoli would have the opposite effect.
Not at all like my own endearing hue of aged tobacco.
Overcooked broccoli fair makes me gag.
But I smell good.


Personally I've always believed that broccoli was invented by Benito Mussolini as a way of achieving parity with the Germans, especially as regards obnoxiousness and general funk.
Possibly the Japanese high-command during World War Two also had a hand in it.
Truly nasty stuff.

That said, however, one must distinguish TWO things:
ONE: Don't overcook the damned thing, and above all don't reheat it - doing either of these turn it unendurably vile.
TWO: Not all broccoli is broccoli. Western broccoli is a woody Italian cultivar of Brassica oleracea, whereas Chinese broccoli (Kai Lan: 芥蘭) is a different strain entirely (alboglabra).
Chinese broccoli is delicious, slightly bitter, and has a tender crunch. The immediately noticeable visual difference is that 'broccoli' resembles a tree branch with tumours, but Chinese broccoli looks like stalky mustard greens with much more leaf than floret.
Beef and broccoli, a well-known Chinese restaurant dish, is delicious made with Chinese broccoli. Outside of Chinatown it is more often made with western broccoli, and is rather unpleasant despite its enormous popularity among white people.
Chinese broccoli is beautiful and elegant.
Western broccoli is a sulfurous curse.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


  • At 1:00 AM, Blogger CUSHMAN FRECKLE said…

    As is cauliflower, especially when cooked, cooled, stored, and later brought out again and, horror of horrors, reheated.

    I'll take Chinese greens with garlic, thank you.


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