celery

Save the celery for somebody who cares. Those who think the vegetable tray gets a raw deal are in the minority.

I ran into Jessica Pounds (owner of Moo Creamery) at the downtown July 4th parade. She talked about the column on the raw vegetable platters people serve at parties that everybody pretends to like, but no one really does.

“We try to talk customers out of those,” she said. “I ask them, 'How many people who come to your party, wedding or reception are going to be happy when they see the big platter of raw vegetables?' No one and no one is going to eat it or remember it.”

I like raw vegetables, they can be a delicious cold snack but I don’t want to see a vegetable city the size of Delano. Raw vegetables en masse can be like soup. No matter how good the soup is, and soup can be really good — right now would be perfect for gazpacho — sometimes it seems like you can eat soup for half an hour and you haven’t gotten anywhere.

Diners like the idea of progress. Start in one place, finish in another. Food is serveth and it is eateth.

People can gnaw on a raw vegetable tray, but an hour into the party there is no indication that there has been a party and if so, that anybody attended the party.

•••

An email from Ann Olcott:

“You are right about the veggie tray. We recently hosted a brunch the Sunday after our granddaughter’s May 26 wedding.

“We had a beautifully done large veggie tray from Albertsons along with a big fruit tray, pastries and a mammoth meat and cheese tray. By 1:00, many of the pastries, and most of the fruit were gone.

“One triangle of cheese and a rolled-up piece of turkey was left on the meat and cheese tray … but nearly the entire veggie tray remained. It was hardly touched. Goes to show that most people would rather leave hungry than eat raw vegetables.

“Did I tell you that my granddaughter (the bride) is a vegetarian and she didn’t want to take it home with her??”

I rest my case.

•••

This from Chris in regards to the column on the charms of the open road:

“I have the same feelings when I leave the valley to visit friends in Prescott. When the Mojave desert opens up on eastbound 58 past Tehachapi my spirits lift. I reach absolute ecstasy when I cross the Colorado River and see the welcome to Arizona sunburst.”

•••

This is the time of year when people who are at the beach, on vacation at the beach or who own houses at the beach are inclined to text us, include photos, the temperature (usually 82 or below) and descriptions of the electric beach cruisers they just bought and are able to ride in the middle of the day because it’s so darn cool outside.

I’m happy for you, although I hope a giant shark jumps out of the ocean, quickly grows legs and chases you down on your electric beach cruisers and eats you and your bikes, including whatever cold beverage you are consuming.

•••

The 1965 Bakersfield College European Tour Choir Alumni Association (that plucky group that shocked the world in '65 winning first prize in a prestigious international music festival) has awarded their first scholarships. As winners of The Joseph Bela Huszti Choral Scholar award, Will Irwin and Lorea Laverty Iturriria will each receive $1,000.

Herb Benham is a columnist for the Bakersfield Californian and can be reached at hbenham@bakersfield.com or 661-395-7279.

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