Tuesday, May 20

"Garden Peas"

While cooking the tea last night for Hitler Gom, I noticed the packet of frozen peas was labelled "Garden Peas". It struck me as ludicrous to call the frozen peas 'Garden' peas. Obviously this is a marketing ploy to make us feel all homey, & comfortable about the frozen peas.

What?, you haven't got an actual garden? Never mind, we have garden peas for your delectability. Trust us! Buy our produce!

Never mind the fact that they would have been grown in a huge field, & harvested, by huge machines, at the exact moment of perfect ripeness as deemed by some inspector. If that time happened to be midnight on the day, so beit. They would be harvested, with huge lights & no messing about.

Whizzed off to be graded & frozen as fast as possible. I am not too sure of the rest of the process on the way to our freezers, in small plastic bags- which pollute the planet. Arriving like that, they actually couldn't be further from 'Garden Peas' except maybe if they were dried, & split. Then, of course they would be in smaller plastic bags, & would not require a freezer.

I know about the midnight harvesting of the peas for the freezer. When we had our Country Hotel, we had been out one evening, & were returning home on the long straight country roads of Canterbury. A dark night, & no other traffic about. Speeding a little, no doubt.

Suddenly, in the distance, we could see a huge field with lights flashing. As there had recently been a lot of UFO sightings, around Christchurch, we thought we had come upon the 'Mother Ship', or some such. Gom & I were both struck with this incredible eerie feeling, & as we approached, hair stood up on the backs of our necks.

As we got closer still, we could see the huge harvesting machines, but still had no idea who, or what was going on. We had slowed right down, but then quickly sped up again! Next day, we mentioned it to some of the locals, & they laughed, & told us it was pea harvesting time, & it went on round the clock to get the crops at peak perfection. The local growers were contracted to whoever the company was- probably Watties, back then. They were given the peas to sow, told what day to plant them, & then constant checks were kept on the crops, until harvesting time.

No doubt other vegetables are grown in the same way. No one really wants to think of that aspect of their vegetables I would imagine. If they think about them at all, that is. I am sure there are children who just think vegetables such as peas beans & corn come from plastic packets? Just as they think milk comes in bottles or cartons.

I am not sure why I am griping about this. Somehow I get the same irrational anger when I see "Garden Salad" on the menu in a restaurant. Often the sad tired limp mouldering strands of whatever couldnt be further from the 'Garden'.
The tasteless tomatoes were probably grown in some horrible glass house. How else to explain the lack of taste?

I am just turning into a grouchy old bat. I could go on. "Ocean Fresh" =bollocks.
"Catch of the Day"= probably some old stuff going off in the freezer. "Hand selected"=cheapest they could offer. On it goes.

While I am in a sour mood, I might just add one of my pet hates.
A pitcher is a vessel for carrying liquids.
It is NOT a portrait or a PICTURE!!
Who told the news readers to say PITCHER?? WHY??

Yes, yes, I am going off to get my blood pressure rechecked.


Something much brighter & happy.
Fabric, from a quick nip into a quilty shop in my old home town in NZ. 'Dancing Kiwis', it is called. I kicked myself for not buying others. Or taking a photo of the lovely quilt the proprietor had on display, using all the lovely Kiwi fabrics.

The Tui is one of my favourite Native New Zealand birds, & my lovely cousin gave me this nice piece featuring the Tuis, & so now I should be thinking of some project to use them.
In the meantime I use them for stress relief, & a nice pat now & then makes me happy.
Weather is nice, blue skies, & though it is chilly, it is still quite nice to sit in the sun, & read.
Oh, & last night's tea met with Hitler's Gom's approval. I did a Vegetable casserole, using some of the Freezer Bounty of corn & peas, plus fresh carrots, onion & potatoes, with a Chicken Soup mix for sauce, with Chicken & Creamy Mushroom Sauce for meat.
Jean-Michel Jarre, Equinoxe


Tanya Brown said...

You have me chuckling over here waaaay on the other side of the Pacific. There was an anecdote along these lines in the book "Mindless Eating". One test group was served a wine from a fictional Northern California winery. Another group was served an identical wine from an identical bottle, except that it was from a fictional North Dakota winery.

Those who received the "North Dakota wine" rated their wine and food as less tasty than those who'd had the identical "Northern California wine" and food.

Thus, unfortunately, the marketing nonsense about garden peas (as opposed to "Anonymous Megalithic Industrial Farm Peas") really does make a difference in people's perceptions.

And yes - there are people who have no blessed idea where their food comes from, other than "the store". This mental disconnect can have some serious implications, but I think I've hogged enough of your comment space for one day and it's time to shut up.

ancient one said...

One of my pet peeves... charities that send nickles and dimes stuck to the card asking for money.. I sometimes send something to charity, and then I'm bonbarded every month with new charities.. (I know I'm on every sucker list in the world)... I keep thinking if they'd keep all those nickles and dimes, they'd have money.. ok... that's my rant to go along with yours...LOL

Glad your garden peas were good in your casserole! The fabrics were pretty!

Anonymous said...

Oh Meggie! Grouchy you may be but very funny all the same! Please don't change. You remind me of 'Victor Meldrew' the character from "One foot in the Grave" that used to be on TV about 10 years ago.
The word 'fresh' does it for me. You know, 'Fresh Eggs', 'Fresh Bread' etc., I want to shout out, "If it was stale, it would be on the reduced counter or in the bin!"
Also I thought of you the other night when the news was on. A jockey was injured in a race, and the newscaster described him as being in a 'stable' condition!

Stomper Girl said...

Do you know Meggie, I've never thought to wonder about garden peas before? I thought that was to differentiate between 'minted' and 'baby' peas. Now I'll probably grumble about it too!

Maggie May said...

Thought you might like a visit, Meggie from a Maggie of a similar age! On the other hand you might not want one! i came from Mother of this Lot, who I visit every day!

I also can't understand why companies can call frozen peas "garden" peas when thev've probably never been near a garden!
Oh well .....
Like you bird pictures. Must dash.... dentist appointment!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

In Malaysia, we have "FRESH MILK"....but a closer look shows it is homogenised milk reconstituted from milk powders. I guess, "freshly mixed milk from imported powders" isn't so appealing!

I have also found low fat diet products which may be low fat but actually high in calories (from sugar). Those are my pet peeves along the lines of your rant.

Alice said...

Who told the newsreader to say 'pitcher'? Probably the same person who told the newsreaders, especially on the ABC, to continually refer to the Federal Government as 'Canberra'. Really makes my blood boil!

Re the nightime harvesting of the peas, reminds me of staying at a B&B near Hadrians Wall in England where harvesting for silage was in progress - all through the day and night. Over there the same field will be harvested four or five times in a season, whereas one cut is all we get in Australia.

jellyhead said...

I love it when you get feisty Meggie!

Hope you had a peaceful evening and that your blood pressure is perfect when you see your doctor :)

Anonymous said...

haha we all have our pet peeves.

Not sure I should tell you mine. But I really really hate it when people refer to my children as "kids". I hate that word but I tolerate other people talking about their own children that way - but not mine. I find it such an unpleasant word.

I know no-one else does - just me!

Kitty said...

"I am just turning into a grouchy old bat. I could go on. "Ocean Fresh" =bollocks."

Did you have your fingers on the wrong keys Meggie? Surely you meant 'scollops'? ;-)

Great post. x

Mike said...

Pitcher? I thought that was an American thing. Glad to know someone else mangles the language.

Ali Honey said...

Meggie Meggie, You forgot about GREEN peas - what other colour can they be!

2 nights ago on TV we watched a programme on China. Someone there is making artificial eggs. Yep, they look like eggs ( clear white surrounding a bright yellow orange yoke )but are chemically constructed ( how I'm not sure )Apparently they can do that cheaper than keeping chickens in the big cities, or bringing them in from the country. OMG!
( they contained ingredients considered poisonous )Where will it all end?

alice said...

I was wetting my pants at the strike through hitler. It really struck my funny bone. Then I got to "Ocean Fresh bollocks." and that sent me over the edge and my tea went down my nose. Or up, whatever. Oh dear, you have made my day.

Tanya said...

I guess there are enough side of the road produce stands around here (which I am now reminded of by you) that I can take advantage of. Even the vast rice fields are not all that vast. Each one I can walk completely around in three minutes. None of the huge machinery you see at least in America (and I suppose elsewhere.) I should be thankful for small blessings!