Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A League City of Our Own

First, for necessary perspective on this blog post, you need to calibrate your mind by revisiting one of the greatest scenes in cinematographic history (for those of you on dial-up who cannot view it, it's Tom Hanks's famous "no crying in baseball" rant from the movie A League of Their Own):
Now, substitute the phrase "Swiss chard" for "crying" and "Houston" for "baseball". 

In other words, in your imagination, you should be bellowing at the top of your lungs:


Yes, it's true that I was able to grow the stuff, and quite huge at that:
I took a pic of the damned stock tank in the dark just to prove it.
And this was taken AFTER I chopped off a huge amount.
But do you suppose they call it SWISS chard for nothing??  Swiss as in freeze-your-ass-off Switzerland.  Mountains.  The Alpen that I tragically did not catch a single glimpse of while in Memmingen Germany last year because we were socked in for an entire week with bone-chilling fog and rain. 

In other words, this is a cold-climate vegetable.  It needs cold weather to form proper biochemistry.  I know this painfully from experience.  Many a historical time I spent five optimistic bucks on a precious handful of Swiss chard at Whole Foods, only to toss the entire thing into the trash because it was too bitter to eat (because it was grown in too warm a location).  Hope springs eternal, but not where chard is concerned.  I planted some in my stock tank mainly to admire it, because I figured it would taste like Tom Hanks's proverbial pile of pig sh*t. 

Except my uncle recently reported that he grew Swiss chard in Mississippi.  But the climate in Mississippi is very similar to Houston, leading me to conclude, "THERE'S NO SWISS CHARD IN MISSISSIPPI!!  THERE'S NO SWISS CHARD IN MISSISSIPPI!!" 

Or is there?  He said it tasted really good.  So that gave me the courage to cut some of my own and try it.
Was it the best Swiss chard I've ever had?  Not by a bloody long shot.  But it was worth eating, and better than anything I've ever bought at Whole Foods.  How is this possible?  I don't know.  But apparently there can be Swiss chard, or an acceptable facsimilie, in Houston afterall.

No comments:

Post a Comment