What’s your favorite color? Mine is blue! I’m not sure why, I just like it. I enjoy the blue of the ocean and the sky. And it is the best color for me to wear as it matches my eyes. I have loads of it in my house and when my kids were young I even had a blue colored car. Sure I like most of the other colors in the spectrum. I’ve had my issues with yellow, but I’ve worked that out as you know from my mustard story on here. But there is a big problem I have yet to work out, and it is that I just don’t like purple. I may not know exactly why I love blue, but I defo know why I don’t like purple and it boils down to one reason… that reason stems back to my childhood. “There she goes again” I can hear you say! But you would feel the same way about purple if you had to deal with this one.
So I told you already on here about our family car the ice cream truck. Well after that fun lovin vehicle we had a purple Pontiac. They didn’t normally come in purple as a purchase option, and I don’t think they do these days either. But my mom had this great idea to take our Pontiac Le Mans, which was gold with a black hard top, into a place called Earl Schieb’s. Earl could do you up a paint job on your car real nice, and for only $19.95! Well that is what the television advertisements said anyway. My mom had this paint swatch (like the kind you get at the hardware store) with different shades of purple. She carried it with her everywhere. She wanted to make sure she picked the right color and was very excited about getting a new coat of paint on her car. Well, I didn’t think it was all that great, but no one asked me.
But one day she came to pick me up from school in that car. She was rolling down the street with the music blasting. As if the color of the car itself wouldn’t make people turn their heads?! Remember this was in the era of the wood paneled station wagon (think of the show Brady Bunch). Our family just looked like the psychedelic bunch! I was used to that moniker, but on this day I happened to be walking with a boy whom I liked. We weren’t officially going steady, but it was a crush. His name was Pat (short for Patrick, haha me and my Irishness). Anyway, I pretended not to notice her. So she made an illegal u-turn and came back around on the side we were walking on and revved the engine. Since it was an old car, it kind of went “vroom vroom, splat, splat, splunk!” As it died right there in the road she screamed out the window, “Hey Karen come on we have to go to the laundromat”. Like I didn’t know that by looking in the car which was filled to the brim with dirty clothes. I was so embarrassed at that juncture. I barely looked at Pat when I slinked into the Purple People Eater!
These days being the foodie that I am, I’ve noticed chefs getting all excited about purple food. Everyday its all about purple sprouting broccoli, purple potatoes, purple eggplant/aubergines in every recipe I see. I haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet. In fact I am so anti purple that I only buy green grapes! Until today! I went out and got some purple grapes and decided to make my own Purple People Eaters! I want to lick this dislike of mine for purple. I mean its not purple’s fault! With these two super easy recipes, if you have a dislike, or even a mild mediocre opinion of the color, you will become a purple promoter! One recipe is savory and one is sweet. You can even eat them all in one meal as I did, my lunch then my dessert after!
Ingredients for Savory:
500 g (or a little over 1 lb) of Purple Grapes (or reddish if they don’t have purple) make sure they are seedless and rinse them before using
2 shallots, peeled and cut lengthwise into quarters
Fresh sprigs of thyme (or another herb such as rosemary)
Olive oil (just a couple tablespoons at the most)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Heat the oven to 200 C/400F. In a large baking tray put in the grapes (with the branches/stems still attached but in smallish bunches), the shallots, and the fresh thyme (put some sprigs and also a teaspoon of the chopped leaves), drizzle all of this with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Delicately mix them all up buy shaking the tray back and forth. Then roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of the grapes. You want them to be a bit reduced and shriveled but still holding a bit of their shape. Also the shallots should be a bit caramelized. Remove from the oven and serve alongside a lovely pan seared steak. Or as I did, in a salad with some dressed mixed leaves, toasted pine nuts, goat’s cheese and cooked shredded chicken for the best lunch ever!
Ingredients for Sweet:
500 g (or a little over 1 lb) of Purple Grapes (or reddish if they don’t have purple) make sure they are seedless and rinse before using.
1 box of jello gelatin any flavor you like (I used lemon), which is 3 oz (85 g)
Remove the grapes from the branches/stems and rinse very well and drain. Place the contents of the jello pack on a plate or a bowl. While the grapes are still wet roll them in the dry jello crumbs until the grapes are fully coated. Then place on a parchment lined tray and put in the refrigerator for at least an hour until they firm a bit. Eat as a snack while watching tele (they taste like a healthy version of Sour Patch Kids) or use as your dessert instead of a calorific cupcake like I did!
It is a funny thing how kids get embarrassed by their parents. Do you think parents are ever embarrassed by their kids? I remember one time my son and I were home alone and me being me (which if you know me is pretty wacky) I was doing something he obviously didn’t like. He said, “Oh my God Mom you are embarrassing me!” in that teenage sort of tone. I responded with, “I think that it might be necessary for a third person to be present in order for you to feel embarrassed, no?” He just shook his head and said the classic line, “Whatever!” I could have used the old standby that most parents say, about walking barefoot ten miles in the snow to get to school. However, my story would have been about walking with a boy I fancied and having my mom cruise up in the purple people eater. But I just bit my lip hence you got the ear full, but you also got a couple of recipes to boot! Enjoy!
Purple Rain of Love,