This email conversation-bit needs a touch of backstory.  Ginger Ninja and I email at work and share recipes if we find marvelous ones, and the recipe in question is for chicken noodle stir fry with mixed vegetables.  The recipe notes that your local market should have pre-packaged mixed vegetables, and if not they should have a salad bar to help you put together your own mix.  I’ve never read a more condescending recipe, that was also so delicious-sounding.

GN: Also, here’s the recipe I randomly mentioned when we were talking.  I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks tasty!

Me: Ummm that’s a delicious looking recipe.  I sure hope my local market has a salad bar, because I don’t know how to mix and match vegetables.  Do they grow on trees?  Where do I find them?  How can I identify them in the wild without help?  Do I need to set traps?

GN: well, the zucchini are long and green and can be found grazing in the grasslands in herds, as opposed to the cucumbers which are more solitary and hide in the jungle ground cover.  Bell peppers tend to segregate themselves by color (green, red and yellow are the most common), but every once in a while you will see the rare cross-breed, usually orange.  They tend to live in warm, humid climates.  Carrots and celery are both very common and can be found in the wild or domesticated as house-pets.  While they are both long and thin, carrots are orange with a leafy green top and celery is pale green and grows in bunches.  When trapping such creatures, it is best to lay a simple snare with some sort of bait.  Your local garden store or nursery can recommend a plant food suitable for your needs.  As far as choosing which to trap for that recipe, I would use zucchini or that yellow squash, baby corns ‘cause I love them, water chestnuts and carrots and celery ‘cause my husband will suffer through them and he needs some sort of crunchy things in his diet, mushrooms, maybe sweet onion (not potato), and red bell pepper (but you don’t like those, right?).  I think pretty much anything could go with a peanut sauce.

When I got that reply of hers I laughed till I cried.

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