It’s not about the broccoli

In case it’s not already highlighted in your diaries as the focal point of your month, 23rd March is Broccoli Appreciation Day (according to a highly official diary I was given several years ago).

Each year I insist on celebrating this feast day with friends, in what has essentially become a broccoli-themed Ready Steady Cook. There was the year of the broccoli and blue garlic appetisers, the time I tried chocolate truffles garnished with raw broccoli spears – and there’s usually some kind of pasta and broccoli bake to form the main carb component.


Despite all this, however, I actually have a small confession to make: I’m not that big a fan of broccoli. I mean, it’s ok (if you have ever cooked me broccoli, I’ve not been hiding it in my handbag or anything). As vegetables go, it’s quite tasty, and the little trees are quite cute.

But Broccoli Appreciation Day has come to be about more than just the broccoli. It’s an excuse to gather with others, to prepare and share a meal together, and to find fun in the everyday.

If broccoli really isn’t your thing, find something else. Find something that helps you connect with another human being, because we were made to relate to others.

Watching a film you could take or leave because a friend has no one to go to the cinema with. Saying yes to playing a sport you’re not that keen on because it’s a way to get alongside someone else who wants to. Getting involved with some DIY or wall painting for someone that just need doing.

Ultimately all these activities are just surface decoration. What matters most is what’s happening underneath them – the art of building community with other people, however small.

And if broccoli is really someone else’s thing, join in anyway, and if necessary, hide it in your handbag.

This post was also published on Off the Rails.