What Sam Wrote: “Like This? Try That!”

Such a cool concept for the opening graphic.

I’m spoiled. Some freelance writers have to hustle to get enough assignments to make a living, and by necessity must accept almost any assignment that pays.

I am [tooting my own horn here] a great writer — but I also work with articles all day long. Sometimes the last thing I want to do after reading and rewriting all day is write and rewrite all night. So I’m selective in the assignments I agree to take on. But the ones that come from my suggestions? I’m totally in for.

This article was inspired by wandering down the produce aisle one day and wondering: What the hell would I do with a parsnip, anyway? (And, in an embarrassing revelation, I was actually looking at a turnip at the time.) Because Vim & Vigor is a health and wellness magazine, not a cooking publication, the focus is usually on the nutritive value of foods, instead of being recipe-driven, and the editor took the idea one step further and asked that we not only give people ideas about unusual foods, but compare/contrast them with more familiar ones.

(Click on any of the four pages to bring up a full-size version in a new browser window.)

I liked being able to work in the fact that the nutritionist’s husband refuses to eat brussels sprouts. I also liked being able to torture our staff proofreader after a discussion about whether the reference should be “Brussels sprouts,” “brussels sprouts” or “brussel sprouts” that ended with her announcing that she was now done discussing brussels sprouts: When I got back to my desk, I created a series of email messages that I sent to her in sequential order so that when all 15 of them arrived in her inbox — bing! — they would spell out the name of the dreaded vegetable. (Click on thumbnail at right to see it larger.) “I did not know you could be this evil!” was her reply. (To which my reply was merely diabolical laughter.)

This article was published last summer, but I never got around to buying parsnips until about a month ago, when I was making vegetable soup and decided that a plundering of the produce aisle was in order. “Finally!” I thought, somewhat gleefully. “Practicing what you preach!”

WHAT SAM WORE: 2-24-12
The shirt: Long-sleeved cotton knit shirt from Gap.
The pants: Cotton slim-fit cargo pants from Uniqlo, New York.
The shoes: Jack Purcell sneakers by John Varvatos
for Converse, from Nordstrom Rack.
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