Vegie chores are thing of the past

I ACCIDENTALLY bought a loaf of bread yesterday that wasn't sliced.

When I opened the wrapping and was confronted by a big intact loaf of bread, I was pretty affronted.

It didn't occur to me until I'd completed the arduous slicing task that I had become ultra lazy.

We've become so used to having everything cut, sliced, trimmed, boned, chopped - organised for us - when we actually have to do something as demanding as slicing bread, we become a little put out.

Almost all the work of preparing produce has been done for us now. And I'm not talking about the ease of buying products that are already cooked and ready to be thrown into the microwave. Nor am I talking about the staggering range of frozen foods. That's another whole other Pandora's Box.

I'm talking about fresh produce we once had to put at least a token effort into to get onto the table.

We can now buy our fresh fruit all neatly cut and sliced for us. Our lettuce comes washed and packed. What a Godsend that one is. How many hours of toil did we once have to put into washing and drying a lettuce? I needed to lie down after I'd spent five minutes with the lettuce spinner.

We can buy our potatoes washed and ready, even conveniently tossed in butter and parsley or sliced with bacon if we so desire.

Our pumpkin comes peeled and cut into neat chunks, and our beans come topped and tailed. Garlic cloves are segmented, carrots julienned, mushrooms are sliced, oh the relief.

Coconuts have lovingly been given a full body wax before they present themselves to us.

The reliable avocado still comes whole and pure, although I have discovered it is sometimes peeled and squished into a tube.

Berries are pureed. Pomegranate seeds are removed from their casings.

Even the innocent passionfruit pulp is not left undisturbed in its shell.

How did we manage to prepare anything before some thoughtful person at the supermarket decided we weren't up to the job of cutting, chopping or peeling?

With this in mind, you'll be relieved to know if I invite you to dinner, you won't be asked peel a potato or wash a lettuce ... But I might require you to peel me a grape.

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