Passive-Aggressive is a term used pretty widely to describe actions taken that are subtle in their subversiveness towards an unwitting victim. One might find that your favorite brush has someone else’s hair in it, and the response of the offender is surprise and feigned apologies for having violated your space. In truth, the individual in question is constantly aggravated at you for something of which you are equally ignorant. The act is seemingly passive, the motivation is aggression in retaliation for a supposed wrong.
With that in mind, I have an admission of possible guilt. I am not completely convinced that what I’ve done is, indeed, a passive-aggressive act, although some others are more or less sure of it. Here’s the scenario:
I live in an extended household, members of which are friends and their children. I do quite a lot of the cooking for this crew, and put up with a lot of complaints in the process. One of the primary obstacles here is the very long list of foods that people don’t like. It varies from person to person, but one that ranks high on the list with half of them is beans of any kind. For whatever reason all beans have been relegated to the “won’t ever eat them” category, thus diminishing the health benefits available with this much maligned super food.
So, here’s what I did. I found a really cool recipe on the Whole Foods website for a desert brownie made with black beans. It looked good, and it made sense. More fiber, protein and lots of moist goodness could be packed into these brownies with the addition of black beans in place of bad, glutenous flour. Being concerned and willing to experiment, I made the brownies last night.
The only person who knew about them was my friend Susan, whose husband and two of her kids would not on any day of the week eat these if they knew of the beans. Determined as I was to help them out by giving them these healthy treats, we said nothing. To say it was satisfying to watch the hubby cleaning out the mixing bowl and waiting for his finished brownies is understating the obvious. I was proving a valuable point, was I not? Beans are good for you and taste good, especially when disguised with some sugar and cinnamon and cocoa.
First to taste the crunchy-chewy morsels was good old, bean hating dad. He ate two. The fact that there wasn’t any confectioners sugar to sweeten the deal did not deter him from finishing them and declaring my new recipe to be “good”. They weren’t quite sweet enough, but they were good.
Then the kids…unwitting in this conspiracy and deception of healthy food mongoring. The most finicky of the bunch thought they were a little bitter…what was it that was missing? Well, just not enough sugar. Did he eat it? You bet! All of them did.
Now, one of my concerns was the resident issue of flatulence with beans. I had to wonder if that would make a difference in any of their…well, you know. I did not hear any reports of changes, so…it seems ok at this point.
This morning everyone wanted a brownie in the lunch bag. Not only did they like them last night, they wanted more this morning! They still don’t know about the beans. Mostly they don’t know. Susan laughed herself into having to admit the bean content to her husband. After the fact he said that maybe it tasted a little different. There was no denying that he ate two of them, though.
Mission accomplished. I successfully added beans into the diets of former bean-phobic people. They are in fact, pretty good. I took the liberty of adding a little extra sugar and some cinnamon to up the taste factor. The benefits are, however, still intact. No flour, or gluten, for those sensitivites, and the addition of fiber and protein and lower carbs. It’s a good thing.
Now, if only I were sure about the passive-aggressive thing.