My animated avatar talks old-school diet food
Funky Friday, photo edition: Oh no they didn't!

Tonight's dinner plans come from Sesame Street

Vegetables I'm so old that when Sesame Street made its premiere in 1969, I was 7 years old and technically too old for the educational value. But my younger brother and sister watched it, and I have one video burned into my memory.

The film clip, which I found on YouTube, is about Jennifer, a city girl who goes to visit Mrs. Wilson, one of her mom's friends. (The point of Sesame Street way back in the day was to expose apartment-dwelling city kids to the world around them). Jennifer and Mrs. Wilson go out back and harvest vegetables from Mrs. Wilson's garden.

What struck me about the video was how darn yummy it made veggies. C'mon, it was the 1970s and most of the vegetables I ate came from a can or were pushed out of a square frozen box and boiled until gray. I didn't eat fresh broccoli until I went away to college.

So when I made my grocery list this weekend and saw that fresh corn on the cob was a quarter apiece, I put it on the Labor Day menu along with turkey sausage. To that I added whole portobello mushroom caps and halved chayote squash. The chayote was a mistake -- I had intended to buy jicama for a recipe but had a brain fart and picked up chayote.

Since the air conditioner is broken (again!) I enlisted my husband to put everything on the grill (he is Grill King) so as not to heat up the house. All the veggies were drizzled with olive oil and dusted with garlic salt and wrapped in foil and cooked indirectly over the coals (Propane? Perish the thought!).

So, as you bask in the afterglow of your Labor Day celebration, take a look at what inspired my love of fresh produce: