"Normal-People" Lettuce

So, as I’ve mentioned before; I’m dabbling with container gardening this year. My tomatoes and peppers look promising. My onions and radishes didn’t grow properly. From the top they looked fine, but there was basically nothing growing below. The jury is still out on my carrots.

The lettuce, though… it looked good. So, I harvested a batch this weekend. I dug out my biggest colander and washed the leaves carefully. I took my time (though clearly not enough, but more on that later). When it was clean, I used paper towels to pat it dry.

I was very proud of myself….until my husband came in and the following exchange (or something very close to it) took place:

Him (eying my lettuce): “I thought you were going to grow normal-people lettuce.”
Me: “What, exactly, is ‘normal-people’ lettuce?”
Him: “You know, the kind that grows in a big head.”
Me: “Not all lettuce is head lettuce. Some, like what I’ve grown, is leaf lettuce.”
Him (looking at the offending lettuce skeptically): “Hmmm”
Me: “We’ve eaten leaf lettuce before in those bags from the grocery store. Also, we’ve had fresh spinach. That didn’t come in a head.”
Him: “Spinach is not lettuce.”
Me: “Grrr. So, I can’t list off a catalog of leaf lettuce…that doesn’t mean that normal people aren’t eating it all the time.”
Him: silence

Later, as we were eating sandwiches (turkey, Swiss, and my lettuce – very yummy); I was really happy because he was eating it and actually seemed to be enjoying it.

But then I had this little tickle feeling on my hand. I looked down and a tiny green bug (the exact color of the lettuce) was crawling across my fingers. Clearly it had come from the sandwich.

Inwardly I moaned a bit, before telling my hubby that his sandwich might have bugs in it. I took the bowl that still held the rest of my little crop, held it under a bright light and sure enough – there were several of those tiny green bugs crawling around. How they managed to cling on during the washing I have no idea.

So after I’d broke the news to my husband, he said, “Told you this wasn’t “normal-people” lettuce. The stuff we buy at the store never has bugs in it.”

**sigh** He’s right about the last bit. I also don’t remember ever digging bugs out of store-bought (i.e. “normal-people”) lettuce. I don’t want to give up though. Any ideas? What’s the best way to clean lettuce and remove not only the dirt, but the bugs too? I was hoping to avoid using any pesticide, but maybe that’s not an option….


  1. Try soaking it a little while in salted water. The idea is that the salt kills the bugs and they fall off! Also give them a jolly good spin in a salad spinner and they are flung off. Alternatively smother it in salad cream and apologise for the lumps in the salad cream!!!!!

  2. hilarious!! O-rganic is buggy but minus the chemicals ;-) my husband would have said the same thing.



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