Sunday, September 28, 2008

Buying the farm

Shoes and eggplant.

Today it came crashing in on me, the grim reality of what I had wrought yesterday at the Clinton-Bailey Market.

Before yesterday, I had been good at not going near the place. Because I belong to that, ahem, Community Assisted Agriculture movement, and every Saturday I go around the block and pick up a bag of produce from the farm.

But yesterday, I had to go to the Clinton/Bailey Market. What a scene there! Such abundance! And a sound system playing "American Pie" and everyone singing along. And these huge black draft horses pulling a wagon. And everywhere you looked, honey, peppers, cheese..

Now here is what is in my kitchen:

Four eggplants, 38 tomatoes, five yellow squash, 17 peppers, 2 Hungarian hot peppers, five carrots, five beets, five ears of corn, one bunch of kale, five farm onions, 10 pounds of Clinton/Bailey onions, one bunch of Concord grapes, one cauliflower, one pint of golden grape tomatoes, one pint of red grape tomatoes, one pint of tomato berries, five apples from our backyard tree, four pears, half a watermelon. I know I am forgetting some stuff, is what is really pathetic.

It is really too much. They tell you "eat local." Not: "eat the locality." I mean, you cannot eat the whole farmers' market. But that is what I try to do, whenever I go to the Clinton-Bailey market. I cannot go back there again. That is for sure.

Still, I try. I cooked for Leonard Pennario once. I made him beef stew. I can do anything. I cooked up the cauli today into soup. It used up one of the carrots. (One down, four to go.) And I got to use up this awkward half a brick of cheddar cheese. I cook through the week the way normal people do Sudoku. It is a big, complex puzzle. You have to not repeat anything and have nothing left over.

Last week I killed the fatted kohlrabi. We used it for about three dinners.

There was a red cabbage and that went into a German pork dinner.

But Howard gets the creativity award. He came up for a new use for eggplant. He uses it to check the color of his shoes, these eggplant-colored shoes that he loves. Just now I walked into the kitchen and Howard was standing there looking down at his feet, going: "Unbelievable."

Between his shoes was an eggplant. He was staring at it.

I married a nut!

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