Monday, September 12, 2011
We are well into September now, which means the first frost is maybe two weeks away and everyone is getting their vegetables in from their gardens while the sun still shines. Last week a sweet friend gave me a homegrown zucchini that could take out Baghdad, easy. And down at ye olde farmer's market under the interstate, the eggplant are in and the tomatoes, well, the tomatoes. Probably shouldn't get started on those. So I head down to the farmer's market, thinking it 's time to make the massive batch of ratatouille I make every year around this time. And I see what looks like a nice little basket of melanzane for eight bucks. The tiny Hmong lady takes my cash and fetches a plastic bag the size of an industrial trash can, dumps the basketful of veggies in, and hands it to me. I heft the bag onto my shoulder and stagger. I must have bought forty pounds of eggplant. No matter, I thought, I'll just have a lot of ratatouille this year. Now where are the zucchini? Answer: not at the farmer's market. Or, it seems, anywhere else. My sweet friend's monster zucchini is the only one I can find. I don't know if anyone out there has experienced the horror of standing back and getting a good look at the results of not thinking too clearly at the farmer's market. Produce takes over your kitchen. Neighbors stick their heads in just for a good laugh. Before long you're dreaming about eggplant. Ever dream about eggplant? It's not pretty. Let me put it in plain English: DOES ANYONE NEED ANY EGGPLANT? I know where you can get some cheap!