Posted tagged ‘farm stands’

“Somebody get me a cheeseburger!”

July 28, 2016

The weather has turned me into a hermit. I stay in my cool house and have limited human interactions. The phone doesn’t even ring, and I don’t care. I am quite content as my house has plenty to keep me amused. There are books, TV, the computer, Netflix and a growing pile of magazines and catalogues. I won’t even get dressed today. I will change my bed and consider the day well spent.

I don’t get bored all that often, but I do get restless. Sometimes I need to go somewhere. I need to do something. Often I just take a ride, and that is usually enough. I try to find roads new to me. Lately I have been riding up-cape towards the bridge. I hardly know that area other than the main road. I don’t shop, but I do stop at farm stands. Buying fresh vegetables doesn’t count as shopping.

When I was a kid, about the only fresh vegetable I ate was corn. I wasn’t a fan of tomatoes or cucumbers, zucchini or any sort of bean. Now I love fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. I always stop at little tables outside houses to buy the tomatoes on the honor system. Their taste is sweet, like no other tomato. When I visited my parents, I always brought my dad a bag of local tomatoes. He’d slice them on the plate, add a spoonful of mayonnaise and sit by the TV and eat them. That was his favorite summer snack.

Every day in Ghana, I basically had the same meals. For breakfast I had two eggs over easy and two pieces of toast. They were cooked on a small, round charcoal burner.  I drank coffee with canned milk. For lunch I had a bowl of cut fruit. Depending on the time of year they’d be bananas, oranges, mangoes, pineapple and papaya (paw paw in Ghana). Dinner was a starch like rice or yams and some meat. In September and October it was FraFra potatoes, a locally grown small potato. The meat was usually beef and was always cooked in a sauce, a tomato sauce with onions. It had to be cooked that way as the meat was always tough. We’d sometimes have chicken for dinner, one we’d buy live at the market.

One year the rains were late. We ate rice every night. It was stuffed peppers with rice. I had brought Bell pepper seeds from home, and they were grown in the school garden. No Ghanaian liked them. They weren’t hot. We, my two friends and I, bought all of them and had them for dinner over and over again during that extended dry season. I got so sick of rice I didn’t eat it for the longest time after I got home. I still don’t eat it much unless it’s fried rice.

“Shedding late-summer tears for the end of cherry season. Patiently and hopefully waiting for pumpkin pie season.”

August 25, 2015

The weather has broken. We have sun and a breeze. It is still hot, but the breeze makes the deck the best place to be. I’ll sit under the umbrella, read and watch the birds. The feeders need attention so I’ll fill them again today. The red spawn was on the deck rail, but it jumped onto branches then scooted away when it heard me. I guess all the hosing worked.

The summer is nearly over. There are fewer cars on the road this week. Some schools have opened and others open next week. Labor Day is in two weeks. That used to be the official end of the tourist season here when most motels and restaurants closed, but not anymore. The season now extends into October and the Columbus Day weekend.

The fall, the nicest time of year here, is probably called the shoulder season, but I always think of it as bus season. Tour buses, filled with older people, retirees, take over where the cars used to be. You can usually see the guide standing in the front of the bus chatting with microphone in hand.

The mums are here, one of the first signs of the changing seasons. They are on display at every garden center, and the ones I’ve planted the last few seasons have buds and flowers. I never noticed flower garden when I was a kid. I don’t even remember mums or a local garden center. I do remember farm stands selling pumpkins and corn stalks. We used to pass them on our Sunday drives to my grandparents. In those days much of the ride was on side roads until we connected with Route 1, but even then we drove through a few neighborhoods before we’d hit the oil tanks where the ships were moored. I remember the farm stand in Revere right near the church. The stand was set at an angle and pumpkins in piles filled both sides of the front. Inside the stand we could see those oblong fruit baskets filled with apples and vegetables. We never stopped there. We never even asked. We just knew my father would say no. He hated stopping. He was a straight here to there sort of guy.