Farmers’ Market Report

I don’t think it’s too early to crow. The new meds are definitely an improvement. I’m having more Good Days and the neuropathy that was for the past year driving me batty is definitely retreating, residing now only in the tips of my fingers.

The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market was just electric Saturday morning. I got only a dozen white grapefruit this week from the Hamadas (I’m tapering off and they’re running out), but they had their wonderful Brooks cherries again this week. They also had another variety for the first time, but I found it inferior to the Brooks and didn’t write it down. They also had their first nectarines, and when I tasted the sample, my taste buds went into a spasm that was astonishingly painful. Ohhh, it hurt so good, and soooo much better than those furry peaches. The Hamadas are such delightful, friendly people. It was ages before I asked them their names, and when I finally thought to do so, my long delay was embarrassing to me.

Mr. Hamada’s given name is Yukio but he goes by Yuk, which is pronounced Yuke. When I first got his name I tried to show off by making an allusion to Yukio Mishima, but Mr. Hamada had more sensible priorities. The older woman is Mrs. Hamada, given name Iyoko, and the girl (that shows my age, I meant, of course, young woman) is Janet, who I wrongly assumed was their daughter merely because she’s Japanese. The other worker is a man named Gordon Patterson, and if I have this straight, he teaches high school math, which is an eloquent argument regarding teacher compensation in California. They’re all wonderful people. One time when I asked the name of a nectarine, Gordon grabbed a sheaf of papers, flipped them open, took a quick look and said, “904.” After hours of giving the trade name “Crimson Blush,” or whatever, for a lark he gave me the agricultural code.

But I digress. After buying Brooks cherries from the Hamadas, I kept discovering other vendors with their first cherries this week, so I bought two more varieties: Tartarians and Vistas. By the time I was passing Medina’s, I already had a heavy load, but Medina’s, bless them, had their first raspberries. I got only one box because I didn’t feel up to making jelly this weekend.

The Brooks cherries are a real delight. They’re so big and so meaty/crunchy that each one is like a fruit appetizer course. They’re wonderful with chèvre and just fabulous with quark.

I am continuing to plan my Western Motor Tour, trying to browbeat four households in Denver, Santa Fe, Canyon (TX), and Midland (TX), in that order, to commit to a one and a half day visit from me. It came as a great shock to me to discover that these people have lives that are actually planned over a month in advance. Negotiations are still in progress, and not everyone has signed off, one of the involved households apparently having had the poor taste to go away for the weekend, but the current tentative plan has me wandering through the Basin and Range and over the Rockies, arriving in Denver on 24 June, leaving Midland on 2 July, and wandering back through the Basin and Range. Sort of Blue Highways light.

One of the very highest culinary points of this trip will occur between Canyon and Midland, when I stop at the White Pig in Lubbock, where I plan to eat myself sick on their chili dogs so I will no longer be plagued with long distance desire for them. I last ate one of these marvels in the spring of 1975, and they better not have changed that recipe! It would be just my luck if they’ve replaced it with a lo-sodium, non-fat, tofu dog with fresh chile salsa.

In his email responding to last week’s Farmers’ Market report, my friend Jim speculated that I had perhaps been “smoking a little appetite enhancement product” as an explanation of the voracity described in the Report. The perspicuity of my friends continues to astonish me.

Or in this case, the even finer ability anticipatory perspicuity, as I had not been smoking…yet, being too old now to have what in the sixties we called a “connection.” I had, however, been premeditating, having realized that the fairly frequent but intermittent nausea I had been experiencing during the change in my meds was a prime symptom that would qualify me for medical marijuana. And what I had done that very afternoon, is drop by one of our excellent medical marijuana clubs and pick up their form to take to my doctor for his signature during my appointment after the results are in from the blood work that I will have done this coming Tuesday.

But not having nausea now, I just consumed eight or nine Brooks cherries with quark. What a lovely combination.

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