Wednesday, November 10, 2010

the simple things

Today I've been thinking. Which is a somewhat frequent occurrence. But seriously, today I've been thinking about the simple things. I think about this quite often, due to not enjoying the simple things and not being able to enjoy the simple things, so when I can, I do.

One of my favorite simple things is picking out produce. I like to do this slowly when I can. I like to do it deliberately. I like to take the time to notice the firmness, the color, and even the scent of tomatoes. I like to pick the freshest, most delicious looking bunch of three or four and think about melted cheese and tomato sandwiches.

Grapes are a little less of a delicate procedure. I just flip over the bag and check for moisture, sliminess, and mold. Those of you in the lower 48 may have no idea what I'm talking about. Our produce gets shipped hundreds of miles and the produce clerks just put out on the shelves what they get in the trucks. And oftentimes what they get in the trucks is already moldy before they even put it out. I've actually had an employee at one of our local grocery stores tell me, "Oh, well, there's just a little mold." To which I replied, "Well if you want to take the risk of eating mold-infected grapes and get a disease where the end result is your face eats itself from mold then go ahead, but over my dead body will I buy these grapes or any in the immediate vicinity." (In my head, of course.) I think I just laughed politely and moved quickly away from the fuzzy grapes. Laughing politely works tremendously well in a variety of awkward situations. But you know, it's nice to be able to really take the time and check your grapes for mold, when sometimes you haven't had the luxury.

During my trip to New York, I visited a Whole Foods that had actual fresh figs in their produce section. Plump and purple-brown little packets of delight. Strawberries, unbelievable strawberries, not a damaged one in the whole package. Limes that were green and perfect. Not sure where I'm going with this but I couldn't ever say enough about the quality and the choices that I found there.

I don't know what it is about picking out produce that makes me feel like I'm having a pedicure, or treating myself to an expensive coffee, or buying something I don't really need, I just want. I feel that the produce department is my domain. I choose one, one stays behind. I see another that is above average, but sigh and carefully put it back for I have enough. I revel in the moment. The lack of panic. Perhaps for some there is nothing more mundane than picking out potatoes. Just remember, if you see a woman gently cradling an avocado with a far-away look in her eyes and a small smile on her lips, that's me. Don't bother saying hi until we get to the pasta aisle.

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