Two weeks running now, I’ve happened upon an exchange between one of my favorite vegetable sellers at the Eastern Market and a skeptical customer who will not be ripped off by these sharpies in overalls, no sir. Last week it was about their offerings of shelled peas.
I used to avoid them, thinking that part of the true Alice Waters Total Authenticity Experience of peas is shelling them, and then I actually looked at the boxes of gleaming peas and asked how they managed it.
“We got a machine,” the owner said, shrugging. I bought a box. The peas were delicious. I haven’t looked back.
I was buying another one when a woman came by and expressed extreme skepticism that such a machine existed, perhaps believing that pea-shelling by hand is what all those Latino farm workers are up to, this time of year. She seemed to believe what she was looking at was thawed Bird’s Eye being passed off as the real, fresh thing, and her questioning indicated she hadn’t been born yesterday. The seller opened a box and offered her a pea. She ate it in amazement, then said she’d come back.
I wonder if she did.
This week, it was another woman who pointed at a bundle of rhubarb stems and said, “Rhubarb? Or Swiss chard?”
“Rhubarb,” the seller said.
O rly? her expression replied. You sure about that?
I remind you, these were rhubarb stems only — no leaves. While I will agree that there is some resemblance between red chard stems and rhubarb, I know no one who eats only the stems. You buy chard for the greens, lady.
No wonder America is fat. We managed the technology for putting peanut butter and jelly in the same jar, but lost our plant-identification skills.
I bought some rhubarb. It’s downstairs cooling in a pie as we speak.
Now watch: Someone will say that many people buy chard and throw the leaves away.
How did everyone’s weekend go? Besides feeling superior about my rhubarb skills, I went on a long, hot bike ride, saw the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad play a festival, did a ton of laundry, some light cleaning and a yoga class with one of those nutso teachers who kills you dead and namastes right in your face. “Use your eyes! Use the muscles of your eyes!” she said at one point. Later, she corrected my shoulder position — in corpse pose. I didn’t know where was a correct way to hold one’s shoulders in the final moments of the class, when you’re striving for ultimate relaxation. But it was fun. So there.
A little bloggage:
I heard the first International Men’s Rights conference was going to be held in Detroit last Friday, but complications ensued — the hotel wanted them to hire extra security, and to save face they claimed the place couldn’t hold all their throngs — and the event was relocated to St. Clair Shores and a decidedly less upscale venue: A VFW hall.
Janet Bloomfield, an anti-feminist blogger and spokeswoman for the conference, has suggested in the past that the age of consent be reduced to 13 because of a “mistake of age” can get unwitting men in trouble.
“The point being that it can be incredibly difficult to know, just by looking at someone, how old they are,” Bloomfield wrote, calling some teenage girls “fame whores.” Bloomfield also called protesters of the event, “Wayne State cunts.”
Cheerleading is sexist against men because they're cheering on men to risk injury playing sports
— Jessica Roy (@JessicaKRoy) June 28, 2014
Well, I hope everyone enjoyed their time in our fair city — and its suburbs.
And I hope you enjoy your week ahead. Hot here, then storms, then by Friday? High of 71! In July! Heaven.