Saturday, August 27, 2005

Boo who?

The phone rang at 8:20 AM. I was already awake, much against my will, because the cat had been clawing furniture since about 6:45 in order to get my attention*. But I desperately needed more sleep because the s.o. and I had been up late at Julie's place, catching largemouth bass in her pond.

I picked up the receiver. "Hello?" I said.

"Hi, this is Boo from the market," the voice said back to me.

I had no success whatsoever processing that piece of information. I didn't know a Boo. What market was this person talking about?

"I picked some figs and wondered if you wanted me to set them aside for you," he continued.

Aha! It was the fig guy from the farmer's market! And he remembered me. I brightened. "I'll be there within the hour," I said, and thanked him profusely.

I threw on some clothes and hopped in the car. I hadn't even remembered that there was a farmer's market this morning--that's how tired I was. But those figs, in all their knee-buckling, finger-sucking goodness! That was not an opportunity to be missed.

When I arrived, I saw why Boo had called me. He had a surplus of Italian honey figs, almost all collapsingly ripe. They were starting to dissolve into pulp right before our eyes. Boo was what they call a "motivated seller." We initially agreed on two pounds at $3 per pound, but it wasn't long before he talked me into taking four pounds for $10. I complained that I've been eating too many sweets lately. He dismissed my complaint and suggested I make jam.

"You'll thank me this winter," he promised.

And of course he is right.

While I was at the farmer's market, I also picked up a pound of mixed red and green okra pods, as well as a large baggie of local muscadines. As I walked, I ate a couple of figs that looked as though they were about to turn to jam on their own.

Then I walked over to The Grit, the venerable vegetarian restaurant best known for being a favorite of Michael Stipe's**. I find most of their food a little bland and predictable, but I'm a big fan of their weekend brunches. I asked about the pancake special (peach--nah, I could do that at home) and then settled on my usual: two vegetarian "sausage" patties, two whole wheat biscuits, and a little bowl of "sausage" milk gravy. A heart attack on a plate, meatless style. Totally freaking delicious. It's probably sourced non-locally (just where is Morningstar Farms, I wonder?), but then again, it's possible that I won't be able to visit The Grit for too much longer, so it seemed like an imperative.

Fish tonight. And painting, and writing, and probably an early bedtime.


* Boy, does that tactic work. I clip the cat's toenails, but it only kind of helps. The scratching sound still snaps me awake like no other sound on earth. I need to put another set of Soft Paws on that animal ASAP.

** He wasn't there. Stipe sightings are quite rare. You're much more likely to see Mike Mills around town.