It begins with the discovery that I have no onions. It ends with a swim.
The part in-between goes like this:
I say bad words about the sudden and surprising lack of onions because I had intended to make bread and butter pickles at the crack of dawn before the heat set in. I’d already picked and salted and soaked the sliced cukes in ice water and chilled them in the fridge overnight. Seeing as how there are no onion mongers open at the crack of dawn in these parts—and I, like a wally, didn’t grow any onions—I have no option but to consider bread and butter pickles made without onions, which, really, is just sheer folly so I scrap the idea immediately. Instead, I pull out a bag of green beans I got from the farmers’ market the other day. Still fresh and snappy enough to pickle. My niece recently flattered my beans. I did them last year with jalapeno peppers and chili flakes. They had a nice zing. I said I’d do her a few jars.
I’m tremendously impressed with my resourceful flexibility—being able to move effortlessy from pickles to beans like this. Then it occurs to me that I have no jalapenos. The ones we’re growing aren’t yet ripe and the peppers that are ripe, aren’t zingy. My beans need zing. I wonder if I could just double or triple the amount of chili flakes but even as I think it I know it won’t be the same.
More bad words.
After that I go outside and sweep the front, pull out weeds and say good morning to Riley next door, a puppy of uncertain parentage.
Breakfast is scrambled eggs, homemade pesto and tahini slathered toast.
The tea is sage with lemon balm.
I take the tea to my desk and spend a couple hours moving a semi colon around the page then go to the dentist but not before stopping at the barbeque pork place that also does duck and a few other things, but I only ever get the pork. Today I point at a strange hanging bit of flesh and am told it’s cuttlefish—do I want some the woman asks. I say not today thanks. Cuttlefish, it seems, is a cross between squid and octopus and looks like a miniature orange bagpipe with an attitude. I ask her how to eat it and when she says you just eat it, that’s when I say oh, okay, maybe next time. She smiles and nods like she believes me.
On the way home I stop at a place that sells concord grape juice, made in Canada with Canadian grapes. You’d be surprised how few juices are made with our own fruit. Most of the orchards disappeared and packaging places in Niagara closed years ago because the brilliant minds behind giant manufacturers of fruit products decided that because it was cheaper to out-source fruit and packaging it must be better to out-source fruit and packaging.
But I digress.
Last stop, the onion and jalapeno monger who also has some stunning apricots and a stunning apricot is a thing not to be overlooked. I have a fondness for apricots, having grown up with a tree in the yard until my dad one day mistook the gas pedal for the brake and knocked it down with his Toyota.
I buy the apricots.
Lunch is barbeque pork with a zucchini, carrot and beet salad. Similar to this.
After that I make the gd pickles.
After that I do some work.
After that I have a swim.
After that it’s night; the phone rings, there’s more food involved and a few other things go on.