We are walking up to meet my husband’s cousin and his family at our favorite weekend vegan brunch place, Araya’s Place, on the Ave, where it turns out the University District Saturday Farmer’s Market is currently in progress and in the process of wrapping up. Amazing how we always miss it, when it’s right here. Every Saturday. So we are totally unprepared. We have no cash, but it sure would be nice to buy a fresh onion for dinner. We come across a farm stand selling organic produce including bunches of three sweet onions bundled together for $3. Ah ha, maybe this will work out after all.
To the woman: “Will you sell us just one onion for $1… That’s all the cash we have.” Maybe we can get a close of market break.
Laotian… “Negotiation…” Laotian Her to him.
Him: “No. I can’t do that.”
I’m in the middle of protesting about how $1 is all we have, when he walks over to the table with the onions, and thrusts a trio of onions into my husband’s hands and turns on his heel. So kind. So nonchalant. So generous. So pragmatic. Thank you Mair Farm-Taki from Wapato.
We pick up three huge bunches of Red Russian Kale from Nash’s farmstand which takes cards. We remark at how delicious local kale is, and how the stuff that’s grown in hot southern climates gives it a bitter taste and a bad name. I ask how Nash is doing, for old times sake… He used to show up at the community dances I’d go to sometimes when I lived out on the Olympic Peninsula. Apparently he’s doing really well, and working on an invention to help with the cabbage harvest. Something involving a tractor and a conveyor belt that follows the cabbage beheaders along in the field. Excellent!
Then we come upon this stand with piles of berries. I am standing there absolutely lusting after the berries. There is also absolutely no one there to buy them from. I check my timepiece. It’s 2:12; the market must close at 2pm. Shucks. A lot of vendors are still selling or starting to pack up. This one just jetted. My husband suggests I just start eating them. That would surely bring someone to ask me to pay for them, he reasons. Ha ha. Reluctantly we move along, so as to make it onto our meeting somewhat on time.
After lunch at Arayas where we introduce Lake to cousins Steve and Angela and their two girls, we visit for a long time. Normally we come right when they open, so we weren’t prepared for them to be closed from 3pm-4:30pm, which they were. We continued to visit in spite of any hints or glares they may have been giving us. Lake woke up right around when I was finishing eating, and he decided to be his charming self for a surprising length of time. He and the cousins entertained each other with market produce.
As we are walking home there are two women, one young one not as young, with a pile of market stand gear and three half flats of raspberries. The younger one is ogling our baby. Meanwhile I’m ogling her berries. My husband and I hold a quick conference. Again I’m struck motionless to just fantasize about bringing the berries home. He thinks I stand a better chance, being the mummy with the baby, of procuring some raspberries from the sympathetic woman guardian of the last raspberries. I’m too embarrassed. Ultimately he approaches and I tag along and we purchase a half flat with our credit card. I’m not sure where my trepidation stemmed from, perhaps I was hoping for more of a negotiations, or maybe even free. I think if it had just been the younger woman with a taste for our baby, the odds would have been more in our favor. As I thanked her, she said, “no problem, they were just going to go back to the farm and get composted.” That gave me pause, “are they really just going to get composed?” I asked as the older lady returned with our credit card and the square. “Oh, no,” she said. “The farmer will probably eat them for dinner.”
When we arrive home, my husband makes yummy hot (soy) chocolate with raspberries in it, which I let boil all over the stovetop and watch paralyzed as it erupts down over the oven onto the floor. It cleans up, and the beverage looks dubious but is in fact delicious! Like warm raspberry pie with chocolate fudge sauce. Let the thunder storm roll through.We are cozy here!