Today I'm not interested in writing about what I picked up at the market this morning. It's fall, my favorite season. I am a bit sentimental always, but especially when the weather cools.
Two aspects of my jam project please me especially. One is the time spent with my friends from the Alemany market, especially Marco, Dan and Dan's daughter, whom I met for the first time when she was haggling with a vendor to reduce the price of some sub-par tomatoes.
"Too low! Too low!" the farmer said, shaking a finger. Dan's daughter shrugged and made as if to browse elsewhere until the farmer relented. She is eight, I think, and has a sparkle of wickedness in her eyes.
It delights me to run into them at the market, brag about the deals or exotic produce we've found, and speculate about what we'll turn up next week. I've been able to chat with some wonderful farmers as well, like the lady who sells beautiful little carrots and peonies and the guys who sell the excellent stonefruit.
Also, I like the time I've been able to spend by myself, in my kitchen. My very first apartment in San Francisco, a sublet in the Sunset district, had several deficiencies: namely, five skittish cats, decades old carpet, and perennial fog. It also had a beautiful old stove on which I loved to cook. Since I lived there, I've sworn that all of my apartments will have pretty stoves.
The kitchen and I each have our personal failings: it is small and I never do the dishes. It's unlikely that either of us will change, yet we accomplish great things together. In a little nook I've lodged a table to use when friends come and eat; my upstairs neighbor lends her chairs. It was beef bourguignon and an apple tart last weekend, with four wonderful people. In November I'm making chicken and dumplings and a dessert yet to be determined. Probably something with jam.