03 September 2007


This weekend has been the first since July in which we haven't been moving or traveling, and I cannot properly describe how nice it has felt to be able to sit around the house and relax. And it has been a really good weekend. Simple, but nice.

Saturday we had a lot of errands to run -- this is the first opportunity we've had to shop for things for the new apartment. So we ran around in the most extensive and inclusive commercial district I've ever been to (seriously, name a chain store and you will find it within five miles of our now-closest mall) to purchase things like new shoes for James, coat hooks, an air filter for the car, and extra storage bins. This wouldn't have been much fun, except that we discovered a farmer's market in the mall parking lot. The promise of farm-fresh fruits and vegetables sped us through our boring errands.

There is little I like better than a farmer's market. And I haven't been to one in a while, even before we moved. We stopped going to the Public Market (the huge and wonderfully chaotic market in downtown Rochester) after returning to our car one morning, laden with produce, to find that directly across the street from where we were parked, a car had driven over the curb and somehow flipped itself over onto another parked car. Right across from where we parked. The insane traffic and crowds had always been the worst part of the Public Market experience, and this close call -- how lucky were we that this lunatic driver had veered left instead of right! -- was the last straw for us.

But now we have found a new market, one where people park in the mall parking lot, where there is plenty of space for everyone, unlike the Public Market, which has one parking space for approximately 70 cars and you frequently end up parking on a sketchy side street several blocks away. Anyway, so I went a little crazy at the market, and we ended up with tons of zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, nectarines, and eggplant. I hadn't been intending to buy eggplant, but I saw a really amusing eggplant and couldn't resist:

Worthy of Saxton Freyman (I have a Saxton Freyman calender which I adore).

Greg, of course, had to get a little more creative:

And because of farmer's market prices, I couldn't buy just one. But I did put our excess of vegetables to good use. James has been begging me to make Ratatouille ever since we saw the movie this summer, and to my surprise, he actually liked it. Evan didn't, of course, but we were expecting that.

Hmmm, I wasn't intending to write four paragraphs on produce, but I guess that tells you a little something about me and my priorities in life. I'll try to be a little more brief about the rest of the weekend. Yesterday we took a trip to Mendon Ponds, so that Greg could practice orienteering in preparation for another Adventure Race he's doing this fall. So Greg went traipsing off into the woods with some friends, while I took the boys to the nature center and on a hike that was supposed to be short, but ended up being a lot longer than planned due to the fact that I have no sense of direction. I wasn't expecting it to be much fun -- my kids on hikes are sometimes fine but often very whiny -- but we did have fun, though we were tired by the end (except for Evan, who I carried on most of the hike).

Today I think we're going to try to go canoeing. We've been fortunate that our first weekend at home in more than a month has been sunny and warm without being hot or humid. Today I will also do some baking, because my several pounds of zucchini won't eat itself.

Other highlights of the weekend include movies (The Departed, about which I don't really understand all of hype or the Oscars, although I liked it, and Little Miss Sunshine, about which I totally understand the positive reviews -- I loved it, and I didn't think it was possible, but I love Steve Carrell more than ever), dinner out at a restaurant with friends (where Evan informed the waitress, "I'm Megatron, lady!"), Planet Earth (which we've borrowed from the library, and which has only increased my adoration of David Attenborough, whose Life series -- Life of Mammals, Life of Birds, Life in the Undergrowth, etc -- my kids and I totally love), and just having time. Free time. Sigh.

And still the bulk of this post is about produce. Oh well.

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