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Friday, October 07, 2005

How to rehab a city girl

Driedbeans

I am feeling my city girl cred receding by the day here. Hanging out in Santa Cruz does that to you I suppose. I mean, I always shop farmers market and all that, but even that can't compare. Here, the farms are practically steps away, and I find myself learning all kinds of new things all the time. You know, stuff you never thought you needed to know, but it's kind of cool now that you do. Things like, tomatoes on the vine smell like flowers. Did you know that? I didn't, for sure.

The first time I went to see Joe at his farm, I took a walk among the rows of his dry-farmed tomatoes. Walking along, I absentmindedly let my hands brush gently against the vines and the fruits. Back in the house, I kept smelling this fabulous fragrant on my hands, bright, green, flowery scent that was completely foreign to me. I sniffed my hands, mumbling to myself how amazing this mystifying scent was. Joe overheard me and shook his head incredulously. It's the tomato, silly, he said. And it all made sense, tomato fruits grow out of tomato flowers, nothing mysterious about it. So of course vine-fresh tomatoes smell like flowers. Duh, me.

TreeunicloseupDo you know what fresh chestnuts on the tree look like? I sure didn't. Today is the first time I saw them. Meder St. farm delivered some this morning. They look like sea urchin in the shell. Tree uni, all green and leafy. How fun is that! I even got pricked by a few thorns, them little bits were sharp! I haven't tasted them yet, but I'm sure I will get to soon. Chestnut soup, anyone?

Another discovery is fresh dry beans. I know, I know, it sounds a contradiction in terms, but I assure you it's not. If you leave the beans on the tree vines long enough, the sun will do the drying for you. So, the other day I got a handful of these semi-dry beans, still in the shell. (Yes, again stolen from a box marked for some restaurant.) They look amazing, and cook up much quicker than regular dried beans.

Am I turning into some kind of farm girl right before your very eyes? Nyah, I wouldn't count on it. This city girl is off again in a couple of days to another one of her city adventures, roaming the familiar grounds of London and Paris, with a dash of Burgundy-spitting fun thrown in for good measure. Let me do my nature girl act for the day, tomorrow I'll put on my Louboutins and get back to the usual snootiness without missing a beat. Will you give me back my city cred then?

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