I’m standing at the kitchen sink and have been for some time washing, cleaning, cutting, blanching, boiling, freezing. Right now I’m tenderly slicing the tops off strawberries. Some are for our dessert this evening: strawberries so tender and red-ripe all the way through such that no honey or sugar or accoutrement is needed. I just chopped and froze a mix of spinach and arugula (for use in lasagna, or calzones, or casseroles). For dinner tonight: frittata with garlic scapes, arugula, sundried tomatos diced and softened, spinach, and fresh eggs; focaccia with mozzarella and red sauce to dip.
Most of the food bounty is from our CSA share. Because we traveled to a local farm, because it is fresher and superior to the produce one generally buys, every single bit is tenderly pored over, nothing wasted (the strawberry tops go in our compost pile). Tomorrow I’m making a meatball and escarole soup, substituting our head of lettuce for the escarole. After a Monday grocery trip for staples at the Marketpace – 25 lbs. bread flour, olive oil, garbanzo beans, vanilla – it feels nice to have a full larder.
For some reason, despite a day of doctors and cross-town errands, and the repetitive nature of doing dishes again and laying out strawberries on a baking sheet to freeze and having a messy house (I scrubbed the bathroom and washed the table and windows and vaccuumed but it’s the paperwork piles that frustrate me the most!) I feel oddly content at the sink. I’m in a work trance; tired but soldiering on. My son flits by, singing to himself about Framps – significance: birthplace of eclairs* and croissants, the latter of which we finished today – and baby peas. Earlier today he found the first pea to go from flower to peapod and has asked each family member to come see, including my mother when she visited. So as he comes by this time I ask if he’ll show me and it’s a request that makes his day.
We walk out and the pea vines are frighteningly large, jumbled. I can’t tell where the pod might be as it looks so much like the leaves. Nels finds it though. I smile and look to him and he’s watching my face, beaming. I pick him up and we wordlessly hold one another as I carry him back inside. I feel oddly light-headed, slightly drunk on the cool summer night and The Boy and our bounty, only bathtime and bed ahead of us before kisses and legs kicking at blankets and soft, solid bodies and nighttime.
* Nels pronounces them “Maclair”, we joke like a Scottish clan.