Sunday, September 02, 2007

Life Amongst the Dollarbags

A week or so ago I mentioned a delightful store that sells extra-ripe produce in dollarbags. Now I make dollarbags. I know all about the criteria for the dollarbagged produce, about the politics of spreading out the "premium" seconds among numerous bags, and about the people who buy dollarbags multiple times daily. I know when to snag the figs for myself, and when to leave the gargantuan sprawling heirloom tomatoes that, without scrupulous upkeep, will only disintegrate like the great fragile egos of melodramatic jilted girlfriends bleeding mascara all over my kitchen counter.

Like everyone in early September, I have enough needy tomatoes in my life as it is. Today I chopped one coarsely with half a neglected avocado (neglecting one or two tomatoes in September is understandable -- but tell me -- what sinner neglects avocados and still finds her name inscribed in the Book of Life?). I sprinkled on coarse Celtic sea salt, black pepper and sprouted sunflower seeds, crumbled in sharp raw cheddar cheese, drizzled it all with EVO, and called it "supper".

Supplemented, to be sure, by some savory-sweet chocolate-covered almonds -- and extra-ripe figs.

I love my new job. Instead of comparing sex lives, my coworkers talk about Cat Power and embroidery and how hard it is to find a job with a Ph.D. in evolutionary ecology. We exist in that urban limbo of hypereducated fruit vendors, flirting with the hypereducated Trader Joe's employees next door with whom we maintain an openly symbiotic relationship, and who may or may not have supplied me with the sharp cheddar and the chocolate-covered almonds I'm always popping. We're eager to show you where the gluten-free flours are found, and just how juicy the blackberries are, and how to select an avocado that will be perfectly ripe in time for your classy dinner party 48 hours from now (without jeopardizing one serif of the golden ink with which your name is written in the Holy Book).

And I'll always put extra spirulina in your smoothie if you smile like that.


randomanda said...

You look so good behind that counter... amongst the prized dollar bags. Today we got a whole bag of those beautiful orange cherry tomatoes. I also got cauliflower last night that made a great curry and will be delicious mashed with butter this evening. I will miss our times at Little Baghdad.

Wilson's Wilsony Wilson said...


amanda maust said...

wow, rosanna i love your writing! you sound so inspired and happy. wonderful.

Tina G. said...

Rosanna the New York Times Restaurant Critic. I like the ring of that concept. You definitely got the juicy words to do the job. Love these food images. I no longer have to waste money on eating.