Mom and I met our friend Ardis by arrangement at the Colokial last-Friday-of-the-month party. Colokial is this way cool shop in Corydon that specializes in art and gifts from Latin America. OH, such beautiful things! They have pashminas–rectangular scarves–and square silk scarves and silver jewelry and rosaries so beautiful it makes me want to go back to Catholicism. I do miss that, by the way, and, even though I was born a Baptist and raised a Lutheran and am now Disciples of Christ, I’m starting to wonder if it might not be true that “once a Catholic, always a Catholic”….
Anyway, Colokial had this party. This month, the country featured was Panama. We had empanadas (fried meat pies), chicken and yellow rice (saffron? turmeric?) and sweet plantains. All good, but the plantains were particularly intriguing. Sort of banana, but firm. I’m going to get some sometime and try my hand at them.
This young man is one of two brothers who go to the church where my precious late grandfather used to go. Because he and Mom and I went to three different churches (Baptist, Lutheran, Catholic and then DofC) and because of service schedules, after he gave up his driver’s license I would take him to church, go to mine, and pick him up after his. These young men would watch for him and hold the door for him, always with a smile and a “Good morning, Brother George.” If I have my town genealogy straight, these young men are the stepsons of the Colokial owner.
Today, I got up and went to my beloved Saturday farmers’ market. Got there a bit after 8 am and it looked like ants at a picnic. I got mom some ripe tomatoes and a green tomato. I had serious doubts about the red ones. Nobody’s tomatoes are ripening on the vine this year. The coolish, wet weather is great for a lot of things, but tomatoes are not among them. Lots of tomatoes, but they aren’t ripening. Got some broccoli, some corn and OF COURSE some peaches. Hale Havens, this time, since the July Albertas are over, alas.
One kind gentleman let me taste a tomatillo, also known as husk tomatoes. He peeled back the split husk and told me to just take a bite. It was kind of sticky, a residue of the husk. He said it wouldn’t hurt me, to just go on and bit it. I did. It was much firmer than a tomato. Had a slightly tomato taste, but also a little sweet. I decided to get some and a little box of his cherry tomatoes. He had other customers to take care of and, by the time he got to me, the aftertaste had begun to set in. I say “had begun” advisedly: One of the Southern Indiana Writers hates it when you say somebody began to do something or something started when what you mean is that somebody or something DID something. But this aftertaste wasn’t just something that happened, it’s an ongoing thing. This aftertaste has taken on a life of its own. This aftertaste is like having schizophrenia of the tastebuds. A little like cilantro, just a touch of heat. I can imagine people really liking it, because it’s strong and distinctive. I’m not altogether sure I don’t like it, but it sure is a presence in my life.
I ended by not buying the tomatillos or the cherry tomatoes, but I might actually get some next week and some sweet onions and make some salsa fresca. Won’t get any hot peppers or cilantro, because the tomatillos supply all of those notes I care to have, thanks all the same.
So, all in all, it’s already been an adventurous weekend, and it’s not even noon on Saturday.
writing prompt: Have two characters try a new food. Have one love it and one hate it. Describe their reactions to the food, detailing how the food impacts all their senses, including their memories.