Sunday, August 04, 2013

Feet and Food on the Track

Our neighbor said I could have all the figs I wanted from their tree. I picked one and smelled it. It felt Middle Eastern, rich, exotic and reminiscent of ancient lands drier and hotter than MS. Sweet, seedy fruit melted in my mouth. Sigh! I could have eaten a dozen, but I knew what that'd do to my system. I gathered all I could reach, a mere twenty. Emeril Lagasse's recipe called for a cup of sugar. Mine were so sweet, I added half a cup to a rough pound and a half of fresh figs. Simmering shrank them. Their sweet fragrance had me sniffing the kettle often. The whole batch fit in a pint jar, well, almost, I tasted one  . . . or maybe it was three; the jar would have been too full. I think I'll save them for a special occasion. The jar rests at the back of the counter with my four and a half pints of pickled okra. Mom and Grandma would be proud I remember what they taught me about preserving.

I love soft, still, Southern mornings with dew on everything. Saturday morning I carried my "Our Corner Cottage" bag from Wahoo, NE to the Farmer's Market in Lyon, MS anticipating fresh veggies, canned jams and jellies and possibly a peach cobbler or some rare dessert I wouldn't make because I'd have to eat it myself. Just before the railroad crossing hump, I made a right turn beside the tracks. Shoppers were already coming away with bags and baskets; I hoped I wasn't too late.

Speckled butter beans were on my list. They are the size of a large Lima Bean with lighter flesh and spots. I think they have a more rounded flavor. Locals say they're so close to the ground they're hard to pick. I paid premium price for a pint. Purveyors had fresh jalapenos, green and red tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, sweet rolls, fig and peace jams, shelled purple hulled peas and more. I don't understand why some buyers prefer their peas in the shell rather than shelled out. They're the same price. ??? I bought two bags of speckled butter beans and left.

As an afterthought, I turned back to see if the bakery lady from TN had arrived. No. Then I noticed something odd. Have you ever seen a table backed right up to a railroad track? Bold, isn't it. The lady behind it had one foot on the rail. I don't remember ever hearing a train. I surveyed the second track and discovered a separated, bent out rail no train could use. Vendors are making good use of an abandoned location.

2013 Red Convertible Travel Series

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