Long, long ago, in a land twenty miles away — Saturday mornings were grudgingly spent trudging around the market: Cold, hail, high sun, tornadoes — whatever. Every weekend it was done.
Dad has never been particularly social.. Actually, within the community of chemists he finds his niche… But generally, beyond, in the general population he has always kept to himself — except at the market. There, we’d spend three hours gathering fresh fruits, fish, meats and cheese, he — pulling along his barely helpful and grumpy campanion from booth to booth.
At every stop he’d stop to chat: Mrs. White the egg lady, Ruby the cider lady, the honey guy, the apple guy, orange guy, the guys in the fish store that decided he should be called Bob, Gabriels, Oak Packing — aarrgh! The hour at Cost Plus! He was a farm boy growing up, perhaps it’s his milieu.
But the trips were also sort of therapeutic, spending time together — he, always trying to be inclusive with the conversation, some of the few moments we ever engaged in conversation, talking about the many things we’d stumble there upon.
And there were payoffs: The favorite one of memory were the infrequent stops at J.R. Hirt, with sore feet, arms aching and only to be greeted there on entry with a crowd packed in, the many lines blended in to one, un-articulated crowd. But there never was complaint as bags were dropped by our feet and, with luck, a dark green painted post would happen to be nearby to rest against as the mass slowly crept toward one of the windows in the painted green, wooden wall.
There, would come the payoff, offered forward by the giant slicing knives that would cleave a sliver, then stab it with the point and lift it toward us: We would take the pieces gingerly and place them in our mouths, savoring the flavor as we compared our impressions of the many samples.
These days the cheese goes by DeVries and the little windows are replaced by open counters. But just like way back then, grumpy kids dragged to the market perk up with the thought of stopping in. And just like then, we sample cheese and make comparisons — though WIll likes it just as well for the elevator and floor three.
Early on they gave a sample of a Cabot cheddar, and ever since, Jared has declared it is his favorite cheese, asking for a slab on every visit.
On a night of turned up noses at falafel platters, Jared postulated what it might be like to make a mac and cheese with Cabot cheddar. The answer was helpfully provided by a pastrychefonline and offered as an alternative option.
The boys both looked at the result rather dubiously, but took a little sample, as most often they both will. They took a larger, second helping too, and declared it was the best mac and cheese ever.