Sunday, May 19, 2013

Eating Like a Local, part 4



“You ain’t never had watermelon?” Tom piped up.
“No. It is a melon? But how do you eat it?” she said, eyeing the
large chunks of fruit.
“Show the lady, Tom.” Martha laughed.
Tom grabbed a chunk off the middle of the plate and dived in
headfirst, snapping off a sizable piece, chewing it with delight, and
then spitting the seeds out the door.
“You are joking,” Sophia said to Jack.
“No, that’s how you eat watermelon. You learn this and soon
you will be a real Floridian.”
He was grinning at her and reached for his own slice of melon,
and never one to resist a challenge, Sophia wiped her hand on her
table linen and picked up her own slice. The juice ran down her
fingers but she managed to bring it up to her lips without too much
trickling down her sleeve. She took a bite and there was an
explosion of sugar in her mouth, and a cooling sensation from the
juicy fruit.
“Oooh,” she moaned when she caught her breath, “this is
wonderful!”
The Reavers laughed at her response, but Jack seemed
entranced by the trickle of juice that escaped her lips to wend its
way down her chin. Before she could reach for her own linen, he
was leaning over and dabbing at it with his finger.
“You were leaking,” he said huskily, then cleared his throat.
“Watemelon’s mighty refreshing in the summer,” Mr. Reaver
said, reaching for a second piece. “I’m sure glad we could
introduce you to this treat.”

--The Bride and the Buccaneer

I knew I wouldn't make it to the farmers market this week, so to keep up with the Eating Local Challenge for the month of May, I went to Ward's Supermarket.  Ward's is a Gainesville institution, and when you go there you're likely to see folks from eastside, westside and all over the place mingling together and searching out the best local produce and meat products. You'll find piles of fresh-picked collard greens alongside Gainesville's premier chocolate bar selection, bulk foods and flowers that scream "Take me home!"

I knew Ward's was participating in the eat local challenge, and that I'd find some veggies for the weekend there. The chocolate bars I snagged were an added inducement to shop there, and I came home with blueberries, tomatoes, pecans and potatoes to supplement what I had from my trip to the farmers market the previous week.

When you go to Ward's, be prepared to spend a moment in the check-out line discussing the weather, this year's tomato crop, your kids and your dogs with total strangers who'll call you "honey" and wish you a "blessed day". This is the South. We take it easy, enjoy our food, and know that taking a moment to be friendly is part of what life's all about.


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