Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Our gardens are small and cared for only sporadically, but I like the idea of growing at least some of the food we eat. Like raspberries. I'm pretty sure these should've been pruned and fertilized last fall, but raspberries are a forgiving fruit and I take full advantage of their willingness to thrive under a regime of benign neglect. Just like my children... And I like seeing the vines bent from snow while I wash dishes at the kitchen sink. They remind me that summer will come, that soon I will stand in my front garden and pluck raspberries warm from the sun and eat them right there while boys and chickens dash around me, shrieking with the wildness of long summer days.

Over the years I've noticed that we have started to form certain habits during mealtimes. Not only what we eat - paninis, turkey sliders, and breakfast for dinner at least once a week - but what dishes we eat certain foods on. Ice cream goes in the little blue bowls from Main Street Kitchen, chili in the terra cotta bowls from IKEA years ago, Chinese food in the hand-painted bowl from Tip Top Pottery that has the holes in it to hold the chopsticks. For most everything else we use the white dishes with the cobalt blue trim that came as part of a wedding present. After eating hundreds, maybe thousands (?!?) of meals off of these plates, I've come to realize that the washing up after dinner is just as much a part of the ritual as the eating is. We don't have a dishwasher, so each bowl, cup and spoon nestles in the sink alongside each other. Waiting to get cleaned, dried, put back in the cupboard until they are needed again. Which for some dishes, like my special blue salad bowl, won't be long at all.

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