Hollywood Farmers’ Market – Grapes
In anticipation of MoFo, Ryan’s been bringing the camera the Hollywood Farmers Market each week. He’s been taking some beautiful shots of the food there, and I hope they capture how amazing it feels to walk among all these booths that are overflowing with beautiful produce. This photo transports me to wine country. I feel like I can see these grapes on the vine on a crisp fall morning.
We have to get to the market around 7:30 or so, and we try to buy our produce for the week before it gets too busy. For me, walking among the stalls before the market gets crowded and it gets super hot makes me feel how some people must feel when they go to church on a Sunday morning. Something about all that abundance laid out before me is so satisfying. It reminds me of the pictures of cornucopias we used to make in school around Thanksgiving.
As a kid, I was a very unhealthy eater. I would see that cornucopia and want to gag. My poor parents couldn’t get me to eat any fruits or vegetables. I wouldn’t even eat ketchup. I was always stuck at the dinner table with my veggies in front of me, while my sisters got to watch TV. All I wanted was hot dogs or cookies and Ding Dongs – which I used to sneak before dinner and eat in the basement. (Yes, I have some issues with food.)
I still have a vivid memory of our bread drawer in the house we lived in until I was ten. We called it “the bread drawer”, but it really usually had snacks and cookies in it. For a brief time when I was maybe five or six, Pepperidge Farm sold these huge macaroons cookies that were amazing. My sister and I had been sent to our room, for who knows what, and I decided that I needed a snack. I remember wanting one of those macaroons so bad that I was willing to sneak out of my room when I was already in trouble. I can so clearly see the light coming into the kitchen, and feel the quiet of the house as I went to that drawer. Oh how I wish I’d been obsessed with fruit or lettuce.
But at least all’s well that ends well. As a kid, I would see fresh produce and desperately wish that I actually wanted to eat it. It looked good, I just knew it wouldn’t taste good. Now, as an adult, I love to eat fruits and vegetables. I know part of that change came from becoming vegetarian and learning how to cook. Cooking your own food gives you an ownership in what you eat, and you can feel proud of making food that tastes good. Plus, when you eat whole foods your palate changes and you can actually taste the flavors of what you’re eating instead of just salt and sugar. Now, I get excited when I see so many amazing ingredients, and I know that I can turn them into something that I’ll really want to eat. I see those grapes, and rather than feeling like it would be a punishment to have to eat them, I just see really good food.