110 + 111Posted: April 22, 2016
My usual Wednesday gig decided not to appear at market–in between seasons, no more potatoes, shallots starting to sprout in storage–so I happened to spend the day yesterday selling prepared horseradish and fresh horseradish roots. This being the week of Passover, Heather, who runs the horseradish stand, needed an extra set of hands to keep up with the busy hours, so I was happy and excited to learn about something else, and see some other kinds of customers. When do you ever get a chance to learn all there is to know–rather just what you need to know–about horseradish? I don’t even like horseradish. Ha.
There are eight flavors–traditional, traditional with no sugar, beet, cranberry, hot pepper, mustard, BBQ and cocktail sauce. This means people have to stand around and taste every damn one before deciding what to get. So this means that working behind that particular table means you get to (have to?) watch people eating all day. And not just eating but eating and then exclaiming “Oh that’s hot,” “Wow, it’s hot,” “Goodness, that’s hot.” This is only after, of course, they ask you “Is this hot?” And you say “Yes,” and they say “Like, really hot?” And you say “Yes, really hot.” I remember the David Sedaris bit from The Santaland Diaries about watching people make the same 5 jokes and proclamations over and over again. I didn’t really get that when I first heard him do that piece–now I FUCKING GET IT. I’d of course work there again if Heather asked me–I like her, she is laid back, but also totally cool, and also super interesting. But, lord, how does she do it?
Today I went to Hartford and back. Turns out, garden soil, or potting soil, when you buy bags and bags of it up there is like $3 a bag, instead of $9 or $12 a bag when you buy it in Brooklyn. So I got 8 giant bags of soil, a red/pink/orange saxifraga, as well as a purple clematis–we’ll see if there’s enough sun to get it to curl itself around the railing. I got two more pots also because I am insane. Then when I got home and unloaded it all from the van into the house and got it all back in the garden I realized that it needs A LOT of work back there. I need to make, like, focal clumps or arrangements of pots if they’re going to make any sense. It’s not really what I’m good at–I know what needs what kind of care–but I generally like to just put things in pots and wait and see what happens.
And on my way home I got a text from Jennifer about Prince’s death. And I sat in the van at the Danbury rest stop looking briefly at Facebook turning purple. I delivered syrup to Egg and they were pumping Raspberry Beret as loud as the restaurant could stand. Everyone was bumping and dancing–the hipster breakfast joint suddenly turned dance club.