Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tim Curry appears in this post.

I’ve developed an apple habit. They’re cheap, tasty, and always available on market day (key), but selection is limited to a single variety. If I call it a basic apple you get the drift. But not last week. No, last week as I rounded the corner to the main square I saw a bushel of beautiful green granny smiths calling out from across the walk.

I approached with caution. Maybe my eyes were playing tricks. Maybe they weren’t apples at all. They could be unripe pomegranates. Or that odd citrus I’d seen a few weeks ago – what the hell was that thing anyway? But there they were. Green apples. Huge, shiny, beautiful green granny smith apples. I must have stood there gaping for an unseemly amount of time, because after a few moments the vender tapped my shoulder and handed me a bin to weigh out the fruit I was obviously about to take off his hands.

I’d already gotten a kilo of my regular apples, but what the hell - these were special! I filled my bin with a kilo of the shiniest, happiest, most candy like apples I could find, paid the rather bemused fruit guy, and started for the taxi stand to head home and enjoy my bounty.

After rinsing and bleaching all my fruits and veggies (Dysentery: NEVER AGAIN), I picked the largest green apple from the bunch, sliced it, threw on some granola and took a big bite….of deception. It wasn’t sour. It wasn’t tart. It wasn’t a green apple at all! It was a regular apple masquerading as a granny smith. J’accuse!

I cannot tell you how crushing this was. Disproportionately so. I actually scowled through the remainder of my snack. Then I wondered what sort of consumer advocacy group I could contact. Or create. What right does a perfectly ripe apple have being green if it isn’t going to provide a different experience from the red ones? I demanded justice!

I looked in my fridge. I had two kilos of apples. Two kilos of regular, run of the mill, Moroccan apples. Half red, half poseurs. I toyed with the idea of baking a pie, but the lack of both oven and vanilla ice cream put the kibosh on that dream quickly. Besides, if I were going to somehow bake a pie, you’d better believe it would be pumpkin, the finest food known to science. Which of course made me think of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. Which made me think of my birthday. Which made me think of holidays in general. Which made me think of our recent tradition of cooking Tibetan burritos for special dinners. Which made me think of curry, then Tim Curry. Which made me think of….you get the idea.

This might be where the cute moral of the story generally appears, but unfortunately there were no lessons learned from my venture to the fruit stand (aside from the fact that apples are dirty liars). Instead I submit to you just one of the many unexpected moments throughout the day that lead to…I won’t say homesickness. I didn’t stand in my kitchen and suddenly wish I were anywhere but here, cursing the lack of well-marked produce. It was just a simple moment where I paused and thought happily of the random and mundane elements of life in the States I’ve grown to appreciate and, perhaps more significantly, recognize.

I still have seven apples in my fridge. And I really want a pumpkin pie.


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