Adorable Vegetables


There are certain things that just stick. Familial stories and turns of phrase that are epitome of the people you love. This one started way back in the 70’s when my mother was a young bride and she and my father were spending time at their cabin on Manitoulin Island. They were having dinner with Archie and Gwen who were the famers on the adjacent property and mom had gone to help dig potatoes with the hostess. She got excited when she dug up the small, round little beginnings of potatoes until Gwen corrected her, poor city gal that she was. “No Gayle, not those they haven’t grown yet, you want the big ones!”

Seemed sage wisdom so my mother knew better than to tell her that in Toronto she regularly bought the tiny little darlings on a regular basis. When I started writing my family stories about the cabin I coined her preferred produce “adorable sized.” As much as I snicker about this I must admit, I am an adorable sized vegetable lover.

The other day on the way to work I passed one of the many adorable little fruit and vegetable markets in Toronto and saw a packaged pint of small, under-grown mushrooms and I actually said ahhh, like I was looking into the window of a nursery rather than a fruit stand. I had to buy them, I was having a fantasy about throwing them into a stir-fry whole and eating the baby sized fungi with a smile.

IMG_3102Forgive me when I say it really is the little things, and I have been trying to find my way back to those small joys. I guess that it is just a bonus that my late wife constantly made me fried mushrooms on toast when I was pregnant as it was the only craving I had. In the month of the anniversary of her death it seems right to be having that craving again. In the hectic life of a single mom with little time to spare I need to make something like buying undersized food and blogging about comforting. The meal(s) they made also provided comfort.

Tonight when we returned home I sank down into the couch and seriously could do nothing but try and blink. Then I had to make dinner and wanted to cry. When I went through the freezer I realized I had some pork and vegetable dumplings. I remembered the wilting bok choy in my crisper, it was only then that I remembered the mushrooms.

As I sat and ate I suddenly felt like the world was not going to come crashing down. The homework, and TTC, the dirty dishes and laundry and lower back pain are small in comparison to the more important things I want to contemplate: because the small things are in fact the biggest. I used to blog about these moments all the time and have fallen out of habit with it, but it is never too late to acknowledge the small beauty of dinner, or story time, or sending your blog post to your mother and laughing again about small inside jokes. I think I need to make toast.


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