When we moved here to our new home, we moved FROM a small town in New Jersey that is near Marlboro Township- a so called 'bedroom community' of NYC- where the people work hard to acquire the trappings of America's financial upper middle class-everyone is beautiful, and their homes are beautiful, glossy as a magazine cover, as fashionable as the malls will allow, and then some!
There are 2 farmer's markets in the Marlboro area, both as glossy and citified as the people require- and we rarely indulged ourselves of their bounty- for the prices reflect the preciousness of having a farmer's market in such a fashionable township.
Imagine, now that we are in Salem, we find that just down the road another Marlboro has come into our lives, but a very different flavor of Marlboro-a real country farm!
Marlboro Farm, with a market, open year 'round, called, appropriately enough, Marlboro Farm Market. We have been going there every week or so, since we found the market on one of our leisurely "what will we see if we go in that direction" drives.
The vegetables, fruits and plants- they are beautiful!
Just as the Marlboro Township folk, their homes and their farmer's markets are beautiful, so is everything at Marlboro Farm Market, albeit an entirely different kind of glossy beauty- the timeless beauty of nature- the beauty of vegetables and fruits freshly arrived from the land- a gorgeous sight to behold.
The market is a rustic building, with foot worn cement floors that are a companion to our own foot worn wood floors at Cape Coop, and a rustic theme that belies the modern refrigeration against the back wall- and the computerized registers that the smiling young ladies who ring up purchases at the center counter depend on.
We walk around and look at all of the always varying produce, and we sidle to the back of the market and fill our basket with the discounted "yesterday's" produce that the farm puts into bags every day- 2 pounds of yellow string beans for half a US dollar, an immense purple cauliflower for 75 cents, a 10 pound bag of sweet potatoes for $4.00- 6 large local apples of various varieties for another dollar. We spend almost all of our weekly food money at this market - and we eat the most delicious meals all week with the finds that we have acquired!
Of course, there is always the local squash, the riotous colors and frenzied shapes calling to La Principessa, and we do indulge- at a dollar or less a pound- it's an affordable adventure- the multitude of gourds and soft skinned beauties calling to us, their colors just DELICIOUS to the eye- their shapes offering no clue to the shade or flavor of the flesh therein.
We roast or bake the lovelies in our kitchen, we eat the flesh in simple ways- with a drizzle of maple syrup, or a dusting of cumin- sometimes I will keep aside a cup of the squash meat and make a soup of it, or a tiny stew- with onions- and lots of Kiddle's favorite spices, so sumptuous! With homemade croutons atop the dish, or a hunk of our own kitchen's bread, what a feast for lunch on a cold day! We roast the seeds and snack on them- so much pleasure from these many globes of such amazing shapes and colors!
And that is where we are going today- Marlboro Farm Market-our new neighborhood Marlboro- and one which is a bit more in tune with our own sensibilities, humble as they are. I wonder-what mealtime adventures will stem from the upcoming visit? I hope that you all have a local market to adventure in, as we do in our new hometown- and, if you don't, don't fret- come for a visit- and we will take a drive down the road together, to Marlboro Farm Market- we'll spot you a fiver for a treat, and I'll cook it for you, in Cape Coop's kitchen.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
As you can see from the accompanying photograph, we are getting the boxes up the stairs and Out Of The Way. The front room actually has space for Kiddle to set up her easel and paint, and for me to sit on the carpet and go through my papers. Always, I am busy with these boxes of papers- shifting them from one box to another, for I'm always meaning to do something with the reams of paper information that I acquire, but how can I even begin, when there is so much to do?
We have hung a few pieces of art on the walls, but only where there are already nails- I have discovered that I know NOTHING about how to put a nail into a plaster wall! So, there are dozens of paintings in the dining area, leaning on the credenza, awaiting a place.
We have yet to decide what to do about bookshelves in the house either- we have thousands of books, but of course! Unfortunately, we are supposed to be Grown Ups and so, more Grown Up cares are forcing themselves into 0ur minds for now. Heat is the thing that we are going to focus on for the winter- not shelves.
Heating! What a terror! The weather is already icy here and we have yet to figure out the heating system. We have OIL HEAT- and that means that one must choose an OIL SERVICE- and there are so many- how to choose? And, then, of course, one must buy a full tank of oil in one go- that's 275 gallons- a LOT of oil, perhaps, but also a lot of money. So, we are waiting, and as I always say when I am confronted with a challenge to my wits- we will Take Care Of This Soon.
Monday, November 2, 2009
It had been one of the first days that we'd officially had the means to call Salem our new hometown, and we decided to take a walk, during the dim time of day, to fill our lungs with the scent of fall and our eyes with the beauty of the dimmet sky. We walked for over an hour, throughout "The Avenues", which is the name that locals have for our tiny neighborhood- all avenues, not a "Road" to be found. We looked at the homes and compared our tiny and bare yard to the various garden habits of the neighbors. We strolled along cobbled walks and cement ones, narrow street crossings and wide, and we enjoyed thoroughly the fact that we now live in a town that was built during our nation's colonial times.
The spires on the churches- so tall, so stately! The wood and stone facades of the oldest homes, the bricks of the newer homes, and the turrets and gingerbread of the 'younger' Victorian homes in our neighborhood- all were a wonder to our eyes. And, then, it grew darker, the air became still and quite chilled. We came to our quiet and wonderful Cape Coop. La Principessa looked up as we headed to the side alley near our property and said "Oh- this is the reason for our walk tonight!" and there, up in the night, was a breathtaking, gorgeous, violet and blue sky view. Now, I, Mommy, know much better than my Kiddle, the heart of the reason for our dimmet perambulations- it is to be together, to share things in each others companionable presence- and, for me, to soak up the experience of watching my sweet daughter experience everything around us. But, for her, how lucky- to now feel so safe that she takes this companionable time for granted- the singular wonder of this night's sky is what we should notice tonight. And that is the heart of the beauty of this place and time, clouded to Kiddle's view, perhaps, but not to me, not to my heart. I know the true beauty that is clouded from view by a nice walk in an interesting neighborhood, underneath a purpling night sky. It is that my daughter feels happy and safe, and we are together, and we have love. And here is what we saw, right above our heads.