I’ve been on an absolute tear of Eat Local learning. I did in fact muster up the courage to stop at the neighbors with the fresh produce sign. I found a very sweet little old man with a huge garden. The huge garden grows the largest peppers I have ever seen in my life. He sold them to me for 25 cents a piece. I’m in love.

This morning I decided to head to another town for their farmer’s market. I’ve been slightly disappointed in my town’s market. They are very heavy on the free range meat. So I headed south to a town known for sporting people with more money than sense. These people are proud of this distinction. They keep the town looking as precious as possible with houses with huge flower gardens in the front lawn. I’m sure that at least 3 hours of lawn work per day is required by law. If I want to find a farmer’s market full of veggies these people would have it.

I was right but it was still smaller than I imagined. I did manage to score a few cucumbers, some tomatoes (two different colors), and green beans. I didn’t get any peppers because they were more than 25 cents and I’m spoiled now. I didn’t get any corn either because my source in the cart in front of the drugstore was cheaper and had wonderful corn.

I had had a strange series of conversations with a co-worker lately about vegetarianism. She asked what I eat. I don’t really like the question because I can never answer it to carnivores’ satisfaction. “Anything but meat,” doesn’t seem to cut it for them. It turns out that her son-in-law has decided to be a vegetarian recently and she wants to make him dinner. She doesn’t know what to make. I asked what she would make if he wasn’t a vegetarian. She said meat and potatoes. I said fine. Go ahead and make that then add a few more vegetable side dishes and she was set. She stared at me like I was dense. Then she asked if I knew an entree that didn’t include meat. I ended up bringing in a Moosewood cookbook for her to look at. She was amazed. I showed her a soup that I liked and she decided to make that. I tried to steer her towards some of the entrees but apparently one dish was enough. Then I had to explain what couscous was and that yes in fact you could get it at Kroger. Yes, this Kroger. Right here in this town. In fact they have several flavored varieties so make you sure get just the plain. Yes, I’m sure.

Then she called her daughter to invite her for dinner. She said that she was trying to come up with something vegetarian. She asked if her daughter was sure that the son-in-law couldn’t be “tempted by a bit of Maw-Maw’s meatloaf.” I think some people think about vegetarians like they think about lesbians. Lesbians just haven’t met the right man and vegetarians just haven’t experienced their meat cooking. Makes me want to bang my head against a wall. But at least I’m opening her eyes to the possibility of eating meat-less meals. I did try to explain the Eat Local project since we were discussing what I eat. That seemed crazier to her than all my natterings about multiple sidedishes so I let it go. I can only do so much conciousness-raising at one time.