By: Tanya Ward Goodman
On Sunday, I went to a yoga class and then hit the farmers’ market. Blinking in the sun (gotta love November in Los Angeles), I sorted through piles of tomatoes and zucchini and little round sweet peppers, red as Christmas lights. I grabbed a couple of bunches of kale, some brand-new baby asparagus (SoCal, where it’s spring all year round), and some fresh sweet onions. Those onions were gorgeous. Dewy and pale, they felt cool and heavy in my hand. They had the moist, taut skin of my 21-year-old cousin. Youth is impressive even in onion form.
I bought a pile of dusty purple plums and half a dozen crisp, sweet apples and then headed for the barbecue stand. I’d promised to bring lunch home for the menfolk (husband, son and friend) who were planted in front of Sunday football. The daily special at Bigmista’s BBQ read, “Pulled Pork Parfait.” Oh, alliterative yumminess. Basically a sundae of mashed potatoes, barbecue sauce and pulled pork, the thing was a brimming cup of love. I added a combo platter, a side of beans, and greens and took the whole warm, savory pile home to the dudes who cheered my entrance.
In my absence, my girl had taken one look at the fellows in their football jerseys and had the sense to request a play date with our neighbor. The little ladies had retreated to the back yard for tea parties and blanket forts and what my daughter calls “chatting.”
I unloaded my bags and chopped that gorgeous onion. Most of it mixed with celery and carrots for the base of white bean and kale soup. The rest got sautéed with beet greens and added to a bowl of cooked buckwheat, subbing for parsley in a kind of tabouli-ish salad with butternut squash in place of tomato. I quick pickled the little red peppers and let them rest for stuffing later in the week. The numerous blackened bananas that have been languishing in the fridge turned into two loaves of banana bread. For a little while, I had all four burners going and the oven on and it wasn’t even Thanksgiving.
The game went into overtime, the baking bread filled the house with sweetness, and when the Jets finally made that winning point, the dudes let out a joyful shout and clumped together in a group hug. My daughter made up two new songs and drew a picture of me with a smile on my face.
It was a very good day.
Not every day is like this. In fact, a great many of them bear absolutely no resemblance to this day. On other days, games are lost, we eat cheese toast and everyone seems angry for no real reason. Sunday was a good day. Worthy of notice.