Saturday, April 19, 2008

Elevenses* and the Hillsborough Farmer's Market

My dearest and I went walking through the lovely old historic district of Hillsborough. We went for the last views of the dogwoods, cherries, redbuds, tulips, and fresh new green of high spring, but we also ended up talking about school politics, national politics, emotions, groundhogs, the new library and the not-free parking deck that will accompany it, summer schedules, stubbornness (and who has the most in our house), Dubai and the new tourism in the Middle East, and shoes and ships and sealing wax... It was our usual smorgasbord.

Then we went to the farmer's market, where we dropped off old egg cartons and picked up a fresh dozen free range chicken eggs and mild breakfast sausage from a young local Amish or Mennonite farmer, pound cakes, fresh rosemary and olive bread, a lilac candle, and a big jar of authentic NC bread and butter pickles. So then I had to go home to wake our oldest (he loves to sleep in on Saturdays) and have elevenses. My earlier toast and eggs were a pale imitation of what I now prepared.

The sausage was fresh, done in the Amish style, and the eggs were thick shelled and scrambled to a uniquely creamy finish. They were prepared in a little of the sausage fat, with nothing more than freshly ground pepper, and salt (from my home-made stove shaker, which began life as a jar of quince jelly made at a Trappist monastery - stories make things taste better). I finished with sliced orange and some of the bread and butter pickles (no artificial green or wax on those cucumbers - the colors were the muted ones of old fashioned canning). Served on my favorite old mismatched plate with a big glass of milk. Ahhh. Might be skipping lunch...

* Elevenses - a word we first encountered in Lord of the Rings, and thought was made up for Hobbits. Not so.

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