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Ample

It’s autumn and I’m stoked and the world keeps giving me fresh food. The other day, a coworker brought in the biggest damn bowl of cherry tomatoes I’ve ever seen — surplus from his crop. Those cherry tomatoes will haunt me in my dreams, as I weep through the tomato shortage of winter. I am not embarrassed about how much I took from this smorgasbord of fresh stuff, but I didn’t take it all in one go, nosir. I am tactical. (Alright, maybe I’m a little embarrassed.) I took ample, then made sneaky visits back throughout the day to check how much other people had taken. When 5pm came and there was still abundance to be had…well, it would have been rude to just leave it there. Besides, everyone else had their chance. There was also a big ol’ sack of long skinny eggplants, including the teeny baby one below.

Teeny weeny!

People are crazy: leave out a packet of no-name brand half-stale chocolate-flavoured biscuits (note subtle distinction between “chocolate biscuits” and “chocolate-flavoured biscuits”) and they’ll evaporate before you can send out the “help yourself” email to the whole office. Leave a huge bowl of fresh vegetables out — home-grown and with the smell of the sun still on their Mediterranean skins — and people will pick out one or two and then eat hot chips and gravy for lunch. Not me, baby (unsurprisingly). I’ll take as much as I can carry. I’m exaggerating a little, but I notice that sticky cakey things of dribblingly mediocre quality are always snatched up, while things like fresh grown vegetables are not so enthusiastically received. It’s nuts.

I passed on this awesome abundance by turning all the eggplants (and most of the cherry tomatoes) into a big pot of ratatouille to feed friends: home-made bread and ricotta, a huge batch of ratatouille and mashed potato, and a mighty fine time was had by all.

While we’re talking vegetables, check this out:

Mystery!

How cool is that? I don’t know if you can tell from that picture, but this capsicum (from the farmers’ markets) had dark purple skin. The colour of an eggplant: it was beautiful. Then, slicing it open showed its true colour!  Green masquerading as purple! I love it.

Another coworker brought in an enormous sack of nashi pears. Oh, wow, they’re good. They’re crunchy and juicy and sweet: they taste like sex on a mountain side in an autumn dawn. And, once again: a huge sack completely ignored. After I snatched up a dozen or so at their first appearance (oh, shut up: I said “huge”), I peeped in again every couple of days and noticed they just weren’t being taken. I couldn’t stand by and have the poor babies think nobody wanted them…so on Friday afternoon — at which point, the bag goodies had been up for grabs for a week — took them home. Happy times. The world is feeding me.

I don’t know much about nashi: I looked up a few recipes to see what you could cook with them. It seems to be the case that you can use them in almost any recipe that calls for either apples or pears — but I think I’ll just keep eating them au naturel. Meaning: eating them in the nude. Which raises eyebrows at work, I admit.

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