Monday, November 15, 2010

Meeting Farmer Rick and the Flowerweaver

I used to wonder if I would ever make the kind of intimate, lifelong friends that I made when I was in college. In that period of your life, you spend a lot of time with, well, time, and interacting mostly with people who closely share your interests and outlooks. Your off-hours are filled with them-- you eat with them, play with them, run into them at random times during the day.

And when, as an adult, do you get to do that again? You spend your days in an office with people thrown together randomly by their skill set. Most of the day you interact with these people only at it relates to the task at hand. While you can get incredibly intimate with these people-- you go to their weddings and holiday parties, they know when you've had a fight with your spouse, or your mother, they send you cards when your favorite aunt dies-- work friendships, however intimate, tend to last only as long as the job. It's very hard to connect at a personal level, independent of the profession and maintain the connection once you don't share phone lines anymore.

As an adult, you mostly meet people through very narrow mutual interests-- yoga class-- or you see your family.

And then came the internet.

On line, I have met people very much the way I used to meet them in school: through mutual interest, on my off hours, and I "run into" them at random times throughout the day. I have met a dozen people in the past year, through gardening on line, who are now some of my best friends.

Today I got to meet the people behind the blog The Flowerweaver, whom I know from My Folia, in town to visit their new grandbaby. I made them a garden lunch: parsnip soup, raspberry soda, peach scones and the autumn salsa noted below and took them to the Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago's wonderful free 20-acre greenhouse. We spent 4 hours in non-stop conversation, and not just about gardening.

So yes, I guess I will meet new and wonderful people, all my life.

Autumn salsa

2 large apples, peeled and cored
15 medium radishes
1 small onion
lime juice

Dice the apples, radishes and onions. Caramelize the onions in about a tablespoon of butter. Mix all together with about 1/4 cup (or less) of lime juice. Salt to taste. This made enough for healthy servings for three adults.

Remember to zest the lime and either freeze it or set it aside to dry. Always nice to have a little citrus zest around.

By the way, this is so delicious. I might try it with a little honey or sugar for a sweet salsa some time.

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