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Chilled cucumber soup

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Kitchen Report

(Read caption) Cucumber soup with avocado, mint, and a hint of jalapeño topped with toasted almonds.

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After another swim across Walden Pond a couple of weekends ago followed by plates of breakfast burritos at a local diner, my friend Kristi insisted that we stop by a local farm stand on our way back into town. She even started waving a 20 dollar bill saying she’d buy us vegetables.

Reluctantly Jenna, Lisa, and I agreed that we’d pull over for just five minutes. I don’t know what our problem was. The minute we stepped into the farm stand we started running around exclaiming over the color of the green cucumbers and purple eggplants and the towering pile of corn. Pretty soon I had assembled a still life of sorts on a rustic wooden counter and the lady running the farm stand got so excited she started bringing me veggies to add to my picture like cute yellow cucumbers I had never seen before.

As I hovered with my iPhone camera my friends said, “she blogs about food,” and that got the farm stand lady even more excited and she insisted I take her picture holding some lettuce next to the pile of colorful veggies. She was thrilled that we were so interested in her produce.

“People come in but they never say anything,” she said in a lilting Italian accent. Then she showed us pictures of her granddaughters and blew us kisses and drew crosses on our foreheads with her index finger. Maybe she is a patron saint of vegetables?

She added corn and blueberries to my pile and charged me hardly anything for the corn, “For you, 50 cents.” I don’t know who was more grateful – it was a joyful, shared moment. (I’ve been adding raw, sweet corn to my salads but Kristi told me that she puts an unhusked ear of corn into the microwave for three minutes and it comes out ready to eat on the cob. I tried it and she was completely right.)


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