Life in Photos, Poetry & Words

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: Of Parrots and Pulgas

The sign should have been the first clue.

I mean, would have you continued into the parking lot once you saw a turtle like that? (The right side of the sign had an identical turtle, but in mirror image. Equally creepy.)
Creepy turtle on Flea and Farmers Market sign

It only took a couple of seconds to realize “900 booths” was a complete farce. Maybe they forgot the decimal point between the 9 and the first 0?

You can’t see it in the picture, but there’s a caption above the turtles that says, “A REAL Flea Market.” I am not sure what that even means, except perhaps this market houses fleas on a regular basis.

This morning, long before I saw the creepy turtle (wait, is that a flea?), back when I read about this place on the internet, I expected antiques and vegetables and woven bags. In my head, I had visions of my beloved California Denio’s. Instead, I saw washers and dryers, fish oil capsules and nail polish, chickens, and slightly illegal looking parrots. And no mariachi music.

The distinct lack of tubas and accordions made me sad.

Parrots at a weird flea market

Weird pet shop inside a flea market

Looking at chickens at weird pet shop inside a flea market

But there was a redeeming factor! Aveline finally got the windmill she’s been wanting. She calls it a wind-bum, though.

Choosing a wind-bum is serious business.

Buying windmills at a flea market

Oh, we bought a coconut too.
Buying a coconut at a farmers market

Despite the sign’s optimistic “¡FRÍO!“, it turned out to be a coco calor, not a coco frío.

Oh well.

At least we got a wind-bum!

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Life in Photos, Little Style

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: My grapefruit-loving, hat-stealing toddler

Josiah and Aveline at Fountain - photo via the Oaxacaborn blog
We don’t get much of anything I’d call winter in this state, but right now the weather is cool enough to make it home from the Farmers’ Market with produce that’s still raw. Soon enough, the raw veg will inexplicably turn into steamed veg somewhere between the market and home.

The seasons here are so strange.

It’s technically winter now, but even after two years here I still have a hard time figuring out what’s considered a winter vegetable, what produce is best in spring, and what’s in season in the summer.

But it doesn’t take living here very long to discover the dirty little secret about Florida citrus: it really isn’t all that good. It’s true. Almost 90% of Florida’s citrus is grown for juice, not just for plain ol’ eatin’.
Toddler at Farmer's Market
But Aveline doesn’t care about any of that. She just wants grapefruit. Hands down, it’s her favorite fruit — she devours it in plain, peeled sections, without sugar.Toddler Style - Aveline in oversized beanie, scarf, and bag

My little grapefruit-lover is also somewhat of thief. She took that hat right off my head, saying sweetly, “Hat wear, mummy?” The scarf is also mine, but at least she pickpocketed it from my dresser, not my neck. “Scarf wear, mummy? I fi’ [find] scarf.”

I don’t mind. I have a daughter who shares my clothes. That’s pretty awesome!

Life in Photos

Aveline’s Introduction to Solid Food at 5 Months (with Video)

So, if you saw my Facebook or Twitter over the weekend, then you’ve already gotten your fill (no pun intended) of Aveline’s foray into food. I just might have gone a wee bit overboard with the photos, the status updates, and the steady stream of emails to our respective families in California and the Midwest.

Introducing baby to solids -- photo of baby Aveline ready to take her first bite of avocado at five months old

But I couldn’t help myself! I was excited.

Now I know some books say to delay solids as long as possible to prevent food allergies. But there are other studies which argue that earlier introduction of solids might actually minimize the chance of food allergies.  And the British Medical Journal recently challenged the recommendation to breastfeed exclusively for six months. Their analysis on the topic has become a heated source of debate among those who make their living creating these guidelines.

In light of my own food allergies, I’ve been reading and fretting over these studies, trying to make a decision whether or not to let Aveline have food. All this reading suddenly seemed pretty silly when my mom simply said, “I think you’re over-thinking this. Just do what makes sense.”

Aveline’s been so hungry lately — grabbing for the food on our plates, nursing hourly during the day and every 3.5 hours at night. And so this weekend, we decided it was time. Josiah got a nice ripe avocado at the farmers’ market (we chose avocado instead of rice because of the high fat content) and Aveline had her first taste of food.

And you know what? She LOVED it.

Life in Photos

This Weekend’s Farmers’ Market Bounty

plum tomatoes, new red potatoes, kiwis, poblano peppers, cubanelle peppers, green beans, white onion, cucumbers - farmers market produce

We brought $10 to the farmers’ market on Saturday morning, and came away with white onions, new red potatoes, kiwis, plum tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers,  japaleño, poblano and cubanelle peppers. The bonus for me was James Taylor music playing from a vendor’s truck parked near the produce tent.

The first thing I made after coming home was garlicky eggs scrambled in olive oil with peppers, onions, tomatoes, my favourite vegan cheese, black pepper and sea salt. Oh, did the kitchen ever smell amazing!

(After I tweeted that I was chopping the jalapenos to freeze, some of you were wondering why. They were $1.50 for a whole basket — about fifteen peppers — and I knew we’d never eat that many in a week. Peppers freeze really well, so I washed, diced, and froze them. I did the same with the huge white onion I bought. It’s great to have them pre-chopped and on-hand for cooking!)

Life in Photos

a mysterious (at least to me) striped eggplant from the farmers’ market

this weekend was lovely. we discovered a little gem of a farmers market within walking distance. josiah and i walked there with aveline on saturday, and we plan to do the same next saturday. i just love farmers markets in the summer…the delicious scent of all those fresh fruits and vegetables, the feeling of the heat riding up from the earth under my feet.

we came home with peppers (including the hugest cubanelles i’ve ever seen), plum tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, snap peas, and a stripey-looking eggplant.

striped eggplant

i must confess, i’ve never seen a striped eggplant before. can anyone tell me what type it might be?  i tried googling eggplant varieties, but got conflicting information which confused me. i’m especially curious to see if this has a different flavor than the more traditional purple eggplant.

to prepare, i usually saute in olive oil, and then layer into lasagne — but this toasted eggplant tapenade has me thinking of lighter, more summery recipes. hmmm…