When we first started going to the Farmer’s Market Wednesday mornings, a couple of years ago now, I tried to take the opportunity to introduce my son to a variety of foods he might not normally encounter.
There was a Turkish lady who made something that looked like a mini bagel but was stuffed with lemony spinach (forgive me if I forget the Turkish name for it). There have been basil cakes from a vegetarian Chinese food vendor, Kettle Corn popcorn, apple strudel and food vaguely resembling the Turkish treats, but from a Jewish lady.
Somewhere in there we stumbled upon Lynne’s Granola Bars and her $2.50 mixed bags. They’re kind of a trail mix style bag of broken granola bar pieces mixed with dried cranberries and raisons, and Smarties candy.
“Goodies,” my son calls them, and no trip to the Farmer’s Market is now complete without them.
This morning, over breakfast, we had the same conversation we have every Wednesday morning.
Son: Mum, what day is it today?
Son: Wednesday is Farmer’s Market day!
Me: Yes. And if you eat all your breakfast up, maybe you can choose a treat when we get there.
But then our conversation took a turn. Instead of responding with “Goodies!” like he usually does, he thought for a moment and said, “this time I’m going to get popcorn.”
I assured him that that would be fine. Again, in the car he talked about his choice – popcorn this time. The “striped popcorn” (read coloured popcorn), he insisted.
But upon arriving, his resolve broke. As we approached Lynne’s Granola Bar kiosk, he quickly changed his mind.
“I want Goodies!” he insisted.
“If you get goodies, you won’t get to try the popcorn,” I reminded him. “Only one thing today.”
But Goodies it was. He gave the lady the money and carefully chose just the right bag. And then wandered up and down the rows with me and his sister and his auntie, sharing pieces and bites as he went.
And while I still want to introduce him to a variety of foods, it makes my heart glad that he has found this little rhythm in his life. This ritual, of sorts. Something he loves and knows will be there, every Wednesday morning, on the corner of Springfield and Dilworth Roads (well, until the end of the month – then we take a hiatus until spring).
And as in favour as I am of experimenting and tasting new and different foods to broaden the palate, there’s something to be said about having something that you know you like and can always return to. I believe that such things help us find ourselves, even at a young age. They certainly make life more rich.
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– Words and photos by Lori-Anne Poirier