A couple of weekends ago (before the Great Motherboard Death of 2009), I escaped the heat of Texas for a long weekend in upstate New York. My sweetie and I visited his family and attended a wedding on Lake Seneca.
The cool breeze off Lake Seneca, and later in the trip, off Lake Ontario was refreshingly crisp, and a kind of chilly I forgot I could feel in the never-ending heat we’re been experiencing in Austin.
I attended the large Rochester Public Market one Thursday morning. At the first table, I saw pineapples. Why are there pineapples in a farmers market in New York, I asked myself. I asked someone manning a table where the farm was, and was answered “We don’t have a farm.” So, this isn’t a growers’ market, I guess.
I did find plenty of farm tables, including one with a towering pile of fresh sweet corn that I had to sample, raw, right at the market. Coming from the Midwest, I miss big, juicy ears of sweet corn, and that one did not disappoint.
Probably the most abundant fruit at the market were New York apples. There were varieties I’d never heard of, and they were all incredibly inexpensive. Had I had more time in NY, I would have bought baskets and baskets of them.
On the way home, we had a short layover at O’Hare. Being a Chicago native, I miss the airport (or, I miss living in a hub city where I don’t have layovers on every trip). It’s familiar, and I know I’m in for a treat whenever I visit home or have a connection there because of the Garrett Popcorn shop.
When I was a kid, my grandma worked downtown. Sometimes, as a treat, she’d stop by Garrett’s and buy a small bag of their Chicago Mix, a sweet-salty blend of their homemade caramel and cheese corns. The caramel is buttery and sweet, and the cheese is tangy and salty and a finger-staining shade of orange. Together, they’re one of my favorite foods from childhood.