Autumn watch

After seeing the dentist in Lexington, I had lunch with my dad in Concord, and then headed off to the clothing store in Maynard where I have gotten clothes for the past twenty or thirty years. I went through Nine Acre Corner to get to Maynard, not far from where we used to live, and I decided to stop at Verrill Farm where we used to buy our vegetables.

At the farmstand I got white turnips, regular orange carrots and yellow carrots, green beans, and curly kale. I looked at all the different kinds of winter squash, and picked out a small blue-green warty Hubbard (small for a Hubbard meant it weiched eleven pounds). I passed by the bins full of tomatoes: red tomatoes, pink tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, purplish tomatoes, orange tomatoes. I meant to look for red chili peppers to dry, but got distracted admiring all the other peppers and forgot. The fingerling potatoes looked fresh and smelled earthy. They also had locally-grown fruit: different varieties of apples, Concord grapes, cranberries from Cape Cod.

Cranberries are my favorite fruit, so I bought nearly a pound.

When I got home, I ate about half the cranberries raw: washed, dumped in a bowl, eaten in spoonfuls. They crunch softly, releasing the tiny seeds from the hollow center. The first flavor, really little more than an aroma, is a little like overripe crabapples. Then they taste like a cross between apple cider and blueberries, and then the tartness begins to kick in. After you eat a bowl of them, you can feel the tartness lingering at the back of your mouth and all down your throat. It tastes like autumn, it reminds me of fallen wet leaves and damp earth and autumn rainfall.