Monday, November 10, 2008

As Pink as a 1st Grader's Dream

Sunday dinner in our house is followed, in stolidly bourgeois fashion, by Sunday dessert. Although I love doling out little after-school treats, the kids rarely have dessert,; they've been quick to glom on to any routine that would allow them to have dessert. They love Sunday dinner ardently, mostly, I suspect, because of their weekly ration of dessert.

This week dessert was a tarte tatin. On the way back from her morning hockey game, Curly and I stopped at the grocery store; I let her pick out the apples. She made a beeline for the very smallest apples, and when I said that unless she had plans to peel 50 itsy bitsy apples, she might want to reconsider, she chose a variety that was effectively the next size up from miniature. In retrospect, it was a comically predictable choice, but at the time I was in desperate need of more coffee and had gotten up at 6:30 in the morning to spend 90 minutes freezing my butt off in an ice rink (after getting a six-year-old into hockey gear in a room full of excited six-year-olds bouncing around the narrow locker room with razor sharp skates on their feet). It would be a bit of an understatement to say that my foggy, chilled mind didn't see Curly's second choice coming.
The apples were a golden dun, about the size of Curly's small fist. I wish I could remember the variety name (or say that we’d been patronizing one of the Sunday farmer’s markets like good little locavores), but… no dice.

I admit, when I started peeling the apples, I was not cheerful. I was tired, crabby and felt rather put-upon. Curly and my boy had both enjoyed their morning hockey, but after our early rising, I wanted to sit and read, or take a nap. Or both.

I find it strange, the tiny, insignificant things that can revivify and cheer us when we’re feeling as gray as the November weather. And in this case, all I needed was to see under the peel of these apples.

Pink. The kids were entranced (so was I), and wanted, of course, to taste them rightawayplease. The flavor was lemon-y tart and bright— an eating apple that my sour-loving boy would favor, but that others might prefer cooked with a little sugar. Curly loved the tartness because it was pink, and really, as far as she’s concerned, there should be more food in the world that looks like it belongs on a Lilly Pulitzer dress, because pretty food tastes better.I think she might be right. The color of the peeled, uncooked apples was incongruously delightful and immensely cheering (they cooked to a funky membrillo sort of maroon). Which is really never a bad thing.


cook eat FRET said...

well, that was sweet to read
and i totally mean that in a good way.

but it's 1 am and i am tired

Meg said...

1am? I'll bet you're tired.