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I sort of had this weekend to myself. Graham's working on a production that starts next week, and he spent most of the weekend at the theater.

I started off Saturday by taking the dogs for a walk around Rice University. It's a nearly 3 mile walk, and Celosa has never gone that far before. Crianza immediately paced herself to me, loose leashed at my side, but Celosa plunged ahead, pulling and wanting to go faster. About halfway into the walk, I could tell she was getting a little tired, and I picked her up for a good quarter mile or so, letting her down for the final stretch. They were both great with all the other runners/walkers on the trail. They didn't take over the whole sidewlak, and they didn't try to talk to people who weren't interested in them. When people did stop to say hi, though, they were sweet and nice and full of love and affection.

After their walk, I took them home, gave Celosa a bath, and took off again for the Airline market. Graham doesn't really eat vegetables, so I figured that he wasn't going to miss much if I headed to the produce market without him. I think I was wrong.

In the last few years, small niche farmers markets have been springing up all over the city. But for as long as I can remember, the Airline market has been around. It's sort of a produce hotspot, with a lot of wholesale produce markets, a good hunk of smaller produce vendors, spice hawkers and Caninos, which is a larger farmers' market. This year, the Houston Press bestowed their best farmers market award on Caninos:
We were as excited as anyone else about the early 2000s boomlet in farmers' markets all over Houston. Sadly, each of them disappointed us. Yeah, we're down with the whole "support the American farmer" and "buy local produce" movements, but when all you've got are a few tables with piles of chard, artisanal cheese and arugula on them, it reminds us less of bountiful America than of some kind of snooty version of a godforsaken nutrition-deficient Soviet backwater. Give us the majesty of the purple mountains of eggplants and amber waves of maize of Canino's any day. There you can fully stock your produce drawer, fruit bowl and tamale platter in one fell swoop, not to mention pick up a piñata and a licuado while you're at it, all at the best prices and the highest quality in town. And we also just love the experience of shopping there — the crush and bustle of the throngs of shoppers, the disarray of the box- and tamale-wrapper-strewn parking lot, the crunch of reggaeton beats, the lisping norteño accordions and the blat of tuba-driven banda music, and the beep-beep-beep of forklifts ferrying boxes of mangos to and fro.
I don't have a clue whether the produce there is "organic" or not, but the quality is great, the prices are even better. I bought apples, grapefruit, nectarines, grean beans, red potoatoes, tomatoes, and asparagus for $13. After I put that bag back in the car, I wandered to the back of the market, where the individual vendors were. Each stand was full of color. Red tomatoes, dark dried chiles, green nopales and tomatillos, yellow peppers, and lots of produce that I didn't necessarily recognize. Even though I had already bought some roma tomatoes at Caninos, I ended up buying another bag full for $2 from an eldery Mexican lady with some goregous produce.

Soon, I found myself in the back area, and I headed over to one of the taco trucks. A few years ago, Robb Walsh gave a rave review to Taqueria Tacambaro, one of the trucks back there. Jose had discovered that particular truck years before that, and most of my family have been fairly loyal customers since. I walked up to the truck and ordered a beef adn a chicken gordita. I watched the sous chef prepare my meal with anticipation, and I was happy to hand her the $5 for my lunch. I poured some green salsa on the gorditas, squeezed some lime on them, and dug in while I was standing at the counter around the taco truck. Delicious, though I had to ask for a paper towel to take care of all the juices. A couple was standing next to me, and they were on their second order.

After lunch, I walked around the produce markets a bit more, and I almost bought the spices for my Halloween costume, but decided to put that off for another day. And then I walked across the street to a bakery for some empanadas. At first, I was a little upset because it looked like they were out of the pumpkin, but I found a fresh baked tray of them in another section, and I ended up buying 8 emapandas.

After my venture on Airline, I headed to Kroger for dairy and meat, and then home. Graham thinks that my subsequent productivity is due to the Monster energy drink that I found when I was cleaning out the refrigerator to put groceries away: I straightened the house. I cleaned the kitchen. I pulled some weeds from various beds. I deadheaded roses. I fixed the retaining wall next to the driveway. I caulked a window with silicone. I threw crap from the back yard away. I hauled trash. I did laundry. I watered the compost pile. I rearranged and cleared off the front porch. I spread seed in the front yard.

When Graham got home at six, I was having a bit of a sit down with the dogs.

That night, we went to a hockey game to celebrate our friend James's birthday. That was lots and lots of fun. I think there were about fifteen or so people in our group, and it was a perfect way to watch minor league hockey. Afterwards we went to a bar, and then another bar, and we got home around two. Someone handed me another Monster energy drink when we were leaving the arena.

Graham didn't have to be at the theater until one yesterday, so we lingered in bed pretty late. We watched a little of the pre-game stuff on tv and then the beginning of the Ravens/Bengels game. But when Graham left, I did too. I headed to Ikea and bought some sheets, a new bath mat and lots of boxes for organizing our den area. Oh, and some meatballs. Then I headed to Murder By the Book to pick up my new Stieg Larsson book. Watching the end of the Bengels game and all of the Texans game *sob*, I re-organized the den with the new boxes. I washed our comforter cover and some pillow shams. I hauled out my sewing machine and repaired some throw pillows that Celosa had torn up when she was in her teething stage. I thawed some Italian sausage for dinner. After the Texans dramatic loss, I decided I was done with that sort of stuff, and I retreated to the living room sofa (with a pillow no longer trying to escape its cover) with my current book and waited for Graham to come home. He (correctly) accused me of hitting the energy drink again.

After dinner (Graham's awesome, awesome, awesome Italian sausage pasta), we watched the tivoed Football Night in America while I sorted, organized and filed all of the bills and other importent documents on my desk and waiting for placement in my filing cabinet.

It was one of those weekends where I don't feel like I did much, but then I remember that I did a LOT. And I feel pretty good about all of the projects that I had been meaning to get to for awhile, but just didn't have the time.

And even if he doesn't like vegetables, I'm dragging Graham back to the produce market.


( 1 comment — Say something )
Oct. 13th, 2009 03:32 am (UTC)
Your weekend sounds wonderful!!!
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