July 21, 2012
On the day you're married, people in India say, "Congrats!" They wait till the honeymoon's over before asking where your progeny are. No rush or anything.
Much as I'm reluctant to have kids of my own at the moment, I love other peoples', particularly for short durations of time. I'd a complete blast volunteering for Not Far From The Tree's Kids Zone at the Harbourfront Centre's Hot & Spicy food festival.
I introduced Not Far From the Tree in this post, but to recap, they're an organization that helps tree owners pick their fruit. Four volunteers had been on a farm pick lately, and ended up with - wait for it - three. thousand. peaches. They decided to put the fruit to good use, and donated a lot of it back to the organization.
Which meant that come Saturday, we'd whole wagon-fulls of peaches waiting to be consumed by the kids who came out to the Hot & Spicy festival. The peaches were neither hot nor spicy, but they were ripe and sweet, a complete delight. We had the kids wash their hands (and the fruit!) in big tubs of water, before carefully cutting them into little pieces with plastic knives, mixing them in sugar & spices, and then sprinkling the whole mixture onto pre-made tartlets.
The kids were completely absorbed in their work and made my heart melt about forty thousand times per hour.Some of them were really really young, and I was thrilled with how interested they were in cooking & eating. Mini-foodies! They also loved the idea of climbing trees to pick fruit ('Do you get paid too? Is it hot? Are the trees really tall?')
Earlier in the day, there'd been a bike-powered blender which turned the peaches into smoothies as the kids cycled in place. I'll have to get one of those for my kitchen, talk about a productive workout!
And then, of course, there was a side show - both the kids who'd come to cut, and the college kids who were helping out, were fascinated when they heard how old I was. Most flattering.
All in all, a Saturday brilliantly spent, though the food festival itself was a bit of a disappointment. I couldn't track down the Farmer's Market I'd been really keen to check out, and when I asked around, it seemed no one else had either. The kids told me there were plenty of super hot sauces around though, and they were glad for the peachy respite from it all :)