Bite off too much and you just can’t chew: Thanks a lot, Alice Waters

by doodaddy on October 23, 2007

I barely touched my lunch today. It was a nice lunch — fancy Asian takeout (bought by Park Buddy!) down at the Ferry Building, some of the best spicy tofu around. But I just couldn’t chew… my mind was full of too many activities planned for one day.

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And then we went to the pumpkin patch, too.

It all started Sunday, when I read this article in the Times about how good parents get farmers-market-organic-food for their families. A mother in the article renovates her family’s eating habits à la Alice Waters. The subject of the piece was a working mother. Here I am, a stay-at-home parent, and I can hardly manage to cook a fresh dinner once a week — twice if I’m lucky.

Alice infected me. I became obsessed with the idea of cooking better as a way of treating my family better. With Park Buddy’s help, I resolved to head with Boobaby down to the San Francisco Ferry Building today to that very same farmers’ market where Alice herself is reputed to shop.



7:00 a.m., and off to a bad start. Sleep was crappy last night, thanks to our seasonal heat — early autumn is the warmest time in San Francisco — so let’s just begin by saying I was sleepy. Then the famous Ferry Building Farmer’s Market — although gorgeous and the fruit is as if from central casting — notably sucks eggs when it comes to accommodation. There were about two benches in the shade, and my attempt to feed Boo a little sustaining avocado on the stairs ended when we were chivvied off by a security guard.

Noon. On the ride home, Boo almost fell asleep (joy of joys!) on our lovely San Francisco historic streetcar — until it broke down, leaving us to trudge a block in the middle of the crappiest part of town imaginable with the veggie bag, stroller, and sleepy baby in tow.

3:00 p.m. After nap, I decided on a relaxing trip to our neighborhood playground where everything would be familiar and easy. Except, that is, that we immediately made friends with three kids with mooch parents — the kind that let energetic and involved parents (like me) play with their kids for as long as we’ll tolerate it. (Don’t get me wrong — I love playing. I just wouldn’t mind a little support from those other parents!)

5:00 p.m. Finally, ready to ditch the playground and relax at home, Working Mom calls to ask (cum insist) that we go to the pumpkin patch when she comes home from work. Boobaby takes it well; I’m ready to fall down.

6:00 p.m. We go to the pumpkin patch and it’s very cute: there are scarecrows and hay bales and all the rest. However, we get home too late to cook any of the great organic farmers’ market produce I’ve gotten. So instead, we get Thai takeout.

I feel a little disappointed that I didn’t get to make the relaxing gourmet feast I’d had planned, but looking back on our busy day, planning a complicated meal prep on top of it was completely crazy. Some days — well, some days, takeout is just fine, isn’t it?

Isn’t it?

I need be better at doing less and enjoying more. Tomorrow, I will bite off a smaller chunk. Maybe then I’ll get to chew.

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in activities,goals,parenting ·

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Dawn October 24, 2007 at 6:34 am

I’ve been doing a good job of the farmers market bounty this week. I’m a big dork and have photos on my blog.

And… it’s not ok to sit on a bench and feed a toddler? wth mate?

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Elaine October 24, 2007 at 7:29 am

It’s definitely ok! Yeah, and what is with the security guard? That is insane.

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dead yaya October 24, 2007 at 8:06 am

dude! your stressing is stressing me out! fwtw,i think you are doing just fine. i have those days where i feel like a schlub because i didn’t fix something fresh and beautiful, but instead we eat pizza. there is always a give and take. in the long run, wouldn’t you rather boobaby remember all the fun and adventure, rather than what was for dinner?

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laurel October 24, 2007 at 9:23 am

I’m telling you ~ Saturdays.

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