Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Thursday Ritual

On Thursday evenings, you will frequently find The Family Rosenberg at the Farmer’s Market in our neighborhood. Apparently, there are people who go there to purchase farm fresh organic fruits and vegetables. We want to be those people. We’ve tried to be those people. Sometimes we are those people, but most of the time we are these people:

We circle the block around the library four times looking for a parking space. After the first circle, Bob starts whining helpfully, “We are never going to find a parking space. There are no spaces. How are we going to find one?” After enjoying this pep talk for five or ten minutes, we find a space.

After parking too close to the corner and partially in the red, we head towards the market entrance. Bob requests to play for “just 100 minutes” under the giant tree next to the library. I leave the guys behind and move on to the market.

I rush past the stalls of produce, orchids, and organic honey to take my place in line for Salvadorian pupusas. If you’re not familiar, pupusas are like a quesadilla if the edges of the incredibly fluffy tortillas were sealed up and melty cheese and vegetables or beans or meat was trapped inside a puffy, delicious Salvadorian cloud. These are made with masa flour and are gluten-free. I live for them and our weekly date.

The line to place an order is usually about 20 people deep. I will stand in line for an average of 25 minutes while silently chanting to myself my pupusa mantra, “Don’t run out of shrimp. Don’t run out of shrimp.” Once my order is placed, I am handed a ticket with my number, "54" on it. Then from behind the grill, the tiny lady with the Spanish accent and the shower cap will belt out, "Number eight guys, number eight? Anybody have number eight?" Sometimes they run out of shrimp.

Now the guys have moved on to Bob’s second stop, what he refers to as, “music practice with one of my bands.” Eddie Dread is a fellow who plays the drum while singing reggae-ish versions of “Wheels on the Bus” and other pre-school favorites. He lays out rhythm instruments for the kids to play along with. Bob enjoys the cymbals and putting cash in Eddie Dread’s tip basket.

As I wait for our order, I gaze across the lawn at the home of my salty/sweet kryptonite, the Kettle Korn stand. After an internal struggle, I will often resolve to pass it up, knowing that if I bring the bed pillow sized bag home, I will eat it single-handedly, before a Tivo’d episode of How I Met Your Mother makes it to the second commercial break. I will get a stomach ache and I will think it is worth it.

Around this time, Bob picks out the largest cookie offered by the Mexican bakery guy, asks to carry it, and then he “tries it out” by attempting to eat it through the plastic wrap.

Bob and Jeff watch the commuter trains come in and out of the nearby station. Bob demands a ride to Sierra Madre, which he doesn't get. Bob gets upset. Then, they come looking for me.

The guy next to me in line talks about how these same people sell the pupusas at a Farmer’s Market in Eagle Rock and the line is way shorter there. (Thanks.) Then The Joy Killer will say, “These things are great every once in a while but it’s not like you could have them every week with all of the lard they cook them in.” Yeah. He’s right. What kind of idiot would do that?

I decide to get the kettle korn too.


  1. i LOVE Farmers Market. the one we have here has the most amazing beautiful flowers for very cheap. and great breakfasts! :)

  2. Withstanding the farm fresh locally grown organic produce and all that yucky organic honey is SO worth it for the papusas and the kettle corn. Vegetables? Feh!

  3. I got to the downtown farmers' market almost every Saturday, but I have to settle for breakfast tacos instead of papusas, which sound divine. And we don't have kettle korn, thank god, otherwise I'd have to eat all of it.

  4. I cant wait to get my car & drive around but that will be until next year! for now I have to settle for veggies from walmart!!!

  5. I think you should buy the King mattress sized bag of kettle corn so I can come over and we can watch Marie Antoinette. We can race to see if we can eat all the kettle corn before their marriage is consummated. Good times!

  6. After figuring out that the profit margin for the kettle corn makers is about 50,000%, I'm thinking about buying my own kettle.

  7. I so love the guy for letting the kids play with him (although, honestly, good way to make more tips). That is a fun picture.

    I like the occasional vegetable and all but my favorite about the farmer's market is all the booths that are non-vegetable related, such as the cinnamon almond people or the guy that sells vases. Those are more fun for me.