Memory at Haymarket

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oh, the memories we all have of food! When do they form? I think of just summer alone: salty chips and candy bars at a beach stand, strawberry ice cream on a hot afternoon, lemonade after a long swim, cheeseburgers with friends, tomatoes off the vine and sprinkled with salt, corn cobs spun in butter, cold oysters mingled with tart mignonette, melty peach pie in evening, hot doughnuts in the morning…. We seem to pull our strongest memories from childhood, the flavors melded with moments, locations, the presence of loved ones, all of it recalled in an instant with just a taste or a whiff.

Toddlers seem to me to be nearly fruitarians. They just love it. Look for them at a party and you’ll find them all round the fruit tray, pinching watermelon squares, bundling blueberries into their hands for later, telltale strawberry stains long since dried on their shirt collars. To love something as a toddler is to want it over and over—a book only gets better on the 3rd read; a lunch, then a dinner, of only fresh raspberries is never refused.

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Imagine the wonder of a market to a toddler’s eye: the fruit heaped, piled, trays lining tables, tables forming rows fading off into the distance. The fruit of Boston’s Haymarket is not farmer’s market fruit: fresh from the fields and only just ripe to sell. Instead it is overripe, really on the verge of rotten. It is opulence from grocery stores across the city, an order that was overestimated and must be sold quickly or wasted altogether. The vendors will warn you, “eat these right away,” as they hand over a bag of mush-soft avocados. If you’re planning a party that night and want an enormous bowl of guacamole, a margarita pitcher sharp with fresh limes, or mojitos brimming with trampled mint, it’s perfect. Otherwise, think fast.

I remember coming to Haymarket when I was due, so very overdue, with Lux. I bought lemons and made a lemon cake. Though I’m now only at 33 weeks, I still feel a bit like the fruit piled here. Bursting at the seams here and there, even softer in spots than you might expect. Getting dressed in your third trimester, I’ve always felt, is a bit like slipping a rubber band over a ripe peach. Abundant, and preposterous.

I’m wearing Lux in sakura bloom simple silk in amber. All of these photos were taken by Cambria Grace, a dreamy Boston photographer. Lux and I had so much fun wandering the market with her and Joe and I are absolutely over the moon about these photos (she got smiles from Lux we never seem to managed to capture!).