“Excuse me, you’re the garden teacher?” I turned to a tap on my shoulder, and saw a woman looking at me with what my students and clients called RBF (resting bitch face).
I pulled out my headphones, smiled, and asked “Am I in your way?”
She looked down my basket, then at me, and said, “Yeah, you are the garden club, lady. I’m _ mother.” I smiled, recognizing the name. I stuck out my leather gloved hand, which she ignored. “I have a bone to pick with you. Why are you filling their heads with all this white people nonsense? He’s at home thinking we are about to have some grand ass holiday meal and shit, when we barely got a pot to piss in and window to throw it out of.”
I could hear her voice rising in the middle of the produce stand. I looked at her and said, “Do you have a moment to talk about this respectfully? I just need to pay for this.” I lifted my overflowing basket. Like magic, my produce guy appeared- glaring at the mother. Then he smiled at me and inquired if I was okay. I smiled back, “Just need to pay“.
He reached for my basket as the mother snapped, “So do I!”
She lifted up the bag of potatoes and onions and he kindly grabbed them “Follow me, ladies”.
I followed him to the counter, pulling reusable bags out of my purse. Turning to her I asked “What’s the problem?”
She waved a bunch of rosemary in my face “This is the problem!”
The cashier looked up and said “You want that, its $12. Four dollars a bush.”
She sneered, “Shit, you got to be joking.”
I laughed and said, “I agree, that’s why we teach kids to grow their own. From what I can gather from _, it is blossoming or regenerating. “
“Yes, something like that. I don’t know how he thinks we going have a grand dinner from weeds (I recalled the day garden club made rosemary focaccia and her child was so excited and involved in the activity).”
I looked at her potatoes and onions and challenged her “Why does it have to be traditional dinner? Why don’t you create your own? Why not a make a rosemary theme dinner with potatoes, rosemary chicken, and rosemary bread? Obviously your child is so proud of his rosemary that he held on to it all these months. You create your family traditions, not societies.”
The cashier interjected “You like rosemary?”
I looked at him and said “She doesn’t need rosemary, perhaps two lemons and some garlic.”
He smiled and said, “For you, Professor, sure.”
She snapped and said, “I don’t need your charity, how much is it?”
The cashier sighed, but wearily stated, $1.67.
I looked at the mother and bid her good night and Merry Christmas.
- 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped
- 2 scallions (any onion is fine)
- 3 bulbs of garlic
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). In a food processor, combine the rosemary, garlic, and scallions. Peel and slice potatoes .Mix sliced potatoes, olive oil, with minced rosemary, garlic, and scallions in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Butter a cast iron skillet .Spread potato mixture. Bake in preheated oven until potatoes are golden brown and tender, stirring once, about 40 minutes.