All season at the market we have a rectangular basket at the front of the Indian Line Farm table that always holds the micro greens. We pack little ziplock bags full of them, and they go for 3 bucks a pop which can seem steep when you hold the tiny bag in your hand, especially weighing it against a big voluptuous bunch of kale, which also sets you back 3 bucks. So I often end up having to argue in defense of micro greens.
Here I go.
So I’m leaning against the side counter, waiting for our drinks.
It’s Mother’s day, and my sister and I have scooped up the tiny pocket of time before our mother goes to work and my sister studies for finals to walk down together the three of us and buy my mother one of her secret treats, a decaf soy latte. I’m waiting for said soy latte, along with an iced americano (me) and an au lait (the signature drink of all 16 year olds) for my sister. I am spacing out the window, high on the scones Sadie made me and the lilacs Rosie picked me and the extra sleep I got while all that was happening. It’s hot, and the coffee shop is empty and bright and only noisy with grinding.
When we showed up at the pavilion at Cheeseman Park in Denver to set up for my father-in-law’s funeral last Wednesday, there was a guy in tiny black shorts pole dancing for a camera crew. It was 9 in the morning , and I guess they figured they could shoot a yoga pole dancing video without getting in anyone’s way.
I am a fan of second projects.
All through these last few years that I’ve been working on my own little second project, there’s been a phenomenon that’s come to my attention. No one tells you about it the first time around, but it seems to hit a whole lot of people who have the good fortune to get to write and publish a book, or to record an album, or really to do any big artistic project and meet some measure of success before trying to do it all over again. And although I’ve heard this from a lot of people, I only really know my own experience, so I’ll go from there. It seems to go something like this:
The first project is hard because working on anything is hard, but there’s a magic and an unreality to it. If you’ve wanted to do something and then you actually get to do it and maybe even get paid to do it, the process of creating and putting out that first project can be a little fairytale-like. And because the goal has been accomplished, that is to do that thing, all the other stuff is just frosting. When my first book was about to come out, I felt that if I sold 10 copies, if I just had that book to hold in my hands, I was good. That was all I wanted.
But then we have the second project.
At our house, cake season stretches from February through April, from Rosie’s birthday through Sadie’s (with Joey’s in between). It parallels dirty-piles-of-icy snow season, which is fortunate, because the cake helps.
I’m not particularly good at making birthday cakes, but I love to do it anyway. I like frostings with not much sugar, so often one cake slides and swerves off the other, and no matter whether I do a crumb coat or not, there are always crumbs. I also am no good with the piping bag, even through I’ve been shown how to do roses over and over. But I think a lot of making birthday cakes is just having the moxie to make the thing, actually pile one on top of the other, stick some candles in it and maybe even sing at the same time as you carry it across the kitchen. Any one can do it.