eggs and peppers, tortillas, salsa, paw paw
BLT, potato/parsnip herb soup
It was not a white Christmas at the Oasis. The snow started three days later. At about 2am when I often find myself prowling the hallway to watch the light turn the icebergs on the horizon into Carnival cruise ships, I heard the wind start like a switch being thrown and knew I would awake to a featureless world. Foul weather keeps the guests subdued. This snowy stillness in the main room is a rare treat. I am delighted by my own little noises- the ice tinkling in my glass, the tick tack tick of my keyboard. The only other human sound is Boss cloistered behind the curtains of his bunk snoring lightly through an afternoon cat-nap.
Christmas was more of a coincidence than an event. No friends and family, no carols or parties. The entire holiday arrived, condensed down to a two-day weekend and an extra-large ration of freshies delivered by a helicopter full of people wearing santa hats and antlers. The Santacopter is sent to all accessable field camps under the guise of spreading cheer. Guests in silly hats bearing veggies are always cheer-inducing, but in truth, the trip is more of a gift to the worker bees from the Big Base who get to leave the hive for an afternoon to go on a look-see.
Meal planning with a cold room full of freshies is a joy after weeks of manipulating frozen bags of “Tuscan Vegetable Mix” and “Fajita Blend” into something I’m not ashamed to serve. While assembling BLTs at lunch, I find a colony of stowaways in the lettuce. I haven’t seen an aphid in months- now I have a whole bowl of them, swimming for their lives in the rinse water. I feel a bit conflicted sending them to a certain death in the gray water evaporation pond. In their rarity I find these normally abhorrent pests charming. I pause with the bowl over the drain and watch their spindly legs beat uselessly, moving their transparent green bodies absolutely nowhere. I’d love to keep one in a jar. Poke some holes in the lid and give him a good aphid name, like Steve or Dale.