Monday, October 17, 2011

Love the curbside produce

I am old enough to remember the milkman (and the Fuller Brush man). And fresh, cold milk delivered in glass bottles to our front door in rain, sleet or snow. Was that ever grand! There's nothing better than cold milk served in a glass accompanied by Oreos except maybe - and I mean maybe - Coca Cola and peanut butter on a Ritz. My mother loved to drink a cold Coke right out of its shapely, trademark green bottle.

None of that nasty waxy flavor or, worse, tin. Glass is clean and so is the taste. Would you drink wine out of a paper cup? (Please, I don't want to know.)

Back to home delivery...every Sunday and Monday, one of New Orleans' last independent produce vendors, aka Mr. Okra, drives his colorfully painted truck down our street. I can hear him from blocks away, yelling: "I got cantaloupes. I got oranges. I got avocados. I got eggplant..." You've got the message.

He's got a helper who jumps out of the truck whenever somebody flags him down and makes change on the spot - no credit cards. I have no idea if it is overpriced or underpriced, but it's entertainment and curbside, so I don't care. We all run outside excitedly in our pajamas and slippers, clutching a few bills to see what he's got. So fun!

I wish I could say that his fruits and veggies were organic or homegrown, but I don't know. The supermarkets have begun to stock locally made products like honey as well as produce. I just shipped a box of satsumas grown in a Belle Chasse backyard to a friend in Texas. She didn't know what they were and soon she will.

BTW - we've still got an ice cream truck, too, that plays a cute little tune. I was worried the driver didn't make enough sales in our mostly adult neighborhood 'till I saw him over at Audubon Park, surrounded by a horde of kids and parents. That's where he's headed.

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