Saturday, 2 June 2012

500: Artichokes with purslane (Αγγινάρες με γλιστρίδα)

Flash fiction: 500 words (or thereabouts).

It is morning. The sky is clear and blue. It is hot, even though it is still early morning. It will stay hot the whole day.

The air is cool at this hour. Time to open the windows for fresh air, but not the shutters - the sun burns too brightly at this time. The rooms fill with the fresh breeze as the birds tweet their songs, as they feel the warmth of the coming summer.

The garden looks lush and verdant. All that winter rain is now working to its benefit! The tomato plants have grown stronger, they already need training. The zucchini is filled with small fruit - not long now, we will be eating them. The apricots are still green but the tree is overloaded.

It's Saturday and there are jobs to done and promises to be attended to:
"You promised to sew up my jeans."
"Didn't you say we'd bake a cake today?"
"Don't get me to do it, I'm going to sow some corn today."

It's Saturday and our supplies must be replenished before the shops close: 
"How much bread should I buy?"
"Do we need any milk?"

"What meat will we have for Sunday lunch?"
"Are there any leftovers? No? So, τί θα φάμε σήμερα?"

This salad was inspired by Magda's post on purslane. I used artichokes instead of the cucumbers mentioned in her recipe. 

There is no time to waste, but there is plenty of time. Time to turn the sheets, air the pillows, put on a washload, clear the dust off the shelves (it will come back in less than an hour), sweep the yard, mop the dusty balconies (which will fill up again with dust by nightfall), and simply enjoy the morning at home away from school, the office, the roads, and all the other emblems of civilisation that have ensnared us for the sake of the evolution of humanity.

Where we once thought that life can only get better, we now find that life can in fact get worse and we cannot keep up with improvements because we cannot compete with those who have jumped the gun. But when we cast aside the modern urban world that put us into this mess, and we put a bit of the primitive back into our contemporary, it is possible to believe that life can be sweet without too much sugar.

Spring is a time for new growth. The garden looks empty, but it still yields fruit to those that accept its offerings. The artichokes will begin to bloom if they are not harvested soon, and the purslane has just sprouted, all on its own, as if by magic. Lunch just needs some cheese today, with a few pantry staples added (olives and onions), and that ubiquitous splash of olive oil. We take it for granted that we live like royalty. But I'd prefer to keep such things to myself - I don't really want the place to get too crowded.

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