Day 120: Purple pickle eater

Standing outside on a cold windy day flogging pickles cannot be much fun. That’s what crossed my mind today as I approached a shivering merchant on the final day of the downtown Farmer’s Market.

It was a bittersweet occasion. Sweet to roam the stalls of shiny apples, wheels of cheese and gnarled gourds; bitter because the beautiful fall season will soon be over.

The pickle man had an array of samples — everything from garlic-infused gherkins to hot-pink, almost purple, pickled turnips. I recognized these crunchy treats (so tangy, they make you pucker up with every bite) because one of my favourite restaurants (the Armenian Kitchen) also serves them.

I didn’t have my purse with me so unfortunately I couldn’t buy anything, but in my new effort to try and be more friendly, I asked the pickle man about his wares. I mentioned that I’d tried the pink turnips at the Armenian Kitchen and he turned out to be Armenian himself.

In fact, he had a fascinating story of the origin of his Armenian family’s pickle recipe that I wish I could reproduce here for you but it was handwritten and affixed to the table beside the jars.

I asked if he had a business card and, it turns out, their warehouse is just around the corner from my place so I will get to buy the pickles after all.

Since I didn’t actually buy anything from the guy, I felt I needed to expand on my good-deeding today. So later, I passed along my newspaper to another commuter.

On the front page, Madonna’s picture (and caption announcing her divorce from Guy Ritchie) actually appeared above the headline, providing a welcome distraction from the grim economic news reports of the day that were printed below. How nice of Madonna to time her split so well … a celebrity good deed of sorts, I guess….

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