Hello? Hello? Is this thing on? Hello?
My name is Barry. I shouldn’t actually be here. I don’t mean I haven’t got permission. I mean it’s not actually my thing. It’s Tammy Donroe’s thing. “Food on the Food,” whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean. It’s a “blog.”
I’m Tammy’s neighbor. Not her neighbor, exactly: I live six blocks away, where the houses aren’t quite as fancy. I wouldn’t even say I know her, really. We’ve never talked, for example. Our main connection is, she was in my ex-wife’s yoga class for a few years.
Don’t get me started about my ex-wife.
So it came as a surprise to find a note from Tammy on my porch yesterday morning, asking me if I’d take care of her children and her “blog” while she and her husband were on vacation. Apparently they had already left. She promised to bring me some cheese curds.
How in the world did she find out about me and cheese curds?
I don’t have kids myself, and I had never done a “blog” before (in fact, I had to look up the word “blog”), but I thought, come on, how hard can it be? Also, Tammy’s kind of cute, in her own way, with that, what would you call it, hillbilly-Italian kind of thing going on. And then the cheese curds. So I thought what the heck.
I went over to her house. The kids were there, sitting quietly at the dinner table, like the note said they would be. Before I could open my mouth, the smaller one introduced himself. “I’m The Three-Year-Old,” he said. Then his brother chimed in: “I’m The Kindergartner.” Very cute boys, very polite. And talk about excellent diction—when The Three-Year-Old asked for permission to go to the bathroom, I made him repeat it several times, just because he said it in such an adorable way!
All in all, the place was pretty tidy, which is a little surprising, considering. The only real housecleaning I had to do was clear the Snickers wrappers off the kitchen table. There must have been two dozen of them, but at least the boys weren’t hungry.
But enough about babysitting. Tammy’s instructions say I’m supposed to write about food, so I’d better get to it. I’ve decided to use my brief moment in the spotlight to introduce all you Food on the Foodies to a fantastic CSA farm I recently subscribed to. If you live anywhere near Waltham, MA, you owe it to yourself to join.
It’s called Toot Hollow Farm, and get this: They only grow one thing, and that one thing is beans. What that means for members is that every Friday for the entire length of bean season (which the brochure says lasts from late June till about mid-February), you can expect a Toot Hollow truck to deliver a box of their freshest beans directly to your house. FYI, here are some of the contents of the latest box:
You can’t imagine what a luxury it is to find this incredible bounty on my doorstep each week. And the fact that it comes from a local grower means everything’s been picked at a stage of perfect ripeness—none of your thousand-mile journeys in refrigerated trucks. That’s good news in the carbon-footprint department. And delicious? Well, I think the photo says it all.
I signed up with Toot Hollow only a few weeks ago, and I have yet to actually visit the farm. I confess I tried to find it once or twice, but the directions in the brochure are a little vague. They must be way the hell out in the boondocks someplace: I picture rolling hills and trees full of songbirds, and of course row on row of delicious beans. No question I’ll make it out at some point, but in the meantime, just keep those boxes coming, Toot Hollow! It’s like having Christmas every week!
Luckily, if there’s one thing kids can’t get enough of, it’s beans, so you can bet that The Three-Year-Old and The Kindergartner will be enjoying the Toot Hollow cornucopia along with Uncle Barry this week, while Mom and Dad are away. I’ve been brainstorming on some fun lunchbox ideas for The Kindergartner to take to day camp. Here’s what I’ll be putting in his little backpack tomorrow:
If that doesn’t make you wish you were a kid again, nothing will!
And that’s about all I have to say on the subject of Toot Hollow Farm. Thank you for letting me post today. And if anyone’s in touch with Tammy and her husband, would you mind asking them where they keep the Band-Aids?
Barry Foy is the author of the wildly popular Devil’s Food Dictionary: A Pioneering Culinary Reference Work Consisting Entirely of Lies. It’s funny.