It is a gorgeous book. Her tidy teensy apartment has no plastic, no disposables, no junk.
In one of the pictures, there are two beautiful white bowls of berries (one of blueberries, one of strawberries) placed on a linen towel. The caption reads, "I find that keeping bowls of fruit out on the kitchen table means they actually get devoured instead of shriveling up in the fridge."
It was such a pretty picture.
So yesterday, instead of slicing half a pound of strawberries into minuscule pieces and creating a glaze to go on top of shortcake, which is my usual route, I decided to cut two pounds into slices and put them in our painted strawberry enamel bowl to generously share with my family. The strawberries were not purchased at the farmer's market, they were not carried home in a cloth bag, and they were not de-leaved with a wooden-handled artisan knife. But they were placed, in a bowl, out in the open. I felt a kinship with the younger, suaver, trendier author.
Halfway through our meal, I asked the other side of the table to pass down the strawberries. "There are no more strawberries," they said. Three of us still had not gotten any.
It is when you need a mid-meal shopping trip that you realize the shortcomings and dystopianism of minimalism in a family of fourteen.
I should also mention that there is a blatant oxymoronish tint to it all, too.
Ethan was not surprised. After all, two pounds of strawberries divided between thirteen eating people is less than generous. And he was also not surprised that, on our second grocery trip of the day, we picked up more strawberries.
"You know," he said, in response to my exasperation, "if you were discerning about which teensy corners of our house to photo and crop and embellish and post online, you could have people believing you were a mother of two in your early thirties in New York City."
No. No. I never could.
I should have paid more attention to what the author said. "I find that keeping bowls of fruit out on the kitchen table means they actually get devoured instead of shriveling up in the fridge." That is exactly what happened. Set on the other side of the table, that is exactly what happened. My side of the table never saw those strawberries.
This is exactly why I do not keep bowls of fruit out on the kitchen table.
Lesson learned, I think. And here is the lesson: mother-of-twelve trying to re-enact mother-of-two's tale of eco-conscious minimalistic simplicity is perhaps enacting quite another genre: FICTION. And bad fiction, at that. Hungry, exasperated, frustrated bad fiction.
In other news, photos from the past few months. Not cropped, not embellished, not eco-friendly. I just don't have the time, and also I'm hungry.
|River, Eve, and Grandma Allison on Easter|
|Trying to gather the masses for a family picture the day of River's baptism (February)|
|Ah. There we all are. All grandparents and children accounted for!|
|Gwendolyn, our Outdoor Cat AHEM, with Maverick.|
|Gwendolyn, our Outdoor Cat AHEM, again.|