living seasonally

I don’t know if I’m ever going to get used to living in the southern hemisphere. Friends who have been here for years tell me the backwards seasons still feel strange to them.

We are enjoying lovely mild, late spring weather. The kids swim every day, though if you ask me the pool is still a touch too cold (at what age do women become such pansies when it comes to cold water?). Today at the grocery store I bought the following: a turkey (I’m not going to say what I paid, but it was more than some of my shoes), overpriced imported cranberry juice, three pairs of flip-flops, an extra swimsuit for Mary, and some beach towels. Swimsuits and Christmas ornaments are side-by-side in the seasonal aisle.

Here’s what I didn’t buy. Cranberry sauce, canned pumpkin, Stovetop stuffing (don’t hate me, but I love that stuff). Not available.

You’ll notice in the coming months that much of your delicious produce is from Chile, since it is summer here and winter there. But the opposite is not true for Chileans, because the price of imported fruit would be astronomical. You just eat what’s in season. What? Yes. Michael Pollan would be so pleased.

What that means in real life is that right now I can get beautiful fresh asparagus for around $1.50 a bunch, and artichokes (very popular here) for 50 cents a pound. But, I can’t get a non-mushy apple, nor a butternut squash for any price. And today I couldn’t find celery for my stuffing (which I have to make from scratch!). I didn’t know celery had a season, but two stores were out of it today.

I’m making a Thanksgiving-style dinner Sunday for ourselves, Matt’s visiting mother (yay!), and some Chilean friends, because we’ll be out of town on Thursday. But, I’m not entirely sure we’re going to want such a rich, heavy meal when we arrive home from church on a sweaty afternoon. Turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, and stuffing — yes. Rolls — yes. But instead of green bean casserole, a big green salad. And instead of winter-y pies, strawberry and key lime are on the menu. Delicious.

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