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18 July 2006

I’m feeling some frustration, here, people.

A group of friends (5 families) have decided to share a meal once a week during the summer (that’s pretty language for have a weekly potluck; I like it better prettified) (and no, this isn’t the frustrating part, this is the informational background part). Now, we don’t check in with one another about what we’re bringing. That’s part of the fun, you know? For example, last week was Pasta Salad night. We had three different types of pasta salad. What could be better than three different types of pasta salad? My friend E. said, in passing, “One of these weeks everyone will bring dessert.” That’s what could be better than three pasta salads: five desserts. So of course, what do I feel like making this week? Yes: dessert.

I have my mind set on making those papaya-coconut cupcakes with ginger-lime frosting by Chockylit that I made back in April. They are tasty, they are filling, and they’re not too sweet (Canada Dry ginger ale, anybody?).

So on market day (fancy talk for Saturday), I asked the Consort to bring me back a papaya. The farmer’s market didn’t have any (no surprise: this is the midwest, after all; it isn’t quite the right climate [we cram our 260 days of heat into 100 days]); the grocery store didn’t have any; and the organic market (the place of the $5 organic broccoli) didn’t have any. Rats. Yesterday I called another chic market (we call it “the healthfood store”). They didn’t have any either (we’re deep in the territory of the frustration, now; in case you hadn’t picked up on it).

What the heck, people? Why can’t I find papaya in July? Huh? I can find apples in July (sure they’re mealy and tasteless, but they are there, in the produce section!). I can find asparagus in October. And don’t go telling me that papayas are a delicate fruit — I can find berries in March.

What use is being a world hegemony if I can’t get papaya in July? And it isn’t like we’d have to twist the arm of places like Indonesia to get them. THEY GROW THEM IN HAWAII*, for crying out loud! Hawaii is part of the fifty states! What are they doing holding back on the papaya shipments, I ask? Don’t they know — can’t they — see, the irony is what they need to do is get the Hawaii to get the growers to stop doing this shit and it’s over. It’s all about transparent shipping, folks.

If I can’t find any today, then I may have to give in and make peanut butter pound cake; but that just seems so — autumnal. Double rats.

*I find it hilarious (but reasonable) that the University of Hawaii extension has a description of papaya; it’s such a different world than the Iowa State University extension, which has pages on how to preserve gooseberry jam safely and can identify the disease that is making your buckeye tree turn yellow early (just send them a 12-in. bit of branch with leaves on it, a check for $10, and within two weeks you’ll receive a letter detailing the problem and how to deal with it.

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