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January 6, 2010

Avocado mishaps and literary avocados

A mishaps during Sunday’s trip to the grocery store led to me bringing home ten avocados when I really only meant to buy one, and so it’s avocado city here these days, as we seek to use them up before they get riper than ripe (read: rotten). Which is sort of easy, because we have a baby, and avocados are nature’s baby food, but even she doesn’t need that much avocado, so we’ve also been indulging in avocado milkshakes, avocado pizza, avocado scones, and my new favourite discovery– avocado bread, which might just be the best thing in the universe. I’ve adapted the recipe as per the reviewer’s comment to add a bit more sugar, and then I forget about the sugar and pretend that this is a healthy treat, because avocado is the good fat, after all.

So the point is that I’m totally obsessed with avocados, and have been thinking about bookish ones. I remembered this piece from the London Review of Books about Californian agriculture and avocado orchards: “Avocados have always been the icon of San Diego‚Äôs countryside (which produces much of the US harvest) and if the remaining growers are forced to sell out, the past will become as inaccessible as the future will be combustible.”

In terms of books, there is Elaine Dundy’s The Dud Avocado (which I once wrote about here). The famously dirty Wetlands that had an avocado on its cover. We have a picture book called Avocado Baby by John Burningham. I wrote a poem about avocados during my Poetic April back in 2008. Googling, I found this ode to the avocado by Richard Wireck in a literary journal called r.kv.r.y. “O Avocado Avocado”, in which the author asked to be slathered, buried “in God’s sweet, gold pudding, the very butter of paradise.” And YA author called Daniel Pinkwater wrote a book called The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death. A further web search brings me to Avocado: Botany, Production and Uses, which sounds a bit boring, and Sex and the Avocado, which sounds less so, until you realize it’s written by the author of 105-Plus Guacamole Dip Recipes.

Which is nowhere near enough. What other literary avocados am I missing? Forgive me for not coming up with more on my own, but I’ve got another loaf to bake.

April 26, 2009

Road Trip to Don Mills

I am going to be totally honest– I arrived with heightened expectations and they weren’t entirely met. I’d heard so many good things about McNally Robinson Booksellers out west that I couldn’t miss checking out their first Ontario location, way out in the Don Mills countryside. So we drove out there this morning, me and two bookish ladies, and my husband who couldn’t remember why he’d signed up for the adventure. We arrived at the shopping mall, which was strange and confusing, with people on segways zipping about, and other people on stilts. The sun was bright and the sky was blue, and I was comfortable wearing a tank top– a gorgeous day. We found the bookstore quickly, and hurried our way inside.

The space was great, the shop was crowded, I loved the light, and the trees, and two whole floors of books. It would have been nice, however, if staff hadn’t responded to every question with a shrug and, “We’ve just opened,” or if they’d had a copy of the book I’d come to buy, or if Stuart hadn’t been convinced he was actually in a Chapters. I’m not really sure what I was expecting, but dancing elephants might have been involved, and they weren’t there.

They did have Rebecca’s book, however, right beside the dirty avocado book, much to our delight. Lots of other books from small presses too, and the children’s section was wonderful, and we explored food books with great enthusiasm. I ended up getting The Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer, and Wheels on the Go for a friend of ours who’s turning two. And afterwards we went out for a suburban type meal at a chain restaurant, which was tremendous fun in the land of parking lots and fountains.

December 12, 2008

My little alligator pear

Is it tacky that I love my unborn child just a little bit more now I’ve learned it’s now the size of my favourite fruit? I picked one up at the market today, and felt more than a little bit moved. What a long way from an orange pip.

May 6, 2008

Elaine Dundy

From Maud Newton’s blog, I discover that the writer Elaine Dundy has died. Except that I’ve never heard of Elaine Dundy before, but being currently afflicted with an obsession for the alligator pear, her novel The Dud Avocado caught my attention. Though I don’t know what the book has to do with avocados, but my obsession doesn’t really have much to do with them either (more their essence, naturally). And so I’m going to read this novel, which means I’m jumping onto a just-deceased author bandwagon again, however I feel less bad about it than usual. Elaine Dundy, who once wrote a book on Elvis, is quoted on the source of sources as saying, “I didn’t know that Elvis was alive until he died”.

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