Years ago, when I was an impoverished student in Kingston, I shopped in the lower level of the S&R department store. For Torontonians, that would equate to Honest Ed's. And of course most of us have visited final sales or jumble bazaars in hopes of discovering "The Great Find". Occasionally these forays into the bargain realm lead to secret joys and surprises. Secret, because who wants to admit that at 110 pounds she's wearing an XXL top cinched in with a big belt? When I think back, nobody would have cared then, probably nobody cares now. We all have our idiosyncrasies.
One of mine is the planting of a garden. I imagine that it saves money. (Truth is, usually the seeds cost more than the full grown produce.) I also imagine that we get to taste flavours no longer sold in the big grocery chains. (This IS often true.) But this year, the garden provided many more ongoing blessings. Part of this was due to the extraordinarily long fall. Part also to the warmth generated by a very large compost -in-waiting. But most of all it was due to that wonderful genetic variation/permutation/combination thing studied by Mendel away back when. This fall, the small naturally hybridized tomatoes that grew so abundantly in the compost also ripened very happily in the basement. These little gems were discovered in their tiny private six-quart home in the basement in November. And last week - December! - yielded another pint or two. Somehow, they continued to do their thing in the dark, ripening from within without sunlight. What a tiny miracle is that! I just LOVE shopping in the basement! It's cheap, it's fun, and I don't have to drive there.