Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Saturday at the market

When I was nine my dad moved to Portland.  We were living in New Mexico at the time and he was offered a new job at a university there.  Mom stayed in New Mexico with Kathleen and me so we could finish out the school year.  During the year we went to visit our soon to be home city.  I remember being impressed by how green and urban the city felt.  I remember he had a fake seagull on the patio of his rental condo that made me smile.  And I remember the Saturday Market.
Under the bridge a wide array of stands offered an impossible selection of crafts and delicious foods.  I vividly remember eating a piece of fried dough dipped in cinnamon sugar or topped with flavored cream cheese or jam they called an "Elephant Ear" and a spring roll filled with rice noodles with  a sweet and spicy dipping sauce that tasted like nothing I'd ever eaten before.
I moved away from Portland after graduating high school.  In the years I lived there I'd visited the market more times than I could count.  It has grown and changed, the location is different, the vendors have changed, but they still have the elephant ears.  The tasty tasty fried dough.
This weekend the boys made their first visit to the Saturday Market.  I was excited to introduce them to this Portland classic.  Unfortunately when we got there the boys were underwhelmed by the charm.  It was cold.  Little Dog told me his face was cold.  "I didn't know it was outside!  I didn't want to come if it was outside," he growled at me like a surly teen.  Big Dog was more confrontational, "You told me this was going to be fun.  When is it going to be fun?"
Fine,  let's get a snack then we can head home.  Kettle corn first then enter the fried dough.  All of a sudden the day took a turn.  They suddenly loved the market.  Up the ante by finding balloon animals (or in the case of Little Dog, a "crazy hat") and suddenly this is "the best day ever!"   And I have the photos to prove it.

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