4-year-old Will and 12-year-old Jamie and I rode the T into downtown Boston this weekend. The journey, as they say, was the destination. Will loves trains, the slurring scenery, the tickets, the immovable seats, the automatic doors. We exited at the park and went for a ride on the Swan Boats. “There’s a guy on a horse!” Will said. “Yeah, Paul Revere,” Jamie told him. “He rode on a horse to tell people about the British invading.” Will looked at his brother. “Did he have a car, too?” Jamie shook his head. “Was this in the olden days?” Will asked. He’s just learned this expression. I nodded. “People didn’t have cars, only horses or feet.” Will thought about it. “So they rode on horses or carriages. Did they ever ride on ants?”
Jamie exploded with laughter and proceeded to imagine saddles for ants, ant ranches, and so on.
Meanwhile, last night Daniel created a whole world in which all the dinosaurs lived at the same time (“Even though they were, like, a million years apart.”). And Julia’s go-to game right now is being a talking doctor puppy.
And my old friend, Tania, and her husband are imagining moving to a farm in Maine. And I’m pretending to visit my grandma’s garden. She closed it up right after September 11th 2001. Each summer, we would pick cucumbers by the armful and slice them for sandwiches or soup that we’d ladle into gallon glass jars. We tell ourselves stories as fun, as means of safe exploration, as a way to test out ideas without having to commit fully to them. And we imagine the future or the past so clearly, we can almost taste it.
Cold Cucumber Soup with Peas All amounts are approximate – Grandma Bev’s cooking has never been exact. Play with the flavors as suits you, adding a small amount of olive oil to the top before serving if you like. Handful Dill, chopped 3 big bulbs Garlic 3 large Cucumbers, peeled and seeded (reserve some thin slices for garnish) 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt 1 cup vegetable stock ½ cup milk (try coconut if you want a sweet and different flavor) 1 Onion salt and pepper to taste big handful raw peas Chop all vegetables except peas, add liquid, puree in batches. Adjust for flavor. Chill well. Drop whole peas in a stir once. Serve with a few thin slices of cucumber and a sprig of dill on top of each portion. Note: If you like more texture, reserve some small chopped pieces of cucumber to add in at the end and a few scallions.