Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Organic Goodies in a Tiny Spot

I have been horrible about updating this of late. It's a good thing that my readers are like me as a blog reader: sporadic.

Last Saturday at 8 a.m., I happened to look at my planner and realized that it was one of the Green City Market at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum days. The Girl and I had been talking about going to one of the indoor markets, so I managed to pack everyone up and drive us over to the museum for the market. Despite the gray, dreary, rainy day, Lincoln Park was packed. I managed to find a parking spot on Cannon Drive that wasn't too far from the entrance to the museum, but also managed to forget my produce-and-goodie-schlepping bags in The Great White Moose.

We arrived at the museum entrance, took the elevator (The Girl doesn't like the main open stairway) up to the second floor, and walked into a wall of people in the South Gallery. Unfortunately for me (and The Girl and The Tot), they were a people unaccustomed or unaware of the presence of wee ones; The Tot was quite the tripping hazard. Not much grows in the Midwest for harvest and sale in early March, so the market was a lot of potatoes and canned/prepared foods. Not that any one of our party minded! I managed to spend $30 in cash in just under 1/2 an hour -- on crepes, baked goods from Bennison's Bakery, fresh soft caramels from Floriole Bakery, Honeycrisp Apples from Hillside Orchards (I think), a plate-licking pie from Hoosier Mama Pie Co., and a $1 donation to the market itself in exchange for a cup of coffee from Blue Marble Creamery (too bad no one in my house really drinks milk). We went downstairs to eat our pastry/drink my coffee. On the way out, The Girl and The Tot joined the market's Sprouts for Kids program by trying some sprouts from a shallot plant. The Boy, who of course is the one most reticent about trying new things, did not want to participate.

It was pouring down with the rain as we were leaving the market/museum. Although The Tot and The Girl had jackets with hoods, The Boy and I were bare-headed. I had bought an umbrella at the gift shop, but it was raining too hard for us all to share it. Rather than have us all get wet (and listen to misery all the way home), I asked The Boy and The Girl to wait in the myseym entrance vestibule while I got the car. There was a Green City Market volunteer standing there and she kept an extra eye on them as well, for which I was extra thankful.

On the way home, we stopped at the 1730 Outlet on Wrightwood, which I had passed a few times previously. I was looking for stools, although I did not find any that suited my needs. If I needed modern furniture in the C&B style, this is the first place I'd look. We took a quick cruise through the Tag decor outlet, but though the prices were good and The Boy and The Girl were begging, the decorative pieces contained therein would be destroyed within 90 seconds of entering my home.

Also on the way home, we stopped at Costco. Yes, on a Saturday. Normally, I avoid that sliver of land between Clybourn and Ashland Avenues like the plague on weekends, but it wasn't too awful. Although we had to park in a remote corner of the lot, we managed to arrive at the warehouse during a break in the crowds. The Tot never wants to go in the cart anymore, so my job was made harder by tracking 3 kids in a store crowded with carts that could easily crush a small child, but we managed to make it through within a reasonable timeframe, forgetting only one item on our list. I discovered that you can pay for cafe items at the main check out lanes, so we had lunch at Costco as well. You just can't beat feeding a family of 5 for under $9.

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