Went to Your Dekalb Farmers Market today and bought tilapia, corn tortillas, tomatoes and cabbage. I had fish tacos on the mind. Tonight I pan-fried the tilapia in a little olive oil, heated the tortillas, and made a quickie flavored mayo by mixing together Duke’s, a bunch of cilantro from the garden, and a squeeze of fresh lime. I chopped up the cabbage Martha Stewart “I just want to focus on my salad” style, and squeezed a bunch of lime juice over it, then salted for good measure. Diced a tomato, and that was it: slapped some of the flavored mayo on the warmed tortilla, lay down a couple of pieces of fish, squeezed lime all over it, topped with cabbage and tomatoes. As Rachel Ray would say: yummo.
Boy do I love Your Dekalb Farmers Market. It is Atlanta at its multi-culti best. Many, many people in native dress are pushing around carts filled with, say, 50 pounds of collards and 100 plantains. I once tried to get Atlanta magazine to hire me to go to YDFM, follow people with the most interesting foods in their cart, and weasel my way into being invited to their house for dinner. ATL magazine didn’t go for it, but I must admit I’ve considered pretending they did to see if I can get a killer eating experience out of it.
But tonight I ate at our house. After finishing the fish tacos Alan and I sat on the front porch with the dog, all three of us tilting our heads in the breeze. It was a perfect night. Maybe 70 degrees, sliver of a moon, no mosquitoes. The type of night where you have another beer just because it feels atmospheric to do so.
Tomorrow night there will be no front porch sitting because I will be reading at Outwrite Books in Midtown (7:30 pm), at 10th Street and Piedmont, which is Atlanta’s version of San Francisco’s famed Castro neighborhood. I began writing in earnest while working at a cafe in the Castro, at La Mediterranee, or “La Med” as everyone called it. What a great place to work. 80 percent of the customers were regulars, and most were gay men. There was not a lot of leering or posturing going on, at least not towards me. Just sweet men, and copper topped tables, and lots of orders of hummos and chicken cilicia, which are these delicious little cigars made of fillo stuffed with chicken, currants, pinenuts and chicken. It was pretty magical living in San Francisco at that time. I remember walking home from the restaurant after my shift was over, my pocket full of cash, the world open before me.