On Tuesday, after eating a salad on the patio at Brio, my friend, Cyndy, and I headed out Lindbergh. It was a perfect day for kicking around Kirkwood. Our first stop was Global Foods, where my impulsive shopping hits an all time high, when faced with row after row of items I don’t see in the average supermarket. I always find a new spice, some irresistible sweet, or a new variety of naan—the Mideastern bread that works well with a spread or for a sandwich.
I spent awhile eyeing the produce. Some of the unusual items would look right at home in the street stalls of Singapore. As usually when shopping at Global, I got into a conversation with another shopper. I must’ve appeared perplexed as I examined a hairy-looking fruit with red spikes. A nearby customer explained that it was a common snack in Southeast Asia known as rambutan. He had eaten it, he said, and it was quite good: sweet and juicy.
He didn’t seem as knowledgeable about the vivid, pink Vietnamese dragon fruit with the yellow and green tipped spines. I later learned that the fruit tastes like kiwi. I hate to admit it, but I’m pretty fuddy-duddy when it comes to eating unrecognizable fruits. I’ve not tried anything recently more adventuresome than Honeycrisp apples.
On to the OK Hatchery
We returned to the car and headed towards downtown Kirkwood to see what seasonal items might be available in the stores and outdoor market. Patches of colored leaves crunched under foot, but some still clung to the trees. We strolled into the OK Hatchery, the feed and garden outlet that has the feel of an old general store, with its narrow aisles and eclectic inventory.
I used to hang out at the Rolla feed store, where I picked up a number of gardening tips from the overall-wearing farmers, who gladly shared tips on planting and dealing with the clay-bound soil in the area. I’m no longer into raising chickens or planting a large garden, so I settled this day for soaking up the nostalgia that comes with wandering the aisles. But Cyndy bought a funky, little birdhouse.
I felt compelled to tell her of having once mounted a large Purple Martin house atop a 30-foot pole next to my garden, because I had heard that martins eat their weight in bugs everyday. Despite my having provided them with a lavish home and a steady supply of insects that summer, they became very territorial and led kamikaze raids on me whenever I worked in the garden.
The Farmers’ Market
Next door to the Hatchery was a gift and craft store well stocked with holiday decorations. We strolled the aisles before crossing the street to the farmer’s market, beckoned by the colorful assortment of pumpkins, gourds, and the last vestige of locally-grown produce. In place of the usual bins of fruits and vegetables were seasonal decorations and firewood for those readying for cooler weather.
It was far too short a visit, but we didn’t have time for all we wanted to do. Perhaps some of my resident-readers will suggest other places to see/shop/eat/visit the next time we’re in Kirkwood.