For those occasions when my needlepoint flats and other girly shoes won’t to do in the field, I carry a pair of pink-stitched-leather steel-toe work boots in the car. They’re great against mud, poison ivy and chiggers, and recently they performed an unexpected function.
I stopped to visit a client who was working in his vegetable garden, which was in full autumn glory that morning. The constant gardener snipped from various plants in his elegant raised brick beds, and handed me a loose bundle of fresh green beans, shishito peppers, rosemary and thyme. The only thing missing was the actual cornucopia, so I carried the handful of harvest to my car, where the only makeshift containers I could find were my pink-stitched-leather steel-toe work boots.
I stuffed the herbs into one boot and the peppers and beans into the other, then left with a simple recipe for stir-fried beans and peppers, which required nothing more than olive oil and salt.
At dinnertime, my children were surprised–bordering on appalled–when I emptied my work boots into a sizzling cast-iron skillet. There was some punny talk about “boot vegetables” and some questions about the communicability of athlete’s foot. But the Foxes have become accustomed to my eccentricities, culinary and otherwise, so they dipped the farm-to-footwear offering into a light yogurt sauce, lodging fewer complaints than compliments to the chef.
The next morning I grabbed my boots to put them back in the car, and all I could think was, “These boots are made for wokin’.”