Saturday, June 03, 2006

Eat Like You Live Here: June

May passed by in a blur, and though I was able to get into the kitchen to test some new recipes, my stash of local foods kept dwindling, down now to the canned fruit, jams, and last pesto and nuts from last year.

Every time I visited the grocery store to stock up on produce, I was thrilled to be able to pick up some organic greens, but I kept craving the truly fresh fruits and veggies from the farmers' market. Sure, I've had some fresh herbs from the garden to add to my meals, but I haven't been able to make a completely local meal in a while. And I miss that!

Happily, our farmers' market opened for the year this morning, and I was downtown before 8 AM, visiting with the various farmers, who greeted me like an old friend and were thrilled to talk about what they had planted so far this year. The man with the ponytail particularly enjoyed telling me that yes, he and his family had planted lots of okra "just for you!"

Ahhh... I love this market and these farmers, and I am just so thrilled that they're back!

So I visited nearly every farmer and vendor and filled my pack with goodies:

--organic asparagus from the man with the ponytail
--mixed greens and spinach from the cheerful lady (who even asked, "Why didn't you call me early? I'd have been happy to bring you some greens!")
--green beans from the Amish folks
--radishes from the gentleman farmer and his (growing!) son
--artisan bread from the local bakery
--mushrooms from the local mushroom farm
--cookies and a black raspberry pie from my original favorite organic farmer

And there was so much more I could have bought, if only I weren't going on vacation soon!

So what's your "assignment" for this month, you ask? It's very simple:

1. Go to your local farmers' market! Go early, and go often!

2. While you're there, try something new, something you've never had before. That might be a different variety of a familiar food, or something completely foreign to you... maybe even something you don't like! (Hey, if I can try beets and chard from the farmers' market and learn to like them, you can be brave, too!)

3. Try to make one meal this month... just one!... completely local. And if that means you have to eat one huge salad one day for lunch just to qualify, do it. Savor the tastes and give thanks for the local farmers who grew your meal.

How hard can that be? After all, I'm only asking you to go and get good food and enjoy it. It's nothing I wouldn't do myself.

In fact, if you'll excuse me, that produce (and pie) is calling my name now...


At 6/05/2006 4:36 PM, Blogger Tina said...

So happy your farmer's market is finally open; I so enjoy reading about your trips to the market.:-) I went back to our farmer's market this weekend, and my haul included strawberries (yay!), asparagus, sweet onions, garlic, and zucchini. I've been snacking on the strawberries a bit, and an onion and a pair of garlic cloves made their way into a pasta sauce last night. Yummy!:-)

At 6/06/2006 7:39 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

I'm so happy it's open, too! The farmers all got quite a chuckle at my enthusiastic (nay, rapturous!) greetings.

I'll miss this week's market, but I'm hoping for strawberries the week after... and I know I'll be stocking up on other things, too, like onions.


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