Saturday, July 08, 2006

Are You Getting Fresh With Me?

I do love the weekends, especially at this time of year when the mornings dawn bright and fresh, the world beckons, and I end up happily wandering through the farmers' market in search of my dinners for the coming week.

The lovely Phoenix and a sleepy Mr. Nice Guy joined me for this week's outing, and while they headed off for some coffee, I made my first round of all the stalls, checking out everyone's goods.

Oh, my. That didn't come out quite like I meant... but it just goes to show you that a lusty appreciation of fresh and colorful and tasty farm produce can inspire me to new heights (or depths... take your pick).

I decided to be sensible and pick up the heavy items first, so I bought another pint of honey from the Bee Man, and when I visited the folks with the bags of whole grains, I discovered that they had bags of yellow corn grits to satisfy my cravings for cheese grits. (I bought two bags and had a lively conversation with them about cooking grits.)

Then it was time to stock up on produce for the week. I flung myself back into the crowd with abandon and started visiting my favorite farmers:

The Taste-Everything! Lady had more romaine today, and she picked out a large bunch for me. She also had glorious Bright Lights rainbow chard and wrapped up an enormous "bouquet" for me to take home. (I'm not kidding! For $2, she made me feel like Miss America... the bundle of chard was that big!)

The Cheerful Lady and Handyman Joe greeted me with their usual smiles, and once again, I succumbed to the charms of their produce variety: more wonderful salad mix (the last until fall), two slender cucumbers, one Italian zucchini, and one large regular zucchini (to be shredded and frozen, naturally) all ended up in my pack.

The Fiddlin' Farmer still has mostly greens at his table, so I bought some red leaf lettuce and another large knob of kohlrabi. Can't wait for his okra to return!

The Original Organic Farmer had more black raspberries today, so I bought two more pints with every intention of drying them for use later (muffins, scones, granola?).

The Tomato Farmer was the sole person with shelling peas this week, so I bought two quarts from him, intending to dry more for winter stews and curries.

The Gentleman Farmer (and his family, all smiling and fresh-faced) had lots of root vegetables this week, but I limited myself (since my funds were rapidly becoming limited) to one large sweet onion and two large garlic bulbs.

Once again, I managed to fill my pack (and a bag) with enough produce to refill my refrigerator... all at an amazingly reasonable price.

Let's face it... I'm easy to please.


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