Saturday, August 26, 2006

Loads of Fun

Another Saturday, another visit to the farmers' market. I love Saturdays!

I headed downtown this morning, promising myself that I would go easy on the market shopping today since the fridge is full of things for Ms. Potter's art show opening reception tomorrow. I knew I'd be getting more tomatoes for canning, of course, and since the Archivist brought me some homegrown hot peppers this week, I also want to make salsa. But I really wasn't going to go overboard. Honest.


Just browsing the stalls made me hungry for all that luscious and brilliantly hued produce, but when I made it to the Asian Lady's table, all willpower fell away. There in a basket nestled below the table were a bushel of beautiful little butternut squash, just begging to go home with me.

After that, I bought brazenly, adding two of the Asian Lady's Japanese eggplant to my pack, followed by half a peck of second-rate tomatoes (with cracks on the top; otherwise perfectly good for canning), a large regular eggplant, and salad greens from the Gentleman Farmer.

I visited the Tomato Farmer to share some of my dried tomatoes with him, and I ended up snagging five pounds (yes, pounds) of Roma tomatoes as well as a quart of edamame (soybeans)... a rare treat!

Feeling the weight of all those tomatoes starting to pull me down, you'd think I would slow my buying at that point, right? Oh, no. Not possible.

I bought a pint of orange cherry tomatoes from the sweet older couple, the last of the season's okra and yet another eggplant from the Fiddlin' Farmer, and garlic and red peppers and peppermint and honey from the Cheerful Lady and Handyman Joe.

And I meant to stop there. I did. My backpack, though not full, had begun to pull down my shoulders, and both my basket and my net bag were fairly well loaded.

But then, I stopped to visit the Sheep Lady, and lo and behold, she had fresh parsnips. She admitted that they would be better after the first frost, but she knew she would only be at the market one more week, so I picked up her card and promised to call to order lots of parsnips later this fall. And I decided before leaving that I needed to indulge this week in one of her daughter's rumpled bouquets in a little tin pail, tucking it into the top of my basket and praying that I'd get it home in one piece. (I did.)

I left the market, arms straining under the weight, and knew it would be a very slow walk back up the hill. So why then did I head south instead of north, stopping by the local deli for a quart of olive oil to tuck into my pack as well? It wasn't, perhaps, strictly logical, but I thought I might as well replenish my stores of that ever-so-useful ingredient while I was in the neighborhood.

What can I say? I love market days! And even the heavy loads are full of fun.


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