Saturday, June 16, 2007

Dancin' in the Streets

The calendar still tells us that we're not into summer yet, but you wouldn't know that by all the activity around town. It's a time for block parties of the biggest kind, and I'm thrilled now to be so close to the heart of it all.

Last night the first Cruise-In of the summer took place down on the square, complete with a band at the gazebo covering 50's and 60's hits, and though I don't care all that much about cars, it was fun to head down, see some of the beautiful old vehicles, rock out to the music I grew up on (no, I'm not that old, but I heard it all the time, thanks to My Dear Papa), and watch the people, especially the little kids jumping and dancing to the tunes. Fun times!

The square cleared out overnight to make way for the farmers' market this morning -- always my favorite part of the weekend for its friendly neighborhood festival atmosphere (oh, and the great food, if I haven't mentioned that already). I made the rounds as usual, visiting at length with the Cheerful Lady and the Original Organic Farmer while also getting to know a couple of the newer farmers as well. And though once again I only took my market basket, it's clear to me that it's almost time to take both my backpack and my basket to the market, because I hauled home a lot of great produce and baked goods for under $40 (the weekly market budget I've set for myself):

--asparagus from the Fiddlin' Farmer

--spinach, peas, radishes, beets, and very small zucchini from the Cheerful Lady

--fresh spearmint, green garlic, and spelt noodles from the Sheep Lady and the Spelt Miller (they share a table)

--red potatoes and a small loaf of cinnamon bread from one new vendor

--a loaf of focaccia from the local bakery (they'll be opening their new location around the corner come August; I can't wait!)

--a bag of mixed salad greens from another new farmer

--brownies and a pecan pie from the Original Organic Farmer

--strawberries from the local fruit farm (they also have local cider vinegar, so I'll have to pick some up at a later date)

I headed home and immediately shelled peas so that I could blanch and freeze them, and then later in the morning I headed back down to the market with my friends the Southern Belle, her husband the Absent-Minded Professor, and their boys, My Adorable Nephews. They hadn't visited the market before (shocking, I know!) and were so enchanted that they promised to arrange another shopping visit another week. The Southern Belle then sent the boys home, and she and I enjoyed lunch downtown, followed by slices of that marvelous pecan pie and delightful conversation at my place.

This evening I pulled out some of my market finds for a simple dinner:

I sliced some of the fresh green garlic, chopped snow peas from last week's market along with asparagus from this morning, then cooked the spelt noodles, sauteed the garlic and vegetables with a little curry powder and tossed it all together for an easy and flavorful spring meal.

It didn't last long, and though it was very satisfying, I couldn't resist following it with a radish sandwich (on the focaccia) and then a brownie for the full farmers' market meal.

By the time I'd finished cleaning up, the crowds were gathering down on the square yet again for the local indie music fest, Javapalooza (sponsored by My Favorite Coffee House), so I headed down to join the fun. The crowd ranged from the college students and hip young parents with their kids to grandparents, all enjoying the music, the glorious weather, and cold drinks. ( I opted to skip the beer in favor of an iced mocha with a shot of Frangelico tipped in... haven't done that in a loooooong time.)

With all this activity, it's a great neighborhood to live in. Sure, I miss things about my house: the big garden, the sunny kitchen, the compost bins, even (as I mentioned to Loren) the clotheslines! But I've never had so much fun in my neighborhood before, nor as much reason to get involved in the community.

And just think... summer hasn't truly begun yet. There will be plenty more opportunities to be dancin' in the streets!


At 6/17/2007 5:06 PM, Blogger Alyssa said...

I'm jealous of your local spelt flour. The farmer at my local market was supposed to have flour, but that farmer didn't show up this week!

At 6/17/2007 7:28 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

We have a local grist mill, too, though I haven't seen those folks yet this summer. I think I'll have to call them so I can get more local whole wheat flour... and maybe buckwheat pancake mix for My Dear Papa!

At 6/19/2007 10:18 PM, Blogger Tina said...

You also have kohlrabi. Or you will, on Friday.:-)

At 6/20/2007 7:25 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Wow! You are totally going to get the royal treatment this weekend for that, Tina! Bistro, here we come!


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