Saturday, June 02, 2007

My Market's Back, and There's Gonna Be Trouble

It's here! The day I've waited months for is finally here! I could fairly swoon from the ecstasy of it!

I'm talking, of course, about none other than the opening day of the local farmers' market, right down on the square here in town. How I've missed seeing the farmers and talking with them! How I've missed those rows of tables loaded with fresh produce, homemade jams, crafts, and flowers! How I've missed that feast for the senses!

I got up early, like a child on Christmas morning, too eager for the day's adventure to sleep in. And I padded out to the kitchen to whip up a pan of oatmeal-peach bars, using oatmeal, spelt flour, and peaches found at the market along with a jar of peach jam from My Fabulous Aunt.

I packed several steaming squares in a tin and, at the appointed hour (OK, I got to the market my usual fifteen minutes early), I headed down to the market to visit with old friends, to share some home-baked treats, and to scout out this week's produce. I enjoyed chats with the Tomato Farmer and his wife (back this year, to my surprise, but only to sell hickory blocks for smoking), the Cheerful Lady and Handyman Joe, the Fiddlin' Farmer's Wife, the Gentleman Farmer's Son (who has sprouted up a few more inches since last fall!), and a number of new vendors.

And yes, I filled my ever-so-capacious basket with all sorts of good food, as always:

--From the Cheerful Lady and Handyman Joe, I bought pencil-thin asparagus, spring onions, two bags of spinach, and a head of red lettuce.
--From the Fiddlin' Farmer's Son, I bought another bunch of organic asparagus (because I'm just that hungry for it).
--From a friend of the Sheep Lady, I bought a bag of organic spelt flour... and had a brief chat about all the wonderful things I've made with spelt flour in the past couple of months!
--From a new farmer, I bought a bundle of fresh dill.
--From another new farmer, I selected one vivid pink peony that reminded me of the peonies I used to grow.
--I found fresh pita bread and hummus again from the Pita Princess... so glad to have her back!
--Three quarts of luscious red strawberries came from the back end of another farmer's truck... a couple of weeks early, but very welcome nonetheless.
--The fellow who sells maple syrup was back, and though I'm not yet out, I decided to purchase a pint today to get me through until the next time he visits.
--And finally, though the Gentleman Farmer and his produce weren't there, his son held down the fort with tables full of potted herbs. And since I can't resist his sweet smile, I purchased a pot of Thai basil, something I've long wanted to try.

Yes, it's a lot of food, but I was so delighted to see so much good food coming from people I've come to know and trust. It's been a while since I went this crazy over fresh produce, but believe me, it's worth it.

Don't worry, though. I have plans for all of that food, and you'll be sure to hear more about it later in the weekend and through the week. After all, I do tend to get inspired by my market finds.

And as the Gentleman would say, "There's trouble... delicious trouble!"


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