Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Full Plate

As much as I look forward to a long stroll through the farmers' market each Saturday morning, with plenty of time to stop and chat with my favorite farmers, sometimes I have to compromise in making plans.

I had planned to help the Innkeeper with breakfast at her fine establishment tomorrow morning, but since the Chef needed a break today, we switched days and I ended up needing to be at the Inn around 7:30 AM.

Since the farmers' market technically doesn't open until 8 AM, I knew I wouldn't get a lengthy visit today. But I headed down around 7 AM in the hopes of catching a couple of farmers and getting a few things before I headed in to "work":

The Potato Lady caught my eye first, and she had, naturally, some lovely red potatoes for me as well as tomatoes and small onions.

Further down the market, I found the Cheerful Lady and Handyman Joe and offered them my shopping list to see what items they could hold for me. They graciously offered to sort through their bins and supply me with broccoli, two large zucchini, carrots, parsley, dill, and spearmint.

Since the two stops supplied almost all my needs for the week -- and I had a short list so that I wouldn't waste nearly as much food in the next few days -- I headed on up the hill to the Inn, letting myself in to start preparing for the breakfast service.

For the next couple of hours, the Innkeeper and I prepared, served, and cleaned up from breakfast for ten guests, from juice and coffee and fruit salad to scones, muffins, and two kinds of quiche (all of which were prepared ahead of time by the Chef, thank goodness!). And once I had a chance to sit back and rest for a bit, the Innkeeper pressed upon me her usual generous offerings of a cup of coffee and a slice of vegetable quiche (I love leftovers at her place!).

Once the guests had headed out, intent on their various merry ways, and we had cleaned up the dining room, kitchen, and a couple of guest rooms, the Innkeeper commissioned her husband, The Economist, to deliver me back to the farmers' market for the rest of my shopping. (Normally I would have walked, but with an already-full and heavy basket and only half an hour left in the market, I accepted the lift.)

I visited with a few other farmers on this second round, picking up a small bag of baby lettuces from the New Organic Farmers and a pint of okra from the Gentleman Farmer. I also visited the Original Organic Farmer for a brief chat, and she brought me a special surprise: cupcakes! Aside from farming, she also makes cakes for special catered occasions, and as I'm planning to commission a cake or two from her for a celebration later in the year, she brought me a sampler of five kinds of cakes so that I can explore the possibilities. WOW!

By the time I made it home, I was well exhausted from the morning's activities. But you know, sometimes when your plate is full of good things, you don't mind needing to rest and enjoy it all afterward!


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