Saturday, September 22, 2007

Fall: In Love With the Market

Have you noticed that twilight comes earlier and earlier every night now, and that even the sun seems as slow and as sleepy as the rest of us?

It's hard to believe that fall starts tomorrow... and that only five weeks remain in the harvest season for my local farmers' market. And as much as I'm looking forward to wrapping up my food preservation for the season, I have to admit, I'm just as smitten with all that delectable produce as I was back in June.

After another morning's work at the Inn, I arrived at the market after 10 to the joking relief of my favorite farmers. At least now they know why I'm regularly late... but that doesn't mean they don't give me a friendly ribbing anyway! I repaid the favor by buying lots of good food:

--little red and orange sweet peppers, fresh parsley, two small acorn squash, and a long striped zucchini from the Cheerful Lady and Handyman Joe;
--browned flour and sage pasta and baby bok choy (some of it flowering!) from the Herb Farmer;
--nearly a peck of Freedom apples from the old orchardist;
--two pounds of Bartlett pears and a small bunch of carrots from the Madcap Farmer;
--red onions, two small butternut squash, a pie pumpkin, a few tomatoes, and a handful of Fairy Tale eggplants from the Gentleman Farmer's Wife; and
--two quarts of Niagara grapes and half a gallon of cider from the local orchard.

I bumped into My Dear Papa while browsing and enjoyed sharing finds with him (he took home some fresh eggplant, too, in the hopes of making eggplant parmigiana later this week), though for once I didn't run into too many other familiar faces. (It's probably because I was both too engrossed in my shopping and too late to see some of the regular folks I know.)

My hands (and my backpack) were overflowing as I trudged up the stairs to my loft, but as I surveyed my finds for the week, I felt an enormous sense of satisfaction at gathering so much good food and in knowing what to do with it. Some of it will be preserved for the winter, but other items will show up later this weekend in cooking for a friend.

How can I not fall in love with fall when it tastes so good?


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