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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fun Shopping at Farmer's Market

Hi Boys and Girls!

Today is Saturday and I do not have a quilt guild meeting or Pilates! So I got to go to my local Farmer's Market! Yeah!

I only had hot tea in the morning before I left. I wanted to save my appetite for the warm blueberry scones that our local cheese store sells. ACKKKK!!! She was not there this morning! Oh well...I wandered around looking at the possibilities for dinner. Most FM's do not start selling before the appointed time. For me, that would be 9 am. I got there at 8:45. It is a good idea to get there early and check out the supplies and formulate your dinner menu in your mind. I was comparison shopping too. I was looking for the best deal.

Don't go to your FM with a set list in hand. Look to see what is being offered and make your dinner menu from that. Buying fruits and veggies in season is the healthiest way to eat! If you buy tomatoes in November you know they are from a warm climate country which sprays with insecticides. Same thing with grapes and strawberries. You cannot buy organic grapes or strawberries in December...wait until they are in season and you will buy really fresh and healthy products!

I found some beautiful squash at $2 a basket. Everyone else had them for $3 a basket. So of course, I bought some.

OK, now I had a plan. This same booth had gorgeous fresh carrots cheaper than other vendors. So I bought some carrots. My dinner is coming together! String beans! Yes! Mushrooms! Yes!

I have tomatoes on the vine ready to pick and fresh basil. OK. My dinner this evening was planned....Pasta Primavera. All I needed was there.

Fresh herbs ready to plant! I have most of these herbs but I asked for cilantro knowing it is too hot for it now. However, the farmer told me he has one but it is too late to plant. I told him I want it to "go to seed" or flower for the bees and butterflies. So he gave it to me free! I also bought a few herbs that I want for the flowers. If you let your herbs go to seed, they provide nector for hummingbirds and butterflies. Basil is an exception. I pinch off all the blooms that are forming. I am still using it on a daily basis and when it blooms the leaves may be bitter. I have 4 basil plants so I will probably let one plant flower.

How can one resist fresh flowers? Well, I did...this time. I was on a mission. As you can see, there is a vendor selling fruit cups next to the fresh flowers. Boy, my daughter would love that! As I went on, I purchased 4 loaves of homemade bread. Three of the loaves go in the freezer and one will be gone in 24 hours! I bought cranberry bread, rye bread, sourdough bread and chiabatta.

So, now I have everything for dinner...but wait, I see fresh blackberries! Oh my, I must have some for my blackberry cobbler.
This recipe is from Whole Foods and is so good and easy. So, I ask if I can order 4 containers of blackberries. I did not want to seem selfish and take from other customers. They had plenty so I got my 4 baskets.
My Farmer's Market also had fresh, organic tamales, organic brownies, fresh honey, goat cheese, organic meat, cabbage, kale, strawberries, smoothies, and lots of arts and crafts pertaining to birds and outdoor living. There is even live music.

Here are some tips to remember:
  • wear comfortable shoes
  • go early to check out choices
  • take cash
  • take shopping bags or totes...better yet, a small wagon or cart
  • don't take a list...plan your menu on the choices available.
Until next time, have fun! Be spontaneous and cook something you never thought you would!

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