The Summer Market

22 Jun

One of my goals for this summer is to do as much of our weekly shopping as locally as possible, either at fruit stands, the Tuesday Remate, or the downtown Farmer’s Market. Last Friday Isobel and I stopped by the Farmer’s Market because Anthony’s vacation had ended and Isobel wanted to see “the people.” You can see our glorious bounty in the photo above. In fact, if you click on the photo it will take you to my flickr where I’ve labeled everything for the curious.

I only brought one large tote with me but I could have used two. Toward the end of the trip I managed to pick up Isobel with one arm and hoist her onto my hip while holding an armload of produce in the other hand. I was so impressed I would have wifed myself right there if it were legal.

Going to the farmer’s market has really jump-started my menu planning for the summer. I’m really getting into it again and I think it’s because it’s so inspiring to see everything laid out and to talk with the people who grew it. Most of the stuff on the counter came from 30 miles away. I pick up stuff that looks interesting and plan my protein and meals around that. The combination of spontaneous and interesting, in-season and fresh really speaks to my desire to eat well and plan for my family.

That Friday I used the eggs, the garlic, and the portobello mushroom to make a killer omelet for dinner. Anthony has been making classic Greek salads for about a month now so I bought him a cucumber and those unusual-looking Italian torpedo red onions. They are really sweet and delicate and I like that in an onion that I’m going to eat raw. I think it makes it more appealing for children, too, as I’ve yet to find a kid that adores raw onions (though I’m sure they’re out there). When Isobel was about six months old she delighted in chewing on raw onion rings, but she liked many unusual things at that age. Staring at ceiling fans, for example.

I’ve eaten most of the cherry tomatoes pictures already.They were like tiny bits of candy. The larger ones I’m saving to split in half for salads. I hesitantly bought two smallish zucchini. Hesitantly because it seems like zucchini is the White Elephant gift of summer. It explodes in backyard gardens until strangers are throwing them at your car as you drive by in an effort to rid themselves of the overabundance. I’m going to try shaving them thin and drizzling them with oil and feta, but if I don’t care for that, there’s always zucchini fritters.

I’ve never eaten wax beans, aside from those regrettable canned three-bean salads everyone in America has had forced on them at some point. But this is the kind of thing I like about going to the market: I see something unusual and it inspires me to try it. My favorite instance of this ever occurred when I happened upon some zucchini blossoms. It was also the first (and sadly, only) time I’ve ever deep-fried something. As much as I love fried food, it intimidates me.

The fruit is nearly gone, now, too, and it hasn’t even been a week. I’ll probably be hitting a fruit stand soon.

I even bought an Anaheim chili pepper to pusue my goal of increasing my tolerance to spicy food this summer.

I also instantly bonded with another mother when I went to sit down and eat some soup and I heard her toddler shout a familiar “NO!” my way. Her son was mere weeks apart from Isobel and we commiserated over the stranger danger and the subsequent unsociable behavior it brings. While we ate and talked our kids took turns waving and shouting, “NO!” at each other.

Isobel looks really serious in this photo, and that’s because she is serious–about her food. If you get between her and her hummus she will cut a bitch. Actually, she will just throw a tantrum, a fact I found out when I tried to dip my carrot in her hummus. No, Mama, no. That’s my Isobel’s hummus. Also, she insists I call pita bread tortillas. We’ve been having hummus and ‘tias every day for breakfast since.


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15 Responses to “The Summer Market”

  1. K June 22, 2011 at 7:06 am #

    Hummous is so delightful, and I am always so happy that Ezra loves it. Although, he’s a fan of most anything in dip form and has been known to dip a grape in hummous (I don’t really recommend).

    • LittleBig June 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

      I love hummus and everything, but grape hummus sounds totally unappealing!

  2. lilpyrogirl June 22, 2011 at 7:17 am #

    When you have an overabundance of zucchini, that is NO PROBLEM because zucchini bread is the most delicious breakfast food on earth. I shall email you a recipe and you shall fall in love. And you will be thanking the people hurling zucchini at your car.

    • LittleBig June 22, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

      yes yes yes yes

    • Missy June 22, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

      i second this recipe-related emotion SO HARD! my gram made TEH BEST zucchini bread and passed it down to my mom and my family. when we were little, my brother, sister and I would clamor to get it hot right out of the oven with (probably too much) delicious melted margarine. sooooo tasty. #almostasgoodasPIE

      • LittleBig June 23, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

        Almost as good as PIE, you say? I’ll be the judge of that! The bloated, happy judge.

  3. Jen@Dear Mommy Brain... June 22, 2011 at 7:33 am #

    This post is 15 kinds of awesome.

  4. dingey June 22, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    I’ve never been a huge summer squash/zucchini fan, but I did find a summer squash recipe that I LOVE–seems like it would work for zucchini, too. You slice it raw, thin with a mandolin, grind salt and pepper onto it, drizzle with olive oil, and add chopped fresh mint. Sounds…oddd. Tastes: DELICIOUS. Like weirdly, addictively delicious.

    • LittleBig June 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

      That is exactly what I was planning! They mentioned this in summer’s Everyday Food.

  5. Cookbook June 22, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    That is quite a haul! Lovely!

    My favorite thing about this year’s CSA especially is the menu planning. I get what I get and fill in the gaps accordingly. That is also the best part of going to the farmer’s market!

    • LittleBig June 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

      I totally debated CSAing or not entirely thanks to your CSA posts. I wanted to start with the Farmer’s Market, though, lest I take on too much. I love your CSA posts.

  6. sarah June 22, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    YUM. And look no further: I ate red onions like apples as a kid.

    • LittleBig June 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

      Ask and the internet will provide! From unlikely sources, too. 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Meal-Planning Market « Little Big - July 12, 2011

    […] I’ve been buying part of each week’s groceries at the Farmer’s Market it’s totally changed the way I’ve been going about meal planning. Although I’ve […]

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