Tag Archives: Produce

Last Haul of the Season

24 Jan

Ah, summer. That magical time when I visited the Farmer’s Market each week and planned our meals accordingly. Now that the market has closed and the local fruit stands have boarded up their windows, I have only my memories and occasional trips to the local remate to tide me over. It’s tough to get there with the kid, and cold and muddy, too, and I have a hard time struggling to carry all those purchases the distance I have to walk back to the car. I can’t wait until May.

These photos are from the last market of the season back in October. This trip was extra special because I was able to fit some thrifting in that day, too.

The plates, bowls and hangers are all thrifted. Purchases that day included green beans, pea shoots, pomegranates, raw almonds, peaches, grape tomatoes, hummus, red pepper tapenade, and a butternut squash.

The sunflower seeds pictured here were actually grown in my garden. Earlier in the season Isobel and I checked out a local nursery’s booth at the Farmer’s Market and they had a display with soil, a little peat pot and seeds. We happened to run into my cousin’s family there, so Isobel and her cousin Victoria got to plant their own sunflower seeds. We watered it and placed it above the sink and two days later it sprouted. It was so magical for Isobel and I to watch. We watched it bloom and eventually cut it down. Isobel helped me pluck the seeds from the flower head. It was incredibly easy and required little more than water on my part.

The amber jar and wooden salt and pepper shakers in the background were also purchased secondhand that day, along with the Pyrex, mushroom cruets, and very awesome (but naturally, inaccurate) vintage dinosaur place mat. I picked up the letter sorter for Isobel and milk glass dish below for a song.

I miss you, summer.

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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.