Sunday, September 18, 2011

Went to Market

Sure the farmers' market is great in the summer. But, my preferred market days are when the weather has a bit of a chill to it. The beginning and end of market seasons are my favorites. This could be related to the fact that in the middle of market season, I am usually overwhelmed by produce and have no business going to the market. The truth is, with our garden and supplements from my dad's garden, I rarely need to buy vegetables during the growing season. I am lucky that way. However, I do enjoy many of the other local goods for sale and can appreciate them best when the heat is off, literally and figuratively.

This past Saturday the weather was great for going to the market, so I headed over to the Midtown Farmers' Market. I picked up a loaf of bread from Black Paws. It was hard to choose which one to get because they all looked and sounded so good. I opted for the potato rosemary loaf so I could eat it with the Carrot Tomato Soup that I made with the last of the big garden tomatoes and so that I could properly taste a recently made batch of mustard. The jury is still out on the Bourbon Brown Sugar Mustard.

The chilly day probably didn't help the 10,000 Licks stand out, but I am glad they are selling at my local market. Such fun flavors! And, a clever business name for a Minnesota (Land of 10,000 Lakes) ice pop company.

I did not know that lemongrass can be grown locally, but was super glad to find out that it can. I have a block of tofu and some foraged lobster mushrooms in the fridge that are waiting to become ingredients in Coconut Soup with Galanga and Butternut Squash. The recipe I follow is from Real Vegetarian Thai by Nancie McDermott but this one seems basically the same. So, when I saw a vendor with lemongrass for $1, I was psyched.

If I hadn't been hitting up the market on my way to a potluck knitting brunch, I totally would have had a vegetarian arepa. The Hola Arepa food truck has been getting rave reviews all over town and their black bean and queso fresco arepa sounded great. Hopefully they will be there again next time because I definitely want to try their food.

Spike was there, too. The vendor selling these dog biscuits was talking about how well behaved Spike is. I would have liked to swap dogs after what Tchazo did Friday night. He snuck into the garden and ate a ton of cucumbers. Then, logically, he proceeded to be sick all evening. He threw up inside and outside (which meant I had to jump up every 15 minutes to get him outside for another round of sickness). Yuck! I did feel bad for him though because he looked pretty miserable with his hunched posture and shivers. He doesn't seemed to have learned his lesson, though, since we caught him in the patch again the next day. A diet of white rice has helped his stomach recover and we are working on getting the garden totally fenced in.

Since I have my own harvest going on at home, I didn't buy many veggies at the market, but I did stock up on a few giant bags of onions for the root cellar. I also was glad that my favorite maple syrup vendor was there so that I could get another jug from him. This recipe for Maple-Sweetened Blueberry Rhubarb Jam and lots of batches of maple sweetened granola have been depleting my stock of maple syrup.

It is fun to be at that point in the year where I can spend my energy on making great meals instead of making great preserves to eat with great meals later. I like doing both, but much like with the 4 seasons, it is nice when things shift gears every few months.

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