Saturday, June 11, 2011

Farmer's Market Dinners

I'm a big fan of locavore cooking, in that if I can get something that's been grown or harvested in my area, I'm far more likely to use that than something imported from hundreds of miles away. This is why I love - so very much - my local Farmer's Market. Every Saturday morning, from May 1 until November 1, these hard-working people are down in the town square with their tents and tables, selling things that have just come out of the ground. I've found all kinds of wonderful things there, and naturally, the selection changes with the season. If I want some sort of produce that I didn't grow myself, I can nearly always find it at the Farmer's market.

It's not just the produce I love about Farmer's Market Saturdays. It's the people. Everyone's friendly, and I've learned so much just by chatting with these people. There's a lady who grows shiitake mushrooms in logs under her house, and another woman who has answered a number of questions for me about the chickens I hope to have some day. I've hung out with the bread guy, discussing different types of flours such as millet and quinoa, and I periodically find some sort of leafy green thing that I've never used in a meal before, so I always grab a bit to try.

Today's finds were some really nice goodies indeed. I got some nice fresh Siamese Dragon greens, garlic scapes, pod peas that were on a vine just twelve hours ago, and -- oh joy of joys! - quail eggs! They're so small and pretty, and look like little balls of cookie dough. So tonight's dinner will be something Asian inspired, most likely with some quail-egg fried rice. I've also got some peaches I bought from a roadside stand on my way home, so I'm thinking a cobbler for dessert.

That's the beauty of locavore cooking. I can hit a market in the morning, and base my evening meal on what I find on the tables. It's something I enjoy tremendously, and if you've never had a chance to plan your meals that way, go find a farmer's market, and give it a shot. Try something completely new. You'll be glad you did.

3 comments:

  1. I want to be like you when I grow up HAHA! My farmers market is full of people that are rude, the men are lascivious and the prices are ridiculous... unless I am missing the "good" market I will have to stick to grocery store produce and whatever I can get from my garden :)

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  2. I need to learn to eat vegetables. If I could get past the gag reflex I worked so hard to create when I was a kid I could enjoy so much great stuff that's grown around here. But luckily there are some great dairy and meat farms around here to, so I can at least eat local meat (wait..that did not sound right..you know what I mean..)

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  3. I think so many people are reared to think of vegetables as the enemy, or something you eat as punishment, or what you eat if you know you'll get cake afterwards. I didn't truly begin to love vegetables until I was well into adulthood, and that was only after a lot of full-contact recipe experimentation.

    I almost think, if you're a non-veggie person, you have to ease yourself into it. Pick one vegetable you'd be willing to try -- something innocuous, like the harmless tomato -- and find a half dozen different ways to prepare it that are delicious. Once you've mastered that, try another veggie, like onions or peppers. Move on from there.

    And I'll be perfectly honest, there are some veggies I still hate. Brussels sprouts will never darken my threshold, and I've got an aversion to cauliflower in all its shapes and forms.

    Fortunately, there are so many vegetables that I *do* like, I can overlook the ones I don't :)

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