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Last Saturday in June at the Farmer’s Market

July 1, 2007

The market is really humming now! Where once there were just a few hot house tomatoes, now several stands have small baskets of ripe tomatoes. Potatoes are everywhere and the onions are sold with the greens on and are beginning to form big fat bulbs. My garden is also producing – but between the birds, the groundhogs, the squirrels and the bunnies – most of my labor seems to be going to feeding the resident poachers!

Yesterday we bought FOUR loaves of bread. I froze all but a couple of slices of each type. I make great bread. My sourdough French is better than anyone’s – so why do I buy bread? Because this young woman started out in her home kitchen with a passion for bread and a dream and a five quart Kitchen Aid mixer – just like mine. As people fell in love with her bread – she renovated her kitchen and now has a commercial type kitchen where she turns out ONE HUNDRED  AND THIRTY hand made loaves for the Tuesday and Saturday markets. One Saturday, we arrived around 11:00 AM and she was sold out. So although there is that altruistic streak in me that wants to support her dream, there is that bread loving part of me that sulked all week when I had my mouth set on her rosemary-potato bread or was it her pumpernickel or maybe it was the sesame sourdough.

We also bought a couple of pounds of tomatoes, some fresh spring garlic, two pounds of purple viking potatoes, two bunches of fat onions – one white and one yellow, and a big head of broccoli. All except the onions are organic. I buy onions from the non-organic grower because I want to be sure that all who come to the market feel appreciated.

I got to visiting with Mel, and so many people wanted to talk to her – that we joked that she needs a throne and a receiving line. She is our local apprentice midwife and mother to the whole town. I love her to pieces and just love how I feel when she smiles at me. So do all those babies she catches. I know her quiet, non-public face and am continually awed at her ability to seamlessly integrate the outgoing, farmer’s market, visiting self with the quiet intimate self. Mel makes the world feel loved!

Lynn was waiting for me at Shank’s Bakery where we planned to have coffee (decaf for me) and tea (for him). So I felt a bit rushed and forgot to get Goat Cheese! I was regretting that omission around dinner time but I improvised. The tight heads of pungent spring garlic yielded themselves to the cold pressed olive oil and then were joined by Genovese basil from my garden. A little bit of tomato (so I don’t have to use so much oil) and some parmesan reggiano and for kicks – I added a bit of heavy cream (so much for the less oil theory) because it is near its expiration date and I didn’t want to make an alfredo sauce. I served the pesto over thin spaghetti with toasted rosemary-potato bread and several chunks of tomato just resting around the edge of the plate. That was an afterthought and it just looked pretty with the green of the pesto and the red of the tomato. I often cook my sight – what pleases my taste buds AND pleases my eye.

This morning, I am making blueberry preserves. I bought 12 pints. I would have bought more – but they were pretty expensive! Joyce mentioned that I might get them to let me pick my own for half the price. She has been doing this for years at the farm. They aren’t really set up for that – but do allow a few people to continue the tradition. Maybe I will pursue that. I am feeling that the strawberry season went too quickly. Just about the time my kitchen was geared up for making jams and preserves, the strawberry supply stopped. I sure don’t want to repeat that mistake with the blueberries. They think they will have some for the next two weeks and then nada.

So I am off to preserve summer in a jar. What is in season at your Farmer’s Market?

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