Category Archives: farmer’s market

Farmer’s Market with J and T

Farmer’s Market last night was fantastic.

Yesterday was extraordinarily hot. I think our high was around 105. Needless to say, J and I were not exactly looking forward to sitting outside in this heat. Nevertheless, we got ourselves together, took a quick trip to the gourmet market for cheese, bread, and wine, and we made our way to our town plaza. Once there, we found a nice shady patch of grass, spread out our blanket, poured a glass of wine, and waited for our friends. We were immediately happy.

As I described yesterday, the farmer’s market in our town is a very festive atmosphere. Last night, there was a great jazz band playing in the little ampitheater on the plaza. There were huge groups with long tables set up with full dinners to serve. There were others like us who were sitting on blankets enjoying some cheese and wine. It was incredible.

J and our friends

J and our friends

Our friends were just as much in the spirit of at all. They had at one time done this regularly, but had gotten out of it, so they were glad to get into the Tuesday night picnic again. We polished off a good amount of wine, enjoyed our cheese and bread and chocolate, and shared all kinds of stories. They also gave us a gift. the woman is a massage therapist, so they gave us each a gift certificate for an hour massage with her. We’re stoked.
 
Of course, we also spent some time walking around looking at everyone’s wares. We bought tomatoes and strawberries. The blueberries were out in full force, as were the sunflowers.  

We have plans to do this again with these new old friends. We’re loving feeling part of the community finally, and even though we’re still considering leaving next year, we’re finally starting to enjoy where we are.

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Farmer’s Market Tonight!

We have a date for Farmer’s Market this evening. With cool people!

When our wedding photo was on the front page of the paper, some people found us whom we met about four or five years ago. During that time, J and I were spending ridiculous amounts of time talking with people about reality TV on an online forum. We had a gang of smart, snarky women who were really great writers, and we met some of them in person. They could have been creepy internet people, but they were really great. And so it happened that we met one of these women. She had just moved to the town where we now live. She took us wine tasting, and she invited us to stay at her house where her husband made us dinner. We all had a great time, but we lost touch.

So a couple of weeks ago, I checked my old email address from the university where I used to teach, and lo and behold, there was an email from this woman. She and her husband had seen us on the front page of the paper, and they decided to find us. Last week, we had coffee with her, and it was great. She’s smart, nice, fun, and the very sort of person that J and I like to hang out with. We had such a good time that we made plans for farmer’s market tonight.

It may seem odd to have a date for farmer’s market, but in this town, farmer’s market is an event. It is a huge town party every week. People bring tables and chairs and real dishes. They bring wine. They bring dinner. They meet up with friends. The produce is outstanding, but it’s really more an excuse to go downtown and have fun with one’s townsfolk. J and I have only gone to this evening market twice, but we haven’t stayed either time. Normally, we go to the low key Friday market where we can quickly pick up our salad greens and eggs and whatever else looks tasty for the week. Honestly, we both have felt like we were missing out on the big Tuesday night event. It just didn’t feel right to go by ourselves when everyone else there had big groups of friends and family. It somehow made us feel even more lonely.

But this is better, and tonight should be a blast. We’re picking up wine and cheese and bread to bring with us. We’ll get our produce too. Mostly, we’ll get to hang out with some great people and feel like we’re real members of a community once again. That’s something to be happy about.

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Redecorating with Food (edited, with recipe)

I believe I have mentioned this before, but I have an obsession with redecorating. If I could afford to redecorate my home every couple of months, I probably would. I like my surroundings to change, even a little. You’ve probably noticed that  my header images change nearly once a month. And here I am again with a new template.

The new photo in the header is one that I took at our farmer’s market in our old hometown. There was a pepper man who had the most beautiful basketfulls of peppers every summer, and each summer, J and I would eagerly await his arrival at the farmer’s market midsummer. His arrival usually coincided with the height of our very short tomato season there, and so we would make wonderful salsa, for which we always grew our own cilantro. We would can it and give it to friends; we would eat it on almost everything. It’s one of our favorite summer foods to make. In fact, our new kitchen in our new hometown is decorated with photographs of our favorite foods from farmer’s market, most of which happen to also be salsa ingredients.

To me those photos of farmer’s market represent these times in our lives when we are taking better care of ourselves. Last summer was our first summer trying to get pregnant, and the fresh, local, organic produce at the farmer’s market made it so easy to stay healthy, to feel as though I was taking care of my body and readying it for our baby. I hope I am able to recapture that feeling this summer as we make our way back to trying to build our family. 

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ETA: Our Basic Tomato Salsa Recipe!

I’m going to give the most basic recipe here because the best salsa is the one that contains your favorite ingredients. We use the following:

  • 5 or 6 large tomatoes (we like a combination of colors as well as sweetness and acidity), diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1-3 fresh jalapenos (or your other favorite chiles), minced
  • 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • a large handful of cilantro, chopped
  • juice of 2-3 limes
  • splash of red wine vinegar (to taste)
  • a couple of dahses of Tapatio sauce
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl, and test for flavors. Add more lime, salt, Tapatio, or vinegar as needed.

Other ingredients I have added in the past include celery, red bell pepper, and dashes of cumin. If these things sound good to you, add them! This recipe is always in flux, but it’s definitely important to have fresh, somewhat firm, but definitely ripe tomatoes.

Now, as far as “canning” goes, I should warn you that we don’t really “can” the salsa because we want to keep it as fresh as possible. Rather, we only immerse the jars long enough to seal them, and then we tell people to keep the salsa in the fridge. This way, there isn’t the same danger of botulism or salmonella poisoning (we’re not fond of poisoning our loved ones), and the salsa keeps for a couple of weeks. I’m not much of a canner, but this tends to work well for preserving the stuff for a short time. I think to truly can the stuff, you would need to make sure that you have a larger amount of acid (more vinegar, lime), but I would consult someone who knows a lot more about canning than I do.

Honestly, though, the best way to make salsa and share it is to make a large batch, have some friends over, serve it with your favorite tortilla chips. It typically disappears fairly quickly.

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