Old MacDonald Comes to Town

Posted: July 14, 2012 in family, Food, humor, Life, Weather
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

In this endlessly sweltering summer, Man cannot live on ice cream alone. Woman can, because we’re adaptable under pressure and understand that ice cream comes in more flavors than just chocolate chip. But when Man today asked for fresh veggies for supper, I headed to our local Farmer’s Market.

I hadn’t been to the recently resurrected Market before. I was a frequent visitor to the original version in the early 1990’s in large part because it was the pet project of my friend, Nancy. Nancy is a Pacific Northwesterner whose green thumb extends all the way to her shoulder. She could grow kohlrabi on the surface of the moon if she had a way to get up there and a plot of planet to plow; she’s that good. When she moved, the market gradually folded and I got my veggie fix elsewhere.

The Farmer’s Market I strolled into this morning was nothing like what I remembered. For one thing, there was the suspicious absence of, well, farmers. Between the blistering temperatures and scarcity of rain, crops and gardens aren’t producing their normal bounties. There was one booth of home-grown vegetables with only a small pile of potatoes left. No pyramids of long curved cucumbers, baskets of Beefy Boy tomatoes, or bunches of ruffled lettuce leaves.

Made from the milk of fainting not farting goats.

Determined that my trip not be wasted, I meandered amidst the booths in search of must-haves. Joining the line of scent sniffing patrons at the homemade goat milk soap booth, I bought two bars in the intriguing aromas of Black Cherry Oatmeal and White Ginger Tea with Apricot. This despite the fact that at first glance, I misread the vendor’s website (http://www.myfaintinggoats.com/) as something to do with flatulent livestock.

I bypassed the painted bricks booth (I like mine naked), the artisan bread maker (only two Jamaica Berry Banana muffins left!), and the vendor selling handmade children’s clothes, including colorful hand-knit stocking caps by Grandma Somebody.

Made at a Barkery…what else?

At the last booth, I picked the boys up two bags of Bab’s Bites ‘N Bones gourmet dog treats, cleverly packaged as a “barker’s dozen”. I politely refused the free sample, even after the seller assured me that lots of people sample their dog’s food. I don’t. As long as they’re not hacking it up on my living room rug, I assume they like what they’re eating.

Farmer’s Market mission accomplished, I was turning into our alley when I realized I forgot to get what I was after to begin with – Man’s vegetables. I sped to Rillings’ Produce, hometown staple for almost 30 years. You have to appreciate a place built to look like a red barn that uses straw bales as decorator pieces (and sells them so you can do the same), and displays its wares in baskets and bins. Depending on the season, they have cherries, muskmelon, watermelon, onions, sweet corn, snap beans, cukes, squash – you name it.

This morning’s take included cucumbers, summer squash and cottage bacon, which sells out as quickly as they can toss it in the freezer. I got free cooking tips with my purchase as well, another plus of shopping there. This evening’s dinner was sliced summer squash, tomatoes and onions drizzled with a touch of olive oil and lightly sautéed. I considered a photo but by the time I got the camera, my plate was empty. In my defense, it was REALLY good. Not ice cream, but a pretty close second.

Do you shop at a Farmer’s Market? What’s your must-have purchase?

  1. I think fainting goats are among my favorite animals. I imagine their soap is superior to non-fainting goats’ soap. At our Farmer’s Market, eggs from free range chickens always sell out before i get there. I buy whatever is in season that is left when I finally get there. I don’t buy pottery or jewelry, but I do lust after the alpaca yarn when that booth is open. A teacher in our community makes Marian’s Cupboard jams, preserves and jellies. I love her crabapple; it reminds me of the kind mom used to make. Really.

    Your veggie saute sounds yummy!

    • I don’t buy jewelry since I could always make my own but if the pottery is something colorful and unusual, I may be tempted. Crabapple jelly is perfect on warm homemade oatmeal muffins; now I’m hungry. The veggie saute turned out pretty good and it was simple and colorful, fun to eat.

  2. Nisha says:

    Ooooh I love Farmers’ Markets! Only problem with the ones near where we live, they open really early on a Saturday morning, and well, by the time Ms.Lazybones (i.e Me) wakes up on a Saturday, there’s no real point driving all the way 😛
    When I do end up going however I always look forward to the cheeses and baked goods, like the giant muffins and quiches. YUM!

    PS. Excuse my ignorance but what on earth are fainting goats???? LOL.

    • If our Farmer’s Market had cheeses, I would be there every week! I’m especially loving a garden vegetable provolone right now – light and good for summer. Apparently fainting goats freeze up when they get scared, and they tip over. Yeah, new territory for me, too…=)

  3. Aw, hell, I hadn’t considered that they might be scaring the goats on purpose! But I have to still use the soap…because it smells SOOOOOO good.

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