overabundance

farmer's market swag

We went to the farmer’s market last Saturday without much of a shopping list. We started out with a plate of Swedish pancakes and sausage, then began picking up a few vegetables – some leeks here, a bunch of carrots there. Then we were undone by Frog’s Song Farm and their offer of a large box stuffed full for $20. We went a tad overboard. On the plus side, we now have winter squash, potatoes and onions to last us quite some time, assuming we remember to use them.

farmer's market swagwhat needs using

Whenever this sort of thing happens, I have to make a list of all the perishable items we have on hand so I won’t forget about them. And we put together a meal plan for the week that will use as much as possible. So far we’ve eaten the bok choi, the cauliflower, some of the braising greens, one onion, and part of the cilantro. Tonight I’ll melt the leeks for a quiche, and make a Caesar salad. Tomorrow will be a soup to use up the braising greens and some carrots and celery. The squash and beets will keep, so we’ll get to them later.

squash

There’s only one market weekend left, so hopefully we won’t have this problem again for a while. If you’d like to share our difficulties, Frog’s Song should be doing the box deal again next Saturday. Knock yourself out!

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a goat cheese kind of day

taco fixings

This week has been crazy busy, but we did make time to get down to opening day of our local farmer’s market. It was a classic Pacific Northwest Memorial Day weekend, which is to say it rained every. single. day.

rainy day market

Fortunately there were plenty of vendors and customers, and the hardy Prozac Mountain Boys managed to keep the music playing without floating away.

farmer's market opening day

We bought leeks, fingerling potatoes, asparagus, hothouse peppers, and butter, which seemed like a pretty good haul for the season (thank goodness for Hedlin Farms’ greenhouses). Then we checked out Gothberg Farms’ stand. A local goat dairy, they’re newcomers to the Mount Vernon market, and we’re really excited to have them here. I expect we’ll be eating a lot of their cheese in the months to come, but for now we limited ourselves to a tub of fresh ricotta and a block of Queso Blanco.

rolling the crepe

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Bellingham farmer's market, and two pasta lunches

Bellingham Farmer's Market

Since our local farmer’s market doesn’t start for another month, we drove up to Bellingham last week to see how their market was doing. Man! I have serious market envy. Not that I don’t love ours, of course, but wow.

Bellingham Farmer's Market

Bellingham Farmer's Market

Bellingham Farmer's Market

Covering a large parking lot as well as filling the big permanent covered area the city built, the market is thriving, not just with local fresh vegetables and crafts, but food carts, plants, bread, meat, clothing and henna tattoo artists. Instead of a main stage, they have the old-fashioned approach of letting acoustic musicians set up in the intersections. A hula-hoop area is set up on one side for the amusement of limber youth, and the goat-with-a-cart sculpture on the corner is constantly beset by children. People are everywhere, shopping and visiting and hula-hooping and eating.

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market day in the city

San Francisco!

One day is hardly enough time to spend in San Francisco, but it’s better than nothing.

Ferry Building

I particularly wanted to visit the famed Ferry Plaza farmer’s market on this trip, after reading other people’s accounts. My main destination was Rancho Gordo, Steve Sando’s heirloom bean company I’ve heard so much about. I have eaten their beans once, actually – Steve donated beans to Duckfest for our cassoulet, and they were, indeed, wonderful. I’ve been considering ordering some, but I hate paying for shipping, so this was a golden opportunity.

touching beans

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Skagit Eat Local Week

eatlocalposter2

Today is the kickoff of Skagit Eat Local Week, sponsored by the local Slow Food chapter and the Skagit Valley Co-op. If you’re in Skagit County, now’s your chance to take advantage of all this amazing area offers. Participating restaurants will be featuring local food specials, and residents are encouraged to shop at farmer’s markets, farmstands and shops selling local products. Are you cooking at home? See how much you can do with Skagit Valley-produced ingredients. Remember, Eat Local Week happens mostly at the end of your fork.

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dinner from a Paris market

Bastille Sunday Market

On Sunday we made sure to make it up to the Bastille open-air market on Boulevard Richard Lenoir. It begins at Place de la Bastille and stretches for several blocks, four aisles wide and teeming with people, dogs and little wheeled shopping carts.

Bastille Sunday Market

You can buy everything from tomatoes to underwear. Not to mention foie gras. And wine.

Bastille Sunday Market

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market season!

market sign

Our local farmer’s market finally starts up tomorrow, hurray! We’ve been able to buy the occasional local vegetable at the Co-op, but nothing compares to buying directly from a farmstand or market booth. We don’t subscribe to a CSA, just because I really enjoy the shopping/choosing/visiting part of it all – well, and because I’m picky and like to have a say in what I’m eating in a given week. 

Looking forward to seeing friends, eating Swedish pancakes (possibly) and picking up some good ingredients. Happy market season!

the last farmer's market + mizuna pesto

farmer's market haul

The Mount Vernon Farmer’s Market had its final day this weekend, so we made sure to go stock up. Squash, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, beets, peppers, a pumpkin for the porch and a big bunch of dahlias – we did pretty well. There will still be a few farmstands open, of course, but it’s never as easy as the market for getting all our shopping done with one fell swoop. Ah, well.

mustard greens

Before leaving on our market trip, wondering what we might end up having for dinner, I was paging through The Babbo Cookbook by Mario Batali, and found an enticing picture of lamb rib chops dancing around a pile of something green. It was, apparently, a pesto made of broccoli rabe. What a good idea, I thought, I’ll get some at the farmer’s market and try it out! Naturally, not a single booth was offering it…but Blue Heron Farm did have lovely fresh bunches of mizuna, or Japanese mustard greens. Thinking one bitter green might well replace another, we bought a bunch and proceeded to wing the recipe.

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the last farmer’s market + mizuna pesto

farmer's market haul

The Mount Vernon Farmer’s Market had its final day this weekend, so we made sure to go stock up. Squash, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, beets, peppers, a pumpkin for the porch and a big bunch of dahlias – we did pretty well. There will still be a few farmstands open, of course, but it’s never as easy as the market for getting all our shopping done with one fell swoop. Ah, well.

mustard greens

Before leaving on our market trip, wondering what we might end up having for dinner, I was paging through The Babbo Cookbook by Mario Batali, and found an enticing picture of lamb rib chops dancing around a pile of something green. It was, apparently, a pesto made of broccoli rabe. What a good idea, I thought, I’ll get some at the farmer’s market and try it out! Naturally, not a single booth was offering it…but Blue Heron Farm did have lovely fresh bunches of mizuna, or Japanese mustard greens. Thinking one bitter green might well replace another, we bought a bunch and proceeded to wing the recipe. Continue reading