Monday, January 5, 2009

Local diet update - January 5, 2009

Home sweet home! Our visit to California was wonderful. Between time spent with family and all that good local-food, it was the perfect holiday (for more on our California visit, see posts here and here). As fabulous as vacations can be, however, there's something wonderful about coming home.  

We arrived back in Bryan on Friday (one day early), which meant the warm Texas Saturday morning could be spent at the farmers market. Yes! I'm not kidding when I say warm either. It was 66 degrees when I hopped on my bike at 8:00 AM and pedaled downtown. Traffic was light as usual and waiting there for me were all the friends I hadn't seen in 3 weeks. I didn't stay as long as I usually do, but I had the opportunity to catch up with almost everyone. 

I'm still amazed at the difference a year makes. Where last year we had but 3 farmers (2 egg and 1 veggie), this past weekend was host to 10 faithful vendors with a wonderful spread of goodies. As you can see from the photo above, I picked up 6 large carrots, 2 heads of broccoli, mint (for tea), pineapple ambrosia, 5 lemons (requested by a friend), and a bag of cornmeal (there's polenta in my future). In addition to my purchases, other items that were available were red potatoes, white potatoes, purple potatoes, red onions, yellow onions, kohlrabi, cabbage, herbs, a wide variety of leafy greens, jams and jellies, olive oil, tomatoes, spinach, fresh baked breads and sweets, crafts, canned veggies, salsa, pickles, ground wheat flour, eggs, and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few things... Who needs a grocery when a fresh, abundant harvest is just a Saturday away?

Back at home, I unloaded my bike and added my new goodies to the shelves alongside some of my other local foods. I still have some red potatoes, sweet potatoes, and onions stocked in the fridge from my last December farmers market. I also picked up some local Monterrey mushrooms from the grocery (grown about 40 miles away). Local rice, and about 10 jars of my all-local homemade soups line the pantry shelves. Even after giving away a dozen jars of my jam for the holidays, we still have plenty of homemade local jams and jellies. And as far as fruit goes, I have a half dozen beautiful plump Texas grapefruit, alongside the clementines and dried apricots that came back with us from California). Oops, and I can't forget the local mozzarella from Sand Creek Farm that's in the freezer just waiting for the next homemade pizza or the homemade all-local pasta sauce, or the spaghetti squash we brought home from our visit to the farmers market in California. My goodness. There's also those two tomatoes I received from a friend's neighbor. They were green when I got them and after a couple weeks in a paper bag, they're perfectly ripe and ready to devour. Wait, then there's the garden in the backyard where I can harvest spinach, green onions, and snow peas...

Hmmm. I have a lot more that I realized. The catch is what to do with all these local goodies. As usual, stay tuned for Thursday's "Market to Table" post where I'll have recipes and photos of what became of all these local foods. In the meantime, make plans to visit your nearest farmers market and discover the magic of local food.

Have a great week, everyone. And, as always... Happy (and mindful) eating!

5 comments:

ttammylynn said...

I managed a decent haul from the market. I bought two lemons, lettuce, bright lights chard, potatoes, broccoli, tomatoes, eggs, cherry almond syrup, banana nut bread, carrots, and spinach. Of course I have snow peas and kumquats at the house with broccoli beggining to crown up.
Most of yesterday was spent making soup. We took some turkey parts, carrots, onion, celery and garlic, boiled them, picked the meat, strained the excess fat from the broth, put the veggies and meat back into the broth, pureed it. Then I boiled several potatoes in chicken broth(the turkey puree was already pretty thick). Added the broth mix to the puree mix, then I added a liberal amount of milk, pepper, seasoning and sea salt...potato soup. My hubby likes it best with extra turkey added, cheddar cheese melted in and a side of garlic bread. We had a turkey to cook and although it isn't local, it certainly is frugal. Even organic turkeys went on supersale after the holidays...this is very cheap eating and a bit like recycling because turkeys are leftovers in the stores that didn't sell. We'll probably do turkey sandwiches, turkey enchiladas, turkey tacos and well, the dogs will probably get a turkey dinner in the end, too.

Green Resolutions said...

I'm just catching up on blogs after the holidays. It sounds like you had a great trip! And I was excited to read about the cellophane a few posts back. Thanks for sharing that :)

Heather @ SGF said...

Tammy - ooh! Who had the cherry almond syrup? Sounds yummy! But then your soups sound great too! Sorry we didn't get to talk longer on Saturday. I started getting dizzy and had to sit down. I have to start eating before I hit the market...

Green Resolutions - Happy New Year to you too! Yeah, I was excited about the cellophane too! Now that I know it's not plastic on those soaps, I feel much better about buying the local soaps. Not to mention that I know to start asking vendors if their packaging is cellophane or plastic. I never knew to ask before.

Theresa said...

How wonderful to have such a selection of produce during the Winter - enjoy!

Heather @ SGF said...

Theresa - It's fabulous. This area of the country really has it good.