Saturday, July 25, 2009

California 2009 - Day 4

Today was a much needed rest from the hectic schedule we've been keeping since I flew into California on Wednesday. It was also the first day at Dave's mom's house. Of course, because it is Saturday, our first great effort of the morning was hitting the Aptos Farmers' Market. The last time we were here and enjoyed the market, it was the weekend between Christmas and New Years and one vendor apologized profusely at such a poor showing during the low season. Well, his poor showing was 40 vendors. Today, there were between 75-80, the norm for high season. That is a serious market!

There's a huge difference between the San Jose market we attended yesterday and the Aptos market we attended this morning. San Jose had a lot of non-food items (jewelry, leather goods, clothes, etc). Aptos was all food - three parking lot tiers of food. Bring it on!

Of course the variety of food was just amazing. Just about every fruit and veggie that you can imagine was there, even many I'd never seen before. Fruits of course are my favorite (nature's candy) and I practically drooled over every stall - blueberries, strawberries, red raspberries, golden raspberries, apricots, plums, pluots, grapes, dates, figs, watermelon, peaches, and nectarines, are what come to mind immediately. There were also eggs, tons of fresh flowers, seafood, grass fed beef, lamb, and goat, coffees, teas, chocolates, nuts and nut butters, cheeses, baked goods, prepared foods like baked potatoes and corn on the cob, and even kitties for adoption through the local animal shelter. My favorite part was the variety of musician spaced through the market, the best being the band pictured here to the right who were singing along to their own tunes. They had quite the crowd and provided maracas (shaped like fruits and veggies) for kids to grab and play along. Very cool!

Had I lived here, I would have hit the market really hard, buying everything in sight, but we're just visiting so I helped Dave's mom pick out a few goodies for the upcoming week. As you can see, we picked up slicing tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, two eggplant, strawberries, 2 hass avocados, and two baskets of blackberries. As some of you know, California's avocados are alone enough to haul my butt out here once a year. They're one of my favorites and something I don't eat at home because they are SO not local, gosh darn-it! So I practically gorge on them when I'm on vacation. More please!

I did sneak a few extra things into the bag to take back to Texas with us. That's freshly ground, local almond butter (for WAY cheaper than I can buy it in the store at home) and local dried dates. They, of course, go well together as I normally, slice the dates open, pull out the seeds, and stuff them with a teaspoon of almond butter. I swear, it's like eating candy. There's just nothing like it and it's so gosh darn healthy. Mmmm! Needless to say, I just couldn't resist this very local purchase. The trick is to see if either of them actually make it home before I devour them...

After an amazing trip to the market, I took a nice walk around the neighborhood, running into my sister-in-law who was walking their pooch, then the neighbor across the street. It was fun to stop and talk to people along the way and it was another beautiful day for it. The rest of the afternoon was spent lounging by the pool (although it was a little too cool outside for me to get in) with my book.

Tomorrow, I'd include photos of my mother-in-laws fabulous back yard where I've been lounging. We're having a pool party with the whole family so we'll be out there all afternoon. Later 'gator!


fearlesschef said...

I love dates stuffed with goat cheese!

Chile said...

Pool party sounds like a great way to top opff a wonderful morning. It would be hard to control myself with so many great fresh foods available. Enjoy those local avocados and eat an extra one for me.

Heather @ SGF said...

fearlesschef - Hmm. Never tried that. I'll bet it's good though.

Chile - It was fun. I was good though. I snacked on some tortilla chips and salsa, then had corn on the cob, salad, and steamed broccoli for dinner. My vegan diet is intact even after 5 days (of course, it's actually easier here than at home...)