Monday, January 26, 2009

Local diet update - January 26, 2009

It wasn't so much the cold as the 15 mile an hour winds that had me feeling less than enthusiastic this past Saturday morning. I bundled as warmly as I could and passed up the bike in the garage for the warmth and speed of the Prius. Destination: Farmers Market. 

Despite the weather, we had our usual crowd at the market this weekend. Every few minutes, vendors would lose fliers, bags, even coffee mugs to the gusts of wind and everyone scurried around to retrieve these newly airborne materials. 

Knowing that fresh, local food is the best foundation for a good meal, customers didn't let a little weather keep them huddled at home. Vendors were there and business was good!

This Saturday's farmers market offered another amazing harvest. Available were tomatoes, spinach, collard greens, mustard greens, red potatoes, white potatoes, purple potatoes, turnips, beets, kohlrabi, carrots, broccoli, red onions, yellow onions, green onions, lemons, dried apples, a variety of salsas, pickles, canned okra, herbs, locally-roasted coffee, jams and jellies, homemade sandwich breads, cornbreads, and sweet rolls, tamales, eggs, olive oil, a variety of plants, cornmeal, grits, honey, and more. Pshew! There's just no way to go home empty handed with such a beautiful rainbow of home-grown goodness.

As for me, as you can see, I picked up a dozen eggs, red potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, and mustard greens (I think, I'm still not very good at figuring out which greens are which). I already have plans for all these goodies - more steamed broccoli and carrots; stir-fried potatoes with some of the onions from my garden; wraps made from those beautiful greens with a little local rice and plenty of the veggies from the market and my back yard nestled inside. There are so many possibilities...

And here we are. No, your eyes are NOT deceiving you. That's a Texas watermelon there in the picture along with some local mushrooms. Sunday morning, we made a quick stop at the Farm Patch, our local produce market to find these goodies. The mushrooms, will of course, be added to just about everything I eat this week (rice dishes, stir fries, etc). The watermelon? Honestly, I couldn't believe it when I saw it. It's from Texas but not anywhere very close to home (about 400 miles away). It just looked so good and it was from Texas (which this time of year, I consider local - well, for fruit anyway). Besides, it really is an unselfish act. I mean, my compost bin has been pleading with me to add something other than citrus peels (what? your compost bin doesn't talk to you?) and when I tossed in the watermelon rind, well, the compost bin looked much healthier and happier and thanked me profusely (what lovely manners it has!). 

As I was cutting into the watermelon, I thought back to last summer when I had been eating watermelon week after week for months, longing for ANYTHING different. Now, here I am in the dead of winter (as dead as Texas winters get anyway) and feeling the same way about citrus while I drool over this juicy watermelon. Mmmm! It's a good one too! 

I also have plenty of Texas grapefruit and oranges in the fridge; and the pantry is stocked with about a dozen jars of all-local soups (canned over the summer) as well as some local dried black beans, and tomatoes (also canned over the summer). Good heavens! We're still bursting at the seams here with wonderful, fresh local foods. So, I suppose the question to ask is: Anyone interested in moving to Texas? We have an extra room...

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


Bekki said...

Those greens look like collards to me! I loooove my Texas greens. :-)

Sam said...

My worms loved watermelon! So I know what you mean about that.

I actually love Texas (and Texans - based on the few I met in person, and you). I love the open sky for one. If for whatever reason we decide to move again, I think I might consider Texas (or even Bryan just because of what you've written about it).

Anonymous said...

So that is how to eat healthy? Just listen to the compost bin? :)

hmd said...

Bekki - Thanks! I bet your right about that. Hopefully they make good wraps. I'm going to find out in about a half hour :)

Beany - Come on over! We'd love to have you! I was talking to a friend last week over lunch and he and I agreed that this is a great place to live. It's not the most liberal place, but we have a wonderful opportunity to make a difference here. Things are definitely happening. And it helps that it's a super affordable place to live :) California, I don't think we could manage to live just on hubby's income. We've been pretty lucky here.

Green Resolutions - Absolutely! I just got done turning the pile over and it seems quite happy. It's munching on that melon rind now. Happy compost (kinda like the happy cows in California :)

Anonymous said...

next time you pick up a watermelon, try making watermelon pickles. the nice thick rinds make delicious, sweet pickles. last year i made jars and jars of pickles (my kids can tear through a watermelon patch like nobody's business). the more jars i gave away, the more people wanted them leaving me with a great excuse for buying so much watermelon!

Farmer's Daughter said...

I am so jealous of that watermelon.

hmd said...

debra - That sounds really interesting. Do you have a recipe?

Farmers Daughter - I could hardly believe it when I saw it. Then I thought, well how good could it be, right? Turns out, it's wonderfully juicy. But we are having a weird weather year, maybe the weather has made for a better watermelon season? All I know is I'm really enjoying it!

Anonymous said...

I picked up quite a bit on Saturday morning all last minute as the market closed. I managed to acquire two jars of salsa, several tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, broccoli, onion, a loaf of banana nut bread, a jar of polk pickles, oh and some pretty blue potatoes. Have you tried the blue potatoes? I find that color makes everything more fun...they say that it can add different nutrients too.
This week, because I have been very sick, the centerpiece of my culinary skills was a huge pot of chicken noodle soup, the chicken wasn't local, but I got no antibiotic, minimal process, no growth hormones type, carrots, onions, non-local celery, non-local peas, green beans, corn and egg noodles. I seasoned it with Mrs. Dash, sea salt, fresh pepper, garlic. Chicken noodle soup is also called Jewish pennicillin because the garlic and onions contain anti-viral anti-biotic properties. The vegetables contain nutrients, the hot liquid is medicinal...soup is good food.
But, strawberry season is coming soon, isn't it?
Oh, btw, my computer went kapoot. It was very old and probably needed to pass on. I am sharing with my son, but he likes his games and sometimes I can't get on anymore. I am getting a new tower but it is going to be a while, so, I will see you soon but I may not be here everyday...I hope you are well.

hmd said...

Tammy - yeah! Lois' potatoes (I think she calls them purple) are really fun. She first started growing them for a lady who offered her one. She planted it and worked it until they mass produced (this all was happening last summer) and now she has them every week. I haven't had any since those first few she gave me, but they sure do catch your eye!

Glad to hear the homemade chicken soup is doing the trick!

Anonymous said...

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