Well, I wish I could start this blog without mentioning the sprit it takes to overcome the dreary and cold rain, but it looks like we’ll just have to hope for more inviting weather next week. As per usual, the market was bustling this morning despite the weather, and we had a jolly good time.
First thing was a stop at The National. We had heard tremendous things about their French Toastwich, with ham and gruyere, served with lingonberry jam. Let’s just say, it did not disappoint, and we can most certainly recommend this tasty treat. Nell, the owner, said she’s been coming to the market for 10 years and is thrilled to be a vendor.
This week, we thought we’d go ahead and try some items that we’ve been considering. At Oly’s we got a bag of Wisconsin-milled Steel-cut Oats. They were very informative, giving us lots of great explanations, tips, and even a wonderful sample of their granola. We also purchased some Bee Pollen from Batabee Apiaries. This beautiful bottle is to be stored in the freezer, and when you take one teaspoon a day it does wonders for allergies. How do you consume it? According to bee keeper Jim, there are many options; on yogurt, in cereal, by spoon, just any way to get it in your mouth!
The farmers were all in good spirits as we picked up shiitake mushrooms, strawberries, garlic scapes and a loaf of pane rustico bread. We got into a great conversation with the lovely April from LOTFOTL (acronym for Living Off The Fat of the Land) and purchased sugar snap peas, a cucumber, and WHITE MULBERRIES!!! We were particularly admiring their signs, the QR codes lead you directly to the LOTFOTL blog with recipes.
We were positively entertained this morning. Our Organ Grinder was playing music from “My Fair Lady,” one of my favorite movies. And there was live dancing from Tamarind Tribal Belly Dance. They were wonderful, and were inspiring a little girl who was doing some rather sophisticated mimicry. If you’ve never researched belly dance, I would highly recommend it. There is a rich history, and my favorite aspect is how beneficial belly dance is for pregnant women and the birthing process!
Last but not least, allow us to introduce the ‘DOG OF THE WEEK’
The delightful Winnie (seen in the second picture with her two fluffy dog siblings who were equally as delightful) is a 190 lb Newfoundland. Winnie’s mom had SO MANY fantastic facts to share. For example, did you know that Newfoundland dogs are swimmers with webbed feet? Apparently, there is a great story about a dog who saved 92 drowning people. As well, Newfoundland dogs used to be trained as nannies for children as young as two and three, just like ‘Nana’ in Peter Pan.
Till next week!
Even though we all woke up to a rainy morning last Saturday, the market was still a success. Our neighborhood is most certainly dedicated to good food. I arrived promptly at 8:00am, and could only stay a little while, as my dear friend and I were about to embark on a road trip to visit my parents in Kentucky.
My visiting, trip-accompanying friend lives outside of Madison and frequents the famous Dane County Farmers’ Market with her organic farmer boyfriend who is a vendor there. She gave me fresh eyes at our market and honed in on several produce items that she thought were particularly interesting and well presented including: baby beets, the ‘Mushroom Medley’ bag, and natural insect repellant from St. Ann’s Center.
We ended up buying (and can highly recommend) a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich at Ney’s Big Sky, asparagus, rhubarb (displayed on a flamingo table cloth that I absolutely adored), crimini mushrooms from River Valley Kitchens, green tea bubble tea and banana rangoon’s from Cafe Lolo, and sugar snap peas as a road trip snack (so much better than nasty ol’ french fries don’t you agree?).
Last but not least we found two popular and adorable puppies who were a natural choice for
‘DOG’s OF THE WEEK’
The three photos are necessary to really capture how squirmy these little week-old Yorkie siblings Lola and Hunter really are. Best of luck to their new mom, who literally couldn’t take a step without being surrounded by leashes and stopped by adoring fans.
See you next week!
After a long, cold, oppressive spring, my husband and I just went to the first South Shore Farmers Market of the 2013 season! Last year we started going weekly, and quickly found it was our favorite activity of the week. What’s not to like? Food directly from your farmers that tastes better than anything from a grocery store (and that you can get even if your own little back yard garden isn’t doing as well as you’d like), people watching (and meeting when you’re brave enough to strike up a conversation), delightful dogs, flowers, entertainment… I loved it so much last year I asked Adam, one of the managers of the market who I happen to know through art circles, if it was okay if I began contributing to the blog. Not only will it extend my favorite activity, but will also give me that encouragement to talk to more folks while there.
We bought a small, but lovely assortment of things this morning.
1. Sven’s Cafe, 2 Cups of Coffee, $3.50 (plus a $1.00 tip)
We begin every farmers market with a cup of coffee, this week from Sven’s Cafe, and a casual stroll around the market to see what’s available and acclimate to the crowd.
2. Wild Flour Bakery, Pane de Chapmpagine, $5.50
Second stop, Wild Flour bakery to get a loaf of Pane de Champagne, a half sour dough. Our lovely vendor ladies (whose names I forgot to jot down) informed us that Wildflour Bakery does 35 markets a week, and that not only is SSFM their favorite, but it is also the market that requires the most trays of muffins, by a long shot.
3. Willoway Farm, Asparagus, $4.50
Next, we went to grab some Asparagus (a rare thing for our Market, but possibly the only perk of this cold grey spring). To our dismay one of the vendors had already sold out by 9:15am, so we frantically scanned the market until we found the only three bunches left at Willoway Farm. After the security of getting that asparagus in our bag, and ogling the Lovage or ‘poor man’s celery’, we had the pleasure of speaking to Jacqui (from the farm) and her delightfully enthusiastic assistant Kori who lives nearby. Willoway Farm is new this year to the SSFM, and with the gorgeous produce displayed with great sophistication, we are clearly lucky to have them here.
4. Bata Bee, Honey Cough Drops, $3.00
This is the place that we go to get delicious honey and honey related products, as well as words of wisdom from bee keeper Jim. We spent a good long time here, indulged on the not-too-sweet but most certainly healing Honey Cough Drops while absorbing life lessons.
5. Tao Farm, Tai Chili Peppers, $3.00
I couldn’t resist these beautiful, tiny, dried peppers. The vender likes to flavor her cooking oil with them, whenever a bit of heat is needed. She advised I keep them in a paper bag to preserve them from moisture. She spoke a little of the long cold spring, “too little rain last year, too much this year.” Their lettuce looked amazing, though we didn’t buy any, as lettuce is something we grow ourselves with great success.
6. Xiong’s Produce, Spring Onions, $1.00
These spring onions were quite unique and will be a welcome addition to salads (and any other thing we cook) I have no doubt.
7. Der Drehorelmann, Organ Music, $1.00
How could we resist a small donation to John Miller, Organ Grinder. He comes to almost every farmers market and adds so much to the ambiance. It’s difficult to speak with him, as he is quite busy turning the crank, but one day I’ll catch him between songs.
Last but not least, allow me to introduce
‘Dog of the Week’
A one and a half year old Shar Pei named “Homer.” Our neighbors helped us pick him out.
Til next week!