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!
We’ve been experimenting with shrubs, the sweet/tart/syrupy liquid preserve that was once an almost lost bit of American culinary heritage. It’s enjoyed with and without alcohol.
Here displayed are three variations: Door County plum shrub with apple cider vinegar, Meyer Lemon shrub with ACV and buckwheat honey, and a plum/lemon shrub with meyer lemon juice instead of vinegar.
The recipe is 1:1:1… equal parts sugar, vinegar/acid, and fruit. You can speed it up with heat, or let it soak in the fridge to preserve the more delicate flavors. It’s incredibly fun and easy.. and if I can manage to save it, I look forward to a summery cocktail in the dark days of winter!
the SSFM Fun starts at 1:15 into the clip!