Showing posts with label farm market. Show all posts
Showing posts with label farm market. Show all posts

03 March 2014

Seven (Edible) Reasons to Dream of Summer Farm Markets

Northern Wisconsin's abbreviated growing season makes it hard to eat fresh and local year-round, although we are faring much better this year, thanks to hoop houses that many area growers have installed on their farms. We have two winter farm markets.

I dream of summer markets, though, especially with the Daylight Savings Time and the spring equinox only days away.

Here's what I'm thinking about as I dream:

Big Juicy Tomatoes
Favorite Way to Eat: Sliced, on a breakfast tartine, with cheese, avocado or cucumber.

05 December 2013

A Visit to the Market in Old Québec City

We marked the start of autumn this year with a short visit to Québec City.

We climbed Cap Diamant, and then rode the funicular a great deal. It is a great deal: For just a few dollars you can save your legs and get a wonderful view of the harbor and the St. Lawrence River. But that's another post.

A highlight of our week was a visit to the Old Port Market in the lower town.

We always book hotels with mini bars so we can have a small refrigerator in our room. This allows us to try local cheese, sausage and other perishable specialties and saves money on meals out.

We always buy apples, or some other fruit, too.

There is obviously a French gene for food presentation. Look at these pretty leeks all in a row!

When I saw these glossy eggplants and peppers, I immediately wanted to make ratatouille.

We walked to the market early in the morning, and were on our way to the upper town by 9:30 a.m. for more sightseeing and fresh air. Thus the market was uncrowded. But a few people had the same idea we did.

There is no better way to shop local than to visit a farm market when you travel.

Since my father's family is from the Québec area, I kept wondering if any of the growers were distant cousins.

I love visiting the countries of my ancestors.

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12 August 2012

Baked Yellow Crookneck Squash with Brown Sugar, Cinnamon and Thyme

I read somewhere that of all the summer squash varieties, yellow crookneck squash is the most like the heavier, deeper-flavored fall varieties.

There was something delicate about the two small crooknecks that I purchased today that made me want to prepare something very simple that would enhance, but not disguise their equally delicate flavor.

And yet, I wanted something a little different. Something that would celebrate flavor.

These little guys always remind me of geese. I would treat a young goose with a certain delicacy, and so it was with my little yellow squashes.

I cut the squash in two pieces, using a melon baller to remove the seeds and stringy flesh that always accompanies seeds. I created a rub, using cinnamon, brown sugar, sea salt and a light-handed dash of pepper, and used it to flavor the exposed flesh of the squash. I placed about two teaspoons of butter in each little half and baked them incovered in a preheated, 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes. Then I added some fresh German thyme, and continued baking for another 15-minutes.

The squash was really sweet, and the thyme, which seems to be the herb most often paired with crookneck, added a subtle, almost perfume-y touch. All very delicate - the way I hoped it would be.

30 July 2011

The Farm Market: Weekend Stress Relief

"Oh, lovely!" I exclaimed, digging in my purse for my camera as I encountered golden beets in a basket at today's little farm market on the bay.

Two women buying produce laughed. "She's not talking about us," they giggled to the vender.

"Me neither," said the vender, who was indeed quite lovely with a pleasant, slightly weathered face, strawberry blond hair tucked under a pink baseball cap and her change tucked into the pockets of a flowered apron.

The farm market has grown these past five summers, and I have come to know the vendors. This is not the market I visited when I began writing here in 2006, but a newer one across town. There is no CSA this year, sadly, and not all the produce is organic, but the market is back to a grassy spot near the marina, and the light is much better for photographing produce and flowers.

I envy these microbusiness owners for their independence, and I love how nicely they display their wares. They are primarily women with a keen sense of merchandising.

The half hour or so I spend at the market each weekend is as essential to my sanity as a bedside novel, an occasional massage, and regular hair trims.

Here are more images from today's market. Aren't the colors fabulous? The photos below look like painted postcards to me.