To market, to market

Posted by Anita on 10.22.06 11:47 AM

prickly pears (c)2006 AECI’ve always loved going to farmers markets, even before they became the trendy (aqnd pricey) scenes they are now. When I lived in Menlo Park, ages ago, there was a farmer there who sold the most wonderful corn I’ve eaten on the West Coast. She admonished anyone within earshot in a nasaly whine: “Don’t cook my corn! Just HEAT IT and EAT IT!” Of course, we have to replay this little scene anytime we’re cooking heating corn, or any other fragile food.

Even after all these years of wandering the asphalt aisles and sniffing out seasonal veggies, I think this is the first year where I really am getting a full understanding of the interleaved seasons of all the produce that’s grown in Northern California. It doesn’t take much of a genius to recognize that tomatoes are summer food, but it’s another thing entirely to see the incremental changes that happen week by week, variety to variety.

In hindsight, I’m incredibly glad that my New Year’s resolutions included getting closer to the source of my food — being at the market each and every week makes a great weekend ritual, and a real eye-opener. I don’t think I ever realized, for example, that many spring crops — favas, artichokes and the like — enjoy a second season in the autumn. It makes sense, when you think about it, but it’s easier to grok when you’re seeing it happen.

I’m going to miss the next two weeks of the market while I’m visiting my family, so I very deliberately soaked up as much of the atmosphere as I could. The weather was spectacular, one of those bright-crisp days we get as the seasons change, and everything looked beautiful. Primavera even made chilaquiles, after two weeks of huevos rancheros and other substitutes… we joked that they must have known I was leaving town, but in all seriousness, it was a lovely way to start my long travel day.

breakfast, farmers markets, shopping
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