Sunday, June 3, 2012

Farmers Market, At Last!

For the past few months I've been slowly going crazy.  This is actually pretty common for me at this time of year.

Why, you ask?

It's Farmers Market Season, of course!!!  A few months before the farmers market begins, I start thinking about how good it'll be to get local produce directly from the people who grow and tend it.  The idea of shopping under the sun, breathing clear air, and just feeling good radiates throughout my entire body.  This happens every year.  There's nothing better than farmers market fruits and veggies.

I had no idea what I'd find at this farmers market, however.  This is a new town with new farmers.  I loved my farmers market in the desert southwest, where I'd load my reusable bags with fruits and veggies and walk away happy, spending less than $20 for a full 2 bags of produce.

It was good, organic produce, and they were good, friendly people.

So I woke bright and early, welcoming the sunrise with a smile on my face and a spring in my step, ready to be the first visitor to the farmers market.

Ok... that's a bold-faced lie.

I actually set my alarm for 7:45 ( 45 minutes after the farmers market began for the day), then hit snooze twice before sluggishly forcing my lethargic mass out of bed.  I didn't leave the house with my daughter until about 9:45.

So much for the whole 'rise and shine' idea!

The farmers market is located in the park behind the grocery store that I walk to... or maybe I should say walked to.  I actually haven't headed that way since early May.  It closed down, and I now have to wait until July for it to reopen under new ownership.  I really hope I like the new store as much as the old one.

It felt good to walk again.  Really, really good.  When I finally got to central park,  I stood at the center and gazed out at the multiple tents lining the perimeter on two sides.


It's just one small section, obviously, but my camera can only catch so much, after all!  This is one of those times that I wish I could fly.  A bird's eye view would be awesome.

I went from one end to the other, eyeing each vendor's goods.  This farmers market was very different from my old one.  Prices were higher than I would normally pay, and there were a great deal of craft items and baked goods.  Most definitely not what I was used to.

While this wasn't what I was hoping for, however, I did see some things that were worth grabbing.

I bought a (home printed and bound) zucchini cookbook, since I have two zucchini plants growing in the wild area of the backyard.  Fresh bread was a must-have, and free range chicken eggs (some were green!!!) had to be taken off a vendor's hands.  Two huge bags of arugula were grabbed up, as well as a few non-necessities (like homemade doughnuts!).

I struck absolute gold with one purchase, though!  I constantly bemoan the fact that the food here that's marked spicy... isn't.  It drives me nuts.  My eyes zoomed in one one vendor stand that was filled with various salsas.  I had to have one.  Had to.


I honestly didn't believe it would be that hot.  I mean, mild salsas are 'spicy' to most people in this region, while to me mild is synonymous with bland and boring.  I bought it, though, deciding that it would probably be on the hotter side of medium.

So how was it, you ask?

Well, I'm currently burning my taste buds off with it while typing up my post.

This stuff really is hot!!!  Not tear-forming hot, but it really does deserve those x's above the word 'Hot' on the lid.  I could count on one hand the number of times I've had salsa that was spicier, and those were all eaten within the kitchen of the one woman that created them.

I grew up on the Mexican-American border, so I know hot...  and I'm very impressed.

The woman that made the salsa used not only the standard jalapenos in her salsa, but also habanero peppers and Thai chiles.  She created the recipe after being challenged by someone who said that her salsas weren't spicy enough for him.

I think it's safe to say that she won that challenge.  She's one person that I'll definitely be re-visiting at the farmers market!


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