Farmers Market Treasures

Farmers Market Bounty The hubby and I can't seem to stay in one place for long. Seriously. Every time I move I swear that this will be the very last time for at least 5 years. Then 1, maybe 2, years later I find myself surrounded by cardboard boxes, packing paper, and tape. We are off on yet another adventure. Funny enough, when I was a kid I wanted nothing more than to move - even just a mile! By the time I was 6, my family had moved into what I would come to call my childhood home and wouldn't leave for over 20 years. I knew everyone on every block and was bored - I craved a new adventure. Fast forward 25 years: as an adult and a mom, I want nothing more than to give my kids a childhood where they get bored enough to explore and create their own adventures. Basically what I had as a kid. Ha. I guess that is what we call the circle of life. Oh the irony. But I digress. With all this moving between and within states (I have called 9 abodes "home" in the last 9 years), I discovered that key to making a place feel like a home - as opposed to a house - really doesn't have much to do with furniture and decor. It is all about a sense of belonging, which for me, an extrovert from a big family, means finding my community. Getting to know similar people with similar interests. The short and sweet of me: I love to cook, eat, and drink wine. So, first things first, every new place we go, I pour myself a glass of wine and do 2 internet searches to find:
  1. a local wine club
  2. a local farmers market
The wine club is fairly obvious - it is way more fun to drink with fun people than alone in my battered robe and Christmas slippers watching NCIS reruns. But getting integrated in one can be timing consuming: lots of schedules to coordinate, tastes to account for, and personalities to understand. It is significantly easier to sit on my front porch with a bottle and an extra glass and see who stops by and, even better, who stays! When drinking, it is essential to also be eating. Even after a couple glasses, fresh and homemade still tastes better than store-bought and highly preserved. So, off I go to the farmers market (before drinking!) to meet the local individuals who will help me stock my home with beautiful and delicious bounty for every mood (and wine!). When going to a farmers market, especially the first few times, I love getting there early (if it opens at 9am, I get there at 8:45am). Not only does this give me first choice of the goodies, but more importantly, it gives me a chance to talk to the vendors and get to know them. I ask questions about the produce and develop a relationship. Plus, the food with a story tastes better than food with a tag.
Farmers Market Bounty II

I am now craving roasted garlic rosemary potatoes, baked potatoes with herb butter, chicken soup, and pomegranate orange scones. Best get in the kitchen I guess.

My favorite thing ever, far above the apple lady remembering that I love seconds for making hot applesauce (though that is awesome!) is when said apple lady sees me coming and smiles, maybe even waves. I might pick up a baguette for her that I know she likes so she doesn't have to leave her stand, we exchange quick stories about kids (me) and grandkids (her), then it's time to pay and let her finish her busy day. It's a connection, a friendship - and man does it make me happy. I seriously love making people smile - even if it is simply because I look totally goofy in whatever colorful yoga top and hat combo I picked blindly from my closet that morning. This is community. This is belonging. There are a million ways to make new places feel like home - no matter how many square feet you have, how terrible the weather is, or just how alone you feel in a few place. I happen to find my community and sense of belonging at my local farmers market buried deep in their produce treasures and individual stories. And then again, in the stories I make later using their ingredients to cook for the community of family and friends (old and new) this food brings together. I recently found a farmers market not far from my new home and ventured there for the first time last weekend. I met some fun new people - an apple and pear husband and wife duo, a cheese making family, and a hilarious berries guy - and came home toting two baskets filled with apples, greens, veggies, herbs, berries, cheese, and more that were turned into a delicious dinner that night and an even better Sunday Breakfast feast the next morning. I'm already looking forward to next week!
Farmers Market Pomegranate and Garlic

I had already dug into the garlic for some delicious garlic, herb, cheese bread before I had a chance to snap a pic of my treasures!

Farmers Market Strawberries

These berries are grown in a greenhouse so you can indulge your cravings year-round.

Farmers Market Garlic

I love garlic, hence their close up. Whenever I try to follow a recipe I always end up adding a few extra cloves for good measure. But seriously, garlic herb butter on a baked sweet potato? Yes please!

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