Happy Monday. I'm actually feeling rather exhausted from my weekend and would like a day or three to recuperate.
I was down at my Dad's this weekend (since Thursday) and took advantage of the local farmer's market. For some reason I've never really gotten into the routine of going to a Farmer's market up where we live. For one - I find the Bay Area ones to be superior. I think most of the local farmers in my area actually go down to the Bay Area and participate in the ones down there.
I should investigate this further....
Anyway, since I was here on Saturday two of my sisters and I met up on Saturday morning and walked to one of the local Farmer's Market. It wasn't that large, in number of vendors, but they did have a good variety of goods.
Gosh I love Dahlias. I need to grow my own.
I ended up getting corn, tomatoes, basil, peppers, fresh baked pitas, honey and beeswax hand cream.
The best thing about Farmer's Markets, in my opinion, is getting to talk with the vendors about their products. They are, almost without exception, very passionate about it.
Whenever you go to a FM (okay I'm tired of typing out Farmer's Market so we are going to employ acronyms from here on out in this post...) there will be the central casting vendors with a huge display of perfect looking tomatoes, pyramids of carrots, the glossiest peppers - and there will be a huge crowd buying up the product.
I tend to walk right past those and head for the booth with no customers.
Stop and talk with the vendors the have a small table, with one or two products. This is where you will find someone that is so happy to share with you the history behind what they are selling, their philosophy on raising what ever it is they are selling - ways to prepare or use their product. To me this is the real benefit of a FM.
I am lucky in that I have great access to fabulous produce year round. But the local market that is selling it to me is a middle man. They don't know that the peppers in this pile are much sweeter than the ones in the other pile and the reasons why.
Or that the honey purveyor's husband was off removing a swarm of bees from someone's attic and that those bees would be brought to their farm and become part of their operation.
To me it makes the honey sweeter when I know the people and the story behind it.
On Saturday I made stuffed peppers and corn on the cob. On Sunday I made a caprese salad with the tomatoes and basil. We also had cornbread and drizzled honey on it.
The peppers were fabulous. They were Corno di Toro peppers. They are very similar to bell peppers but they are sweeter. The shape is different too - they are long and slightly curved. When I make stuffed peppers I like to split them vertically (if the stem is at the top). Then I just make a simple stuffing of sauteed shallots, sweet Italian sausage (turkey or chicken since I don't eat pork), rice, cheddar cheese, salt & pepper to taste. And I only use yellow, orange or red peppers - I don't like the green ones (for anything actually).
I hope everyone had a lovely weekend and that you got to eat fabulous, fresh food.