Tag Archives: farmer’s market

I think the word for you, ma’am, is “cornhole.”

19 Jul

Actually, ma'am, you might want to rethink how you're handling the corn.

Sunday morning I had just approached the corn table at the farmer’s market when an older woman muscled in next to me with her basket.

I sized up the corn and selected an ear, peeling a small bit of the husk down about half an inch so I could look at the kernels.

“You know, doing that dries it out,” the woman told me.

I had headphones in so I pretended I couldn’t hear her, bagged the ear and did the same thing with another ear.

She started speaking again, only more loudly. “You can get the same result by doing this –” she started working her hands around the ear in a gesture that I’m pretty sure could start a fist fight in New York. Or end your career as a sign language interpreter.

I’m generally polite, and would normally accept someone’s tip with a bashful smile or light apology.  But I grew up in rural Michigan, helping my dad with his sizable garden, making my first $20 selling vegetables (including corn) door-to-door from a Radio Flyer wagon, which I pulled while wearing overalls with a patch that said, “I’m proud to be a farmer.”

So I don’t think I’m going out on a limb when I suggest it unlikely that her corn-handling qualifications match or exceed mine.

Which — along with her rich city person’s Williams Sonoma farmer’s market basket  —  is why her advice immediately rubbed me the wrong way.

So you know what I said?

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An Ode to Fall: I’m ready to hibernate.

14 Nov

Alan’s in Michigan for the opening of rifle season, hoping to fill his freezer with venison for the next year.

Since I tend to be someone who gets energy from “alone time,” I’m using this week to recharge batteries through simple daily indulgences. This weekend, food has been the basis of some good exploration.

Friday night my friends Dan and Molly came over for wine and a simple spread of antipasti. (They brought the most amazing contribution – spicy meat and a meat/cheese-filled bread from Trinacria in Baltimore… check out the photo to the right if you’re drooling to get one yourself.)

Yesterday morning I hit the Farmer’s Market – hauling home sweet potatoes, broccoli, honeycrisp apples, spaghetti squash and a bag of purple kale – before walking into Georgetown to check out the Spice & Tea Exchange.

It was the kind of place where I wanted to go nuts and try everything, but at $4.89/oz, could easily go broke. Fortunately, I had a $20 credit (purchased for $9.60, courtesy of homerun.com), so I poked around and ended up leaving with four envelopes of spice blends –  Thai Coconut Rub, Autumn Blend, Tuscany Blend and Backwoods Hickory Rub. I’m testing out the Autumn Blend this morning on a pork roast, and my place smells awesome.

While it’s a bit pricey for my own daily consumption, the envelopes of tea, spices and flavored sugars would make excellent hostess gifts. In fact, I might be inspired to make some spice blends of my own at home and – with a few vials from the Container Store – have a little something extra that I slip in with a bottle of wine to take to this winter’s holiday parties.

Go ahead, steal my idea. Just make sure we don’t go to the same party. Or I will place this sticker on whatever you bring:

I’m sipping on a mug of freshly mulled cider as I write this, and I’ll be honest – the real reason I mulled the cider was because I wanted to make my place smell like fall. And you know what? My place DOES smell great now, and as opposed to burning a Yankee Candle, I can drink the finished product. Fall is the best season. Ever.

You say tomato, I say Gestapo.

28 Sep

Saturday morning we ran to the farmer’s market so I could pick up some fruit and greens for a salad. (Side note: I discovered kiwi berries, which, if you like kiwi fruit but HATE peeling them, this is the fruit for you – think of grapes that taste like kiwis.)

On the way there, we were breaking one of my pet urban rules: we were walking three-across on the sidewalk. Fortunately, my mom was tuned into our surroundings, and realized someone coming up behind us would need to get around. She stepped aside, grabbed my dad and me by the shoulders, and loudly announced, “Let’s wait a second so this gentleman can pass.”

The thing is, that gentleman had breasts. No sooner were the words out of my mom’s mouth, than my dad and I exchanged an uncomfortable look and my mom clapped her hand over her mouth. We dropped back a few paces and let the woman gain some ground before we spoke again.

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Someone could have told me “salsa verde” means “sticky tomato.”

9 Aug

I went to the U Street Farmer’s Market on Saturday and spent $30 on beautiful produce. Of course, I always have lofty thoughts of all the cooking I will do upon returning home with my treasures, then generally lose steam once it comes time to wash and prep everything.

Don’t get me wrong – I love to cook and (if I may flatter myself) think I’m pretty good at it. But something about prepping veggies just takes the steam out of me.

This weekend, facing a week without travel (how novel!), I decided to be a bit adventurous. So in addition to the staples (garlic, onions, potatoes, heirloom tomatoes, basil, bell peppers, arugula, nectarines, and blackberries), I went for a wildcard: tomatillos.

I couldn’t help it. I’m a huge fan of salsa verde, and I’ve never cooked with these little fellas. Plus, they were clearly in season, so if ever there WERE a time to experiment, it was now.

I laid waste to the rest of my finds almost immediately, cooking up shrimp pesto, garlic crostinis topped with bruschetta and a blue cheese heirloom salad on the side for my friends Mike and Betsy. But these damn tomatillas have been hanging out, taunting me with their papery husks, screaming, “Do me! Do me!” like an annoying 1990s rap song.

So tonight, I decided to do them.

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