I have been reading about a big Farmer’s Market in downtown Sacramento where the local restaurants go on Sundays to buy their weekly produce. Last weekend I made the trek and it was an incredible experience. The first thing I noticed was the aroma of freshness everywhere: basil, peaches, berries, peppers, all blended together into a delightful perfume. The second thing I noticed was how much more prepared my fellow shoppers were than I was. I had my small market bag; everyone was pushing wheeling shopping carts. In no time I was heavily laden with my finds-8 ears of corn, a dozen peaches, an assortment of peppers to make the salsa I will be posting tomorrow and a variety of summer squash in an array of colors.
I had to make a trip back to the car to unload so I could go for another round. I never even thought about how I was going to consume all these treasures in one week. My kids are grown now, I live by myself. My daughter Kaitlin is home for several weeks this summer and we are having fun cooking healthy so at least I would have some help. As I strolled some more and bought some more I started to devise a plan to cook for some of my friends and began to get a bit more strategic as I formulated a menu. I even picked up a bouquet of some assorted blue hydrangeas for the table and a bit of local goat cheese for an appetizer.
This place was amazing, the assortment was vast, the vendors were jovial, the prices were really good and everything was fresh and ripe. No rock hard, grocery store fruit from foreign countries-this was all grown a short drive from the market. The next day when my friends arrived my friend Dana brought about 10 pounds of apricots from her tree to share with our friends. All the apricots on a tree ripen within a couple of days and you have to use them fast. My friend Michele had delivered an enormous bag of fresh figs the week before. All this bounty drove home for me why our grandparents had been canners. There was simply no way to eat all this fantastic produce immediately so there had to be a way to keep it for the months that aren’t so bountiful. I made a few jars of fig jam for my dad and will probably do the same with some of the apricots. It was much easier than I thought and so delicious. I will definitely go back to this Farmer’s Market but first I am going to buy a wheelie cart.Tags: farmer's market, produce