Saturday, 11 August 2012

Farmer's Markets

Farmer's markets have a special place in my heart. I love being able to purchase produce from the very person who nurtured the plant its entire lifespan. And, there's a certain charm to farmers. They tend to really be salt of the earth types, which I admire.

Recently, I had the opportunity to experience a farmer's market in the small town I was posted to for a work assignment. Saturday mornings at the farmer's market are quite the social affair, in spite of the fact there are only a dozen or so vendors present. The whole experience has inspired me to make more of an effort to support local farmers and merchants. Too often, time pressures lead me to cop out and shop at large, mainstream grocery stores.

My farmer's market haul looked something like this:

The organic kale ($3) and collard greens ($3) were grown by a lanky guy who is debating buying horses. He wants to get two so that his first horse doesn't get lonely. The zucchini ($1 each), basil ($3), beans ($4), and beets ($2.50/bunch) were from a darling older lady who seemed to know everybody at the market. She was also very concerned about me carrying "all those heavy vegetables" home in my backpack. The big tomatoes ($5 for the basket) and the orange baby tomatoes ($3/bag) were my favourite thing that I bought. The tomato stand was manned by two older women who were overwhelmed by the demand for their produce. The market opens at 9am, and by 10am there were very few tomatoes to be had. I was very lucky. The orange tomatoes were amazingly sweet. I had never tasted anything quite like them. The whole bag was gone within a few hours of purchase.

That evening, I prepared my go-to lazy hot meal:

"Whatever I Have Around Miso Soup"
Whatever I Have Around Miso Soup
Start by chopping whatever vegetables are hanging around in your fridge.
Put 1-2 tsp miso in a big bowl.
Add a splash of Bragg's liquid aminos (or tamari/soy sauce), sea salt, garlic powder, ginger powder, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne.
Pour a bit of boiling water over the flavour medley, mixing so the miso dissolves.
Add your more robust veggies (i.e. things that would need a longer cooking time), then pour boiling water over the whole thing.
Let it sit for 10 minutes.
Add your more delicate veggies plus or minus herbs of your choice.

The soup in the photo was made with kale, zucchini (both "robust"), and tomato ("delicate"). It was really tasty.

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