mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
This is the first time in months, maybe years, that I felt good enough Sunday morning to go to the market. What a joy.

Big fat leeks, green garlic -- these two make an amazing puréed soup -- cilantro, Thai basil, Italian basil, scallions, water cress (the real one), three boxes of raspberries (!) free-range eggs including one green one, purple and crimson anemones, mixed freesias, mixed sweet peas.

It's good to be back.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 We'd planned last night to go today; I woke up and said I was too tired.   My husband said "I'll make you some toast, and let's go."  He was right.  He was absolutely right.   My daughter: "Many years of marriage are a good thing."

The market is already in full swing, and we left with ten bags of produce, as well as three bouquets of flowers (sweet peas, yellow iris, anemones) and three plants for the back porch planter (Serrano pepper, marjoram, savory; I anticipate pruning the last two with ferocity).   The bags, oh the bags:  exquisite tiny flavorful pioppini mushrooms, blackberries and raspberries at 3 for $10, tiny beautiful Brussels sprouts, yellowwax beans, hydroponic real watercress (there's something sold a lot as watercress here that's flavorless and doesn't have crunchy stems), a big bunch of basil, pluot, aprium, apricot, nectarine, rutabagas, red buttercrunch lettuce... just damn.  There are more than that, but I can't remember.


You can really see the effects of the drought; Twin Girl Farms and Kawa[argh, forgetting the name; movingfinger would know] peaches, both of which usually sell their stone fruits the size of my clenched fist,  had fruits two-thirds or even half the size of last year.   I actually prefer smaller stone fruits, because the enormous ones are bigger than a serving and you can't keep a cut peach.   Nonetheless, it's obviously bad for the farmers, who are selling more fruit -- and thus a bigger part of a tree's production -- per pound.  One of the stands had a "Pray for Rain" placard clipped to the tent, and I think we all are.

e: My daughter found it, Kashiwase Farms.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
It's a glorious summer day, not hazy nor nastily hot -- at least not by American standards; according to THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE-OFF, 25C is sweltering.

Our very favorite lily vendor, who moved to Texas because he couldn't afford land here, then moved back after the credit crunch killed his greenhouse business, was set up.  He recognized me and we must have talked for five minutes.   He's now mostly selling vegetables with some buckets of lilies for old times' sake.  We got his dry-farmed tomatoes, including a deeply-ridged variety he said was Mayan, a head of buttercrunch lettuce, and an armful of fragrant lilies.

Other than that?  3 pints of Lucero dry-farmed strawberries, small, intense, and with a shelf life of about 15 minutes;  3 pints of blackberries and raspberries; big-as-my-fist yellow nectarines that were the best  at the market but will have to be cut up for dessert tomorrow, tonight being reserved for strawberries; gorgeous fat leeks; fresh red onions on the stem; Chinese greens of various sorts;  one perfect sunset-colored dahlia the size of a newborn's head; a bunch of yellow dahlias; two messes of haricots; a 3-pound grass-fed London broil, the last of the season from that farm, on sale for $10 off because it was thawing; 1/2 pound of roasted salted almonds; piopparello mushrooms;  and (!!!!) fresh ginger leaves for steaming fish in.   

I wouldn't live anywhere else.


mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
It must be five years since I've done one of these.   Anyway, Saturday Palo Alto farmer's market.   Blue and purple statice, white lilies, grass-fed beef brisket *, avocadoes, three bunches of basil, mixed cherry tomatoes, dry-farmed Early Girl tomatoes, pink mushrooms, brown Italian mushrooms whose name I forget (no , not portabellos), damson plums **, Flavor King pluots, Flavor Delight pluots, watercress.    A beautiful summer day in the bone-dry hills of the mid-Peninsula.  We finished with a very good brunch at Bon Vivant; my husband had duck-breast and pâté sandwich, my daughter and I had crêpes Suzette, the crepes properly tender and eggy.  I had a kir royale, which was exactly what the day called for.

* It was the last brisket, and the farmer apologized hesitantly for how fatty the brisket was.   We assured her that brisket was supposed to be fatty, and she relaxed and said that some of her customers hated the crown fat that covers one side.   What do you expect, people who are not us?  It's braising meat. 

** I cried "Damsons!  The British use them to make jam!"   The farmer said "You know your stuff.  I keep having to explain to people that you can't eat them fresh."    Later today I'll wash them, add an equal weight of sugar, and set them to simmering.   The lovely thing about damsons is that you don't pit or peel them beforehand; you cook, cool, and remove the pits with a slotted spoon.

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