Sunday, July 24, 2011

Farmer's Market Bounty

Just home from the farmer's market in Baltimore with a pile of amazing food and the goodwill that come from community shopping. As I wrote on Friday, one of the benefits we've found from farmer's market shopping is that we are more careful to eat everything we buy and therefore waste less food. Still, I'd suspected we were spending more money farmer's market shopping versus the grocery store so today I kept careful track. Which is really to say, I started with $200 and counted how much I had left when I was done. I am home from the market with $80.25 so spent $120 on today's bounty.

As you can see, we have a selection of meats including bison NY strip steaks (from Gunpowder Bison & Trading), pork chops and a chicken (from KCC Natural Farms). Rounding out the animal protein is a dozen eggs and a bison marrow bone our dog is now happily enjoying.

A loaf of fresh bread from The Breadery and some mozzarella from South Mountain Creamery (I've written about them before and their "as close to real tasting" milk I've had since being on my grandparents farm).

Fruits included blueberries (my very favorite food), peaches, yellow plums and a cantaloupe. Garlic, kale, arugula (my next favorite food), corn, tomatoes (grape and heirloom - or are these my next favorite???), eggplants and a gigantic bouquet of basil.

All of this for $120 seems pretty reasonable and it will, in large measure and combined with some pantry ingredients, feed us for the week. I think we'll have to find some really great prosciutto to enjoy with the cantaloupe. And, I got the last 1/4 pound of arugula and, since I graze on that near continuously, I may have to find more before next Sunday.

Tonight's meal will be a starter of grilled peach and brie quesadillas, followed by pork chops with pesto and corn with basil butter.  I can't wait! I've also noticed I look forward to cooking and creating and sitting down to a healthy dinner that comes from the local area. Shopping in this way is the next best thing to growing your own food. Talking with the farmers, expressing the enthusiastic hellos and goodbye greetings of "Have a great week," and building a relationship with people and your food is so much more rewarding than an anonymous, florescent lit grocery store where you might as well be bar-coded just like the "food."

If you haven't been to a farmer's market, please try it. You'll too see how much better your food can be. For now... it is time for me to wander off to the kitchen and nibble something for lunch. I think this may be a tomato sandwich on the fresh bread kind of lunch day. Yummy!

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