Monday, February 28, 2011

Farmers Market

The farmers market in Houston is year-round. Which makes me very happy. Almost every Saturday morning JR and I hit the bank machine for $60 dollars in cash and head to the market. That is about the average we spend every week. Probably more than if we went to the grocery store but the things we buy are locally grown and organic. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy supporting local farmers.

Here is some of what we picked up.

Strawberries are in season right now. We picked up 2 pints. I had envisioned making ice cream. Alas, they are gone. No, I did not make ice cream. We ate them before I had the chance to do anything fancy with them. Maybe, next week.

The leeks looked good so I picked up a bunch. Not sure what I'm going to do with them yet. This is the first week I've seen them at the market. The excellent thing about shopping at a farmers market is the opportunity to eat seasonally. I'm all for eating seasonally. I buy whatever is at the market that looks good to me then figure out what I'm going to make out of it when I get home. 

It always surprises me that others don't do this. I really don't know any other way. I think it is because for most of our marriage we have cultivated a large garden so I learned to cook whatever was ripe at the time or whatever I had canned up the season before. It's a different mindset from picking a recipe then buying the ingredients. It entails having the ingredients then picking the recipe.

I bought 1 cartoon of red tomatoes and 1 cartoon of green. I've become seriously addicted to fried green tomatoes. I used 3 of the red ones in last night's pasta dinner. We had what I like to call bruschetta pasta. I make bruschetta topping, add cubes of mozzarella, a vinaigrette of fresh lemon juice and olive oil, and toss the whole thing with homemade fettuccine.  Yum! I can't wait for my leftovers for lunch.

We bought a bunch of beets. JR and I are big fans of roasted beets. The first year we had a garden we planted a 20 foot row of beets. All on the same day. Big mistake. While we ate the little ones as we thinned the row the rest all ripen at the same time. We must have eaten beets every day for a month and canned up enough for 2 years. The next year we didn't plant any beets. We just couldn't face another plate of beets, in any form. Lesson learned. Stagger your plantings.

Every week or so I pick up a couple of dozen eggs. Eggs are an excellent source of protein. Plus, as a vegetarian 1 or 2 of these a week keeps that nasty B12 deficiency away. B12 deficiency is hard on the memory. Since, I eat eggs my only excuse for forgetfulness is menopause. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

I never fail to buy portabella mushrooms. At $5 per pound they are about $3 cheaper than the grocery store. I typically stuff them with a variety of veggies and cheese. I just made up a batch of very garlicy hummus yesterday. Maybe, we'll have greek stuffed mushrooms for dinner. I'll grill the mushrooms then stuff them with a bit of hummus, some kalmatta olives, cucumbers, tomatoes and feta cheese. Okay, it is official. I'm hungry now!

It's time in our area to plant tomatoes and herb starts. I bought a purple cherry tomato plant, a lemon thyme, and a flat leaf parsley plant.

And, basil. I can't really live without fresh basil and mine died 2 weeks ago in the Great Houston Freeze of 2011. 2 days of under 30 degrees will kill basil plants. It also makes the denizens of Houston think that the world is going to end.

There is my weekly shopping trip to the market. All I can say is that it is much more fun to shop there than to go to the grocery store. You really can't beat the samples.


PS. I haven't said it recently but it is Monday so try to go meatless today or some day this week. Thanks


  1. I am so jealous of your year-round farmer's market.

    So. Jealous.

    Having said that, I also go to the farmer's market, buy what looks good and figure out what I'm going to do with it later. There's another way to approach this?

  2. Ours won't open until April. I'm jealous!

    (I've been making home made pizza dough for cheese pizza so that my meat loving hubby doesn't notice we're going meatless at least one night a week.)

  3. Jan: There is! There are people who make up weekly menus.

    K: nice work!

    Nicci: the one on Richmond and Eastside. It's great!

  4. Oooh, we'll have to try it out!

  5. Nicci: It is right by the Costco. It is an Urban harvest farmers market.

  6. I wish we had a farmer's market in our area. What kind of pisses me off is we went to one in Ft Lauderdale while visiting family and thanks to it being "trendy", the local growers upped their prices to compete with the grocery chains. Bummer.

  7. Our local Farmer's Market is usually about 6 or 7 tables of pretty sad looking produce.

  8. Jealous, Jealous, Jealous...oh I forgot, that is a sin. Dang! Shoot. Humm.

    I am so happy for you. I am glad you can eat so well.


    P.S. Jealous! Really Jealous.

  9. Pretty pretty foods! The leeks are gorgeous - they should make new BFFs with fingerling 'taters in a nice soup. How much, may i ask, do the eggs cost??

  10. Julie: the eggs are $3 per dozen.

  11. Salad please. Those strawberries look yummy to bite. You should paint fruit next, it would make people hungry. Just a thought.

  12. I can practically smell the freshness through the monitor, lucky girl!

  13. I love a Strawberry in Winter. One mind you. But there is something very wrong about the entire crop coming in in February.
    Now, while I'm Irish and never willingly accept anything English. Nevertheless, it's always a delight seeing them sicken themselves with Strawberries cream and Moet at the end of June.

  14. Ours is open year round too and it's awesome. We've been going with the kids every couple of weeks, they have live music and tons of stuff and I love it. Sometimes there are benefits to living in such a warm climate, no?

  15. Your pictures make the food and the market look fantastic! Well done.

  16. I am sooo jealous. I love farmers' markets and am all about supporting local businesses.