Sunday, August 8, 2010

An Affair to Remember

I just fell in love with a farmer's market.  The problem?  It's thousands of miles from where I live.  In fact, it took two incredibly delayed flights totaling more than 7 hours to get there.  Don't get me wrong.  I dig my local markets.  I really do.  I can spend hours at Dupont Farmer's Market and if you've ever been there, you'd know it's not  big enough to spend hours at!  However, I'm in Seattle and I'm cheating on my local D.C. markets.  If you've been here, you may think the Pike Place Market is on the other side of this nefarious affair.  That would be a good guess, however, you'd be wrong.  I'm head over heels for Ballard Market.

The set up of the produce at Ballard Market alone was worth the the hassle of the transcontinental nightmare I endured to get here.  It was as if each and every vendor took a class in vegetable visual display, proudly bearing their spectacles of food porn for my viewing pleasure!  I simply couldn't take my eyes off it.  I enlisted my brother-in-law as my unofficial photographer for the day, thus ensuring I would remember just how beautiful everything was; from the multi-colored carrots to the patty pan squash to the brilliant bouquets of sunflowers.  Thankfully, he obliged me despite the fact that he can visit this market on his slightest whim if he chooses. What a lucky guy!

I delighted myself in samples of ginger honey caramels, saw my first donut shaped peach, and purchased the largest bunch of frisee I've ever seen from a farmer in the Wasatch Valley.  From the moment I arrived, I was giddy with culinary emotion.  I bought a jar of local, blackberry wildflower honey from Tahuya River Apiaries and was tempted to embrace the vendor who sold it to me for sharing with me his bottled beaker of bliss.  Zucchini and squash here, blueberries and blackberries there, fresh mozzarella and crisp romaine lettuce - ideas filled our heads faster than we could fill our canvas bags.  And fill our bags we did!

Arguably, the best part of our experience is yet to come.  We will prepare each ingredient simply and with as little tampering as possible, making them easy to taste the ultimate freshness of the flavors therein.  This evening's menu:  sweet and fat cherry tomatoes with uber-fresh mozzarella tossed with frisee and green leaf lettuce, fingerling potatoes in brown butter with fresh chive and parsley, grilled zucchini and squash, and organic, free-range chicken breasts bathed in a lemon-garlic marinade.  There may be nothing fancy about the meal, but I guarantee there won't be an unhappy or unsatisfied guest at the dinner table tonight.

Incidentally, right now the 2010 America's Favorite Farmer's Market contest is going on.  You have until August 31, 2010 to vote, so I request my loyal readers to get online and show some support for the farmers market love affair in your life.  It's easy and it's worthy of a few minutes of your time.  Our farmers and the markets they work with deserve some recognition for providing us with these nourishing and healthy treasures.

Wonder who I'm voting for?  Here's a hint: while I am smitten with Ballard here in Seattle, my heart remains at home.  After all, loyalty is a quality I sincerely value.  But tonight is about enjoying the fruits of the great farmers in this area area, and apologies to my Dupont market, but tonight it's just going to have to live with that.


Maren @ Simply Maren said...

I am salivating over your farmers market experience. I have the most pitiful one in my town, so dissappointing. Your picture of the carrots is so cool!

Mrs. G said...

It looks fabulous!

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