I popped over to the Farmers Market yesterday and had a great time exploring all the offerings. The day started off overcast with the sun trying to peak out from among the clouds but in the end, the sun lost the battle and it rained off and on all day.
I started with a great fresh cup of tea from the tea stand and ordered a banana crepe with whipped cream and caramel rum sauce all over it. Talk about a decadent beginning to the day. Yum! The person I was with wanted some fresh made green chili and cheese tamales but the stand only does those on Wednesdays so he settled on a vegetable taco with a homemade corn tortilla. One of these days I"m going to learn to make real corn tortillas instead of having to buy them at the store.
We finally got to the part of the season where veggies are becoming available. For instance, I found the usual broccoli, cauliflower, kale, radishes, beets, swiss chard, carrots, lettuce, onions and garlic but this time, I found some beautiful tomatoes that looked so juicy and red, just perfect to go with the lettuce I'm growing in my garden. The tomatoes I bought, one was orange while the other was a deep red with a light band around the top and both smelled so good!
Then at the booth on the corner, I found some beautifully deep purple oriental eggplants. So many people dislike eggplant but I discovered when you cook it up with broth, coconut milk, soy sauce, a bit of sugar and roasted chili paste, you end up with a fantastic dish. I made it for some coworkers and served it with rice and they really enjoyed it. My coworkers are definitely meat eaters and not as much into veggies but they tried it and complemented me on the dish.
Finally at one other place I found some crisp early green beans that I"ll steam up with a few herbs and just enjoy the succulent taste. The owner also had some wonderful looking zucchini that I picked up. I realize some of you are wondering about why I'm ecstatic about this but its the middle of Alaska where its not warm enough to plant outside till late May or early June and the first frosts hit by the end of August. Many of these vegetables are grown in green houses and if it does not get warm enough, we don't get a wide selection of veggies.
You know, later in the summer, there will be a variety of winter squash but I have never seen anyone grow melons of any sort! I bet most people refuse to grow them because the season is too short and they can be rather temperamental.
I bought enough vegetables to create some awesome dishes this week. My mouth waters at the thought.