Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday Produce Shopping



As I went to bed on Friday night, I had planned to get up early and go to the local farmer’s market on Saturday morning. The farmer’s market is literally 2-3 minutes away from where I live. A couple years ago, I had visited this farmer’s market when I used to live a little further; about 10-15 minutes away, however I was very disappointed with the limited number of stands and produce. With that disappointment, I never went there again. Although since I moved closer, I have been meaning to check it out again, but for 2 years now I have not, even though I am only a couple blocks away.

This week I was conversing with a coworker who has a farmer friend who brings his vegetables to the local farmer’s market. This reminded me again about the farmer’s market and motivated me a little more to go there. The farmer’s market is open between 8 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturdays and 3p.m.-7 p.m. on Wednesdays. Wednesdays never work for me as I am beat after a long work day and feel like only going home and just relaxing.

While curled up in bed reading late on Friday night, I realized how exhausted I was and not sure if I could make it to the farmer’s market in the morning. I wanted a good night sleep. I woke up around 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning after a good night sleep with no disruptions, but I still felt tired. I decided to forget the farmer’s market and continue sleeping! That’s what I did. Then, I woke up again just before 11:00 a.m. and still felt tired. This time though, I knew I could not fall asleep again. Rolling out of bed was a little easier this time. I got ready and drove to the farmer’s market as my husband was still in bed!

With the cool, crisp air outside, I would have liked to walk there, but I was not sure I could carry all the bags of produce. When I arrived there, I had a shock when I saw the crowd, the variety and abundance of fruits and vegetables and other stuff. They had grown tremendously since I had visited the market 2 years ago. I realized how much I had missed all this time living just a couple blocks away from it!

There was a lovely band playing nice music so people could listen to while shopping. A very enticing coffee stand was around the corner and you could buy a cup of coffee with free refills. I never get refills as one cup of coffee is plenty for me, but it is nice to know free refill is available. You could buy bags of your favorite coffee. A good variety from light to strong coffee from different countries existed. If you prefer, they grind it for you. After sampling a cup, I did get some of that coffee.

The farmer’s market also carried soap bars, desserts, breads, flowers stands and some other stuff. I only purchased produce though.

I found the perfect small bell peppers which are very suitable for stuffed peppers. Usually it is difficult to find small bell peppers here in the States. In Turkey, we use them for stuffing. I was preparing this week’s menu in my head as I was sipping my coffee and strolling through each stand. There were also very nice looking oyster mushrooms which I have not decided how to cook. They looked too good not to buy. I also found radishes, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, salad greens, grapefruit and persimmons full of vitamins. As I am very health conscious, this shopping experience at the market made me very happy. I do purchase a lot of vegetables and fruits in my local supermarket too. In fact, on many occasions other customers have commented on how I have only healthy stuff in my cart. My cart lacks any kinds of sodas, preserved, frozen, canned foods, as well as junk food. The only thing that I cannot resist to buy at any market is chocolate.

The prices at the market were a little more expensive than where I usually shop, but definitely worth it. The farmer’s produce is brought from their farm to the market the same day. The supermarket where I do my weekly shopping does also buy produce from local farmers which I enjoy. Their prices are a little expensive compared to other stores, but they do support local farmers. It looks like I will be visiting the farmer’s market weekly from now on.

I came home happy with all my shopping. I spread all the produce on the counter and took a few pictures. Maybe I have more pictures than needed, but the produce is so colorful and beautiful, I couldn’t send the pictures to the recycle bin. These looked to good to pass up and not write about on my blog. I had to share. It looks like there will be lots of veggie dishes in the menu this week. I will post the recipes on my blog in future dates.

5 comments:

pixen said...

Your pictures always inspired me... We're lucky to be able to taste such variety of produce. I hope to cook the recipes from your site too (I'm still trying...if I could find certain products ;-D )

I would like to know if there's anyway to substitute 'Sumac' or made your own?

BTW, I'm tagging you in my blog. I hope you have fun. Take care

lisaiscooking said...

Wow. You got some great things! You must have an excellent market.

Reeni said...

All those colorful, fresh veggies do look good! Can't wait to see what you cook up.

Mediterranean Turkish Cook said...

Pixen,
I can't think of any substitue for sumac. It is made of ground wild berries and I am not sure if they're available. Have you tried to look for online Turkish or Middle Eastern stores where you live? That maybe the best option.

Lisa and Reeni, yes I did get great things. Can't wait to post the recipes I make from them.

Anonymous said...

A mix of juice from lemon and red paprika powder can be a substitute for Sumak.