Treasure hunt.

Every week at the market is a treasure hunt.  Where are the best tomatoes?  Who has the sweetest corn?  The ripest melons?  But I also like to look beyond the obvious.  I like to find things that are new (to me) and different.  This past week was a not just a hunt, it was a treasure trove!

My daughters and I get to the market early and take a walk to see what sparks our interest. While we always have the regular things on our list (the market is my supermarket when open!), we are excited to see new produce and we love to support our farmers’ efforts into extraordinary foods.

To that end…..

This week Schoeber’s had peaches and nectarines and all manner of jams and sauces….and green grapes!  A little tart but delicious and fresh.  I’m sure they will be sweeter this week.

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Springdale, Buzby, and Viereck farms had a wide variety of tomatoes.  White, green, striped, and, oh yes, red (including heirloom varieties).  So pretty and delicious sliced up on a plate and sprinkled with coarse salt.

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Springdale and Formisano farms had cranberry beans.  The edible beans are inside the pods.  These are delicious sautéed in olive oil with a little onion and green pepper (low and slow until the beans are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside).  These are also just great to clean and freeze in a freezer bag and then toss into your winter vegetable soup.

Flaim farm had something called field peas.  Another kind of bean.  They need to be parboiled before eating or, again, thrown into soup.  They also make an interesting hummus.

Some farms offer treasures made with their products.

A friendly young man at the Springdale Farm stand was happy to talk about his pickles.  I bought the bread and butter (sweet) type and dill.  I left the spicy hot ones for braver souls than I. Again, though…fresh and delicious and superior to those jars on the shelves for months at the supermarket.

Hillacres Pride was offering for sale for the first time, crackers made with their delicious cheese.  Way, way, way better than anything you can purchase at the supermarket.  Great with a nice glass of wine or for the kiddos instead of those fish shaped crackers.

Another advantage, for us, is when we walk we walk  the market backwards….we then start shopping (when the cowbell rings) at the Springdale Farm stand and walk with the sun at our backs, not in our eyes!

This week I’m going to be on the lookout for the first of the fall vegetables.  Maybe a butternut squash or some sweet potatoes or……

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