Sunday, August 9, 2009

National Farmers Market Week

Did you know that this last week (Aug 2-9) was National Farmers Market Week? Well, I did thanks to the heads up and encouragement from FoodieTots. Of course, we planned on being at at least one market anyway but in true Murphys Law fashion, the one week we should be at the market almost turned into the first week of the year where we did not even get to a single market.

I don't know how I forgot to swing by the Frying Pan Park Market on Wednesday when I planned my early lunch hour specifically to take advantage of it. Or how I managed to not leave with enough time to swing by the Reston Town Center market before I had to pick K up from preschool in order to make it to swim lessons. And then came Saturday, our usuall day of local food worship with planned stops at the Leesburg Farmers Market and/or the Purcelville Market along with u-pick and share pick-up at the farm. Surely, we'd be able to pick up our regular list of goodies and at this market I could take the time and get some good pictures of K for the Flicker pool.However, Saturday morning came and I woke up 3 hours late with a killer migrain and a whole host of other ailment that kept me in bed or immobilized most of the day.

Saturday night, with only one day left, I was just sitting up to re-write my list and plan a Sunday trip to the Cascades Farmers Market when K decided that no bedtime routine would be complete without some death-defying feat of acrobatics. The scream that emanated from her room was enough to get past my migraine and I bolted out of bed. No broken bones or abnormal swelling were immediately apparent but it was certain that she had at least sprained her right wrist and was intent on making her pain known to the whole world. She couldn't sit up, lay down, read books, drink water, move blankets, reach for a stuffed animal or go to the bathroom on her own and every few hours all night long, screamed bloody murder for my assistance. I was afraid that it might be worse than it looked or that we'd both be too tired to go anywhere, much less try to maneuver the crowded market.

But I had underestimated the power of fresh food, good people, and the sights and smells that only a Farmers Market can bring. All I had to do was ask "Do you want to go to the Farmers Market?" and my frail invalid was suddenly recovered enough to get dressed on her own, complete with arm sling, and head out to the car, albeit slower than usual, with the hope of getting not only her favorite market treat, a cookie, but also yummy food for the week ahead. My list was down to only the essentials as I had too much food to use up from overfilled shares and I was in a cooking rut and unable to make even a basic meal out of the food I had on hand but I planned to get bread, bacon, eggs, and potatoes. When we got there during the last hour of the market, K happily walked very slowly back and forth with my while I browsed for the best buys on my list. I ended up with my gold standards, Becky's Whole Wheat Bread, Bakers bacon, Red, Yellow and Blue potatoes from Onyx Hill Farm and a last minute find of eggs at Bigg Rigg's along with some of their bottled Awesome Sauce and a carton of Tomatillos. K also asked for some flowers so we got a bunch of zinnias from Medinas Produce. Last, but most importantly, K got her brownie bar from MeLoveCookies.

There is something magical about spending a few minutes at the market. The people, the sounds, the smells and the moments. I like, when K lets me, to just stop and take it all in. K likes the colors and shapes, the samplers and the dogs; I like the inspiration, the motivation and the feeling of community. Today she was really drawn to all the different tomatoes and how none of the looked like the purple ones we are growing at home. She picked out a bunch of tiny purple potatoes, tasted Bigg Rigg's Peach Jam on crackers, listened very shyly as the Banjo player sang Mary Had a Little Lamb just for her, was very intent on following a rather large shepard as he and his owner browsed for corn, and reluctantly let me hold her beloved flowers so that she could use her one good hand to pet the stuffed dog at Chase Your Tale Bakery.

On what started as a miserable day K returned with a smile on her face (and chocolate brownie too) and a story to tell her grandparents. And the market turned my day around too. When I got home, my headache and my cookers-block was gone and I effortlessly whipped up bunch of local dishes like BLTs, roasted cabbage colcannon and tri-potato mash, diced potato bakes, freezer coleslaw, roasted corn, peach medley and put by a bunch of cabbage, zucchini, peaches and onions with dreams of local produce in winter soups, breads, and pies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great series of events, and a chance to get delicious food. I too love to go to the farmers market - the sights, colors, and people almost always lift my spirits.