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farmers market

That Kind of Weekend


Yesterday, I bought a single tomato for $2.50.

“Where did they come from?” I asked the vendor, the small box of red fruit clearly hypnotizing me. Thankfully, he didn’t look at me like I was  completely crazy and just assured me they were fresh picked out of the farm’s greenhouse, not snuck in on a truck from Mexico. Glancing at the $5/lb price tag, I counted my dollar bills and said I’d take one.

Now, as a child of Ohio’s yearly tomato abundance, the insanity of this purchasing decision did not escape me, but the tease of what would be coming in the weeks ahead, produce-wise, was too tempting to resist.

I also needed some reward for having walked the 2 miles to the market in a grey mist of rain that promises not to give up on our fair neighborhood until Thursday. Once I returned home with my goods, however, I found I didn’t really want to cook anything too much, the taste of what it was already seeming like more than enough. So I roasted the asparagus with just a bit of olive oil and salt, sauteed garlic and the hot pink radishes just long enough to kill off some of their bitter bite, and made up a pan pizza smothered in spinach, mushrooms, spring onions, and my favorite dill cheddar.

Once the oven is hot, I find it nearly impossible to not just keep going, so I baked off a loaf of whole wheat bread for Brian and some muffins for myself. I’ve been eating poorly while the husband has been away, so a quick baked good stuffed with what I could find leftover in the fridge and pantry (in this case, carrots, pecans, cranberries, and a fist full of unsweetened coconut) seemed like a pleasant way to get back on track after weeks of only buttered toast for breakfast. Fresh yogurt and a batch of cold brewed coffee are setting up now, so the house is stocked full of welcoming treats and this week’s bounty has thoroughly been put to use.

Except for that tomato. It’s so damn pretty I’m kind of afraid to eat it.

Spring, Edible Edition


Despite the grey skies and the steady drizzle, I would not be stopped from eating spring even if I couldn’t exactly enjoy it yet. Once those bundles of just-picked Maryland asparagus and (not exactly local but close enough) North Carolina strawberries were spotted, all inclement weather was forgotten and the market scores were hauled home for a feast to celebrate the season.

Though I had been unable to really strategize as I dodged rain drops and chatted with my favorite vendors, once home with a bag of fresh veggies and eggs, a Portobello and Asparagus Quiche seemed the way to go. The bright bunch of asparagus was blanched and the tops nipped off before slicing up the rest. The spring onions and the portobello mushrooms were sauteed in a bit of oil and butter, tossed with thyme, mixed with salt and pepper, and left to cool on the back burner. And I went back to my standby savory pastry crust because I love how it puffs up around the edges of the plate.

After a freeze and a 15 minute pre-bake of the crust at 450F, I beat 5 eggs with a scant cup of whole milk and a half cup of roughly grated Parmesan (the only cheese in the house, though the combo proved to be quite tasty). Mixed in the cooled veggies and poured it all into the shell. Topped it off with the asparagus tips and popped it back into the oven, temp lowered to 325F. Mine took about 50 minutes to puff up and brown ever so slightly. It was delicious, and the sun even peeked out. Maybe it wanted a bite.

Though the strawberries could have been left well enough alone, I did have a stash of almond flour in the freezer and was making a pastry crust already, so whirling up a topping and popping it into the oven seemed like a perfectly reasonable way to finish this late afternoon lunch on a sweet note.