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farmer’s markets

It Takes a Shopping Cart


This morning’s market outing marked the last week of our CSA share.

The aisles were packed extra tightly with shoppers despite the increased chill–perhaps the coming holiday summoned everyone out of bed with roasted root vegetables on their mind. I had to get unusually aggressive just to avoid having my eggs snatched out from under me while I paid for them. Celebration kitchen stress was already wearing down nerves before anyone even got going in the kitchen, it seems. I also overheard more than one consumer ask for advice on appropriate purchase amounts for feeding ten or so family members–a reminder of how rarely we actually gather everyone together around the table these days.

As for me and my house, we won’t make it through the winter with this week’s haul, but at least I should be able to manage to feed everyone through Thanksgiving. Who’s coming over?

Lock Your Doors (August Bounty Edition)


There was no plan for today’s market shopping and cooking adventure, and so I played a little fast and loose with the recipes as well. Most notably, even though it still seems way too early for squash, a pretty little curry squash turned into an impulse buy. I intended to make a black bean and squash dish and a nice chilled squash soup, but in the end there was a lot less squash than I though I was going to have, so I kind of just blended it together in a bastardization of this winter standby. Cilantro chutney and yogurt perk it up for summer.

Also got some ginger and raspberry vinegar going so that shrub drinks can be manufactured during Rebecca’s impending visit. We will be partying like it’s 1899.

The rest of the fresh black beans and the last of the garden tomatoes plus a left over bell pepper and a handful of last week’s frozen corn came together quite nicely in this quinoa salad. Super foods! We are feeding a Cat 2 bike racer here, after all.

If you grew up in Ohio, you know to lock your doors against neighbors who will bring you tomatoes or a baseball bat of a zucchini as “a gift” in August. Look out, as I’ll be coming armed with roasted tomatillo salsa verde in my purse. I was not expecting this much product, but they look so cute!

With what’s left in the fridge from this week’s market haul, we can try out Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pizza) and Eggplant Salad Toasts.

Good eating, everyone!

Old World Charm


While waiting for the bus back from the Waverly Farmers’ Market in Baltimore this morning, I watched in awe as a terribly frail older gentleman called out to a “young lady” (who herself must have been in her 70s) and offered her his seat on the bench. No other seated customer moved an inch, so he slowly hobbled over to the side of the road and carefully lowered himself, hand over hand down his walker, onto the curb just a few yards away.

Thankfully, he soon got a place back on the bench and well out of the path of oncoming traffic, and I headed home tangentially enriched by his example of generosity as well as by my  two sacks full of fresh produce. Despite my light wallet this week, I scored quite a haul! Due to an intense need to procrastinate, a cooking plan was quickly hatched, and after about five hours and surprisingly little swearing, I managed to convert these:

Into these:

And in the process avoid all the things I was supposed to be doing today without another thought.

In almost all cases, I was trying out recipes from a site I read frequently but hadn’t managed to actually cook from much yet– After taking stock of the fridge and pantry, I decided to try out:

If all this food was going to actually fit in the fridge when I was done, I was going to have to clear out the yogurt and half-empty cottage cheese containers. Conveniently, there was just enough left of those for Martha Rose Shulman’s Creamy Cucumber Salad. And a quick side project to put together some cilantro chutney means I can use up the left over tofu from last week’s dinner experiment in this under-the-broiler dish later this week. The extra corn and zucchini went into ziplock bags and were packed into the freezer for more vitamin-desperate times. I have no idea if these will taste better than the kind in my grocery store’s  freezer section, but after all that knife work, I certainly hope so.

Whew. Now for wine and a movie.