Friday, March 1, 2013

To market, to market

Here is what we purchased at our local farmer’s market over the weekend. We travel about 30 minutes to the closest winter market available, at the Hope Artiste Village, in Pawtucket, RI. Driving an hour round-trip and across a state line is obviously not the ideal for local eating, but I still feel it’s important to support farmers, even if they are farther than I’d like.

This Saturday market is inspiring. Over 40 vendors selling everything from hardy winter greens, milk and cheese, eggs, fresh and frozen local seafood, beef, lamb, and even boar! But what I really find inspiring is the community of people who trek out every Saturday to support the vendors. This place is CROWDED! One foot in the door and you begin the feel the groundswell of the local food movement. The sound of revolution is found in the exchange of cash (they do take debit/credit/EBT cards too) and the chatter between producers and consumers.

I love going to the market. Our family looks forward to it weekly. Not just the wonderful, fresh, food, but the people. The sense of community is overwhelming. It reminds me of the feeling you get at coffee hour after church. A group of like-minded people, communing over a shared passion- the growing and eating of real food.

Okay, enough prothletising. Here’s what we bought at the market this week and our meal plan.

We spent about $100 total for the two of us:

Saturday (we had our amazing CSA sharing friends Mark & El over)
Fried pork chops (raised in Maine) with roasted brussels sprouts, potatoes, shallots, onions, and a (non local organic) Caesar salad ( we did make the dressing using local organic eggs)
Snacked all day but never had dinner. I made a late lunch out of homemade whole wheat sourdough, smoked gouda from a cheese vendor at the market and sliced local red delicious apples. It was amazing!
Sauteed pea greens topped with fried eggs and some panko bread crumbs. Simple and fantastic.
Roasted carrot and ginger soup
Portuguese Kale Soup (we use conventional Gaspar’s chourico in this because we haven’t found a good alternative yet, although the chorizo from Pat’s Pastured is delicious in its own right!)
Stuffed squash (not sure of the variety- looks like an acorn but about 8” across) with sunflower seeds and raisins and cheddar cheese
Polenta with rainbow swiss chard (my chard wilted so not sure what I’m going to do here. Probably leftovers.)

Mostly above is certified organic, and came from the market except for:
Panko bread crumbs
Polenta (but I did get some organic cornmeal so I may experiment!)
Sunflower seeds
Romaine lettuce
Whole wheat flour and oats for bread (but I just found a supplier in Maine, Wood Prairie Farm, so I’ll be ordering!)

As you can see, even between snowstorms in the dead of winter, we are having very little issue eating locally. Everything is delicious & fresh! I strive for about a 80/20% split (80% local/organic 20% non local and organic when possible.

Lunches- leftover roasted carrot soup & I also made a VERY successful soup out of the roasted potatoes and onions from Saturday. I cooked them in the crockpot for about 6 hours with some vegetable stock and pureed in the blender. Very tasty and a good use of leftovers that I normally would have tossed.

That's all from here!

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