Post #654 Market Day

June 30, 2019 at 1:31 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In the U.S., people tend to think that the way they do things is the way things are done always and everywhere.  Because of the traveling I’ve done for work around the globe, I’ve learned differently, and in my ideal world I embrace the European method of markets and food purchases.  Has anyone reading this blog ever seen a show on HGTV called House Hunter International?  We like to watch it for the scenery and the day dream of living in Ireland, or Italy, or France, or somewhere else.

Buying and selling food in most other places in the world is nothing like it is here in the U.S.  Here, we can buy food for as long as a month, as long as we have a place to store it.  With the invention of metal cans, chest freezers, and aluminum foil, we can stock up for as long as we please, as long as we do it right.  And in that spirit, the things we use for food storage and prep are necessarily bigger.  Our fridges are floor to ceiling and sometimes as wide as three people.  They contain freezer section large enough to hold a small cow, or pig, or goat, and several chickens tucked into the extra spaces.  Our kitchens have enough cabinets above and below to hold case after case of goods both canned and dry.  And many kitchens come with the pantry, a walk in closet affair usually outfitted with shelves to store still more items.

In most other parts of the world, food is purchased mostly on a daily basis.  Sometimes two or three days in advance, but typically not much more than that.  Part of it is that it’s the way it’s always been done; but another part is storage space.  Refrigerators that I’ve run into tend to be about the size of a dorm room fridge and sit under a counter.  Where we buy eggs by the dozen or dozen-and-a-half, most other places they are bought by the half-dozen.  When you need more, you go buy more.   Food tends to be fresher, not nearly so chemically treated as ours, and far better tasting in the long run since veggies and fruits, in particular, are sold much closer to their ripest stage.  Even bread is better since you’re buying bread that was baked that morning.  When I was in Paris, I used to buy hot fresh croissants on my way to work every morning and have them for breakfast.  Yes, I put on some pounds, despite the amount of walking I did.  And I did do some walking there.

So, in our household, we blend the two.  We tend to stock up on things that aren’t perishable so we can take advantage of sales.  We have a chest freezer so we can freeze meats that we’ve portioned into meals for two off of larger cuts that were economically a good buy.  Then, we buy vegetables and fruit once a week or so at farmers markets when they’re around; and in grocery stores when the outdoor markets no longer supply what we want to eat.  So we’re able to save money by buying in bulk, but support the local economy at the same time.

So, we were excited to hear that the first of the summer vegetable and fruits were ripening and the farmers markets would now have cherry tomatoes and strawberries!  Well, not the strawberries, so much, cuz we just don’t like them.  But the tomatoes were definitely a draw.  The closest large market is only about ten minutes away, but we opted to go to the biggest in the state, about 45 minutes away.  Boy, was it worth it.

This place sat on about twelve acres and was chock full.  There were only a few craft booths.  Everything else was product or food goods from local vendors.  The distilleries were there, as well as one mead maker, a meadery maybe?  And a couple of local wines, but I didn’t look too closely.  I had my eyes open for tomatoes.

The market opened at 9, but because of one thing or another and due to parking several blocks away and walking, we arrived about 9:30.  We found one booth with tomatoes, but I only was able to snag two small ones before they were gone.  We did get some wonderful baby carrots, a whole pound for $1.50.  And a bunch of radishes the size of ping pong balls.  We also got a container of jalapenos and one of shitake mushroom (which I’m eating with my lunch right now) and a small bunch of broccolini.

We made friends with several dogs; we scored two free bags from a giveaway the local radio station was having; and picked up some CBD oil to ease our aches and pains.  Getting old is not for the faint of heart.  We wandered for quite a while, dodging in and out of the crowds.  I found another booth with tomatoes, but they were picked too early and were still ripening.  I wanted vine ripened cuz there’s just no beating that flavor.  It’s better than candy.

The best part of the market is it’s located right next to our favorite antique place.  We went there and there was a new shop opened up that sells fresh baked goods, bagels mostly.  And they’re baked in a wood fired oven.  However, the big draw for that area is the book store.  It’s the one that has free books in front, and a huge barn/warehouse of books inside.  I went to the bookstore while Partner/Spouse went to find a restroom and score some bagels.  And I found this:

This sucker is huge and cost $7.  That’s roughly $.50 a pound.  Bought it yesterday, and all I’ve been able to do is read the table of contents.  I glanced through the opening chapters and this tome tells you exactly how to run your restaurant successfully.  I can’t wait to get through the first perusal later this afternoon.  It’s THE textbook for a professional chef.  Or so I’m told.  By the book itself.  So take it with a grain of salt.

This morning, Partner/Spouse made a raspberry cake from Mary Berry’s recipe on The Great British Bake Off so he can take it work tomorrow.  He used berries he bought yesterday.  Later on, after front porch sitting time, I’m going to make the cheesecake dessert I posted about last time also to take to work.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

So, that’s our fun weekend and scores and finds.  How was yours?  Let me know if there’s anything I can help with.  Feel free to share this post anytime you wish.

As always,

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