Farm Refresh: Farmers’ market favorite things

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I love the farmers’ market! Well, to be more accurate, I LOVE Your DeKalb Farmers Market. Yep. That’s the name of that glorious place, and it’s a World Direct market! My family and I shopped there recently for the first time in 2 months – we live 45 minutes away from it, so we don’t get there often enough. Anyway, it’s my favorite farmers’ market, because it features a vast array produce, scruptious baked goods, exotic candies like chocolate covered bananas, gourmet cookies, just about every tea there is, at least 13 brands of honey instead of just three, wine, dairy, meats and a wall of spices produced by local farmers and on farms from around the world. Of course, the farmers’ market features far more varieties of yummy goodness than I mentioned here, but the previous sentence had gotten too long! So in this post, I’ll feature a few my favorites things from the farmers’ market.

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Spices
I made pumpkin bread ALL fall without nutmeg, because it costs $4.25 at our local grocer. Call me cheap, but I thought that was too expensive. I found nutmeg at the farmers market for $1.25! I also found cumin for $1.02, crushed red pepper for .63 and my third favorite spice, savory, for .81. I can’t compare the price of savory at the farmers to that of savory at our local grocery stores, because I can’t find it there. I think I’m going to make some pumpkin bread soon even though it’s typically a fall favorite.

 

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The only squash I grew up eating was yellow squash, and I love it along with all the squashes I’ve tried and grown to love well into adulthood such as zucchini, butternut squash to make Butternut Squash Cakes and spaghetti squash. When we returned from the farmers’ market, there were a total of five different squashes in the fridge – those mentioned above along with acorn squash, which I used to make Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar and Butter. YUMMY! The day after our shopping trip, I made Spaghetti Squash Marinara for the second time, and it was just as good as the first! I love that the variety of squash at the farmers’ market is also available in organic form! I had been eating zucchini for over 20 years before I cooked organic zucchini that I purchased from this farmers’ market. When I popped a piece into my mouth, I experienced an explosion of flavor! It was as if ALL the zucchinis I had ever tasted were cheap imposters.

I grew up with a great-grandmother who lived just across the road from us. She grew everything she could, including green beans, collard greens, lima beans and watermelon. We also had peach, pear, plum, orange, banana and pecan trees, which is why paying $7 for a watermelon or $5.99 for pecans is a challenge for me! My cousin, Ros, and I also traipsed alongside my grandmother’s house picking blackberries that grew wild. We mashed them, added some sugar (probably more than we should have, but we were kids) and enjoyed them! Our family was eating organically before we ever heard the word organic! I’ve found that I tend to purchase virtually the same veggies every week, so I plan to begin growing those very soon. I’ll let you know how that goes.

We also enjoy organic rolled oats from the farmers’ market.

Rolled oats
This was my first time trying organic rolled oats. As you can see, this container, which was nearly filled, was only $1.86!
Pot oatmeal
Normally, I cook oatmeal using coconut milk to ensure that it’s creamy. I only used water this time, and this oatmeal cooked-up SUPER creamy. Miranda, 7, said it was YUMMY!

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Oatmeal isn’t my favorite breakfast, however. Quinoa is my favorite – hot quinoa flakes to be exact. The consistency is akin to cream-of-wheat, but I could be wrong, because I haven’t eaten cream-of-wheat since I was a child. What I like most about the quinoa flakes is that I can season it to be sweet and enjoy it with an assortment of berries or season it to be savory, adding sweet onions and portabella mushrooms to it. I’ve seen this same box of quinoa flakes at a grocery store for $10, and that’s where I left it. This exact brand of quinoa flakes is only $1.89 at this farmers’ market, so I always come home with more than one!

 

Vidalia Onion relish.jpg
I also found this yummy goodness at the farmers’ market. I put this on my veggie burgers and on garden salad as a dressing!

I hate onions – always have. I cook with them, because I like the flavor they add to food, but I just can’t eat them raw or cooked, UNLESS they’re sweet onions. My good friend Vonda, who is from Vidalia, GA, tried to tell me DECADES ago, that sweet onions were delicious. I didn’t believe her, and I didn’t believe the TV commercial featuring Vidalia onions, either. It showed people biting into RAW onions as if they were eating apples for goodness sake! BUT Vonda and the Vidalia onion growers were right, and I was wrong! I only decided to give sweet onions a try when my mom gave me a bushel of them, because she had too many. I’ve been eating them ever since. I mean I eat them every day – sometimes three times a day, including as I mentioned in my breakfast quinoa. I’m SO serious about sweet onions that when one grocery store didn’t have them, I drove nearly 10 miles in a rare morning thunderstorm to another grocery store to get them after kindly telling the store manager that they forced me to do that, because they didn’t have any. She just happened to be checking me out and ask if I found everything I needed. As much as I’ve noted here about my love of sweet onions, they deserve a post of their own – coming soon!

finished-kale
Like Vidalia onions, if kale is in the house, I’m eating it EVERY day! Organic red kale from the farmers’ market is my FAVORITE! I have shared a recipe for kale chips, but these days, I simply line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, spray the leaves with grapeseed oil, sprinkle them with pink Himalayan sea salt and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. I end up with a satisfying substitute for potato chips!
d'arbo
Probably the most common use of preserves is to spread it on toast, but I’ve only used this delectable apricot fruit spread as a key ingredient in my strawberry-apricot compote that I eat over the Galettes Normandes cookies that are also one of my farmers’ markets favs! This jar was actually filled, but I ate some of the spread right off a spoon before taking this picture.

 

Cookies
These are the Galettes Normandes cookies that I pour my strawberry-apricot compote over! They help to make for a lite sweet treat! The box for these are in the first picture.

 

Looza
Y’all, this drink right here! The only way for me to describe it is to call it liquid peach! It tastes divine and has quite a few calories, so I enjoy it a couple of ounces at a time.

Your DeKalb Farmers Market is a gem! After our next visit, I’ll share another installment of my favorite things from the farmers’ market!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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