Tag Archives: farmers market

Hungry for the Weekend

As this week draws to a close I am more than excited for the weekend ahead: dinner party with friends, engagement party, graduation brunch.  Lots of food shared with great people, what more could I ask for?

If you’re winding down your week and also “hungry” for the weekend, here are some great links to check out:

Lady and the Tramp by Disney, via Food Republic

Have a delicious weekend!

It’s Not About Politics, It’s About Food

Map Highlighting the Access of Food in DC
I live in DC.  I love it here.  In the 7 years that I have lived in the DC Metro Area I have lived in Northwest DC, near American University and Arlington, and now more recently a neighborhood in Ward 5. 

In my old neighborhood I lived 3 blocks from Harris Teeter, a few hundred feet from 3 convenience stores and 1.5 miles from a Whole Foods.  The part of Arlington I lived in has a “walkability” score of 97/100, and where I currently live has a walkability score of 77/100.  77 is still good, but not as good, and the access to food is considerably different.  There are several micro markets, two small groceries, Timor Market and Windows Market and a Harris Teeter and Whole Foods about 1.5 miles away that are reachable by crossing major roads along the way.  

However, the highlight of this neighborhood is the Farmer’s Market.  I walk with friends to the market on the corner of Rhode Island and 1st Street.  We meet our neighbors there, and are delighted with the overwhelming number of puppies and babies that we normally don’t see on the busy Monday – Friday schedules.  But more than the puppies and babies, I get to see fresh baked bread, a diverse variety of cheese that would make the most selective wine bar jealous, and fruits and vegetables that literally make your eyes grow wide.  The Bloomingdale Farmer’s Market, every Sunday  is the only consistent source of fresh and plentiful produce in the “neighborhood”.  
It cannot be underestimated the value that fresh fruit and vegetables provide to people of all ages.  In my experience the Bloomingdale Farmers’ Market, helmed by Robin Shuster, makes the extra effort to highlight sales, and provide recipes and ideas for using all of the different options that show up week to week.  

I have shopped at other Farmer’s Markets before, and of course some people are turned off because they are deemed too expensive.  The vendors that appear every Sunday in Bloomingdale are the same as at the Dupont Market, but luckily the prices are not.  The vegetables that I buy from some vendors total out to be considerably less expensive than the same items I would buy at Trader Joe’s or any other supermarket. 

So, what’s the big deal?  Why all the talk about the Farmer’s Market?  Tonight there is a meeting to discuss continuing the Bloomingdale’s Farmers’ Market.  There is concern about the lack of parking and too much noise.  My concern is about lack of the most succulent and juicy peaches in July, ripened tomatoes in Augusts and apples in September.

If you want to support the Farmer’s Market please join the community Dec 20th at 7pm to discuss the future of the Bloomingdale Farmers` Market as well as parking issues related to local churches and the Big Bear Cafe.
The meeting will be at 7pm at the Metropolitan Wesley AME Zion Church at 1st and North Capitol, NW, and the meeting is open for all to attend. 

Speech, now done.

Enjoying the Bounty

For the past few days my home Internet has been down – which means I haven’t been able to share pictures I have taken, or any new recipes.  I’m overflowing with sweets and savories!

As an appe-teaser, enjoy some of the bounty from our trip to the Bloomingdale Farmer’s Market.

Parsley, Sage and Basil from our Friend’s Backyard Garden
25 Pounds of Sauce Tomatoes – lots of chopping for lots of delicious homemade sauces.
Beets and Radishes that were used for Sunday’s Lunch
Shots of Espresso to end the day

The table is set for a Sunday feast – recipes to follow!

Zucchini in bloom?

I like my vegetables, but I by no means have a green thumb.  Prior to shopping more frequently at farmer’s markets I was fairly accustomed to seeing my produce displayed at Whole Foods, wrapped in plastic, or dare I say it in the frozen foods aisle.  Yikes!  

Anyway, the joy of the market is getting to see all parts of the produce at their peak.  Let me introduce you to the part of the zucchini most people never meet: 
Image by Galina Stepanoff-Dargery, via Virtual Gourmet
I’ve always heard of these prepared battered and fried (like a very delicate onion ring) or stuffed with a ricotta based filling.  After walking the Bloomingdale Farmer’s Market with my Italian born mother-in-law we brainstormed on how to best use these little flowers.  She made a risotto, and I made up my own, crispy, light recipe – and if you can still find these guys, it’s worth taking 10 minutes to make.

First you have to rinse and dry the flowers, and remove the pistil.  I am sure there is anatomy lesson somewhere here, but I am not going to bother.  Basically picture the flower like the colored Christmas lights – you are going to cut off what on the light is the black part and pull out the bulb (or the pistil).  If this analogy hasn’t confused you enough onto step 2.

The ingredients for this impromptu experiment could not be more simple.
I was trying to keep it light so I splashed some Extra Virgin Olive Oil and then dipped in a mix of Italian bread crumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt and pepper.  
Then I put the lightly coated flowers in a shallow pan with olive oil over medium heat.  I really just aimed to brown them slightly and crisp them up.  Because I did not use a traditional batter, when they were “done” was more of a personal estimation.
When they were all done I patted them with paper towels to remove any excess oil and sprinkled on freshly grated cheese.  Again, bread crumbs, oil and cheese are hard to screw up so any extra cheese just means it’s extra amazing.

And, what do you know – all gone!

The zucchini flowers probably taste more authentic when eaten on an authentic Deruta table, special thanks to my mother-in-law again!