Laughing, Weeping, Living

Life happens. You laugh about it or cry about it, sometimes both.

Freshety Fresh

on June 15, 2013

I know all y’all come to my blog for one reason, and one reason only: to look at blurry, poorly-lit photographs of my Farmers’ Market produce.

Homemade Kale Chips

Homemade Kale Chips

Carrots and their Abundant Greens.

Carrots and their Abundant Greens.

Delicious and Sweet Strawberries.

Delicious and Sweet Strawberries.

I made the pictures smaller to help disguise how awful they are. Thank you for your understanding.

Anyway, Jeremy and I have been hitting up the local Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings, which has been really nice. We can use our EBT to buy tokens to use at the market, which is really awesome. I truly appreciate the state promoting healthy eating by allowing food assistance to be used for Farmers’ Markets. It can also be used to buy soft drinks and packaged snack cakes, but that’s another story. Plus the prices at the Farmers’ Market are quite high, which I’m not complaining about! Small time farmers need to be compensated for their effort and time and I’m willing to pay a premium for local, fresh, organic stuff. But being able to use EBT makes that a lot easier. If we were more on the edge and not qualifying for assistance, it would be really difficult for us to pay for the market stuff because of the prices. This post is about fresh foods, not about the wide segment of the population that are “in the gap” between solvency and poverty, but I do believe the folks in the middle have the roughest time. But that’s another another story.

Right now at the market, variety is just starting to pick up. For a while, the only things to buy there were kale, lettuce, beets, and radishes. Last week was the first week for strawberries, and this week we found carrots for the first time. We’ve been buying kale every week (it’s a super food!) and this time we decided to make chips. It’s pretty easy: just tear the leaves into smallish pieces, toss them with olive oil and salt, spread them on a baking sheet, and bake at 275 degrees for about 18 minutes or so. We used curly kale and the chips turned out great! Stephen at least stuck one in his mouth and pulled it out right away, but it’s progress with a green veg–he usually won’t even stand for the stuff to even just sit on his tray. He’s tried to remove it to the dining room table or even the floor on more than one occasion.

The carrots are also quite tasty, and the green tops that came attached are very impressive! We were walking out of the market wondering if you can eat the carrot greens. It seems like you should be able to, but we weren’t sure. Jeremy looked it up online and apparently you can. You can even make pesto with them! I think we should do that; we haven’t made pesto in ages.

The strawberries are the best treasure. We bought some last week, and my dad brought home a couple cartons in his CSA bag of produce he just started getting. We bought some again today because we can’t get enough. I will probably freeze most of these for later use, but I could just eat a bowl of them fresh. I’ve been feeding them to Stephen, putting them on cereal in the morning, we made smoothies the other day, we made sandwiches with roasted strawberries…

Oh, let me tell you about that! I saw a pin on Pinterest for a roasted strawberry sandwich with dark chocolate and brie cheese. What you do is slice the berries and lay them on a baking sheet, then drizzle them with olive oil and roast them in the oven for about 15 or 20 minutes at 375 degrees (I think, or maybe it’s 350). Then you do like a grilled cheese sandwich: layer on a slice of bread the cheese, chocolate, berries, more cheese, then the top of the bread and grill in a pan. We used goat cheese one time for this, and monterey jack. We never have brie around when we want this sandwich. Any mild cheese would work. The sandwich is to die for.

I love the creativity fresh produce inspires. When we get a bunch of something, I have to figure out how to use it. We eat better, and I feel satisfied in the kitchen. It’s a great thing about summer!


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