To the Farmers’ Market

by Laura on January 17, 2009

in Food

It has been some time since I stepped into a Farmers’ Market, but I made the leap twice in the past two weeks. The energy to get all four kids out of the house, deal with shifting nap times, potty breaks and all the pleading to play on the ‘bouncy’ at the market, has led me to do my shopping, alone, at the local Whole Foods. Today, we mustered the energy to get everyone out of the house by 9 a.m., and all in all, today’s outing proved to be a wonderful experience. The in-season peaches, cherries and fava beans beckoned from nearly every stand. The sights, sounds and smells drew the children into the stalls as they yelled, “Oh, I want to taste that.” Once the first of the free tasting samples were dolled out, there were constant requests for more, more, more. Our big ‘investigative find’ today was the “Purple Haze” carrots. The kids, who love to eat raw carrots – washed, peeled and uncooked just like Bugs Bunny – were excited to try this ‘pretty’ purple variety. Nicole quickly pulled out her money and handed the vendor the $2 – a small price to pay to let the kids ‘experiment’ with this seemingly familiar, but somehow different, vegetable. This experiment would also extend to Greg and myself, as neither of us had tried a Purple Haze before. I have since come to learn that their flavor is pretty much like a regular carrot, and that the purple color is only on the outside – but for the unsuspecting and adventurous little ones . . why should I ruin their fun? (It is also noteworthy to mention that they do lose their purple color – a bit – when cooked, so if you want to retain that colorful beauty, eat them raw).

Although the big jumpy at the end of the market was a constant draw, and caused several tears to fall when it was revealed that we were there to buy food and not to jump, the strawberry and peaches stains on the front of their shirts let know that they were having a good time. On our way out, we grabbed a baguette so that we could enjoy the fava bean spread I made last night (from favas bought at market last week). There were several bites out of the baguette by the time we reached the car, and once in their car seats, Grayson and Nicole each took hold of an end and started to nibble. The conversation between the two on the way home was what they were going to put on their baguette sandwich. Salami (left over from Friday night pizza night), kid mustard, lettuce, cheese and strawberries. Upon returning home, they immediately pulled up their chairs to the kitchen counter and wanted to make their sandwiches – exactly how they had planned . . . except I did talk them into putting the strawberries on the side. All in all, the market was a success. We didn’t buy much, but the kids were inspired to try something different (the purple haze), and to create their own lunch . . . I loved it because peanut butter and jelly wasn’t even a request today!

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