Monday, May 19, 2008

First Farmer's Market visit of the season

The Memphis Farmer’s Market opened the first part of May but I hadn’t made it down there until this past Saturday morning. I just started walking at Shelby Farms with my friend Regina on Saturday mornings at 8:30AM and the market starts at 7:00AM. After going several times last year I found that if you go too late all the good stuff is gone, so I like going as early as possible. Anyway, I managed to get up at 6:30AM, through on some clothes and get downtown to the market by 7:15AM. Parking was a little difficult because the Memphis in May BBQ Cooking Contest was this weekend too but I was still able to find a spot. The market has gotten a lot more popular since last year. It’s still early in the season, but there were lettuces, spinach, radishes, strawberries, peas, squash blossoms plus homemade jams, breads, locally made goat cheeses, locally roasted coffee, local honey, handmade wood items, plants and herbs and fresh flowers.
Most of the vendors are really nice, knowledgeable and ready to offer you a sample of what they’re selling. I did kind of get ignored by one vendor because he was busy chatting up another customer on how he cooks the radishes he was buying. The vendor was nearly a dead on impression of Matthew Mcconaughey’s character in Dazed and Confused, lots of ‘hey man’s’ and ‘yeahs’ in that slow, slightly stoned-sounding voice.

I’ve also found that some of the people that come to shop at the Market can be rather rude. I
was in line to buy spinach and an older woman clutching a massive bouquet of flowers wandered in front of me and cut in line. I didn’t say anything because I figured she didn’t see me through her flowers. Then, as I’m standing in the same line, another older woman reached in front of me and grabbed the last bag of spinach. That pissed me off but again I didn’t say anything. I’m just not a confrontational kind of girl. But it was still rude. Luckily the very nice gentleman farmer who was selling the spinach had more in his cooler and I just had to wait a few minutes. I see those kind of older women a lot out in public though, most of them look pretty well off and I doubt they’re used to showing very much graciousness in public.

When I left I had bought a bottle of honey from PeaceBee, a container of Chive-Garlic goat cheese from Bonnie Blue Farm, a container of freshly picked strawberries from Jones Orchard, a container of sugar snap peas (can’t remember the name of the vendor), the bag of fresh spinach from The Gracious Gardener and a package of Pecan Brittle from another vendor who’s name escapes me.

For dinner Saturday night Doug and I picked up some pre-made Chicken Oscar from the Fresh Market, so we had that, the sugar snap peas and then I served the strawberries with mini-pound cakes (again from Fresh Market) and homemade whipped cream I made before dinner. The whipped cream is so good and requires almost no effort. I just dump a small container of heavy cream and about ¼ cup of super-fine sugar in my mixing bowl and beat it with a electric hand mixer for about 5 minutes, or until it gets stiff peaks. It’s great, much better than Cool Whip.

Yesterday (Sunday) I ate some of the Chive-Garlic Goat Cheese on Kashi crackers and it was really good. The only downside is afterwards I had some killer garlic breath.

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