Under the new concept of eating local, I went to the Ballard Farmers Market Sunday morning with several hundred dollars in cash and the goal of feeding us all for the week, grocery store be damned.
Mr. Punkernoodle and I debated quite a bit the night before about the approach. Since we typically like to walk down to the market with the girls in The Rig (an embarrassingly large yet surprisingly nimble double jogging stroller) we were wondering how to 1. Get all the food back up the hill (20 blocks north and 6 blocks east) and 2. How to keep the meat and cheese I was planning to buy cold while we meandered through the market and spent a lazy Sunday morning listening to the musicians, eating wood-fired pizza for lunch, chatting with friends we often meet, and generally just hanging out before heading back up the hill during naptime.
Part of the idea of being more local-focused is reducing car driving (ours or others’), so I didn’t like the idea of taking the car. Plus we enjoy the long walk for exercise and fresh-air naps. In the end, I drove ahead and arrived just as the market opened (I know from past experience that meat and other delicacies sell out fast – I missed the rumored fava beans!!). After stocking up on perishables I drove home, and then we all walked down together, ambled about and picked our produce etc. Not the ideal, so I think we’ll have to refine the approach.
Anyway, in my haste to rush home and get the fam, I didn’t write down exactly what I got from where as I intend to do going forward (no receipts at farmers markets to refer to later). But this was the general haul: a hunk of fresh lamb, enough pork loin for a big tray of enchiladas plus leftovers, 5 fresh sausages, a jar of Chardonnay mustard, a quart of lamb stock and a chunk of free bacon from Sea Breeze Farm on Vashon Island, some frozen ground lamb from another farm a couple of hours north of here, a small chunk of aged cheddar, a round of goat cheese, and a grapefruit-sized mama wheel of farm cheese from various cheese artisans including Samish Bay in Skagit Valley; a huge jug of raspberry apple cider from the amazing Rockridge Orchard and Cidery, a box of chocolate/toffee ice cream topper, and a bag of locally made cheese crackers. Add to that an unorthodox amount of rhubarb stems, a hefty log of asparagus, kale, a bag of gorgeous (and ultimately buttery/creamy smooth) French fingerling potatoes – a farmer’s last batch from the late fall harvest preserved perfectly, a bag of Yakima apples, a jar of pluot jam, a clutch of red radishes, a precious sack of locally foraged morels (!!), and probably something else I am forgetting. For this I spent about $200.
Rhubarb and apple, being cooked down.
What became of the rhubarb and apple. YUM.
Meat ‘n Potatoes:
And finally, the first vegetable harvested from our garden this season (not counting early onions and a few spinach leaves). Isn’t it cute?
As I learn more about eating locally, I am finding a fascinating group of people dedicated to this approach. People in Seattle and beyond who have formed urban farming and gardening co-ops to purchase materials, chicken feed, and bulk grains. People who are learning to bake bread, make cheese and garden organically in order to eat more healthfully and consciously. People who are purposely returning to a more traditional way of preparing food and who are eager to exchange backyard eggs and ripe pears with neighbors in order to feed themselves and each other with what’s in season.