To Market.

In the past few years, as we have moved all over the country, one of the things I’ve really enjoyed is exploring farmer’s markets in different cities.  I’ve found that there is something that universally familiar and comforting about farmer’s markets.  You can learn so much about your community, local food scene, and nearby farms and restaurants by browsing the booths and talking to vendors. 

Understanding and getting to know my community makes me feel like I’m part of it.  And so in each city we’ve lived in, I’ve sought out markets, found my favorites, and made a point to be a supporter of my current food scene.  I need things like produce and eggs anyway, and I get so much more from the experience of shopping markets than trudging through the grocery store.

During our year in Charlotte, my favorite spot was the Matthews Farmer’s Market.  A cute little spot that was so popular with locals, you had to get there by 8am or all the produce was gone. 

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And when we moved to Alexandria, one of the things I found hardest to say goodbye to was my beloved King Street Market.  I still find myself thinking about it on many Saturday mornings.

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And so this past year here in Seattle, I’ve been doing my best to get around to as many markets as possible.  Seattle has an amazing neighborhood market scene, with many popping up on weekdays as well as the bigger weekend markets. 

Again, I have found my favorites.  Juanita Beach market on Fridays, and the bigger Fremont and Ballard markets on Sundays.  But there are so many I still need to see, so I’ve been trying to add to my list little by little. 

Last Thursday, I headed to a new-to-me market down in Bellevue

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The market was new but I recognized vendors from some of the other markets around the city.  A pretty good selection for a Thursday evening!

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One delicious surprise – the Molly Moon’s ice cream truck!  This truck used to be parked outside my house in Fremont all the time last summer, and Sarah and I were guilty of getting ice cream in our pajamas on more than one occasion.  Now that I know it’s there, I’ll save room for next time. 

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There was a great selection of veggies – summer food makes me way too happy.

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They also had a local farm selling eggs!  I’m really picky about where we buy our eggs, so I was thrilled to finally find a market with a direct local source.  I picked up two dozen for $6 a piece.  Local eggs cost a bit more, but to me the payoff is well worth it.

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I browsed the booths with my two favorite sidekicks. 

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I picked up a few specific items I was looking for – zucchini and kale – along with this giant 1/2 flat of organic berries for $16.  A great price for so much fruit, and some of the best strawberries I’ve had all summer!

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I can never seem to leave the markets without buying fresh flowers.  A tiny bundle of sweet peas for only $5.  It brightens up our whole living space!

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As much as I would love to spend every day browsing local markets, that’s definitely not realistic.  And while I do love supporting local farms and businesses, I also keep an eye on the prices, as sometimes market prices can be exceptionally high (and other times they are surprisingly low!).  So to supplement what we buy at the weekend markets, we’re also receiving fresh fruits and veggies through our produce delivery CSA

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I’ve shown you guys some of what we received before, but I thought I’d give you another look at what we’re cooking this week.

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In the greens department, we have rainbow Swiss chard, fresh spinach, and a head of local lettuce.  It all feels very fresh and crisp!

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This week’s fruit just screams summer.  Cantaloupe, lapin cherries (we live in cherry country!), black splendor plums, peaches, and strawberries.  It’s so nice to have all this fresh fruit on hand for Cullen’s breakfast and snacks!

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The rest of our tub is full of veggies – two local Walla Walla sweet onions, local field cucumbers, zucchini squash, broccoli, and bi-color corn.  We will be eating well this week.

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The last item in our basket was this bunch of crazy looking stragglers.  Have you ever seen or used garlic scapes?

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If you have garlic scapes in your CSA or markets this week, I have a delicious recipe coming up tomorrow that you should like! 

So that’s where we’re shopping, and what we’re eating this week.  Shopping at the markets is something I absolutely love, and it’s been a great way for me to quickly feel at home in each of my new cities.  There are still many markets I need to visit and explore here in Seattle.  One weekend at a time!