Thursday, March 02, 2006

Hillcrest Farmers' Market

Today for dinner we are cooking up some roasted vegetables (onions, garlic, peppers and cauliflower) along with some delicious green beans - steamed then mixed with olive oil balsamic vinegar and lots of garlic!
Thinking about the green beans I thought tonight would be a good time to sing the praises of the Hillcrest Farmer's market. This is truely one of my favorite things about living where we do, and it makes for such a wonderful Sunday morning tradition. Every week my wife and I will don our tote shopping bags and walk up the hill to Normal Street, the sun is always shining of course, which adds to the jauntiness of the occasion. As you approach the farmers' market you hear the playful sounds of the local musicians, taste the scent of the roasting shish kebab and are overwhelemed by the mirage of colors beaming up at you from the myriad of fruit and vegetable stalls. It is truely and all encompassing experience. Recommended to anyone- but especially budding young culinary students who can find the most interesting and best tasting ingredients in town to whip up some master piece and impress thier friends!
We have some favorite stalls which we visit each week- my wife being an environmental scientist she is very concious about food miles- so getting locally grown produce is a big deal. It is also nice to support the local farmers, not to mention eat fresh organic produce..... With these thoughts in mind we manage to keep our minds off the rather inflated prices tags and fill our bags until we struggle to lug them back down the road and up the stairs to our apartment.
One of our favorite things to buy are the freshly picked strawberries from Oceanside- which some days are sent straight from heaven. We also love the organic greens, the curly letteuce, baby spinach and watercress. Although most of our trip is spent choosing vegetables we sometimes get other items- there used to be an especially good free range chicken stand- I would buy a whole chicken each week and we would roast it that night and then use it in sandwiches as the week went along. We also absolutely love the middle eastern stand- if you ever are at the market make sure not to miss the cilantro avocado hummus- and thats one not to miss EVEN if you don't generally like cilantro- this one will turn you around.

Well- dinner looks like it is lmost ready, so I had better sign off and get started with those green beans..................

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