Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Farmer's Market Fare

I've never cooked a fresh green bean in my whole entire life.
Even now, I'm just guessing at it. Due to my choice to be in lack of sufficient internet connection in my home, I'm being forced to just use my own noggin.

I snapped all of the stemmy bits off of the beans because I've never seen stemmy bits in a can. I trusted this impulse on account of the fact that it made me feel very much like I should be sitting in my apron on a front porch with a mixing bowl betwixt my knees. I sliced the red onion and covered the two with a vegetable stock that I made last week and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Or until the onions lose their purple. I don't know exactly how scientific that is, though. Something tells me that it wouldn't take long.
My younger sister and I went to the Farmer's Market in McPherson on Saturday. I'd been lobbying to go to the Wichita one for several days but we decided to stay home. Honestly, I'm a tad embarrassed of my expectations. I went in anticipating disappointment. I expected to see a few ladies selling loaves of bread and cinnamon rolls and maybe a few vegetables here and there. What I saw, though, was a bounty! I went home with so much produce: sugar snap peas, new potatoes, Red Candy Apple onions, purple romaine, and two pounds of green beans. I only had to stay local to get the produce that my neighbors planted--and excellent produce at that. And every dollar that I spent went directly into the hand of the farmer who spent all that time pulling my potatoes out of the ground. Or, more accurately, every dollar went into the hand of the kid of the farmer. Those kids probably had a heavy hand in pulling onions, too, though--if they grew up anything like me. I remember sitting on the porch with my mom, topping strawberries and dumping them into huge freezer bags, staining our fingertips that brilliant fuchsia color. Or one time, splitting pea pods and shooting their contents into a metal bowl. It's really amazing the work you have to go to for the tiniest amount of peas.

Before I put the onion in with the beans, I took a huge bite of it. I was so excited by its name Red Candy Apple--I assure you, it was still very much an onion.
 The Farmer's Market, combined with a recent trip to my mother's herb garden, left me with all of the ingredients needed to make my first recipe from the June 2012 issue of Bon Appetit! So along with eating only fresh, neighbor-grown food, I'm taking care of 1/3 of my monthly goal. So, along with my green beans, I had New Potatoes with Dill Butter.
The recipe couldn't be simpler--begin with baby steps.

I can't wait to get back to the McPherson Farmer's Market, either. I have my source for fresh eggs, bread and tons of vegetables for the entire summer.

Is there an ingredient that you've never cooked with, before? I'm thinking about delving into the world of fresh beets, next week but I don't know if I've got it in me. Thoughts?


Jamie Light said...

that looks yummy! I love that I don't feel so tied down by the need for meat anymore...I'd always envied that about you;) AND I'm so excited to visit farmers markets this summer! The first and only times I'd ever been before was with you in Brookings. It was small, but it was lovely.

And your green beans <3 some of my fondest childhood memories are helping my grandma snap the ends off the green beans that we picked from the garden:)

Laurie said...

There are many ingredients I've never cooked with before! Many ingredients I've never even tasted! I've had canned artichoke hearts in a delicious buttery-garlic pasta dish, but never have I had fresh artichokes. I've never tasted Jerusalem artichokes either.

The green beans are gorgeous! I also snapped bunches of beans (as a youngster). My Mom canned them. When she served them, she would open a jar, dump the beans into a pan, add some bacon grease and salt for flavor and heat 'em up. My favorite way with garden fresh beans still, but I'm also impressed w/ how a bit of rosemary livens the taste!
I have made fresh beets before! Aren't they a lovely color!? There are more ways with beets than I've imagined, I'm sure! Beets are very good for digestion too.
Honestly, I hadn't given much consideration to beets as a yougster. (Youngster?) Anyway, when I was a youngster, they were presented on a salad bar at my very favorite pizza place called Rocco’s Pizza. Roccos had a great salad bar back when salad bars were making their debut. The beets were pickled and cubed in about 1/2 inch cubes and cold. (Probably the most processed way to eat a beet, hmmm.) I've liked beets on salads since then, especially w/ a good bleu cheese dressing! Beets are not difficult, but they are a bit bossy with their beet red color! I wondered what could be done w/ beet juice, besides pouring it away somewhere. Here are a few options if you have the time/energy/interest:





PS Butter and dill potatoes! Oh yum!

Anonymous said...

Fab post! Love the dill, butter and potato. I also want to try beets :)

Xo, Amanda | Little Door On The Sound

Libby Marie said...

Thanks for stopping by, Amanda!

I'll grab some beets up this weekend and we'll see what happens, everyone! I don't know how it will taste (I'll have to do some research and find good recipes--the idea of anything aside from a cucumber, pickled doesn't really appeal to me but I'm adventerous). Regardless of flavor, there will be interesting photos, I would imagine. Stay tuned to get a look at a beet-stained kitchen! :P

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