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Rebel Rose

California Farmers' Markets

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11 hours ago, ProfessionalHobbit said:

pluots, peaches, nectarines

What kind of pluots did you get, @ProfessionalHobbit?  And what do you plan to do with your stone fruits?  

 

I bought "Emerald Beaut" pluots  and "Summer Punch" plumcots at the farmers market this week.  Not a ton, just 6 of each.  Plus a few "Oh Henry" peaches.  Haven't decided how to use them yet.

Also got strawberries, lemons, limes, eggs and avocados.

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3 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

What kind of pluots did you get, @ProfessionalHobbit?  And what do you plan to do with your stone fruits?  

 

I bought "Emerald Beaut" pluots  and "Summer Punch" plumcots at the farmers market this week.  Not a ton, just 6 of each.  Plus a few "Oh Henry" peaches.  Haven't decided how to use them yet.

Also got strawberries, lemons, limes, eggs and avocados.

 

Crimson pluots, the kind you see in the picture.

 

We're going to have them on hand for dessert.  Next week though, we might make pickled peaches and put those up for later in the year.

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Today's main meal was strictly from this morning's farmers' market, the Temescal / North Oakland market. We usually go to the Berkeley market on Saturday morning but we were busy yesterday. We ate: fabulous super fresh corn, grilled padron peppers, Greek salads with Japanese cukes and two types of tomato, Cherokee Chocolate and Marvel Stripe. Okay, one item not from the farmers' market, a baguette.

 

The Berkeley market has my favorite vendors for peaches and grapes, most vegetables and a variety of other items, but the Temescal market has a terrific pizza truck that hauls around a heavy duty oven and makes awfully good pizza. 

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today:  tuna, tomatoes, herbs (fresh bay leaves, mint, basil), peaches, pluots, Swiss chard, broccoli, zucchini, onion, eggs, bread.

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Main meal today came courtesy of the Saturday Berkeley farmers' market, from which we took home, among other things, tomatoes, avocados, red potatoes, sweet onions, Espelette peppers and yellow baby watermelon. I sliced Black Prince and dry farm Early Girl tomatoes and drizzled on a simple avocado sauce of mainly creamed avocado, olive oil, and lime juice. I made a New York Times recipe called Roasted Potato Hash with the cubed potatoes, wedges of sweet onion (tagged as Walla Walla, and delicious, but we all know a true WW Sweet has to be grown in WW soil) and a few peppers that turned out to be really fiery. I must remember to wash my hands about twelve times before I try to take out my contact lenses later tonight.

 

 The roast potato recipe is a nice one, very crispy. The potatoes and Espelettes come from a vendor who also sells several varieties of fresh shell beans as well this time of year. The potatoes are unidentified and excellent, the Espelettes are a treat; I've never seen them any where else. They are only available for about a month, and I roast tons of them and freeze them to use during the winter. I work them into Spanish rice salads and chicken with smoked paprika and whatever else I can think of. For dessert, my very favorite watermelon: seeded (always better than seedless, I think) yellow babies are a crap shoot, and not always great, but this one was like candy. Also, sadly, a short season.

I.  Am.  So.  Spoiled.

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We have to get up really early in the morning in order to get down to the Ferry Building farmers' market before the hordes of tourists come marching in. 

 

In case you've never been to the market on a Saturday, here's a pic so you can see exactly what the madness entails:

 

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Now imagine all of those people inhabiting a space that's roughly 2-3 Manhattan-sized blocks.  It's fucking ridiculous because not only are there legitimate shoppers like my partner and myself, there are also people who like to stand and gawk, stand and block entryways, stand and block exits, stand and kibbitz but not actually buy anything, and everything in between.  

 

I fucking hate crowds with a passion, and if San Francisco wasn't so dependent on tourists to supplement its economy, I'd be fine with shipping all of them to Alcatraz Island so they can get a sense of what it's like for regular people to deal with them.

 

Anyway...

 

Today we bought:  strawberries, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cabbage, escarole, zucchini, cucumber, herbs (chives, basil, mint), sweet peppers and green beans.  There are probably a few things I'm forgetting about.  Most of the foregoing will be used in a pot of minestrone this weekend.  Then we went inside the Ferry Building and bought some chicken.

 

This stand:

 

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had the best priced heirloom tomatoes today at $2.50/lb.  That's cheaper than any of the vendors at Union Square Greenmarket in NYC -- and September is the height of tomato season over there.

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Maybe a lot of local growers in the Bay Area  have a glut this time of year? It's typical for the price of heirloom tomatoes to start dropping in September; certainly true of the east bay farmers' markets. This morning we bought lots of them, including some varieties that are new to me. It's espelette pepper season! Only one vendor I know of at the Berkeley market sells 'em, and this year they are fiery hot. There's only a couple of Asian vendors at the Saturday Berkeley market, but this is their best time of year. Fresh raw peanuts in the shell, fresh baby ginger with the stalks and leaves attached (truly amazing, and you can throw the leaves into a stir-fry!) Also they have good okra. What do I do with the peanuts? I boil them, like the good southern girl I am NOT.

 

Professor Hobbit (that's how I think of you, Soba) I have a question for you, since you are clearly frequenting farmers' market every week end. Actually two questions. Did you see any English peas this year? They were noticeable absent over here in the east bay in the spring and early summer. Tons of edible pod sugar peas, but no English. Also are you seeing any eggplants? Seems to me in years past they would come in with peppers, but so far no. 

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16 minutes ago, Katie Meadow said:

Maybe a lot of local growers in the Bay Area  have a glut this time of year? It's typical for the price of heirloom tomatoes to start dropping in September; certainly true of the east bay farmers' markets. This morning we bought lots of them, including some varieties that are new to me. It's espelette pepper season! Only one vendor I know of at the Berkeley market sells 'em, and this year they are fiery hot. There's only a couple of Asian vendors at the Saturday Berkeley market, but this is their best time of year. Fresh raw peanuts in the shell, fresh baby ginger with the stalks and leaves attached (truly amazing, and you can throw the leaves into a stir-fry!) Also they have good okra. What do I do with the peanuts? I boil them, like the good southern girl I am NOT.

 

Professor Hobbit (that's how I think of you, Soba) I have a question for you, since you are clearly frequenting farmers' market every week end. Actually two questions. Did you see any English peas this year? They were noticeable absent over here in the east bay in the spring and early summer. Tons of edible pod sugar peas, but no English. Also are you seeing any eggplants? Seems to me in years past they would come in with peppers, but so far no. 

 

I didn't see any English peas earlier this year, but eggplants are all over the place.  We almost bought some but unfortunately, we have lots of leftovers to get rid of first.  Next week if they're still around, for sure.

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Katie -- here are your eggplants.

 

Eatwell Farm had them this morning.

 

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today:  scallops, brisket, Early Girl tomatoes, San Marzano tomatoes, Little Gem lettuce, yellow onions, white onions, potatoes, celery, carrots, jalapeño peppers, apricot conserve, peach chutney, nectarine conserve, brussels sprouts.

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So jealous regarding those baby artichokes.  I have not seen many decent artichokes in our grocery stores here in Sothern British Columbia which I find disappointing seeing we are so close to California.  Never seen the baby ones here.

 

i did not see any dogs in the picture of the market crowds.  Not sure why but people seem to feel compelled to bring their dogs to the Farmers Market here.  It is crowded enough without our furry friends and it can't be much fun for the dogs!  SHEEESH.

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25 minutes ago, Okanagancook said:

So jealous regarding those baby artichokes.  I have not seen many decent artichokes in our grocery stores here in Sothern British Columbia which I find disappointing seeing we are so close to California.  Never seen the baby ones here.

 

i did not see any dogs in the picture of the market crowds.  Not sure why but people seem to feel compelled to bring their dogs to the Farmers Market here.  It is crowded enough without our furry friends and it can't be much fun for the dogs!  SHEEESH.

 

Yeah, they ban dogs from the market here in SF, unlike in NYC where they're all over the place.

 

But what would make my market experience better would be if they banned all the gawkers.  There's simply no comparison.

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We get the gawkers also because we are a tourist town!  I usually go when the market opens at 8:30 am when most of the tourists are just thinking about their morning coffee.  Our market is open until 12:30.

 

One thing they just started this year was allowing the local wineries to have tastings.  So, at 8:30 it can make for a very pleasant shopping experience!O.o

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3 hours ago, Okanagancook said:

One thing they just started this year was allowing the local wineries to have tastings.  So, at 8:30 it can make for a very pleasant shopping experience!O.o

 

I'll bet it's more lucrative for the vendors, too. :D

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It was less crowded today even though we arrived a little after 9 am.  Let's continue that, shall we?

 

Today:  figs, brussels sprouts, cherry tomatoes, herbs (parsley, basil), white cipollini onions, celery, Piraciacaba broccoli, cheese, lamb, bread.

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Each of these cantaloupes are as large as your hand.

 

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Key limes are not an expected sight -- maybe I should have bought some for some lime curd....

 

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Unusual seeing English peas in the autumn, but I suppose that's normal here.

 

Today:  pork chops, salad greens, tomatoes, potatoes, herbs (chives, rosemary), pluots, Bosc pears, Sierra Beauty heirloom apples, brussels sprouts, cranberry beans, Sungold tomatoes, heirloom garlic.

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I too for the first time all year saw English peas at the Berkeley Farmers' Market. No, I don't think its normal. I'm used to seeing them in the spring. I tasted them, and they were so-so, so I didn't buy them. When I asked the seller about it he looked at me like I was insane. So much for solving that mystery.

 

My haul included young fresh ginger with the leaves attached, fresh peanuts (not exactly green, but pretty young I think), lots of tomatoes, garlic, organic Pink Ladies and a couple of other varieties of apple, Espelette peppers, beautiful colorful eggs, fresh cranberry beans and my favorite October item: Barhi dates. Like liquid inside, best right from the fridge. The peanuts will be boiled, southern style.

 

I first had boiled peanuts several years ago. While visiting my daughter in Atlanta in the fall I bought a bagful of them and took them with me to NY to my mother's. We made them there, according to instructions from a woman buying about 20 pounds of them at the Atlanta market. My mother took one taste and told me I was insane. So that makes two, and I'm sure there are others. But I was hooked.

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On 24/09/2016 at 8:37 PM, ProfessionalHobbit said:

 

Yeah, they ban dogs from the market here in SF, unlike in NYC where they're all over the place.

 

But what would make my market experience better would be if they banned all the gawkers.  There's simply no comparison.

 

That was a pet peeve of mine (sorry) when I was a farmer's market vendor in the resort town of St. Andrew's, not far from the border with Maine. The whole town basically is run by and for dog people, and if the market excluded dogs there'd be no market. I couldn't tell you how many orders I had to remake because someone's mutt had a niibble at it, or -- even worse, to me -- a little yapdog in someone's arms sneezed or drooled on it. 

 

The other market where I'd been a vendor had a strict no-dogs-past-this-point policy. Predictably, there were always a few who felt that this didn't apply to them or their obviously-exempt pooch. One day, as I was heading inside for wash-up water, I heard this exchange between the market manager and an indignant customer:

IC: But she's not a dog! This is my daughter!

MM: I'm sorry, ma'am, but unless you have a note from your obstetrician...

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Today:  fava beans, heirloom tomatoes, heirloom apples, onions, brussels sprouts, salad greens, herbs (mint, basil, thyme), rock cod, carrots, scallions, mushrooms (shiitake, maitake, oyster, chicken of the woods, champignon, lion's mane)

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The Berkeley Farmers' Market was a busy place this morning. There are still some decent tomatoes, but they are scarcer every week. One great find was a beautiful pile of fresh black-eyed peas, courtesy of the Asian vendor who has the great fresh peanuts and fresh ginger. Got a mess of them to make tomorrow as Hoppin' John over rice. My favorite apple guy had Black Twigs! I've only ever seen them before at Berkeley Bowl, and not for a few years, but when they are good they are really good. If you watch Vivian Howard Twigs are clearly a local apple for her. Also bought some Page Clementines, or what were labeled as such, which are fabulous. Really juicy and on the sour side, which I like. I don't recall if I've ever had them before, but they don't peel the way mandarins do, nor are they easy to section. They are firm with a tight skin and built more like a small orange. Also there's a pomegranate person now selling juice, and it is pretty different from Pom Wonderful--intense and earthy. I've been buying it for several weeks, and it's been delicious except for one time, when I might still describe it as earthy but tasted just a bit too much like dirt.

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I enjoyed this article today about the Santa Monica market, Not my market - my relationships are at Torrance and Palos Verdes, but similar experiences. I enjoyed the bit of backstory on the farmers. I always ask where they farm and about weather and upcoming crops.\\http://luckypeach.com/guides/how-to-master-santa-monica-famers-market-los-angeles/

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