Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday market.

Today we head to the University District farmer's market, located in the parking lot of a community center (like the Phinney community center, also a former school). The sun has come out (it was pouring when I woke up this morning), and I regret wearing rubber boots (very difficult to drive in) until I step into a puddle as soon as we walk into the market. Tents are set up in orderly rows, and we take a lap around before we begin to shop. I make it as far as the Wooly Pigs stall, where we are given a taste of sausage made with a Mangalitsa-Berkshire blend (more on that another day). I pick up three pounds of pork scraps, destined for sausages or rillettes. I have never made sausages or rillettes before, but now would be a good time to try. $60 of pork makes its way into my backpack. C. makes no comment; she knows by now that I am a danger to myself when set loose in a farmer's market with $100 in my pocket.

Next we eye the beautiful homemade pies, crates of chard and kale and carrots and potatoes of all shapes and sizes and colors, buckets of bright flowers mixed with long-stemmed flower-like cabbages. At a stall with a sign reading "Belle's Buns" I buy a soft brioche swirled with caramelized onions and cheese, which I eat immediately. We stop for a bag of oven-roasted hazelnuts, which can be used in recipes, skins on, because they are so good. I try a bite of pear, something called a Honey Bosc (or some such name), and it is so ripe and sweet I buy two for later. We try fresh apple cider, and C. buys a jug to share at work, and debate over whether to get some hard cider as well. (Next time). I dawdle over a table lined with strudels and danishes, presided over a cozy-looking woman with an Eastern-European accent, finally choosing an apple danish for later in the day.

Another lap around, and I buy a curried goat pie, frozen and ready to bake in the oven whenever I feel a sudden craving for curried goat. C. agonizes over the apple or the pumpkin pie; she chooses the latter. They are made with organic ingredients, heirloom fruits with fanciful names. Farther down the aisle I gather together bundles of chard, fennel, and beets, and C. gets her flowers, all autumn colors spiked with the purple-green gaudiness of cabbages, and we loop back to finish our shopping with loaves of fresh bread, a baguette and a honey-wheat loaf. Laden down with our bags (particularly me, who as usual went a little crazy) we stagger back to the car. I have food enough for the next week, perhaps two. I can hardly wait.

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