Thursday, August 17, 2006

Vegetable Commuinity - Your Local Farmer's Market

I spent a couple of hours this past Monday morning cooking for a friend who is grieving over the loss of her sister. She said that no one brought her food so I thought that maybe it would be good for me, and for her and her children, to cook. I made brown and wild rice (it comes that way) in the pressure cooker and it took less than 30 minutes. While that was cooking, I prepped the veggies for the Summer Veggie and Quinoa Soup, and got my food processor and the ingredients together for Spiced Gravenstein Appple Slaw. When the rice was done, I cooked the soup which takes less than 10 minutes to cook and finish, using the pressure cooker. When I washed up from the 2 quarts of soup, I made Sweet and Sour Tofu with Summer Squash and Pineapple. It seemed like enough food to keep them eating well for at least a few days.

I was told by an acquaintance that the reason that no food appeared for my friend Marilyn is because we just don't have community the way that we used to. And while I agree that is true, I find that shopping at the farmer's markets gives me a connection to people that would not likely occur at the supermarket.

A couple of weeks ago, I arrived at the market later than usual and the last bag of onion sprouts had been sold, to the woman standing in front of the booth. Not only did she sell me her bag but she also gave me a jar of Meyer Lemons with xylitol (which I have not yet had a chance to try). Candie told me about her Mexican restaruant and gave me her phone number. I'd never met her before.

Just last week another woman (whose name I do not yet know), saw me buying cabbage to make the appple slaw and shared her recipe for fresh sauerkraut, which is basically finely cut cabbage with salt, weighted with a plate and left on your countertop for 5 days. I guess that you pour off the juice and drink it, and then eat the sauerkraut. For those of you who don't know it, fermented foods are good for your internal flora. My next book, co-authored with my sister, will have information on this. Check out the preliminary website at

Anyway, back to the farmer's market. I spent the next 40 minutes shopping with the unknown woman at various stalls. She is selling her house and moving to Australia soon. But while she is waiting she will eat well -- making dishes from locally grown food. And I encourage you to do the same.

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