Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Return To The Farmer's Market!

Good morning everyone! It's the weekend! Today marked the first Saturday I've had away from work in a long while - which meant one very important thing to Maggie and I - we could go to the downtown farmer's market!

We set out this morning nice and early, determined to wander around before the crowds got too bad. We didn't really have a list of ingredients that we were looking for - we simply wanted to peruse and enjoy the atmosphere of the market.

That building to the right, behind the large YMCA in the front is Des Moines' tallest building - the Principal Building. You can barely see it behind all of the fog and humidity. 

That's what it's SUPPOSED to look like. When not lost in the clouds. 

It was a humid morning here in Des Moines, and when we arrived, much of the downtown skyline was still hidden under a thick layer of fog/clouds/humidity. With a slight breeze, however, it was pretty pleasant to wander up and down the streets enjoying all of the aromas of the market. I'm not sure what the difference was this time, when compared to our last visit to the market - but the aromas today were simply intoxicating. Onions, fresh herbs, grilled chicken, sweet corn and all sorts of fruits filled the air with their fantastic aromas. It was worth the trip just to smell everything so fresh.

It wasn't TOO busy right away this morning

It was also interesting to see just how large things have grown since the last time we visited the market. Three weeks ago, candy onions were about the size of a fifty cent piece. Today, they had grown to the size of a baseball! Certain veggies were shifting into season as well. On our previous encounter, large water melons and cantaloupe were hard to come by. Today, we saw some melons that were larger than a small child!

It's safe to say that cantaloupe season has hit its peak! 

We didn't leave empty handed, however. Maggie picked up some fresh mint ($1) and a small bag of scallions ($1) for her recipe this week. While not a 'large haul' it was still a blast to wander around the market and take in all of the fresh veggies. And, given that our local Hy-Vee charges $3.29 apiece for scallions, getting 6 for $1 is certainly the deal of the day!

Total cost - $2

On another note:

I'm VERY excited to share with you something we found at Barnes and Noble last night:

These book is written by The Culinary Institute Of America and is actually the textbook for the school. But, it has its uses for us 'non-chefs' as well. It's filled with tips on picking fresh ingredients, buying pots and pans, using knives, flavor combinations and (of course) RECIPES! This beefy book (well over 1200 pages and weighing a solid 12 to 15 pounds) caught my eye and I immediately knew I had to come how with it...except Barnes and Noble was requesting a hefty $70. 


However, after a quick trip to my favorite website in the world - - I found this: 


After some amazon 'store' credit I had laying around, I have this puppy coming my way for about $20. It's like Christmas! I can't wait! Needless to say, you will be seeing a lot more about this book in the coming weeks. 

That's all we have for you today. I've got something special planned for tomorrow - it should be a lot of fun. It's something we've yet to do on the blog. And, it's NOT breakfast. Check back tomorrow afternoon or evening to see what I'm up to. Until tomorrow, 


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