Saturday, July 10, 2010

Morning Market 'Mazing Musings

This morning was incredible. It started simply, with me sleeping in until nearly 7:30 (for me that's late!), then heading off to the Farmer's Market. My usual shopping buddy had another obligation, so I went alone. So, I arrived there about 20 minutes after they opened. As I walked down the aisle in the outdoor wooden structure, I was amazed by the colors and scent. There was so much available, and at most of it was locally grown & seasonal. OK, really, this is not a running ad for the Farmer's Market.... really. I just really enjoy going there.

One of my earliest memories of doing something with just my dad & I is us going to the farmer's market in Royal Oak. At that time I could have cared less than about the veggies. What I really liked were the mini powdered sugar donuts and orange juice.

At this Farmer's Market, there is a restaurant on the second floor. Normally it's so crowded, I just grab a cinnamon roll for breakfast, but today it was surprisingly available. I grabbed a table, and perused the menu...looking at both the breakfast & lunch menus. I was surprised by the variety available to a vegetarian. Most restaurants seem to be meat-fests (nothing wrong with that, just not good for me). But the choices here... veggie chili, a variety of wraps, 'burgers', and omelets. And tofu had a section to itself. OK, I'm not a big fan of tofu (still seems like meat jello), but I'm warming up to it slowly. Today though, I settled for scrambled eggs, wheat toast and really fresh home fries. I sat sipping my tea (what else?) and watching the morning through the windows.... peaceful.

Anyways, today, today was amazing. I saw things I had to ask what were! I bought yellow zucchini, and baby onions so recently pulled from the ground they still have the roots attached. I also got fresh peas, still in the pods. I even got fresh corn...a locally grown, early maturing variety.

Oh, and I found the apron lady again...she's a really sweet old lady, with wispy hair, and gentle eyes. Her stall is never in the same place so she's always hard to find, but worth it. Her name is Veronica, and she actually had knitting needles nearby. Why was I looking for Veronica? She makes beautiful aprons (and dishcloths, purses, placements, etc). I bought that tulip apron from her before, and today bought a bib apron (it's the one under the veggies.) I had a pleasant time chatting with her.

Then, after filling my basket twice (what else would you shop at a market with than a medium market basket?), I decided to drive through downtown on my way home. Normally, this is a depressing drive, but not this time. Juxtaposed against the abandoned boarded up homes, and the occupied, but with barred windows, were clearly labeled community gardens! Right in the heart of downtown, I saw two separate, well-tended community gardens. What a sign of hope in a bleak landscape. I know it sounds corny (I can see my sons both rolling their eyes), but it filled my heart with hope.

I made blueberry pancakes (with fresh blueberries) for my daughter & her friend for brunch. Tonight I'm cooking up a whole mess of fresh veggies for dinner. The joy of this morning will last far far longer than the fruit & veggies will...

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