Wednesday, June 30, 2010

K-Pidge's Local Farmer's Market

I live in a suburb of Chicago that is really starting to get into the swing of offering a lot of great local events (don't get me wrong, they've always had SOME fun events, but they're really starting to beef up a lot of their offerings and it's been quite lovely taking advantage of some of the fun things the Park District is putting on the schedule throughout the year). This is the second year they've offered a Farmer's Market. Last year the couple times I went it was early in the season AND it was the beginning of the year, so it was very small. This year, well, it's still small, but they had some lovely things and I'm really glad I finally took the kids over to see what they had to offer. It's every week, Wednesday evenings, from June through September, AND it's walking distance from my house. There's even an ATM on the way so I can grab cash. I really don't have much excuse NOT to go. Moving forward, I will endeavor to go on a weekly basis, I will post about the offerings and how they change throughout the season, AND I will challenge myself to buy at least one unplanned item each week and cook with it. I am open to recipe suggestions, as always!

Our Farmer's Market is held in downtown Lansing IL, in the new clock tower / park plaza area.

mmmmm... hello, Mr. Cheese Man. I did not sample any of your wares today, but OH, don't worry, I WILL.

Hello, Pretty Bakers. I'm terribly sorry, I'm trying to lose weight, and your breads and cookies were WAY too enticing. Your cookies were as big as my head! (And I have a large head folks, trust me.) I narrowly avoided your temptations today. Other weeks I may not be so lucky, especially when I am toting two eager children.

Hello Mr. Gourmet Coffee. Sadly, I only like the smell of coffee, not the taste. You might get some business from my husband if he accompanies me at some future time though.

Oh, pretty flowers! Someday when my house is cleaner, you might look nice upon my table.

So many different sauces and spices! Overwhelmingly delicious!

Oh... HELLO... what have we here?

Blueberries! Sweet, beautiful blueberries! You will be perfect for my pie tomorrow.

Now THIS is what I came to see... produce! lots of produce! With clearly marked prices! So I can compare it to my store lists and determine what to come back for! Because even though I support homegrown and local businesses, people, I'm BROKE to the max, and have to consider my budget too. Having never shopped at Farmer's Markets before, I don't know how the prices compare.

I'm thinking maybe stuffed mushrooms will be in my future...

"Check out my melons!"
"That's what SHE said."

My son is eager to show off his strength by hoisting the cantaloupe we just bought.

You have Garlic Dill, Tastefully Simple lady? I will have to pick some up one of these trips. I wish you had Si Si Cilantro; I know they discontinued it several years back but it's my favorite. It makes great burgers in addition to being a mighty tasty dip. Do you hear that, Tastefully Simple?? BRING SI SI CILANTRO BACK!!

Something for the canine companions in your life! I will happily walk our dogs up here one of these days, but only if my husband is home to accompany us. I am not eager to wrangle dogs AND kids AND shopping bags alone!

I'm a sucker for jams and jellies. I'll admit it. I buy them all the time and never end up eating them. HELP ME CHANGE, folks. I need to find uses for these things!

I bought these three. What should I do with them?

Here's our haul for the day. (Stained little fingers kept sneaking into my shots and stealing my blueberries.) We also got canine-friendly blueberry frozen yogurt for the dogs, the three aforementioned jellies, and the cantaloupe. I already know I'll be making a blueberry pie, but does anyone have recipe suggestions for the jams / jellies or the cantaloupe? My husband and the kids love melons so it may not last long enough to do anything with it, but I'm really eager to experiment with the jams, especially the hot pepper jelly. When we were in Florida last week, we had chicken flautas with hot pepper jelly on the side and it was DELICIOUS. The lady at the booth suggested putting it on shrimp, which sounds scrumptious, but I want something that will really WOW me. If you have suggestions, now's the time!

-lovingly posted by K-Pidge
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