Tuesday, August 12

Farmers market fun

So this weekend we thought we'd try something new, like getting me up at 7am on a Saturday! o.0 Wild and crazy I know, but if was for good reason (food). We wanted to get to a local farmers market close to opening time, before all the good stuff sold out. I'd been meaning to look up the farmers market scene in San Antonio for a while now, since the whole "shop local" thing here isn't even close to mainstream yet. I'd heard a story on NPR about a market that was being run by the Botanical Gardens, but sadly that fell on a Thursday. Not sure I could get the morning off work to buy vegies! Anyhow, I found this list of local markets, and there are actually quite a few! Not many on Saturdays but there was one listed at Olmos Park Basin that is pretty much on our normal Saturday morning route of breakfast tacos and shopping at Wholefoods. Seemed like the perfect one for us to check out. Opening time 8am. Gah.

I managed to drag my sluggish self out of bed. The beloved was sprightly as ever at that time of the morning and I only sensed a slight level of gloating at my suffering. A coffee and a shower later and I started to realise that mornings are actually kind of pretty. The sun doesn't burn quite so fiercely and the temp was only just pushing 90 (30)...not quite the 100+ that would settle in by about 10am.

Anyhow, back to the market...it was great! I must admit that I had low expectations...maybe 4 tables of mostly tomatoes, but it well and truly exceeded those. There were around 10-12 stalls (so still small by most standards) and the range of produce wasn't staggering, but the quality was excellent and very well priced. There were around 20 cars when we arrived at a little after 8 (ok, so it took me a while to get going) but by the time we had shopped there were more like 50 cars, and lots of people (and dogs) of all varieties. It just had a great feel to it, very small town, and we had to keep reminding ourselves that we were still in San Antonio!

As you can see, all sorts of yummies including Japanese eggplants, gorgeous peppers and the best looking okra I think I've ever seen.

Lots of melons too.

There were even gorgeous flowers! Pity we weren't going straight home. We didn't take any of these beauties home because we didn't think they'd survive their time in the PT.

So, here are our spoils. Tomatoes, two kinds of eggplant, okra, white onions, yellow fleshed peaches and a big bag of serrano peppers! I thought we were pretty restrained and I actually kicked myself later for forgetting potatoes, but oh well, next time!

Since it was before 10am when we made it back home (post breakfast tacos and bread shopping at wholefoods) I decided that I might as well put some of this stuff to good use right away. The first thing I made up was a batch of peach and serrano pepper jam, with a little orange and ginger. I didn't have any pectin on hand so it turned out a little on the 'sauce' side, but it's absolutely divine on ciabatta toast with brie, or on cold pork meatloaf.

I also slow roasted some of the tomatoes, eggplant and onions with some garlic and herbs, then stewed the whole thing down in red wine and put it through a coarse sieve to make a tomato base for pasta (which I'll be using tonight).

And after all that I needed a nap!

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