Monday, April 27, 2015

Eating Omily: It's Baaaaack!!!

Spring is here!!!! How do I know? No, silly! Not by the calendar! The weather?? Of course not!!! If you wanna KNOW, if Spring is a GO, it's at the Farmers' Market! (THAT'S WHERE IT IS!)* Sorry you guys, you know how excited I get!

*To the tune of "The Shoop Shoop Song". Of course.

Speaking of which, CHECK THIS OUT!


Oh yeah. Wild, garlicky ramps, and that fresh Spring tonic that haunts our dreams: Asparagus!!! Of course, I haven't eaten any of the latter yet. The price will be cut in half once a few more farmers start bringing the stuff to market, but I did grab a handful of ramps, and sautéed in butter with broccoli rabe, I just wanted to sing!

You know what else I got my hands on at the Farmer's Market recently? Are you even ready for this? Seriously, sit down. Marshmallows. MAPLE marshmallows. As in marshmallows made with 100% maple sugar, instead of cane sugar. Mind. Blown. And can I just say, a cup of chai tea with plenty of milk, a little raw honey, and a maple marshmallow floating in it? My new favorite thing.

If your sweet tooth is chomping at the bit, and you're hoping to calm it down with a healthier munchy, might I recommend popcorn? Seems like every other vendor has that stuff these days! Not only are there at least four different vendors at Union Square alone selling unpopped popcorn for your popping pleasure, you can also get your hands on maple caramel corn, and popcorn cookies! Which. Are. Amazing. Just imagine an oatmeal raisin cookie that tastes a bit like movie theatre popcorn. Yep, that good. I can only assume that we're in a great region for growing this stuff, since it seems to be everywhere. Enjoy, popcorn loving companions!

On a somewhat related note, the other day, I was contemplating just how lucky I am to live in NYC. Not only do I have access to lots of sustainably raised, healthy fruits and veggies, but I have access to lots of locally produced, sustainable value-added products: everything from popcorn cookies to potato chips, home-made whole grain pasta made with ancient grains to vodka sauce and bloody mary mix. Not only can I get TONS of the things I need to stock my pantry at the Farmer's Market, I can also pick up things that make my life easy, like jarred salsa, bread, oatmeal, jarred pasta sauce, and ready-made soups. Even though I love to cook, with my busy schedule, being able to prepare dinner in minutes is essential sometimes, and if I couldn't do it with Farmers' Market items, I would succumb to those Trader Joe's tamales and other treats much more often than I'd like to admit.

My point is, if you don't live in a place where the Farmer's Market has serious game, and is offering you so many amazing, amazing things, or even if you do, but you're on a budget, making some of those value added products out of your reach, A.) that's not your fault. Don't feel bad for not having access to some of the things you need at your market. Buy the best versions of them that you can, and move on, and B.) don't give up on the market all together just because you still need to make that regular grocery run. Small steps make a difference, to you, to your community, and to the planet.

That said, if you DO live in a place where your Farmers' Market has serious game, and you CAN make room in your budget to shift more purchases to the Farmers' Market, maybe by going out to eat less, or ordering one less cocktail when out with friends, then TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT SHIT! Your tastebuds, your health, your family, your community, the planet, and me, personally, will all thank you!

Happy Spring, you guys! Nom nom nom...

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