I try not to “wax poetic” on this blog since it is awfully painful for me to blog while thinking about what beautiful words I should use. I like to think about fascinating and funny things, not poetry. But sometimes life throws a Farmers Market at you, and then you just have to use poetry to describe it. I’ve written poetry about markets before. But you ain’t getting nowhere near it! I fear that if anyone sees it I shall wear a paper bag with eyeholes over my head for the rest of my life.
To put it simply, waking up at 8 am on Saturday morning is definitely worth it. I jumped out of bed this morning feeling refreshed and overly enthusiastic. We were out and about by 8:30 am and we got to the farmer’s market at around 9:30 (after making some coffee and bakery stops).
It was already buzzing with excitement and the smell of fresh produce. The crowds had begun to condense too. I concluded that I would be frugal this time around (you should have seen me the last time I was at a farmer’s market -gulp-).
I was frugal. But man was I tempted. First, homemade red wheat flour and white pastry flour? Intense! I wondered how that would taste in some sugar cookies and reached out for one, but my inner conscience pulled my hair and told me not to. (Can inner consciences pull hair?)
Okay I controlled my temptation there. Then I pouted and slid a few feet from the flour to prevent my spending urge from taking the better of me.
And then I saw Mix ‘n’ Match beans!
Cuutee! Can you imagine stir frying those beans in a wok? Some yellow, some purple, some green (hey mardi gras colors!) and…my sister read that look in my eyes and told me, “Natalie, we’re being frugal today, remember?”
Right. Frugal. So…we moved on. And I didn’t get to mix ‘n’ match my beans. But there were a few young fellas each wearing very,very appealing wayfarers who got to the beans and mixed ‘n’ matched with such concentration.
Man…those wayfarers. I wonder where they got them.
Before I go off track and start raving about my absolute love of sunglasses (which I’m sure you’ll hear about at some point), I didn’t control all my temptations….I bought donuts!
Chai spiced chocolate donuts! A bag of them for $3. I melted inside. If you’ve ever had hot donuts, you know that feeling of melting. The pursing of your sugar-covered lips and the incoherent “Mmmmm” sounds. That’s what a hot donut does, my friends.
And then I saw…soap. There’s something between me and soap bars or candles. When I was in Neiman Marcus and found their therapeutical candles, I smelled every single one of them until the ladies got slightly annoyed. I smiled and told them that the candles were lovely and quelled their annoyance.
But there were no candles at the Farmer’s Market. No sirree…there was soap.
So many scents! Lavender, cloves, ginger…you name it! I actually disliked the cloves one. It smelled much too…strange. But the lavender one…goodness. And you could see specks of the plants and seeds they used in the bars. Delicious…no, not delicious. I mean aromatic.
I forgot which one I was smelling…but it must have smelled good or else I wouldn’t have picked it up.
On to more interesting things, shall we? Okay, let’s get to the exotic parts of my visit to the Farmers Market.
Do you know what a patty pan is? It’s a type of squash, according to the stall farmer. She told me that the Pattypan squash is actually more tender when it’s immature. Interesting, huh. At $2 a pound and with me being frugal, I didn’t get any. But if you ever taste a pattypan, let me know because I am very curious.
Squash blossoms! I think I’ve had these before actually. I have this vivid memory of one moment in my childhood when my mother cooked blossoms very much like these with our snow peas and I squealed and asked my mother why she cooked flowers! I thought she had gone mad.
My mother clearly wasn’t mad. She was just experimenting. Squash blossoms sound delicious…if they’re ever on sale. Oh, who am I kidding? Nothing goes on sale at a Farmers Market.
Have you ever tried elder berries? They’re strange. Tart and..indescribable. My berry experience goes far. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, cranberries, huckleberries, gooseberries, salmonberries, bearberries, goji berries, and now elder berries. What shall be next?
When my family went on an Alaskan cruise, Salmonberry Jam was all the rave and we ate some salmonberries themselves. And then one time, my sister and I decided to eat berries that we found growing on a small shrub (not knowing if they were poisonous or not). When they tasted sort of tangy, we picked a handful to show to our parents. We learned that they were gooseberries.
Above you see a jar of fennel salt. This, too, enticed me because I knew we were having corn on the cob for dinner. What better way that to sprinkle some fennel salt on top of our sweet corn?
Did we buy anything? I got my donuts and we tried a lot of samples ( a lot). And my mother bought her usual half flat of blueberries.
Well that concludes my little journey through the Farmers Market on a Saturday in Seattle. I’m adding a new section to my “Dining Out in Seattle” tab called “Samples”. I’m not talking about Costco samples (although those do rock), I’m talking about awesome places where they give you free samples of some delicious homemade goods that would otherwise cost a fortune.