Sunday, September 30, 2007

Market Roundup - Kingstowne and Old Town Markets

What a fantastic couple of days these have been. Once again on Friday I was at the Kingstowne farmer's markets reveling in the produce, breads, jams, artisan cheeses and ice cream. Although the temperature read 81, the air was clear and the wind threatened to raise the canopies as their ropes strained against the intermittant gusts.

To update, corn (albeit small) and tomatoes are still here! I scored a dozen ears of corn for $3.50, which is quite the bargain in this neck of the wood. Tomatoes were $1.99 a lb. and taste just as good as they did last month. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't buy cheaper seconds in bulk this week. My hope is to do this sometime soon so I can make several more quarts of tomato sauce.

Along with the perfunctory tomatoes and corn, I bought zucchini and yellow squash, and these.

Can you guess what they are (besides ugly)?

Now, a slight miscommunication with my better half last week left me without a pint of my newly rediscovered favorite ice cream flavor: mint chocolate chip(we'd bought a pint the week before and absolutely loved it). Let's see, it went something like this:
"Oh look, she (the Middleburg Creamery and Country Store) has that chocolate truffle thingy ice cream and mint chocolate chip!", I said to Frank as I pointed to the sign in the truck window.
"OK, let's head over there after Allenberg Orchards", he remarked. far we're on board. We lined up for the ice cream and "Oh, there's Smita at Crackpot Gourmet" I said, excited to introduce myself to her.
I visited with Smita and joined up with my husband, who was holding a cold white bag. Yes, the ice cream.
We got home and Frank put the bag on the kitchen island and unloaded the chocolate truffle thingy ice cream. I told him to put both pints in the freezer downstairs.
*blank stare* "I only got one", he remarked gingerly as if waiting for a forehead slap from yours-truly.
"OMG!! you didn't get the two I mentioned?" Huff..huff...huff.
"Ack! We like need, I don't know, couples counseling! We just don't communicate!" I bemoaned, as if my world were teetering on a very thin edge of mint chocolate chip ice cream-less misery.
"I'll go back", Frank offered
"It's OK" I spoke a little more softly, reigning in my insanity. "I'll buy more next week. But why oh why didn't you get the mint chocolate chip?" *whiny tantrum over*
(Men put up with a lot of hormonal garbage, admit it ladies)
Moments later, with restored sanity and steadied nerves,I saw we still had plenty of berry sorbet in our kitchen freezer. Tragedy was averted and the world was good again.

This week at the alter of delicious ice cream goodness, I got myself 3 count'em 3 pints.

French Vanilla Espresso
Mint Chocolate Chip

Saturday morning started with loading Tucker and Cole into the Boobaroo and taking them to the groomer. Our groomer (Pet de Lite) is a lovely woman with whom conversing is pleasant if not a bit "lost in translation" due to English being her second language. With trepidation I told her that I wanted Tucker's hair just trimmed on his body, but to really clean up his face and legs. "No summer cut", I said hoping that ESP would have her seeing the picture of Tucker in my head if I concentrated hard enough. Not Yeti, but not like one of those Persian cats who has bad allergies and gets shaved so they wind up looking absolutely ridiculous. Don't laugh. He's been snickered at before. She intently entered all instructions into her computer. Cole could get the usual puppy cut with a snowball head. We left the dynamic duo in good hands and headed back home to pick up Daisy and spend the morning in Old Town.

Our first order of business was breakfast. Old Town seemingly has more and more breakfast options and King Street Cafe is one of them. They make a good, cheap breakfast sandwich that is all I need to fuel me up for a nice walk and visit to the market. Saturday's al fresco breakfast was enjoyable in the shady coolness.

Farmers Market- Part 2

I haven't been to the market in Old Town in forever. I've looked down on it, to be truthful. I've seen it with mostly crafts and very few true farmers and artisans. But yesterday, the market was bustling with vendors and market goers alike. What struck me most was the amount of baked goods, jams and honeys. Savory biscuits were popular as were products using Virginia ham. The produce was beautiful and I felt as though I was in sea of apples, corn, pepper and leafy greens.
With my appetite for market goods not sated with my Friday market visit, on Saturday I bought shitake mushrooms, a savory scone and small raspberry loaf from Maribeth's Bakery, and a bag of Lapsang Souchong tea (which I want to cook with).
If anyone has tried smoking and cooking with Lapsang Souchon tea, please share your experiences!

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