First Farmer’s Market of the Season!

A beautiful Saturday, which is good, because I was walking to the local farmer’s market rain or shine. This is why I love the city – you can walk everywhere. A perfect  (well, that isn’t entirely true, no beaches in the city, not the best fried clams, only a so-so flea market, and it has to be sunny and warm…. but I digress), ok a great weekend is one where I don’t get in my car. So hubby and I wake, eat some scrambled eggs cooked in brown butter and sage and a scallion both from our garden (! yes, more on that later), sip our non-local but neccessary coffee (a few too many glasses of non-local but delicious pink wine last night) and then we grabbed a tote and walked the 10 minutes or so to the small but excellent farmer’s market in Union Square.

Wow, things looked great – even this early in the season! There were lots of seedlings (we got a pot of oregano for $2), a meat and eggs stand, a mozzarella stand, bread, local chocolate, perhaps five farms representing, and assorted other goodies.

We started with the mozz, with a sign advertising that it was made that morning. The product was white baseballs wrapped in sandwich bags and sitting in a bit of their own juice. We just got back from a 12 day trip to Southern Italy, where we had, among other deliciousness, the best mozz and burrata of our lives. I told the woman thus and she quickly explained the difference between cow and buffalo milk and how the cow mozz won’t have that distinct (and perfect) soft center because of its different fat content. But, if you were to set it out for the afternoon, it might get close. We plunked down $5 for a ball, and swore to keep it unrefrigerated and eat it soon.

Next, to complement the farm share from wednesday, we picked up swiss chard, a bunch of skinny scallions (our garden only has a few, and most aren’t nearly ready for pickin’), a bunch of argula (do I need to say more?), and a pint of strawberries. The latter I am especially excited to try, as the small dark berries are heads (or tops?) above the big meaty bland ones from the grocery store. Its like the difference between tomatoes off the vine in July and in the store in January- why even bother? Other fresh treats that we didn’t get but that looked fantastic include: pea tendrils (in our garden, I’m waiting for the actual peas), lots of lettuce and various greens, radishes, rhubarb (almost got this, but then realized I’d have to bake), and an empty box that once held garlic scapes (these would have been mine).

Finally, I ended up with the last dozen eggs. At $7/ dozen I was on the fence about buying them (in fact our whole excursion, including a $1 glass of cran/lavender lemonade cost us almost $30, ouch) but when I saw them I was so glad I dissapointed all the people in line behind me. Wow, these are the most beautiful eggs I’ve ever seen: shades of green and blue, an aged lapis-color reminiscent of the thousand-year-old mosaics we saw in Napoli and almost too pretty to eat. And I bet they will have a fresh, eggy taste unlike even the organic, farm fresh, awesome for you eggs that I spend $5 on at whole paycheck.

Our damage done, we wandered home and stopped by a yard sale just up our street, spending our last $7 on 2 small stained glass hangings and some great table cloths. Now, to our postage-size backyard to lay out the new cloth and answer the biggest question: which of these treats will I make for lunch?

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