Martha+Tom

Midtown Farmers’ Market: Week 17—Getting Cocky

I hate to toot my own horn, but I did an awesome job going through all my produce from the farmers’ market last week.  Between pickling, trying new recipes, and actually eating all our leftovers, by the end of the week our fridge, even our vegetable drawer, was looking empty. We even had to go to the grocery store for dinner Friday night since there was nothing left to eat in the house.

With this blank canvas to fill, I think I might have overdone it this morning. It didn’t help that this week instead of my usual school-size backpack I wore my Duluth Pack — something about that giant backpack makes you want to fill it. And with the variety and quality of produce available this time of year, it’s pretty hard to resist. Especially when $3 trays are 2 for $5. But what am I going to do with all this?

Onions, Tomatoes, Basil, Melon, Fennel, Eggplant, Radishes, Squash, Poblanos, Salad Turnips, Potatoes, Garlic, Heirlooms and Sungold Tomatoes

The haul for this week was: 3 onions, 8# generic tomatoes, basil, cantaloupe, fennel, garlic, potatoes, salad turnips, poblanos, honey gold tomatoes, variety heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini and summer squash and radishes. The cantaloupes are new for me this week but Brett and Mary of Real Bread recommended them strongly.

I made sure to return to the Honey Creek Farm stand where last week we bought edamame and sun gold and heirloom tomatoes that made some of the best caprese and Greek salads of all time. More tomatoes, for eating raw, were a must and although there were no edamame this week, there was another interesting vegetable: salad turnips. Apparently these Japanese vegetables taste like a mild radish. Although I like my radishes sharp and spicy, I couldn’t turn down a new vegetable to try.

As for those eight pounds of tomatoes, I bought those with the idea that it is time for me to finally start putting up tomato sauce for the winter. I kick myself every year for failing to do so, so this is the year. I am planning on following Hank Shaw’s instructions for making and bottling the stuff. I figure 8# should give me 3 quart sized jars, a good start.

As for the rest, well, I have no idea. But hopefully I’ll come up with something before next Saturday when it’s time to load up again.

Cantaloupe! Salad Turnips!

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5 comments on “Midtown Farmers’ Market: Week 17—Getting Cocky”

  1. Linda 22 August, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Another colorful array of lovely produce. Happy eating this week.

  2. Shaun 22 August, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Hello — I am the wife of a Midlander whose mom knows your mom, and she pointed us to your blog, as we are moving about 8-9 blocks south of you. (We lived in Mpls. about 10 years ago for a few years, but moved to St. Paul and are now moving back.)

    Your blog reminds me of why I had to quit writing about food on my blog — I just can’t get good photos like these.

    I have to ask — why Midtown market rather than Downtown market? I love the St. Paul market, but we will try to be brave and adjust.

  3. Tom 22 August, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Some people complain about the Minneapolis Farmers’ Market because it has vendors who bring in produce from outside the area. I’ve read some good arguments for why that’s okay so I don’t really have a problem with that. I like Midtown because it is such a nice bike ride on the greenway from our apartment and it is big enough to have everything I would want without being too crowded.

    I went down to Mill City Farmers’ Market today to see what all the hype was about and I have to say that I was not all that impressed. Although you could get the same vegetables, there seemed to be fewer and the market seemed a bit more focused on crafts and other goods that, as a cook, are not interesting to me. Also, it is crazy crowded down there! The Chef Shack was worth the trip, but it definitely will not replace Midtown as my preferred market.

    Martha and I were just talking about how we’d like to check out the St. Paul Farmers’ Market since word is that it is where it’s at when it comes to farmers’ markets in the Twin Cities, but we have yet to make the trek.

  4. Uncle Don 24 August, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Tom and Martha,
    Ann and I are anxious to visit you and experience all these markets. Just looked at your link to Real Bread and saw their clay oven. That sounds exciting. How is it working for them?

  5. Kris 26 August, 2009 at 11:55 am

    As a frequent, and year round, visitor to the St. Paul market I’d highly recommend making sure you go on Saturday instead of Sunday. Love Tree Cheese isn’t there Sundays as well as some of the meat vendors and it seems there is a slightly smaller selection of produce. It’s still a great market but if you’ve never been Saturday, and as early as you’re willing to rise, is the day for first impressions.