I have always loved the *idea* of going to the farmer’s market early on Saturday morning to get fresh produce and eggs. The reality, however, is more difficult. Working full time, my mornings at home are extremely precious to me. I love that first cup of coffee at home with my husband.
This may be starting to edge out sleeping in. Maybe we can create a new tradition of having our first cup of coffee in the car on the way to the farmers market. LOL.
And this milk- holy cow! For real, ha! It’s my first experience with milk that separates into cream on top. You just give it a shake before drinking. It is the most amazing milk I’ve ever tasted. I’m not a huge milk drinker, but several times this week, I’ve poured myself a cup.
I like several things about going to the farmer’s market. The freshness of the produce is unbelievable. The asparagus I bought was literally picked less than 24 hours before I bought it. And the carrots. Last time I bought these carrots and roasted them, I craved them and thought about them and wanted them again. They were so flavorful! This time, I couldn’t wait to get them home to roast them. Then I proceeded to pick them off the pan like candy every time I walked past.
The eggs have the most golden yolk. My husband can tell you, I’m quite the egg snob now. My son’s best friend has chickens at his house, and the best is getting those eggs. They are really fresh -and free!- every now and then when I’m lucky enough to get some. The farmer’s market eggs are just like those. The yolks are firm and golden. If you cracked an egg, I could tell you if the chicken was actually pastured or not. When you are shopping at the store, always buy pastured eggs if possible.
Cage free doesn’t mean the gloriously open grassy areas that the word tries to conjure. In reality, cage free chickens live on a concrete warehouse-style floor with a small chicken door on one side that the chickens could theoretically use to go out onto a small square of dirt. If they knew it existed. And if they could get past all the other chickens to go out.
Pastured eggs are the way to go for sure. The chickens get to peck around in the grass and eat little bugs with their feed, which is what they should do. Chickens are not vegetarian, so vegetarian fed chicken eggs aren’t a good thing, either. Healthy chickens produce the best eggs, and it’s really the only kind of egg I feel good about eating. I want a chicken to live a good life and not suffer over much for me to have the eggs. Happy chickens, right Timmy?
Speaking of eggs, this adventure in food is actually an emu egg! Look at the size of it compared to the standard chicken eggs. It really was quite a novelty and produced a lovely frittata. Be looking for more on that in a future post!
The other thing I love about shopping at the farmer’s market is the absence of so much packaging. My poor husband has to put up with me griping about unnecessary packaging at the store all the time. I hate the flimsy plastic bags that I’m supposed to put produce in. I use them, but I hate them and feel guilty all the time. Not only that, but packaging that goes above and beyond, like a pack of four potatoes on a styrofoam tray wrapped in plastic. I don’t need my potatoes in plastic. I can pick them out of a bin just fine, thank you very much! My mom will be familiar with these gripes of mine as well. We went to Costco and I just about croaked at the large plastic clamshell containers that the apples come in. The apples tasted good, but it seemed like such a ridiculous waste to have all those containers. Sorry, mom!
It baffles me that we have lettuce trucked in from California when there’s great organic lettuce that is grown here! So yeah, I may be getting a little picky about my food. Or maybe I’m just starting to see that I have real options apart from relying on industrial agribusiness. Supporting the farmers at the market makes me happy. Fresh. Local. Low waste. Yum!