Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Five Can't-Miss Items at the Market This Week

Portable Caprese Salad!
If you're anything like me, with the start of school and kids' sports, Thursday afternoons and Saturdays might have become crazy-time for you. Gone are my leisurely wanderings of the Market. Now I'm a Woman on a Mission: get everything on my list before I take off to arrange carpools/run carpools/attend a kid's swim meet/get to my book club, and then do some more running carpools for good measure.

So if you, too, have a short amount of time, you can still catch the last of summer's bounty. Make time for these goodies:

1. FRESH, RIPE TOMATOES. We're headed back into the months of gassed, green, supermarket baseballs that substitute for the real thing, so get the real thing now. We've been enjoying homemade Caprese salad, homemade tomato soup, homemade tomato sauce, homemade pico de gallo. If you have a food mill to remove tomato seeds and skins, there is nothing easier than tomato soup or sauce. You just cook until the quartered tomatoes break down, run it through the food mill, and then let it simmer until it achieves the desired consistency. Sometimes I add some sauteed onions and garlic, and other times it's just tomatoes, salt, and pepper!

1.5 MARKET CHEESE. If you're into Caprese salads (and who isn't?), you don't have to limit yourself to fresh mozzarella, although Samish Bay does carry that. In my zeal to avoid unnecessary plastic containers, I've been experimenting with other cheeses. A quarter baby wheel of their Queso Fresco works just as well, as would the Ladysmith. And just about every cheese at the Market would be awesome in a grilled cheese sandwich, to go with that homemade tomato soup.

Cary at Cascade Natural Honey has some tasty varieties right now, and he's happy to sample them for you: delicate Baby's Breath, perfumed Blackberry, or dark and rich Purple Loosestrife. I've visited Cary in the fields with his bees, and this honey is as local as you get. When these jars are gone, we're out of luck, thrown back on honey of mysterious provenance. (One note to remember: if honey is cheap, it's probably from China and adulterated with who-knows-what.)


Roast 'em, grill 'em, saute 'em. It's all good. If I chop them small enough, I can hide them in spaghetti sauce and soup.

4. MELONS. Meltingly ripe, juicy and sweet!

5. A SNACK FOR THE ROAD. If you see me at the Market, I usually have my ten-year-old in tow. She's my pack mule, for which I pay her with one Market snack. She's done hum baos from The Box, cookies and hand pies from our marvelous bakers, granitas from Rockridge, hand-muddled drinks from Deru, raspberries and blueberries, and plenty of ice cream from Half Pint. I "tax" all her snacks, of course, and can vouch for their deliciousness. Last week's orange-chocolate-chip  ice cream from Half Pint was out of this world. But don't take my word for it--try it yourself!

What's on your can't-miss list this week? Eggs? Bacon? Salmon? Pasta? Veraci pizza? The Market has it all.

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