Portland Farmers’ Market

This morning after breakfast at the always fabulous Bayou Kitchen, I stopped by the Portland Farmers’ Market. This time of year, the farmers set up in Deering Oaks Park, and with today’s 64-degree, cloudless weather, it was a glorious day to be browsing the local produce. I came back with quite the tidy haul.

Fruit and veggies

I picked up some Bartlett pears, Jonagold apples (the two red ones), Crispin AKA Mutsu apples (the huge green ones), and a sugar dumpling squash. I am looking forward to trying the sugar dumpling. We are big fans of delicata squash in this house and the sugar dumpling looks similar, if squattier.

I also scooped up some other fine gems.

pint of husk cherries

I bought a pint of husk cherries AKA ground cherries. I LOVE these and they’re only available for a few weeks in the fall. I unwrap the papery shell and pop the itty bitty yellow fruit into my mouth like Reese’s Pieces.

tiny husk cherry

See how tiny? I have already devoured half the pint and have a neat pile of tissue-light carcasses to my right.

Fresh ginger grown in Maine

One of the farm stands was selling Maine-grown ginger. It was so lovely and pink, such a creamy negligee-inspired combo of blush and ecru that I couldn’t resist. It was sold by the bag, so I see lots of ginger tea in my future, and perhaps a few new gingeriffic recipes.

free range eggs

There were some free range eggs for sale, so I bought some of those, too. I’m doing a little pseudo experiment with my taste buds to see if I can detect any difference between eggs/organic eggs/farm fresh eggs/free range eggs/vegetarian fed eggs/you-name-it eggs. There is certainly a large price difference among the various kinds of eggs out there, and I eat a lot of eggs (two per day, minimum). Because of my high consumption rate, generally I go for quantity and buy the value pack of 18 of the grocery store brand, no organic or free range frills. However, if there’s a significant taste difference between brands/types of eggs—can I literally taste the chicken’s stress in the eggs?—then I will consider making a switch. So far, I’ve found I prefer the taste of the store brand eggs to the organic, free range eggs I recently picked up at the grocery store; maybe the farm fresh eggs will be a good middle ground.

I also picked up a huge 64-oz jar of honey so my fall baking could continue unimpeded. I finished off my previous jar this afternoon cooking up an especially wonderful fall treat that I am excited to share with you in my next post.

If you would like to support the farmers in your area, you can find your local farmers’ market here by typing in your ZIP code or state. This is a fantastic time of year to take advantage of the local foods your community is producing, and find some new ingredients to put on the table.

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