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A Day Off

October 24th, 2009

Mr Chiots and I have the day off; well, kind of. Usually we’re working all day on Saturdays and I often don’t get time to make it to the farmer’s market. But today we don’t have to be at a shoot until early afternoon. I’m going to enjoy my day off by getting up and heading down to the farmer’s market. It’s much smaller this time of year with fewer vendors, fewer vegetables and fewer shoppers. There are still lots of wonderful things to see, the colors are so fantastic. The summer’s bright red tomatoes and green bell peppers have been replaced the mellow colors of indian corn and deep orange pumpkins.
I think one of my favorite fall seasonal things at the market are the pumpkins. They just scream fall every time I see them. I can just see the bowls of steaming pumpkin soup, the chilled pumpkin pies and the delicious pumpkin muffins coming out of the oven. Mr Chiots would probably choose apples as his favorite fall item, he’s a big fan of apple pies, apple crisp and pretty much anything that involved apples and sugar.

What’s your favorite seasonal fall item?

Brussels Sprouts

September 21st, 2009

I found these little lovelies at the farmer’s market. I’ve always heard that they’re not a bitter after the first frost, which is still a while a few weeks off here in Ohio. They were tiny and looked like they’d pair perfectly with some bacon I had in the fridge, so I snapped up 2 pints of them.
I steamed them for a few minutes, then sauteed them with some diced bacon, along with a few shallots and some garlic. They were fantastic! I have to admit, I wasn’t a brussels sprouts fan a few years ago, I didn’t like them at all. I think the problem was that I had never had fresh brussels sprouts. Like many vegetables they’re much better fresh from the garden!

What’s your favorite way to enjoy brussels sprouts, or is it not at all?

Playing Hooky Again

August 30th, 2009

Yesterday was a beautiful day, just perfect! I got up and went to the farmer’s market as I do almost every Saturday morning.
I was excited because I was taking some of my tomatoes to one of my favorite vendors. She told me last week that she lost all of her tomato plants to the late blight that’s going around. She told me that she couldn’t even go out to her garden for 3 days after she had to burn all of her tomato plants. I figured it would brighten her day if I took her an assortment of my heirloom tomatoes. I was right, she was ecstatic!
We went to an auction after that for a little bit and then came home. We enjoyed delicious fresh corn and steamed green beans for lunch and then some friends called to see if we wanted to motor. We took them up on the offer and headed up to West Point Market in Akron to buy some artisan cheeses and other interesting items. We went to a small local dive for dinner and then we stopped at Mary Coyle’s for some ice cream!
There are still weeds in my garden that need pulled, tomatoes that need harvested and tons of other chores that need done. Since I spent the day playing hooky I’ll have to work extra hard this week to make up for it. But I sure had a great relaxing day which is perfect before a long busy week!

What kinds of things do you like to do when you play hooky from gardening?

National Farmer’s Market Week: Aug 2-8

July 31st, 2009

I found out through The Inadvertent Gardening that next week is National Farmer’s Market week. Celebrate National Farmer’s Market week by heading to your local farmer’s market tomorrow and next weekend (and every weekend in the summer).
If you don’t know about a farmer’s market in your area head over the Local Harvest to find one. Farmer’s markets are such a great way to get involved in your local economy and to encourage people in your community to grow healthy food.
Unless I’m working, I head down to the farmer’s market every Saturday morning. I always buy something from my favorite vendors and I try to buy from all of the new vendors I notice to encourage them to keep coming back.
Our farmers market carries just about everything: veggies, fruit, bread, baked goods, meat, poultry, eggs, crafts, soaps, herbs, teas and plants. Not to mention the produce is the freshest you can find!
I’m always heading home loaded with fresh local goodies for a weeks worth of meals and some canning for the winter.
Do you frequent your local farmer’s market? What do you like about it?

Corn on the Cob = Summertime

July 27th, 2009

Here in the Midwest (NE Ohio to be exact) the first real day of the summer is the day you see the first local sweet corn on sale at various roadside stands. Sweet corn is one of those things that, despite the globalization of our food system, remains a local thing. Everyone knows which local farmer grows their favorite corn and each year they wait until that farmer’s corn is ready.
When I headed to the farmer’s market on Saturday, I noticed it was finally sweet corn season, so I bought a dozen ears for lunch. Everyone has their own method for cooking sweet corn, some people boil it for a few minutes, some people for 10. I happen to steam mine for 12 minutes and that’s perfect for us.
We enjoy ours with homemade butter and a little salt, it makes for a simple delicious fresh local meal.
Mr Chiots and I were discussing whether or not corn on the cob is a Midwest thing, or if people in other parts of the country enjoy sweet corn as much as us Midwesterners do.

Is sweet corn a big thing in your area of the country? What’s your preferred cooking & eating method?


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.