Sunday, August 8, 2010

Stocking up and getting inspired...

First off, a confession. I actually had so much stuff from this morning's farmers' market that it was a struggle to actually capture it all on camera. Hardly a bad thing, in fact, it's an inspiring thing. After a week on the road, we came home to a very sad and empty refrigerator. Seriously, it was begging to have stuff put in it. Taking advantage of the emptiness, I elected to clean it all first before filling it. Really, a clean refrigerator is such a beautiful thing, I should do it way more often.

Sunday mornings are lazy and meandering in our home. When I finally do get ready, it's to meander some more, buying food. You see, for some, grocery shopping makes them break out in hives or they hate it so much they avoid it until the last possible second. Call me the complete opposite. I look forward to it; I crave it. I love finding the perfect ingredients to make fabulous food all week long. It makes my week happier. My routine on Sunday morning is usually the same. I start at the Newburyport Farmers' Market, hit up Tendercrop Farms for locally-raised meats and treats, and then finish at the standard grocery store for the extras. 

So let's get back to basics here. What was my haul this week, and what did it cost me? This isn't a typical run for the week, since we were out of a lot of basics as well as what I needed for meals for the week. 

We begin at the market - Green Jasmine Tea from White Heron Tea, it's a serious addiction of mine and worth every single penny of the $6 I spend on it every 3-4 weeks. I scout through all the farm booths first, to see what's available and where I can get the best deal on what I need. I start at Farmer Dave's and pick up lettuce ($2.50 a bag) and a zucchini (mine aren't ready yet) for 75-cents. I roam over to Applecrest Farm Orchards for a couple of yellow peaches and a white ($1.75). Heron Pond Farm provides me with some green and wax beans for the week and 4 ears of corn ($3.25 total). Middle Earth Farm of Amesbury provides me with a little, exciting find - Yukon gold rush new potatoes. I finish off with a round of The Savory Kitchen's kalamata olive focaccia ($6).  It's a grand total of $19.50 for most of my produce for the week, under my usual $20 budget for the market AND the non-usual purchase of tea is in there.

A quick stop at Tendercrop results in some Hawaiian Teryaki steak tips and nearly two pounds of boneless chicken breast. I succumb to Tendercrop's homemade bean dip and tortilla chips, we'll call those my treats for the week. I leave spending $30 ($10 for my little treat).

So at this point for the week I've spent $50 on groceries. We've been gone, so we're out of milk, yogurt, cereal - the list goes on an on. I think because of the need for some paper products, my bill at Market Basket was about $50. We're at $100 total for the week, but I think only about $75 is truly groceries. I don't think that's too bad considering the fridge was completely empty.

This being said - I am supplementing fresh herbs, green pepper and an eggplant from my garden this week, which has just exploded! Look at these pretty babies:

So what, pray tell, will this all result in is probably what you're thinking at this point. Here's the current plan:

Sunday: Steak Tips from Tendercrop with Herb-Tossed Potatoes.
Monday: Ricotta and Sage-stuffed Chicken Breast with Peach Compote (inspired by this trip to the market) with mustard and chive green and wax beans on the side.
Tuesday: Corn and Chive Risotto (because I'm dying for it and have to make it again!)
Wednesday: Eggplant Parm (because the husband is dying for it and I FINALLY have a homegrown eggplant)
Thursday and Friday - I know I'll have chicken left, but frankly, I just haven't gotten this far this week. A stuffed zucchini I know will make an appearance somewhere as well.

It's nice to be home and back in the swing of things. I felt a little lost without my kitchen this week. Stay tuned to see what comes out of it - I hear I'm going blueberry and peach picking this week as well. Might be time to do a little baking!

A P.S. and by the way - While I was away, I was honored to be part of an article that ran in the Boston Globe North written by the very talented Joel Brown. Myself and local bloggers Jane Ward, Mary Reilly, Tracey Miller and Abigail Cahill O’Brien were featured as people writing about and loving local, fresh food. Please check it out and check out all their blogs! Boston Globe: Food Bloggers Feast on Local Produce Pin It

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