The simple things make me happy. I woke up this Sunday morning, groggy, sleepy, ready to throw the covers back over my head and sleep half the day away.
I'm so happy I didn't.
Today was the opening day of the summer portion of the Newburyport Farmers' Market. It's my home market. It's the market that reminds me that when I get lazy, fall off the "local" wagon for a bit, I suffer. My creativity suffers, my heart suffers, my support for the people in the community I live in, it suffers.
That may sound extreme, I'm serious here.
I don't have to tell any of you that life is busy. I help run a busy and large newsroom in a major U.S. city. I'm familiar with crazy busy. It's what is usually going on when I'm silent on this blog. It's my passion, my career, it can also be all-consuming.
Market and farm days are what slow me down, remind me to breathe. I'm lucky, the Newburyport Farmers' Market runs all year round, however it's just every other week in the winter. Frankly, at some point, winter greens and root vegetables make you want to scream. The opening of the summer market this weekend reminds me that tantalizing offerings such as asparagus, corn, and *gasp* tomatoes are on their way. The berries will soon fill the tables, it's truly the best time of of year.
So, I believe it's the right time to begin again. This blog started its rebirth from Sundays, and a simple list of what I picked up in my travels, and what I plan to do with it. It's time to begin that again to give everyone out there ideas of how to work local food into your weekly schedules. Remember that when you plan meals more locally, it's best to shop first, and meal plan afterwards. This way, you can see what looks best, and is affordable and in-season at market, instead of filling your bag with pricey substitutes.
What I picked up Sunday, May 6th:
Potatoes, spinach from Heron Pond Farm (NH) - $7
Olive Bread from When Pigs Fly - $6
Chai (my favorite) from White Heron Tea (NH) $3
I then popped over to Tendercrop Farm in Newbury, Ma for more ($20):
Romaine Lettuce (their own)
Steak tips (their own)
English Muffins (baked on site)
Eggs (their own)
I'm lucky to also have on hand from Shady Oaks Organics an amazing variety of mushrooms from oyster varietals to shitakes.
As a disclaimer and reminder, I also will head to the traditional grocery store this week as well for ingredients not listed above.
Sunday: Grilled steak tips with sauteed mushrooms, mashed potatoes, and grilled romaine (with the Olive Bread as a side)
Monday: Spinach Quiche
Tuesday: Spaghetti and homemade fresh tomato sauce (from the freezer stash) with mushrooms tossed in.
That's about as far as I've gotten. Since there's just the two of us, the end of the week usually ends up being a mish-mash of leftovers and quick meals. I'll most likely pick up chicken from Tendercrop Farm mid-week, and some pizza-making supplies for another meal.