First farmer’s market trip of 2010

April 5, 2010

Warm weather!

April 5, 2010

I’ve always loved NYC during the springtime almost as much as I love NYC right before Christmas. The people here just seem generally friendlier, probably hopeful for the warmer weather after the post-Christmas, winter dreariness and trips to the farmer’s market are much more enjoyable in the warm sun.

That being said, I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to warmer weather as much as I have this year. Having a child inevitably adds prep time for all trips compared to when it was just you and your partner. Add in the cold weather and then you have to take into account multiple pant layers, winter jackets, hats, mittens, foot muffs on strollers, stuffing a child that is 18 lbs unclothed versus 25 lbs with all the layers into a car seat, etc… and you’re talking a good 30 minutes extra in the winter time. That’s IF you are willing to risk your child getting sick, you getting no sleep because of said sickness, and your parents/her grandparents yelling at you for taking their precious granddaughter out and MAKING her sick.

Needless to say, we didn’t necessarily hibernate but we were definitely more choosy with our going out adventures and they more often than not started off with frustrations.

So naturally when I heard that last Saturday was supposed to be 75 degrees, I made grand plans to spend most of it outdoors. Unlike most of my grand plans that never happen though, this actually did!!

Here are some pictures that I took from that day. I particularly like the ones where she’s trying to shove a sugarless blueberry muffin that’s as big as her face into her mouth. I hope you enjoy them too! :)

Union Square Greenmarket

May 7, 2008

As most of you crazy people who follow my blog know, we have been a Grand Army Plaza (GAP) Greenmarket family for a while now. However, after we got a speeding ticket on the Jackie Robinson (which has an unreasonable speed limit of 40 mph), we decided to try out the Union Square (USQ) Greenmarket this past weekend. We had strolled through it before and knew that there were more vendors and variety than at GAP but for some reason, just always stuck to Brooklyn

However after the ease with which we got to the market as well as the bounty we were greeted with, I can safely say we’ve been converted. Bye bye Brooklyn, hello NYC.*

Follow me on a tour of some of the things we bought and saw —

The short seasoned and much foodie-coveted ramps were available in excess when we got to the market at 9:30. I spotted at least three stands selling these yummy wild leeks. Naturally I bought from the stand that had Batali-Bastianich establishment stickers on their sign. I use them the next day on top of a wonderful pizza which I’ll share with you all in another post.

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The mushroom stall at USQ is a lot more “professional” looking than at GAP and surprisingly less expensive as well. I was disappointed they didn’t have any maitake but we picked up some beautiful shiitake and creminis.

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Next was the Windfall Farms stand that sells different varieties of micro-greens and baby lettuces out of bins. This wins my “Best Offerings” of the day prize. You can mix and match in the same bag as long as the lettuces you are combining are the same price. The micro-greens – as you can see from the pic – can be quite expensive at $12 per ¼ pound but they have tons of flavor so a little goes a long way. I got a mix of 2 or 3 micro-greens I’ve never had before along with the cheaper baby lettuces and spinach as filler. For a total of $6, we had a nice side salad the next day to go alongside the pizza mentioned above. Below is a pic of the salad along with some sliced grapes and shallots so you get an idea of how much $6 can get. Not too shabby.

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We stopped by the tuber/onion stand and picked up some Jerusalem artichokes (aka sunchokes), which I love to order off of menus but have never attempted to make myself. We also couldn’t resist the cute red cipollini onions which are destined to be braised and dressed with syrupy reduced balsamic vinegar. Yes, I stick to reusable canvas/cloth totes and avoid using plastic or even paper bags as much as possible. This is why you can quite frequently find me doing a juggling/balancing act at the market.

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Random pretty potted cacti and flowers. There are TONS of plant/flower vendors at this market. I’m looking forward to picking something up from one next week.

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MmMMm… I have an obsession/infatuation with fresh herbs. Look at that sea of basil and forest of rosemary. I can smell them in my head :)

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Jason lives for farm fresh eggs and we loved that we could pick out our own here. Can’t beat interactivity :)

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This is me waiting in line to pick up some hydroponic tomatoes. We’re really looking forward for the heirloom and summer tomatoes to come into season. We missed the entire season last year as a consequence of a silly little thing called our wedding. Well no excuses this year! I’m ready and waiting!

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We didn’t pick up cookies from here but Jason had to take a picture of the sign anyway. They also have an apple cider donut vendor but to be honest, the offerings didn’t look as appetizing as those sold at GAP.

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Here’s me with my super organized money skills buying milk from Ronnybrook Farms. The first time you buy a bottle of milk it’s $3.00 but when you bring back the empty glass, it’s $2.00. Quite a bargain!

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Some pretty pink rhubarb which irrationally intimidates me. Maybe I’ll pick some up next time to attempt a rhubarb pie. Maybe.

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* At this point, I want to take a minute and point out some irony. I used to live not two steps from Union Square during college and never once thought about going to the Greenmarket. Then I lived on the UES which is a quick express train ride down to Union Square and STILL never went to the Greenmarket. Now I live a B&T ride away and look forward to going back as soon as I leave. Well better late than never I guess…

Another post to say thank you to mother nature on her day

April 22, 2008

This post is dedicated to one of the less obvious reasons why I love the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket.

Besides the friendly vendors selling bread, produce, fresh eggs, milk, cheese, etc…, there is a wonderful flower vendor that sets up shop year round. In the colder months, there are wreaths and dried flowers available. Starting now until it gets cold again, the vendor sells an amazing variety of fresh cut flowers. They serve to brighten up our home and starting this week, I plan on sharing each bouquet we buy with you all!

I have never bought tulips before but these were too beautiful to pass up. The colors remind me of the inspiration for all of our wedding details. I hope these flowers put a smile on your face like they do mine :o)

If I had one wish…

January 2, 2008

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/02/dining/02mark.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Do you know that I love food markets? I really love them. No matter what city Jason and I visit, no matter how long the trip is for, a trip to the local food market is inevitable. It is a top priority for us and we can’t get enough of them.

Unfortunately, there isn’t something like that in our own backyard. I think the farmer’s markets in Union Square and Grand Army Plaza are the closest thing to it but they don’t hold a candle to the markets in a bunch of other cities around the world that are less gastronomically famous than New York.

So if I had one semi-frivolous wish for this year (other than world peace of course), it would be that something like this opens up in NYC, or better yet, Queens!

Thanks to my new reader J.P. for bringing this article to my attention! :)

Borough Market

December 7, 2007

Last year I was sent to London for work a few times over the course of 6 months. Not only was the pressure of the assignment incredible, but I was away from Jason and my family for longs periods of time and I was also trying to plan my wedding. Good thing I had such a lovely fiancé – now husband – who took everything in stride and picked up on the planning.

On top of taking over wedding planning in my absence, at the last minute he also flew in on a typical London Saturday in January (read: cold and rainy) so that he could spend the weekend avec moi! This was Jason’s first trip to London and he would only be there for 48 hours. Where did I insist on taking him first?

No, not to see Big Ben or Buckingham Palace, but to Borough Market of course!

Borough Market is situated on the south side of the Thames River and very close to London Bridge. Much to my delight, this meant that it was a quick 10 minute walk from the corporate apartment where I had been living. My Saturday excursions there were the best respites from the pressures of work.

The market has offerings ranging from fresh meats, fish, produce, and cheeses to flavored olive oils, breads, and prepared food stalls. It’s definitely one of the most comprehensive markets I have ever visited. I even tried my first ever pork pie there!

Unfortunately, I don’t have as many pictures of our trip there to share with you because:

  • I was too busy showing Jason all of the goodies that I had discovered.
  • It was cold and rainy that day as I had earlier mentioned
  • We had yet to learn the settings on our camera so quite a few of the pictures we were taking were coming out blurry.
  • Really though, pictures would not do this place justice. It’s much better in person so please do go for a visit on your next trip across the pond if you’re in the US. If you’re in London, you have no excuse not to be going every Saturday!

    The picture I most regret not taking is that of a falafel sandwich sold there. Only one stand sells them at the market and it’s across from a man making delicious raclette served over potatoes, which you can smell from many stands away. I was so focused on enjoying my falafel sandwich that I forgot to take a break and snap a picture!

    In fact, they are so delicious that I took my friend and fellow falafel lover S to the market on a separate occasion just for them. Imagine fresh fried falafel balls surrounded by a warm, chewy, whole wheat pita (none of that pried-open-pita-so-that-each-side-is-so-thin-the-tahini-soaks-through-within-a-minute business) spread with hummus and topped with lettuce, tomato, pickled veggies, tahini, and hot sauce.

    Are you drooling yet??? If not, keep scrolling for pictures of more delicious foods!

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    Different types of chocolate covered nuts and fruits along with huge slabs of chocolate

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    A tower of brownies and a brownie man!

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    All kinds of freshly baked breads

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    Me with an ostrich egg

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    Raw oysters. You could take them home or even better, have them shuck them right away and slurp ’em up right there.

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    A shark head proudly on display at the fish stall

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    Fresh vine-ripened tomatoes along with bottled tomato products

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    Haggis!

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    And the piece de resistance, Comte cheese so good that it has made me disappointed in the quality of cheese sold in America. Look at the picture! Those wheels were GINORMOUS. You can compare them against the man standing in the background on the left. I have yet to find a Comte as creamy and subtly sharp as those sold at Borough Market. On Jason and my Paris trip next year, I am determined to eat as much Comte as humanly possible. Maybe I can try to smuggle some back for my cheese loving friends as well! You know who you are 😉