We’ve visited a lovely and lively farmers market that is close by a few times this summer. Always leaving with lots of fresh, local veggies, fruits and homemade breads. With our weather finally cooling off a bit it seemed perfect to hit the market again. Today we decided to check out a different one that turned out to be a complete flop. This place had so much potential but no care given to the upkeep of the “place” nor the market itself. The only two vendors selling their goods were a bakery and a coffee roaster. I did buy a yummy loaf of lemon bread and a bottle of flavored olive oil, since it was less expensive than I’ve seen in the stores. The market touted itself as one where there would be local vegetable and fruit vendors as well as meat, poultry, eggs, milk, yogurt and cheese tables. Ok, sounds great! Feeling pumped about having a passel of veggies for the week and maybe some farm fresh eggs to boot, we loaded up Miss T and her friend and headed out.
The site was about 20 minutes away from us. We turned in at a farm-house drive with barns and lots of acreage behind the house. We quickly realized there weren’t many farmers with tables full of the promised goods but decided to check it out anyway. When I inquired about the brown bags sporting veggies the owner responded, “those are for our CSA members”, “Oh, cool”, I said. Then I asked about the boxes with assorted squash, clearly fresh picked from a garden, “are those for sale?” The response from the owner of this organic farm/market was, “well, I hadn’t planned on having any extras, I don’t even know what to sell them for.” She stuttered on about this for a few minutes until I finally said, “ok, no problem, we’ll be on our way, thanks!”. We left with me scratching my head saying, “well, if you don’t check them out you never know!” and wondering what we’d be having for dinner now that we were basically leaving empty-handed.
Since todays market visit was a wash I went back in my photo archives and found these shots of fresh picked okra from the other market where they really did have vegetables and fruit for sale. My man Dan won’t eat okra unless it has been fried and on this day I’d bought a bag full of okra with many small, tender pods just begging to be battered and fried whole. This is such an easy task, especially when I set up the skillet on the grill burner outside. No greasy smells or messy stove tops to clean in my kitchen. The verdict is still out on what I’ll serve for dinner this evening. I’ll start with a glass of chilled vino and see what sounds good after a few sips.
I can’t leave without mentioning my bee girls. Everyone is doing great and bringing in bookoos of pollen and making honey with the sugar syrup I am supplying. Over at the Helmsley Palace bee yard things are going well too. Queen Leona and Queen Fiona have remained quite elusive, until today when I finally spotted Queen Leona while setting up a feeder on her hive. She is solid black and very interesting, unlike any other queen in my colonies. I didn’t try to take her photo today but closed her hive thrilled to have observed her. Queen Fiona remains in hiding, if indeed a queen resides in that hive, which I suspect she does. Further inspections will determine if in fact she is there or not, stay tuned for the rest of the story.
batch of okra
splash of buttermilk
salt and pepper
Whisk together the egg with a generous splash of buttermilk. Pour enough cornmeal into a shallow dish to coat all of your okra, stir in salt and pepper to suit your taste. If you have small tender pods they can be fried whole, otherwise wash and slice okra. DIp okra into egg wash then roll in cornmeal mixture to coat. Fry in a skillet with 2 inches of oil that is hot. Oil is hot enough when a drop of batter sizzles upon contact. Fry in batches, leaving plenty of space between okra. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.