Sunday, May 30, 2010

I'm Hot

The theme of Thursday’s farmer’s market in Kannapolis? I’m Hot. That was the conversation heard between all vendors and customers. “How are you doing today?” “I’m hot.” I was wishing that I had a pith helmet with a fan in the brim. Or a spray bottle with the little fan attached. Maybe even an umbrella hat. Anything to provide a smidgen of relief from the day’s heat. I shouldn’t complain. The vendors had to sit out in the heat for three hours. I was only there for 20 minutes.

I had been dreaming of potato salad, so I bought some white creamer potatoes. I’ll admit I picked out some of the smallest ones. I am intrigued by tiny potatoes. I later boiled the potatoes whole, then halved or quartered them (depending on the size) and tossed them with the Stone House mustard vinaigrette while they were still hot. Potatoes absorb more flavor when they’re hot than when they’re cold. After they had cooled, I mixed some Duke’s mayonnaise (my favorite) with a little Stone House mustard and tossed the potatoes in it. I had to restrain myself so I wouldn’t eat the whole bowl right then and there.

After talking to Todd from T&D Charolais on several occasions, I decided it was time to try some of his products. I’m on a budget, but I wanted something that I could eat unadorned (unlike stew meat), so I bought hamburger patties.  I wanted to taste the beef and not all of the other ingredients in a stew. I’m not a fan of the hamburger bun, so I had my burger on toast. My burger actually tasted like beef! It’s easy to forget what beef is supposed to taste like when all you’ve eaten in years is shipped-in, hormonal industrial beef from who knows where. Todd’s beef is all-natural and raised on a ranch in China Grove. I won’t be buying any more beef from the supermarket. Todd’s beef may be a little more expensive, but it’s worth it. And the price difference isn’t that much anyway.

I also decided it was time to procure one of Darryl’s silverware items. The blade of a hollow-handled dinner knife was cut off, leaving the handle much like a bud vase. Then a pin was attached to the back. I bought this for my bag. Maybe I’ll put a flower in it, maybe I won’t. Either way, the pin is unique and I love it. Darryl had made it on request, but the customer never returned, so I got it. It’s one-of-a-kind. Just like me.

I also spent several minutes talking to Joanie, of Ohana Favorites. Joanie makes the apricot mango red pepper jelly that I love. LA has nearly finished the apple butter that he purchased from her. I’ve sampled a few of her other jellies as well. One of the best that I’ve tasted is the lavender chamomile jelly. I don’t care for lavender or chamomile, but the combination works. Joanie also sells cookies and brownie bits. For 50¢, I got a tropical cookie that was made with oatmeal and chopped tropical fruit. It was very sweet, so I didn’t finish it all. The chocolate chip cookies were less expensive, but I was quite happy with my 50¢ purchase. I have a jar of dried tropical fruit, so I may attempt some similar cookies in the near future. Joanie has other products as well, including vegetables and grains, such as quinoa.

While the Kannapolis market is smaller than some of its other counterparts, I still see several familiar faces. Plus it’s closer to my house. While it may not be as close as my local supermarket, I will happily travel the extra distance every Thursday for the rest of the summer to buy what I can. I just need a dairy farmer to turn up!

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