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Daily Archives: March 31, 2012

Feeding My Farmer’s Market Addiction in Silver Spring

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It’s been two months since I set foot in a farmer’s market. I think I was having withdrawal symptoms, so I coerced persuaded my better half to drive me down to Silver Spring this morning. I can drive now, but can’t carry. I suppose that if I went by myself I might buy less, but there’s no fun in that.

I decided to issue myself a personal challenge. That is, not to set foot in Giant, Safeway, Food Lion or Weis for the next six months unless I absolutely have to. There are just a few things not available elsewhere that I buy in the grocery store.

My goal is to use CSA, farmers’ markets, Boarman’s, local veggie stands, small businesses, family owned businesses (have to say this to sneak in Wegman’s), pick your own farms, and everything else I can think of that will provide me mostly real food instead of processed.

I will keep track of what I do and use the blog to discuss how well I am doing in really changing my diet to eliminate more and more of the processed foods. Today was the beginning of stocking up on fresh foods, and clearing out the pantry and fridge of the processed stuff.

We arrived around 11 am and the first thing you see is the Atwater’s truck.

I had to pick up a loaf of kalamata olive bread to serve with the last chicken noodle soup out of the freezer tonight. We had demolished the two loaves we bought last week in Catonsville, partially by taking some to friends for dinner last night.

We got apples, spring onions and chard from Spring Valley. It is so good to see spring onions. I love them with microgreens, like the ones in yesterday’s CSA delivery. Down to Firefly Farms for cheese, and Mock’s Greenhouses for the wonderful cherry tomatoes, hydroponically grown basil and arugula.

I am going to make my own flatbread dough with the Union Mills flour I picked up at Breezy Willow a while ago, and put arugula, bleu cheese and Boarman’s sausage on it one night next week. The hydroponic greens and the high tunnel cherry tomatoes from Mock’s are a hint of what is to come in summer. The basil is intensely scented, making me want to create a caprese salad if only I had some fresh mozzarella. The tomatoes burst with flavor and you wouldn’t know they were “hothouse” tomatoes unless someone told you.

I was talking to them and yes, they will be a supplier to Wegmans in Columbia just like they are in Frederick. Woo Hoo! Their bibb lettuce is incredibly sweet and delicious but today I already had containers full of greens and spinach at home from the CSA. This week we will be feasting on fresh salads.

Stopped at Garden Path Farms to pick up short ribs to use in the crockpot tomorrow with the chard bought at Spring Valley and the CSA mustard greens.

Soaking cranberry beans from MOM’s overnight tonight, so dinner will be greens, beans and ribs in the slow cooker. I will use the last pint of my turkey stock from the freezer to make this. Another real food dinner made from scratch.

After picking up these goodies, we hit Lebanese Taverna for a kafta sandwich. There are so many interesting restaurants on Ellsworth just behind City Place. Want Pho? Peri Peri? Thai? Lebanese? Potbelly Sandwiches? The list is endless. 100+ restaurants in the surrounding area. Free parking in the Wayne Avenue garage. A Whole Foods across from the parking garage as well in case you aren’t already shopped out.

Take a cooler in your trunk. Hit the market. Next week they go back to spring hours. From 9 am to 1 pm. Have breakfast, brunch or lunch and get in shape for our markets to open in six weeks. Can’t beat fresh veggies, meats, cheeses, eggs and fruit from area farmers.

And follow me on my GGSAC* journey. The *Great Grocery Store Avoidance Challenge*.


Dinner in the Dining Room – Not Just for Holidays

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We eat in our dining room most nights. I don’t remember what prompted the change from sitting at the island in the kitchen, to setting the table and relaxing over dinner in the dining room. But, it has definitely influenced us. We spend more time sitting and talking and less time watching TV. Not a bad thing by any means.

Using the good napkins and not reserving them for company …

Using the fancier wine glasses, and the Dansk Bistro dinnerware. Inexpensive, the way we did it, but over the years, we ended up with enough to entertain. We found the glasses at Iron Bridge. They would order you a set of four for $40.

When we first moved into our town house, after one of the 1983 blizzards, our cul de sac of twelve houses (23 people) started getting together for a pot luck or themed dinner every other month. You entertained once every two years. The Dansk has been accumulating from years of scouring the outlets on the Eastern Shore, or in PA. Our set is mix and match, but still nice and festive. Somewhere along the way, years ago, I put the stoneware in the donation bags and decided that using the good dishes should be something we did for us. Don’t we deserve to eat off the good plates?

Flowers on the table. I always bring in some of my flowers from around the outside of the house. Before living here, I used to buy flowers at Giant, because they just made me smile. Now, having a variety of flowers all summer long gives me this sense of accomplishment in my garden.

I have to say, now that we moved away from Columbia and don’t eat out as often, the dinner time ritual here has created a transition from working all day long on something to relaxation and conversation.

Do you take the time to sit and enjoy a meal with your family? Do you only eat in the dining room on holidays? Do you have date nights? Like dinner and a movie on Friday night.