Monday, June 13, 2011

Farmer's Market and Menu Plan

For the last year or so, I have been going to the farmer's market without my older children. It was a nice chance to have some quiet time, plus they had lost interest in a lot of the process of shopping for food and preferred to hang out at home and have some "Dad time". With watermelon coming in to season and me having to shop with the baby, it was either one of them come with me or we have no watermelon . . . so my oldest came with me and, as it turned out, enjoyed himself :)

Most of the above photo contains our farmer's market purchases, though the dairy and seafood (!!!) is not pictured (milk and mozzarella, fresh water prawns and catfish) and the items in the front right corner come from our wonderful neighbor's garden. From top left, clockwise: Cucumber, blackberries, basil (in the baggie), tomatoes, round zucchini, individual sized watermelon, green bell peppers, onions, blueberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, more onions, garlic and potatoes (in the bowl), squash, cucumbers, banana peppers (all three from our neighbor), and peaches. We also bought another fig tree. When we couple these items with the chicken and beef we have in our freezer from past farmer's markets and a few other items with have stored up, there are many meal options. Here is what I've come up with so far (local items are in bold):

Roasted Veggie Omelet - (eggs from our hens, butter, onions, squash, zucchini) with tomato and cucumber salad.

Pesto Chicken Sandwich on homemade foccacia bread - (basil, olive oil, walnuts, Parmesan cheese; chicken, tomatoes, mozzarella) with cantaloupe

Roasted Chicken, squash/ zucchini pasta (cooked pasta, sauted onions and zucchini or squash, butter, basil, Parmesan cheese), peaches

Stuffed Zucchini (ground beef, onions, butter, squash, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, cheese), blueberries

Burgers, browned potatoes, caramelized onions, watermelon

Spaghetti with meat sauce, bread sticks, steamed broccoli (we can't go without broccoli, even if it is not in season or local - oldest ds loves it), cantaloupe

Stuffed Green Peppers (onions, peppers, some of the prawns, rice, butter, some sort of thickener - probably corn starch - for a binder, cheese), peaches

We are also planning to use some of our peaches and blueberries for smoothies. In addition, we have family coming in today and they are bringing tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini from the garden. We will make salsa for snacking (not enough to can) with some of it (using our peppers and onions and some store bought cilantro). I also envision blueberry smoothies in our future.

It is so exciting to be in the early days of summer with so much available to us from local growers. At the market over the weekend, we were told that plums and figs will soon be available. We love these both for eating fresh and also for preserving. Can't wait!! In addition, we have made arrangements to buy "canner" tomatoes from a farmer so that we can put up salsa, spaghetti sauce and tomato puree. We also have blueberries and blackberries in the freezer that are destined to become syrup this week. I used to put up jam, but we don't really eat much jam here. Syrup, I think, will work better (we've already used up all the peach syrup I made a few weeks ago - we use it on pancakes and waffles, plus we use it in yogurt).

What's on your menu this week?

I am submitting this to Menu Plan Monday at Organizing Junkie.


PaulaB52 said...

What is that stripped melon, watermelon? I wonder what the name is? I just picked from my garden a cantaloupe, honey dew and a personal sized sugar baby. I had no luck last year w/personal watermelons, so we'll see how ripe/meaty this one is.

I love early summer produce. So much variety!

The Book Lady Online said...


It is a watermelon but I didn't ask what it was called. It was very sweet and quite reasonably priced,a so we will probably get more this week. I'll ask the farmer what kind it is when we see him.

How were the melons you picked from your garden? I wish we had enough sunlight here to grow more. Right now we have a few cucumber plants with baby cukes on them, a few pear tomatoes with some almost ripe fruit and squash. I'm sure something will be destroying it all in the next few days :(

How are your chickens and turkeys? I keep meaning to ask about them, your turkeys in particular. Last I heard, there were hatchlings. I'm sure they are getting big now.