September 25, 2010

Farm Fresh Diary: September 25, 2010

I took a break from posting last week because I was completely swamped at work. Our annual fundraiser was last Sunday, which meant that I had little time for anything other than running around like a crazy person and burning the midnight oil to get all the little details done.

At any rate, I'm back and I brought some pretty pictures of my trip to the farmers' market today. (I wasn't able to go last Saturday because I had to be in Richmond to receive deliveries for the fundraiser.)

I got some mini heirloom tomatoes, some striped zucchini, a big bunch of basil, and a country baguette. I'm thinking bruschetta is in the works...

And then I splurged a little on strawberries and pastries: a blueberry and raspberry danishes and a chocolate croissant. Totally worth it.

September 11, 2010

Farm Fresh Diary: September 11, 2010

I've been thinking about writing posts about my trips to the Farmers' Market for quite a while. I really love my weekly outing to my local farmers' market; I've always loved going to farmers' markets, ever since I was a kid. Some of my fondest memories of growing up in Sacramento are of going to the farmers' market. My parents didn't shop there on a regular basis--and with exception of the 10-15 minute drive and the horrendous parking/traffic issues--I always enjoyed checking out all the great produce, freshly baked goodies, and gorgeous flowers.

And now that I live by my own farmers' market--one that is a lot closer (quite literally around the corner) and allows me to sleep in a bit--I look forward to visiting it every Saturday. I even have favorite booths and vendors that I visit every week. I particularly enjoy strolling through the outdoor market (before it gets too crowded), surveying the goods, and checking out the seasonal produce; making note of unusual or new varieties (heirloom or otherwise) makes me very happy, as does witnessing the change in season and finding a great deal.

I try to limit my spending, but most of the time I part with a little more money than I had intended. But I tell myself that the freshly baked loaf of rosemary bread or some delicious samosas for breakfast or the first strawberries of the season are worth it...and they always are. These past two trips to the farmers' market have made considerable dents in my pocketbook--especially last week. I came home with what felt like the whole market, which is to be expected considering the fact that my work schedule deprived me of any trips to the farmers' market for six weeks. Here's what I got:

An eggplant, a loaf of batard, some san marzano tomatoes (for pomodoro sauce), a bunch of broccolini, a variety of heirloom tomatoes, basil, thyme, cayenne peppers (just because), fingerling tomatoes, and samosas (not pictured).

I've also been photographically documenting my spoils; partly because the produce is so darn beautiful and partly for this exact purpose. The only problem is that I haven't been nearly as diligent about blogging as I would like. So here are some shots from some from my past strips and most recent visit:

June 2010

Purple dragon carrots, tomatoes, peaches (first of the season), basil, and broccolini.

July 3, 2010

Lemon cucumbers (something new), carrots and celery (for making chicken broth), green beans, peaches, tomatoes, and cherries!

Which brings us to the present...

September 11, 2010

A whole flat of san marzano tomatoes from Happy Boy Farms (one of my favorites). For tomato sauce, of course.

More heirloom tomatoes, basil, curly kale, and two heirloom carrot varieties...

...just pulled from the earth.

I'm so looking forward to making dinner this week!

September 5, 2010

Spring Cleaning in September

I finally bit the bullet and cleaned out my yarn stash this week...or at least that's what I tried to do. I sat down and went through my collection of yarn with an editor's eye, but found that I couldn't part with much. In the end I ended up re-winding some balls of yarn and letting go of a handful of skeins, including some baby alpaca yarn that I posted on my Etsy store.

Although I wasn't able to downsize my yarn stash, my spring cleaning impulses lead me to looking through my modest collection of crafting books. I gathered them up and went though each and every one. I looked at every pattern and bookmarked each project that caught my eye. However, I limited myself to tagging 2 or 3 patterns per book--a challenging, yet necessary rule given my propensity to collect patterns.

Any book that didn't contain patterns that I desperately needed to make were swiftly moved in to the "toss" pile. I'm planning on trying to sell these to Walden Pond Books, a local independent bookstore, but if need be I'll donate them to the Oakland Public Library.

Another victory from this cleaning session came in the form of (yet another) project list. Nearly every skein of yarn is mentally reserved for a specific project. I even wrote some down and devised a priority-based system: unfinished, on-going and knitted pieces that need to be reworked or re-appropriated must be worked on first. I have some pieces that I started over a year ago, and I can't stand the fact that I haven't completed them. So my goal is to work my way through each project and hopefully do one a week...or at least work on these projects on a consistent basis so that I don't wind up in the same situation a year from now.

So I wasn't able to get rid of much yarn, but now I have a plan for projects, a (soon to be) reduced reference library and GOALS. Wish me luck.