Sunday, July 09, 2006

Market Report & A Stroll Through Urbana

I put on a pretty little straw hat and hit the market at a leisurely pace yesterday, sauntering through a couple times. The people-watching is just as good as the vegetables. The pets are fun too, though I admit I cringe to see some folks dragging their little doogies through huge crowds on hot asphalt. These two seemed to be enjoying themselves on the border though, happy to watch from the edges.

I spend most of my dough at this booth each weekend. Fresh mixed greens, basil, and onions. Yum! The Salad booth!

It was a day of firsts for me. My first patty-pan squash. Actually I bought them a few weeks ago, but inadvertently left them in the back of my car for a week. Do Over! I sauteed a few of these in olive oil and garlic, and served them on the side of grilled salmon last night. Yum!

Another first: Beets have always been the one food that trigger my gag reflex. They were served up on my plate when I was a kid, pickled and bleeding all over the rest of my food. Even the smell of them makes me nauseous. Give me raw fish, but a beet makes me shiver.

However, I keep hearing how lovely they are, fresh, or grilled, or steamed with butter. Holly loves them. Marcee* and Dana and Diane gush over them. I'm open to the possibility that I might just be missing out, and decided to give the fresh beet a shot at making me love him.

Really, I got chills just touching these things; I'd rather hold a hissing cockroach. I tried one for lunch, sliced and steamed (a beet, not a roach). It wasn't terrible, but there was no love connection. I'm pretty sure I can prepare a better beet, and will try again.

Barrels of garlic! NOW we're talking! Marcy* thinks these look like bones. I think they look like lots of good cookin'. I want to pour all of these into my purse and run.

These are donut peaches. You can see how they got their name. They're sweet and juicy, and the proprietor at this particular booth was kind enough to give Marcee* a few of them for free. He just gave them to her! She didn't even have to date him or anything! Her husband approves.

And our one-man band had accompaniment this morning. For your viewing pleasure:

After the market, I drove home through "Historic Urbana," a quiet, shady neighborhood filled with quaint older houses, lots of flowerbeds, and young families pushing strollers and riding bikes with baskets. I couldn't resist, I just had to park and stroll these cool brick sidewalks for awhile. It's just a delightful neighborhood, I swear I could find something to photograph at every address.

Like this turkey, for instance. In the news around here for the last 6 months or so, is the fact that a band of wild turkeys has infiltrated Southeast Urbana. They're a nervy lot, unintimidated by human presence, hanging out in people's yards, and have been known to chase you off your own property.

This guy—or is she a girl?—cared little about my paparazzi status, just kept moseyin' on, willing to share the sidewalk with me.

That was awfully nice of him, wasn't it? It's a very nice sidewalk, and several of the streets in the neighborhood are still brick.

If you find yourself with a little downtime, go ahead and take a stroll through Historic Urbana, around streets California, Nevada, Oregon, Birch, and Cedar. The shade's good, the brick is cool, the air is fragrant, and the scenery worth a gander.

Take time to smell the turkeys.

*Marcee and Marcy: Both fantastic friends of mine, but difficult to keep them straight, yes?


  1. What a great post! I wish I had a farmer's market within walking distance of my house and I could have fresh fruit and vegetables every day...every hour if I wanted. I think I'll move.

  2. Hey, that was great.

    And thanks for the information about the patty-pan squash...I hadn't thought to prepare them like that.

    (weird, strolling around MY local farmers market today, I came across those same doughnut peaches!)

  3. Could you show us a picture of bananas? We're dying here. Haven't seen one in 6 months.

    Did you have to post a picture of dogs!!

  4. The only way that I can even stomach beets is if they are a shredded addition to my tossed green salad. Along with everything else that the salad bar has to offer.

    As a kid the threat was if I didn't eat my beets I would get no dessert.

    Missed a lot of desserts.

  5. Thanks so much for a stroll through the open market and Urbana. I loved it!

    BTW - I feel the same way about beets.

  6. I'm sitting here in Oxford, at my desk, eating lunch. I was hoping for a chance to surf over to your weekend farmers' market while I eat my leftover Chinese, and again you haven't disappointed! Aren't the colors and textures of fresh fruit and veggies just the picture of beauty? And you photograph them so well, too! You have a great eye for taking a memorable photograph!

    And may I join the "I HATE BEETS" club with you & some of your other readers, please?



  7. No beets for me either. I can't stand the smell or taste and I have tried several different recipes.

    Farmer's markets are my weakness, fresh herbs, does it get any better?

  8. Laurie: A daily farmer's market would be fanstastic. Year-round would be nice too; our shuts down in October, boo hoo.

    Tai: How DO you prepare your patty pan?!

    Dogbait: Sorry about the dog pix. I'll get right on those banana's though.

    Wil: I skipped dessert too, when my grandma made me eat it off the same plate the dinner had been served on. Cake soaked in beet juice. Brrrr

    Dick: Nice to see you here! Thanks for coming along on my walk with me.
    Another beet-hater, I'm less inclined to try a different recipe...

    Janet: That's it, I'm giving up beets! We'll start an anti-beet blog!

    Awe: You can't beat fresh herbs. Next week's purchase will be a rosemary plant. I'll grow it into a beautiful bush, then cut a sprig to drop in olive oil, along with a clove of garlic. Come over for bread and infused oil!

  9. I didnt already post here..:O Iam loosing it I think! Maybe I read it and didnt post a comment, I dunno. I love all the color in these pics. I cant do the video things - I cant seem to download what I need to most days.

    I still like it, even w/o the video.

  10. I DON'T prepare them!
    That's the problem...I didn't know how.
    (but now that I do, watch me go!)

    oh, and if there's a poll goin' 'round, I for one LOVE beets!

  11. Why don't I have a market like that??

    Absolutely loved the house pic!!


    I need to get a camera...I always love your pictures and it makes me wanna run and splurge on

  12. I love market day!

    Okay, don't get too freaked out, but....

    I love beets. I pick them at pick-your-own farms. I buy them pickled. I love beet balls made by McCutcheon's. When I was pregnant (all 27 months of it!), I ate a jar of pickled beets almost every day. I know. It even grosses me out thinking about the quantity. But funny thing is, my kids all love beets, too. I think they must have it in their blood. Literally.

  13. I can't figure it out. I check your site nearly every day for updates but inevitably when I see you've updated I've missed three posts! Yeesh about the breast cancer stats but YAY for getting a mammogram (slam your tit in the frisge door and hold for practice), double yeesh about the fish, great market post and I think that's a femalw turkey because she doesn't have the comb (that red flappy thing on the nose).
    You haven't been visiting me either it seems or at least not commenting. You are missed. :-( When coming to NY? Love ya!

  14. Barry: Thanks. Toying with the video is mucho fun; can you access YouTube directly, perchance? Thanks for the compliment-o's!

    Tai: I'm usually not a big squash person, but these were tasty. I'm still working on those beets. There are 2 left...

    Mary: Isn't that house pic all cottage-y and cozy? I can imagine 7 dwarves all sleeping inside!

    And honey, don't get me started on the camera; I splurged on this Sony Cybershot and I love it. It's slim and I carry it everywhere, driving people nuts, in all probability.

    I'm drooling over a "professionial" camera, but biding my time...until I save the money or find a rich old geezer. Place your bets.

    Wendy: I didn't know beets HAD balls! har, har. Ok, I'd honestly never heard of a beet-ball. My mother craved straight vinegar when she was pregnant with me. There just might be something to pickling your fetus during gestation.

    Andy: Hi Andy, where you been? I've been checking in on you too, not to worry. Will send an eee-mail soon.

  15. That's the camera I want: The Sony Cybershot!!!!

    ::In Napoleon Dynamite voice:: "lucky"

  16. Love the pics of the peaches! My grandpa had a peach orchard, not the same from the store! Brings back memories. Sometimes we can get fresh fruit off road side stands.

  17. "Take time to smell the turkeys!" This reminded me of the time I inadvertently camped at a site downwind of a turkey farm--heh, not recommended!

    But I do recommend beets--I used to not like them too as a child. But I've discovered this salad at one of my favourite restaurants that makes this absolutley delicious salad with warm beets, baby potatoes and goat cheese. Lovely.

    I also used to dislike mushrooms and green beans, but somewhere along the way my taste buds have evolved. I'm so glad...but my childhood self would be amazed to see me eating these things with such pleasure. :)


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