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?