This weekend I was on my own for my adventure. I knew my starting destination and headed out with no particular agenda or return time. I love to wander, one thing leads to another, and it becomes an adventure!
I fueled up for my adventure with a slice of homemade whole wheat bread topped with homemade fig spread (recipe at the end). With an iced coffee from Red Barn Coffee Roasters in hand I hit the road and in about 30 minutes I arrived at the Harvard, MA Farmers Market. I'd heard great things about the market and they have an informative and interesting website. There were a lot of new-to-me vendors and I spent some time chatting with all of them and picking up some great things. I also spent a lot of time taking photos during the day. I'll highlight some of my favorites throughout the post. I hope you check out the slide show included in the post for all of my photos.
A bright yellow booth caught my attention and I stopped by to see what they were selling. I met the lovely Joanna and tasted her delicious biscotti. We started chatting and it turns out that Joanna just started her baking business and this was her second weekend at the market. After careers in marketing and kitchen design, she decided to take her well-tested biscotti recipe to the commercial kitchen and bring it to the public. She has more than 10 flavors. I picked out the orange walnut (with a full pound of walnuts in the 6 oz. of biscotti!). I look forward to trying out more flavors! Hopefully she'll bring her treats to one of the winter markets in the area. She doesn't have a website yet, but she is in the process of setting it up.
Another fantastic surprise was Bagel Alley. There are bagel places out here in MetroWest, but none that satisfy my craving for chewy, dense, bagels. I picked up a half-dozen of my favorite flavors and asked if I could take a few pictures of the bagels. They seemed a little shocked that anyone would want to photograph their bagels, but they obliged. Here is my ode to my favorite stinky bagel, the everything bagel:
I also picked up a delicious whole wheat plum cherry scone from The Biscuit (from Somerville, MA). I munched on that while I gathered some other goodies like pea tendrils, a whole chicken (no giblets), parsley, spinach fettuccine, and parsnips. Another new-to-me product was lupine beans. I had never heard of them before - turns out they blend into a flavorful and healthy hummus. After sampling a few flavors, I took home a cilantro flavored hummus. You can read about the lupine beans here.
I packed up my purchases and decided to wander through Harvard toward my absolute favorite fall stop - Bolton Spring Farm. Every fall since I first came to Boston for college, I've made a trip to Bolton Spring Farm. Three things I always buy there: hot apple dumplings, hot apple cider, and a Yankee Candle (apple, pumpkin, or cinnamon scented). They have apple picking too, but it's up a hill, so I usually pick up a pre-picked bag. This trip I got a half peck of Paula Reds, a cider donut, and a 'Be Thankful' candle.
Since I was on Route 117 with no agenda, I headed east toward Verrill Farm. At this point I really didn't need any more veggies or fruits, or so I thought...On my way to Verrill Farm I made a quick detour to Applefield Farm. They were at the farmers market and I decided to stop and see their real farm. I added three hot peppers and a cute green eggplant to my loot and got back on the road.
At Verrill Farm I added fresh figs, a beeswax candle, and an orange to my collection. I know the orange doesn't scream "Hey, it's fall", but my favorite apple cake calls for orange juice. Sometimes you just have to go with it. When I got home, I laid out my purchases to see how crazy I went. Not too bad! I really love the magnet that I got at the market.
It was a fabulous day! Beautiful weather, friendly farmers and vendors, and of course delicious food. I cooked up a quick dinner from my finds, and ended up making it three more times over the weekend (it was that fresh and good!).
I had a great time taking photos - instead of a post with all of them, I hope you have a minute to watch the slide show below to see what food fun awaits you here in the suburbs. Recipes from the posts follow the pictures.
Fig Cinnamon Jam
Recipe adapted from a recipe posted by Bob Dunn on Local in Season
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 pound fresh figs, stems removed and quartered
1 1.5 inch strip of lemon zest
Juice from 1/4 of a lemon
1 tablespoon ground Vietnamese Cinnamon
Add water and sugar to a small saucepan, heat over medium heat and cook until you have a simple syrup (just a few minutes)
Add the quartered figs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and cinnamon to the simple syrup and mix
Simmer over low heat for about an hour, stirring occasionally
Let the mixture cool and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator
Farmers Market Late Summer Pasta
Serves 1 (multiply by the number of hungry people you have to feed)
1/4 lb. Fior D'Italia Spinach Fettuccine, cooked to al dente
1/4 cup Wards Berry Farm red & yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 Applefield Farm green eggplant, diced
1 handful of pea tendrils/pea greens, coarsely chopped
Salt and Pepper
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat
Add chopped garlic and cook until just fragrant
Add in halved tomatoes and diced eggplant, cook for about 5-8 minutes until softened but not mushy
Turn off heat and add pea tendrils and greens
Top a large bowl of pasta with the veggies and an extra drizzle of olive oil
Yell at yourself for only making one serving
Make again for lunch and dinner the next day and add Parmesan cheese to the top
Where do your food adventures take you? What do you like to do when you have no agenda?