when i was younger, i loved saturday mornings. if i didn’t have to wake up early to get to the ice arena for practice by 9, saturday
mornings were sleep in mornings. sleep in mornings meant sleep until 9, and watch cartoons all morning. now, this isn’t to say i was spoiled. i also remember that the rule was i had to be “up and around” by noon. this means out of pj’s. time to get stuff done. no loafing around the house on saturday afternoon. but the morning, this was my time. i remember thinking, “when i’m an adult, i’m gonna sleep in every saturday morning, and wear pj’s all morning, and watch cartoons all day if i want to”.
it didn’t work out like that. these days, i can’t sleep past 7 on a saturday morning. saturday is farmer’s market day! all the good stuff is gone by 9. i try to sleep. it doesn’t work. too much excitement going on down the street. i can’t lay here and sleep while someone else is buying my eggs! i need those eggs! come on, 18 free range eggs for $3.50?! where else am i gonna find that?
don’t even get me started on the mushrooms. seriously. $5. these things still got the dirt on ’em! i eat them every morning with my eggs, slice them into my salads, top my burgers with them.. they are beautiful. you can get some pretty cool shrooms from this guy, too. today we got a little sample of the chicken of the woods variety. yes, it tastes like chicken!
there are beautiful vegetables, fruits, flowers, herbs.. the list goes on. this is where i base my menu for the week. i pick out anything that looks fresh and interesting, and plan my cooking week around what i’ve picked up on saturday morning.
eggs, mushrooms, and meat are my regular staples, but i’ve also started buying my humus there. i have a humus guy. how great is that? it’s the best hummus. more on him later.
i sometimes try and base an entire meal around things i purchased at the farmer’s market. every meal turns into an ‘iron chef’ like challenge in my house. i take great pride on creating super fresh, healthy, and delicious meals centered around local ingredients. here is one of my favorites: slow roasted chicken breast with garlic roasted summer squash, asparagus, and tomatoes. everything local, including the garlic. everything on the plate from the farmer’s market, excluding the salt and pepper.
if you live in east liberty, shadyside, friendship, highland park, or any of those “east end” neighborhoods here in pittsburgh, you should really do yourself (and your community) a favor and drop in on a saturday morning. i know, you stayed up late last night and saturday is your only day to sleep in. but if i hear you complaining that “it’s too expensive to eat nice food”, then i’m going to have to tell you off about my 50 cent red bell peppers, or my $5.00 local chicken (yes a whole chicken). this is a budget friendly activity, and it feels great to participate in the community. need a halloween pumpkin? -no, don’t go to shop ‘n save, buy them from the farmers that work hard to bring them to you directly. they’re up at 5am on saturdays to haul all of their stuff in! they’re doing the work for you! all you have to do is get out of bed a little early and skip an hour of your saturday morning cartoons.
i’ll be posting more specific information on the vendors in the future. i obviously feel very strongly about supporting these people, and appreciate the nutritious foods and goods they supply me with.
click here for official details on the farmer’s market.