I’m sure people are tired of hearing this, but I love market day in the South. As a child, my grandmother would go to the Mississippi farmers’ market for peas and corn and whatever was in season. She had her favorite stalls and I would sit and watch the pea sheller while she and Miss Ann talked about the weather, the farms, and any other gossip that came up. A year or so ago, I found Miss Ann again and I hope to find her this year when I go back home to see my family.
“Eating local” was all my grandparents and great-grandparents knew back then. If they didn’t grow it in their garden, they found someone in town who did. Or the small locally owned stores provided regional produce before the big stores came along with their ability to fly in blueberries from Chile. They were “locovores” before it was cool and trendy and a source of blog content. All those afternoons in the heat helping my grandmother blanch corn seemed like a pain then. Little did I know how much I grow to love doing the same thing as an adult. That I would look forward to spring and even endure the summer heat because that meant it was market time.
And this year is a little different. Ever since we joined the local CSA, both of us are trying to make more conscious efforts to purchase as much of our produce from local sources and making full use of our farmers’ markets. With the new River Market in Tuscaloosa and my beloved Pepper Place in Birmingham, we don’t have to look far.
I need a shirt that reads “I love it ASAP…As Southern As Possible”
So, what did I put in my little houndstooth basket?
- Banana peppers
- Green beans
- Pattypan squash
- Squash blossoms
- Summer squash
- Petite red potatoes
- Sweet relish
And I have about 5 recipes for these vegetables. I just hope I can make them good!