This Friday favorite is a little bit alliterative: it’s the Farmer’s Market!
When I travel, I love to visit local produce, fish, and flea markets just as much as I like visiting historical landmarks and museums–sometimes maybe more so. You really get a sense of the local community at a market. (The tiny, impeccably-dressed Sicilian grandmothers shopping for single servings of fish and produce in Sicily both broke and warmed my heart).
Ann Arbor has a great farmers’ market. Open Saturdays and Wednesdays, you can find all kinds of tasty, homegrown and homemade items and talk directly to the people responsible for them. Local growers have a reverence for their products that I find appealing, whether the vendors are dreadlocked, organic young upstarts or leathery cheeked, bright-eyed older folks who have been coming to market for decades.
Right now all the spring flowers and first veggies of the year are overflowing in the stalls, including one of my top three veggies: asparagus! Oh, how I love it oven roasted or grilled with olive oil and sea salt…or sautéed into an omelet…or puréed into soup. YUM. Someday I will write asparagus a poem, I love it so much.
This week I walked downtown from a friend’s house on the Old West Side. The weather was gorgeous and the company, grand. We didn’t plan to go to the market, but it was a happy coincidence when we realized our excursion was happening on a market day. I love to walk and I love to talk and doing so in my old stomping grounds gives me warm, fuzzy feelings about childhood adventures. One of the highlights of my childhood was my relative independence…if something was in walking distance from our house on Sixth St., I checked it out.
Feast your eyes on the goodies below, then hot-foot it to your local market and see what turns up!