Saturday, July 01, 2006

Tomatoes: the Good and the Bad

After Porkchop left for the park this morning, I headed out to the Soulard Farmer's Market, where I picked up tomatoes, peaches, beets, and a cantaloupe. The market was fine, except it wasn't what I expected, or maybe I should say, wanted. I wanted Madison's farmer's market. Instead, I got a cross between Detroit's farmer's market (which is pretty cool) and the flea markets outside of Naples, Florida (not so cool). I didn't expect flip flops, bing cherries, bananas, or shrimp....obviously, none of which is locally produced.

I know, I'm picky about my farmer's markets. I was also put into a bad mood because a 12-year-old picked out the tomatoes I decided to purchase. He was working at his family's stand and didn't realize that I wanted to pick out my own tomatoes, darn it. And I was too passive aggressive to say anything.

After being called "babydoll" by the peach lady, I left and decided, Screw these tomatoes, I'm going to check out the Tower Grove farmer's market. Amanda and I went a few weeks ago and were a little disappointed in the lack of selection. Well, I'm happy to report it has blossomed a bit more. There is definitely more selection, or maybe I was just glad to see local organic produce.

I ended up buying a box of little Roma tomatoes and a single heirloom. Here's a picture of all my tomatoes - the ones in the back two rows are the 12-year-old's selections....I think I'll use those to make a soup (doesn't chilled tomato soup sound really good right now?). {Also, I apologize for more poor quality pics. Seriously, I need to go to picture-taking school or something. They look okay small - just don't enlarge them, okay?}

Oh, and the best thing about the Tower Grove market is the recently added crepe stand! Yay! To celebrate my tomatoes, I had a savory crepe with pesto, mozzarella, and tomatoes. Even though the crepe was a bit burnt in places, it was still super-good. As I ate it, I watched the kids and adults play in the wading/fountain area of the park. Nice.

After dropping my produce at home, I decided to head to an Italian grocery on the Hill to pick up pine nuts, olive oil, and bread. For pine nuts and olive oil, I went to DiGregorio's. Oh my, I spent $20 on olive oil! I didn't want a $4 bottle, and there wasn't much in the $10-$20 range. Wow, they even had a $60 was like being in a wine shop. I also spied a $25 bottle of balsamic vinegar that I might have to go back for. Before she moved out of Madison, our pal Val gave us some balsamic vinegar that she picked up in Italy...after having it, I can't eat the cheap stuff, and we ran out of it a little while ago.

Next, I went to Vitale's Bakery (sorry, no website to be found) for fresh baked bread. I also picked up a little container of spumoni gelato, which I'll share with Porkchop tonight. Oh my, I'll have to make my way back to Vitale's many cookies, biscotti, and good looking treats.

Also, I don't want to sound like an out-of-towner, but I want to go to Milo's Bocce Garden. I've never played bocce before, and when there's an Italian-American Bocce Club near you, I think you should.

After doing all of my food things today, I went to Hartford Coffee Company, hoping to catch some knitters, which I did. There were 3 other ladies knitting (summer time is bad for knitting circles, I fear), who were quite pleasant. Oddly enough, a summer-intern-reporter at the Post-Dispatch also stopped by to interview young knitters for some sort of human-interest story she's doing. So, maybe in a couple of weeks, I'll be quoted in the Post-Dispatch!

Well, there's basil to be harvested and pesto to be made. Have a good night!


Porkchop said...
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Porkchop said...

Meanwhile at Six Flags... Porkchop sits sadly at her drawing table thinking about all the fun that Carrie is having without her.