A good friend and I made a trip to the Dane County Farmers’ Market this morning. We went late, so it was jam-packed as usual. Her favorite granola had run out, but she found what looks to be a good substitute; she also picked up a 6-year cheddar from the folks at Hook’s. I didn’t go with a particular plan in mind, other than to buy some organic produce for cooking tomorrow. The tomatoes weren’t all gone yet, so I picked up a few nice ones for slicing, along with some cherry tomatoes. The stand with the cherry tomatoes had a big end-of-summer crop come in, so they were priced to move: 1 pint for $2.50 or 2 for $3. Needless to say, I bought 2, one of an orange variety and one that are a deeper red. I also picked up some cauliflower, salad greens, red romaine lettuce, sauté mix (a variety of prewashed greens like arugula, chard, and mustard greens), blue potatoes, two varieties of mushrooms, and parsnips. I’ve been waiting for parsnips so that J. can make a great chicken-and-parsnip dish from a recipe he found that we both like a lot. Fruit-wise, I bought a couple little French orange melons and a bag of Cortland apples. I was really happy to find the latter; local organic apples always seem to be hard to come by, and these looked really good. If J. likes ’em, I’ll have to get more next week — the apple grower said she’d be back with more at the next farmers’ market and that I’d have to let her know if we liked them or not.
I splurged and bought a cute little bumbleberry pie from a bakery stand. I would’ve liked straight blackberry, but since they didn’t have any, I settled for this mixed-berry pie that included blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries. J. and I split it for an afternoon treat; it was really delicious, with a nice berry tartness.
Last but not least, I was excited to buy my first pint of ground cherries, which I mentioned in my very first blog post. I wondered then whether we’d see them at the farmers’ market, and lo and behold, there they were this morning at two different stands that I spotted. The ground cherry’s papery outer layer makes for a really interesting appearance. The name can mess with your taste expectations, though — they aren’t anything like a cherry. Instead, I can definitely taste the resemblance to tomatoes, which are in the same family of plants. There’s a bit of sweetness, too, along with almost savory notes that are hard to pin down. The more yellow-green ones definitely taste a little under-ripe with a more astringent bite; the ripe, yellow-orange ones are full of interesting flavors. I’m not in love with the taste yet, but I’m definitely intrigued and glad that I gave them a try.