Saturday, February 2, 2008


Alex returned from the winter farmers' market this morning with something even more exciting than the scones that I was pulling out of the oven: tomatoes!

We're not sure how the farmer managed to pull it off, but apparently this is his one winter harvest, so Alex got a good number of the tasty red treats, along with the first lettuce we've seen since October. So we had an incredible dinner: big fat slices of tomato topped with slices of local mozzarella cheese, drizzled with the olive oil we picked up at the neighboring farm in Italy. All of that on top of a nice baguette, and then some pepper and salt sprinkled on top. A little taste of summer in the midst of winter!

Our local food plans are turning out quite well. We've been using a lot of the frozen veggies that we stowed in the new chest freezer: butternut squash for pastas and a wild rice dish, red pepper for a bunch of recipes, leeks for potato-leek soup, zucchini and green beans and pesto for Steph's black bean soup, salsa verde for enchiladas, and berries on our Sunday waffles. Our un-frozen bags of garlic and shallots are holding up nicely, as are the potatoes. The onions aren't doing quite as well...some are sprouting despite being in the root cellar. We may not bring as many home in the fall next year, since plenty are available at the winter market and the farmers seem to be doing a better job of storing them than we are.

We do still buy some produce at the grocery store: the occasional spinach, celery, or fresh fruit like pears or bananas. We try hard to make sure it's at least from the US, rather than being shipped all the way from South America. In another eight to ten weeks, we should see the first local spring greens, like asparagus and maybe some early lettuce, from the farmers with heated greenhouses.

In the meantime, the miraculous tomatoes, and the balmy outside temperature of 26 degrees, give me hope that winter is not actually endless!

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