Even when you lose an hour of sleep, Sundays are still the best days.
There’s something about the sunshine and the air and the breeze on a Sunday that’s different from all the other days. There are a few farmers markets open year-round here in Seattle. So, for the last few weeks, we’ve woken to brilliant sunshine and the brightest blue sky, walked a few blocks to catch the bus, and wandered through the Ballard Farmers Market.
After moving across the country, I felt a little lost. I worked at and shopped at several different markets around Atlanta over the last few years, and I didn’t quite know what to do with myself in a grocery store. I wandered through Pike Place Market, chatted with a butcher (and checked out her walk-in fridge), and scoped out the stands heaping with fresh (but not always local) produce.
Walking into the cluster of tents at Ballard Farmers Market, I felt instantly at home. There was a hotdog stand, artists, jewelers, soap makers, musicians with banjos, acoustic guitars, and even violins wafting among the chatter of vendors, shoppers and little kids. A jolly man caught glimpse of my camera and exclaimed, “A real camera?! Not just your phone?!” He handed me a huge hunk of smoked salmon to sample.
Spring came early to Seattle. I don’t think we even experienced a true winter season. That’s what the locals keep telling me, warning me I still don’t know a “real Seattle rain.” I’ll take it, this easy, sunny winter.
I love the in-between seasons best. When winter’s harvest is still abundant, those last squash, potatoes and hardy greens are lingering and hanging on for anyone who isn’t sick of them yet. But also when the bright, soft and new growth of the coming season slowly arrives, like that Miner’s Lettuce. With the daffodils already in bloom, it’s one of the first sure signs of spring.
Sunlight glinted off of the most amazing, colorful heads of cabbage. There was milk and cheese and — much to my surprise and delight — local wines, beers and hard ciders available for sample and for sale. Fresh-pressed tart cherry juice, and the most incredible local butcher.
New to us, too, is all the seafood. Wild caught, frozen salmon — whole, portioned, smoked. Coho, Keta, King, Sockeye. Canned salmon, salmon jerky, salmon burgers. There were oysters and shellfish, too.
The land has a quality of time which steadies us. When you come to a place, honor her rhythm and her voice.
— Fredric Lehrman
Fresh from the Market
This week, we filled our baskets with greens, hardy root vegetables, mushrooms and meat.
- Neptune apples
- Andouille sausage
- Butterball potatoes
- Baby flowering kale
- Brussels sprouts
- Dried porcini mushrooms
- Fresh herbs: cilantro, garlic chives, mint and sage
- Miner’s Lettuce
- Mt. Townsend Creamery Red Alder Toma cheese
- Pork chops (bone-in)
- Roasting roots medley (includes baby beets, carrots, turnips and sunchokes)
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Whole chicken