Your Multi-Purpose Farmers Market

Don't know if you're on Twitter (I'm @CNDudley), which I'd describe as Facebook for people who don't have time for Facebook (believe me--those 140-character tweet limits are an unmitigated blessing). Twitter also allows you to follow people you don't actually know, which explains why I've been getting tweets up the ying-yang about this one guy's Paris vacation, several of which concerned the food he was eating.

I'm happy to report that, while the Bellevue Farmers Market can't bring you the Eiffel Tower, it can bring some fabulous food to your life, including macarons to equal those at Laduree. Check out Lilli-Pilli's offerings:

Little beauties

Close-up on the July 4th/Bastille Day decoration

Perfect hostess gift or pack for later!

Lilli-Pilli's French-style "macarons" (almond-flavored) are not to be confused with the also-tasty but very American macaroons, which are little haystacks of coconut. As an almond-paste fiend there's no doubt which side of the macaron/macaroon fence I fall on, and Lilli-Pilli's single-serving price makes it possible to try a different flavor each week!

So that's the Market as Trip to Paris.

There's also the Market as Barter Economy. I have a friend who hits her closest farmers market every summer to load up on ripe local fruit that she then turns into d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s jams. If you don't happen to teach Lynn's kids or otherwise be on her Christmas list, too bad for you. The most you get is a lick off the napkin under her morning toast. Fortunately for me, Lynn wanted a copy of my latest book, and in return, I scored three jars of her creations: Blueberry, Apricot, and Pluot! I'm hoping each of us felt like we came out ahead.

No idea why this pic is sideways

Yes, fruit is in full swing, for you jam-makers and pie-makers. My husband has instructed me to get a half-flat of blueberries this Thursday so he can make and freeze the year's pies. I might rustle up a peach pie or two, once the freestone varieties come in. Most people, myself included, will do just about anything for food, so whip something up with the summer's best, and see what it gets you.

And finally, there's the Market as your Source for Grillables. Seriously, if it's 5:00 p.m. and you haven't given a thought to dinner, grab whatever you bought at the Market, drizzle it with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and throw it on the grill. That goes for salmon, steak, sausages, onions, bell peppers, potatoes (nuke for a few minutes first), asparagus, baby bok choy, cherry tomatoes, you-name-it. Absolutely everything tastes better with a little olive oil and carmelization. Mm...

Hey! Mine wasn't a set of three!

I bought my hub this particular grill tray from Sur La Table, and it's perfect for all grillables, especially those that might fall through the barbecue rack into the glowing embers (no gas grill at our house).


Whatever your purpose, we'll see you at the Market Thursday or Sunday.