Not to Be Overlooked

I once wrote a book in which a younger sister, lovely in her own right, was frequently overlooked because of her older sister's raging beauty. It wasn't the main plot, but it was a factor.

That story came to mind last Thursday because I got to the Market by 3:40, ready to buy my first Rainier cherries of the season. You know Rainiers: those blushing beauties with their sweet flavor and extra-dollar-per-pound premium. (They're the gorgeous, high-maintenance girlfriend of the cherry world.) What did I discover, but that some of you other Market customers had the exact same idea about picking up some Rainier cherries, and one family in particular came in right after the Market opened and cleaned out the inventory. Bought! It was no use whatsoever to rain down curses. The Rainiers were gone. Leaving "only" the Chelans.

Always a bridesmaid?

In the absence of Rainier cherries, however, Chelans would get their due. With their rich glow and delightful sweet-with-a-hint-of-tart flavor, they're pure awesomeness in cherry form. Only no one notices when the darned Rainiers are around. See what I mean? It's that more beautiful, older sister thing. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!

Let this be your advisory: learn to appreciate and love all cherries because, while the season started earlier, supplies may be shorter. Sam at Collins Family Orchard reports that a giant hailstorm took out a lot of cherries and apricots in their area. They didn't lose as many, but their neighbors lost plenty.
The Rainiers were back for the Saturday Market, but again, they were going fast.
The more beautiful sister - but what'd I say about the price tag?
While I'm on the subject of overlookedness, did you see we had raw milk at the Thursday Market? You might have dashed right past it, but if you've ever wanted to try it, look for this fridge:

Raw milk proponents say the awesome bacteria present (that usually gets killed off by the pasteurization process) can boost gut function and the immune system. Raw milk opponents say you take your chances and might get a lovely case of GI unhappiness. Having had both raw milk and raw milk cheese, I've not yet had a bad experience, but ask our friends at Sea Breeze Farm if you want to learn more.

Note the fridge location

And finally, those of us who don't know much about wine may have breezed past Wilridge Winery at the Saturday Market.

They've got whites, reds, and even dessert offerings, and you can even buy a refillable(!) "growler." As Wilridge points out on their site,

60% of the carbon footprint for a wine comes from the bottle...It takes only 5% of the energy necessary to melt a bottle for recycling as it does to wash a bottle for refilling.

You can even bring back the cork!

Growler on left
And on right

Wine is big business in Washington, and with the drought spreading, it promises to get even bigger in future years, per this New York Times article. I do wonder if table grapes are similarly drought-friendly because I sure would love to find those at the Market. I've seen some Concord grapes in Eastern Washington farmers markets, but none over here.

I've got more finds for you--the Market is bursting with them--but they'll have to wait for later posts. Go enjoy that sunshine!