Oh, baby, it's here at last--Opening Day of the 2016 Bellevue Farmers Market! Thursday, May 12, 3-7 pm in the Bellevue Presbyterian Church parking lot. Put down those unrecyclable plastic bags of salad mix, the take-and-bake pizza, and the pound of feedlot ground round on its styrofoam tray. Because it's the season of fresh food. Fresh food, minimal packaging (relatively), and transparent origins.
Gotta love that central location and easy, free parking. And after you take your orientation lap, you'll want to stop by the information booth to sign up for the new BFM Frequent Shopper Program. If you come by most weeks when you're in town, the Market wants to celebrate you! For the first 50 customers to hit 18 of the 25 Markets, they'll receive a $5 appreciation token to spend and a BFM reusable shopping bag. I can think of so many ways to spend that $5 token, the trick will be deciding...
But, here at Week One, there are some definite items I'll be on the prowl for. My Opening Day shopping list:
- Salad greens. Seriously, I hate those "stay-fresh" plastic bags at the store because they're --duh-- plastic and --even worse-- non-recyclable plastic, which means I've been hand-rinsing spinach leaves for months now. Can't wait to scoop up my pre-rinsed, just-picked greens. Spinach, arugula, what-have-you.
- Asparagus. Will we see some yet? Yes, I've been buying it at the store, but I've found nothing beats the nutty flavor of super fresh, local asparagus. Olive oil, salt, pepper, roasted 20-25 minutes at 425F. Or thrown on the grill, in this weather!
- Carrots. One of the two vegetables I can get my teenage son to eat.
- Apples. They're getting iffy at the store. I want a whole bag of nice crunchy ones.
- Eggs. We go through a lot. And if you read my previous post, you'll know egg quality matters. What the chickens ate matters.
- Tuna. After reading about the perils of nitrates in processed meats, including sandwich meat, alternating ham with tuna seemed like a decent idea. But what about mercury, you ask? It so happens that Fishing Vessel St. Jude's albacore has been tested and found to be low-mercury, because troll-caught fish are smaller and therefore younger. The less time you spend swimming around in polluted oceans, the less mercury you ingest. Big commercial longline fisheries catch the more mature specimens, along with all the bycatch.
- Honey. Sure hope someone has honey this week. We have about 1/8 cup left, and I need to make some granola. Honey is expensive stuff, but if I'm going to fork over the money, I want to know it's genuine (not the cheap adulterated stuff from Asia) and prefer it in glass.
- Chicken and meat.
- Some luscious baked good that I don't want to bother to make at home. A really good loaf of bread? A soft pretzel? A sticky bun? I can't say till I see it, but I'll know it when I see it.
- Pizza. No--wait--a hum bao. Make that a pupusa. A loco moco bowl. Yikes. Good thing I'll have at least 18 of 25 Markets to hit this season because I want to have some of everything.
See everyone tomorrow for music, food and fun in the sun!