Life is good. Spring time sunshine and cool breezes abound, and everything is so green and lush. It’s officially my favorite season in Atlanta. When I lived in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, the falls were absolutely majestic- leaves like rainbow colored tapestries decorating the hills. But here, spring takes the cake as the most lovely time of year, and I am glad to be fortunate enough to enjoy every little bit of it.
While I didn’t see any cake this week at the Grant Park Farmers Market, I did eyeball mountains of baked goods as I walked up towards H & F.
I wonder how early in the morning they begin creating this impressive array of sweet and savory delicacies. Their hard work is never lost on Adam and I.
This week, we arrived around 10 am, so our beloved bacon croissant was awaiting us.
Thank goodness we can only delve into this level of gluttony once a week. Ho-ly cow. Or pig, to be accurate.
We started at the very beginning of the line of vendors this time and weaved our way through the crowds of happy folks, stopping to admire and purchase some goodies along the way.
I couldn’t get Beautiful Briny Sea out of my head all week long. I had a pressing need to own at least one kind of their salt. We started with the Magic Unicorn- a veritable kaleidoscope of flavors funneled into a neat little salt tin. We’ve tapped into that tin several times this week, and this salt packs an awesome punch!
Next, we sampled several of One Screw Loose’s jelly concoctions. They incorporate a variety of ingredients into their products, including locally brewed Sweetwater beer. I can envision slathering their jams on meat while it’s grilling, forming a wonderful glaze. Mmmm.
There was a face painting station set up this week. What fun!
Next up was Le Tre Lune. They had a beautiful spread including
yu choy sum, a Chinese sprouting broccoli,
picturesque spring onions (which I had to buy), and parsley,
another must for my take-home bag.
Then, I fell in love once again with mushrooms.
Atlanta Gourmet Mushroom provided recipe cards too.
We utilized our spring onions to cook these beauties up in a pan on our grill.
I don’t think there are words to describe the deliciousness…they were sultry- like the good fatty part of a slow cooked pork shoulder. Luscious, meaty, divine.
Next, our friends from Crack in the Sidewalk Farmlet had a colorful spread.
and mulberries that came highly recommended by Adam Lowe, whose hands were stained purple from the juice.
Their flowery salad mix is always tempting, but this time around, I grabbed a bag of those sunflower sprouts. And I made the most delectable salad.
Sort of a kitchen sink salad, really. Spinach and diced kohlrabi from Jackson Lowe, lettuce from Cosmos Organics, sprouts from Crack in the Sidewalk, pistachios that I had leftover from making Asian Turkey Meatballs, shredded carrots leftover from slaw, a rib of celery, and a yummy herbed yogurt dressing I made using Atlanta Fresh’s plain yogurt. I thought the salad was so big that I would save some for my friend, Jess…alas, I ate the entire thing. Couldn’t stop taking bites of the fresh crunchiness. True story.
This week, Antonio was back with his pasta,
smiling as usual, chatting it up with the crowd.
Mary and I discussed her flavored goat cheese,
one of which was reminiscent of the goat cheese/ cream cheese mixture we used to stuff our sweet peppers a few weeks back.
She suggested grilling the peppers upside down, once they’ve been hollowed out, and stuffing them with cheese after they’re grilled. Sounds like a great plan!
Jackson Lowe’s table was next in line, and it was brimming over with gigantic kale!
I’m so grateful to be able to play with the likes of these radishes,
sweet Hakurei turnips,
and Red Russian kale,
perfect for making kale wraps!
White Bean Kale Wraps recipe coming soon!
I was super glad to see Patchwork City Farms back at the market this week.
Their table is always vibrant and loaded with herbs. I took home a bundle of their lovely thyme.
Drool with me for a moment over these double chocolate cookies from The Little Tart Bakeshop.
I bet they taste even better than they look.
These apple cheddar turnovers are a mouthful of perfection as well.
Love is Love’s basil
makes me long for tomatoes and the quintessential Caprese Salad. Soon, my friends. Soon.
This week, Oakleaf Mennonite’s farmers taught me about something new – fresh coriander seeds.
So citrus-y and bold, they make a perfect topper for curry or a gently cooked white fish.
They were also selling tomato and celosia plants
along with turnips.
Prowell’s Pasture intrigued me with their bamboo shoots,
which I have only seen in a can up ’til now.
I appreciate the color, shape, texture, and taste of this sword lettuce,
but what made me smile most was their sign.
We love you too.
It’s always a party at Atlanta Fresh’s table.
And if their products weren’t so seriously amazing, I might think it was all just for fun.
Sweet Georgia Grains offers samples of their small batch granolas,
and this time I tried their Sweet Savory Rosemary. Different- but definitely a smart snack option.
Towards the end of the line, there are snacks for dogs too- rightfully so, as dogs love to hang out at the market just as much as humans.
Lastly, I grabbed some of Nazifa’s whole wheat naan,
because I cannot stand when I don’t have it on hand, and because we wanted to make pizza this week using our kohlrabi leaves,
bacon, ricotta, and sweet peas.
You can’t beat a 10 minute cook-time for a delicious dinner at the end of a long Monday.
This was our bounty for the week.
So many wonderful vendors sharing the spoils of their hard work. I am incredibly lucky to be a part of this community and the local food movement that is growing so strong right here Atlanta. Funny, when I moved here, almost 13 years ago, I thought I was choosing a big city with big city advantages. And, to a certain extent, that is true. We have access to spectacular live music, art, festivals, sporting events, a huge airport, the massive aquarium, etc. But, what I really find all these years later, is that I am completely taken by the small-town feel of our in-town neighborhoods and the inspiring people who contribute to making a healthier, happier society. This line really captures how I see it, “A place like this has a can-do climate, a practical problem-solving approach in which a community takes control of its own destiny.” I am beyond grateful to live and work in this type of environment. In the wise words of Chris Clinton from Crack in the Sidewalk Farmlet, food connects everybody.
Get involved. Get out there and enjoy the positivity right in our own backyard.
Happy marketing to you,