Saturday, July 08, 2006


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What $8.50 will get you at the Farmers Market

My heart softens about this city when I find someplace as wonderful as Southside Market. It took me awhile to locate the spot, as it is in a part of town I am totally unfamiliar with. I even thought I was in the wrong place and had somehow gotten the address incorrect. This was a neighborhood!

Then there it was. People were coming out carrying large hanging baskets full of summer flowers. I saw others walking on the sidewalks with plastic bags draped over their arms. The building itself could make you smile. Shaped like the letter E, paint long ago stripped from its wooden slats.The doors thrown wide open the entire length of building so you could just glimpse in and know something was going on inside.

Once I was in I realized how much fun this place is going to be. I felt like I had stumbled into an open air market in the Bahamas! Color was everywhere. No only were just farm produce and plants offered, I also found soy candles, a butcher shop, a grill, beads and chimes, cut flowers, loads of enticing baked goods, and in the back corner a musician had set up and was serenading us making the whole experience lovely.

Before I made my way out, I came across a gentleman sitting behind a booth (cafeteria style table with sturdy legs!) reading a book. I was drawn by the smell! Laid out in front of him were baked goods wrapped in cellophane. Small breads and large cookies.

I choose the cinnamon bread (for Joe) (a treat, he has put up with me the past week with this fast).

We began to talk. "Did you bake this?"

"No, but its my recipe. Heath Department has all these rules."

We talked about the virtues of lard verses butter.

He told me he had made a Peach cobbler recently and would love to make a blackberry one. Had I seen the prices of blackberries?

He told me about making the crust and kneading in the butter and separating it out into three separate sections and rolling it out just so.

I was impressed. I told him I just slap it all together without much thought.

"Cooking is like art." He began. "I myself am a writer. I get an idea, I write about it and then I go back and edit it. I add a little here, change a little there. When I am finished, it doesn't resemble what I started out with at all".

I asked him to make me a peach cobble and hide it under his table.

I'm certain it is a masterpiece.

1 comment:

Lisa :-] said...

You are a natural at the art of the interview, Mary. It's why your travel tales are so interesting. You understand that it is people that make the stories, and you're not afraid to engage them.

The place reminds me of the Olympia Farmers' Market up in Washington, where Robbie and I met last July...