Being a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) full-time at a Nursing Center, I work every other weekend. Lately during my weekends off I’ve been visiting Winter Farmers Markets around my area… learning what they offer in Winter months (?), which markets offers more varieties (?)…
I’m realizing that if I want to make my food shopping mostly local and as healthy as possible, I will have to purchase from the farms during the Summer months and learn ways to efficiently store it for the Winter/Spring. Winter Markets’ vegetables choices in my area are VERY reduced and extremely expensive. But I’m enjoying this learning process and making the most out of my wintery trips to the Farms and their Markets.
It has been an adventure to travel and find their creative “shelters” for the winter months. This weekend’s Farmers Market was in a Vineyard – Newport Vineyards. How wonderful!!! http://www.newportvineyards.com/
The property is gorgeous and the building is outstanding, tasteful and vibrant with families and different events spread out through the entire location.
I followed the “Farmers Market” chalk signs through halls of cathedral wood ceilings. The live acoustic guitar sounds became louder and louder until I found the crowd of families carrying canvas bags… The market!
I walked the corridor of several Farmers’ Stands nestled between very large and very high columns of Wine Steel Barrels and in front of huge walls covered by Wine Wood Barrels. It took me a while to get over the surprise and beauty of this location and focus on what products where available at each farmers exhibit.
The products were of great quality and variety, but the vegetable choices were of only mushrooms, spinach, parsnip and pea sprouts. Well, beside some grass-fed and free-range meats and eggs, I also got some spinach and decided to try for the first time parsnip and pea sprouts.
At Saturday night I prepared some milk for my homemade fresh cheese and left it during the night setting in its cheese containers.
Sunday morning the fresh cheese was ready. Another rainy day! Rainy weekends make me want to “cook up a storm”!!!
When I started to cook the usual Sunday’s brunch of pancakes, bacon and eggs for my daughter, I adventured myself by preparing something more healthy and gourmet for me and my husband (my daughter would never give this dish a try…I’m still waiting for her “picky-eater” habits to mature).
I cooked hash brown with the parsnip, sweet potatoes, onions and bacon… and a sunny-side-up fried egg on top of it. Seasoned the pea sprouts with a homemade vinaigrette and some pieces of the homemade fresh cheese.
Oh, the sweetness of the root vegetables with the salty bacon, the crunchy bitter salad with the velvety fresh cheese, and the warm runny egg yolk… the perfect Symbiosis of tastes and textures. It was divine!
Now off I go to cook some dinner – Finish the butternut squash soup, roast the “free-range/hormone-free” chicken I bought at the market, make some stuffing, and roast carrots, parsnip and brussels sprouts. It’s almost dinner time.