Bloomington Farmer’s Market
Since coming here, I haven’t missed a single Farmer’s Market Saturday. Getting up early for this is so worth it, especially since…. drumroll please… I now have cooking utensils, pots, pans, a TOASTER and some nice produce in my fridge! Thanks, Grandma!
Reality kind of sunk in when I discovered yesterday that my room was infested with ants. Yeah, I’m kind of a slob, but I’m a clothes slob, not a food one. When I told the people at the front desk, the person they called seemed annoyed and said to “Tell the person not to leave open soda cans around.” Excuse me, but I don’t even drink soda. She was probably imagining a guy’s room full of Doritos and Mountain Dew, but I have only girly snacks: nut butters, granola bars, cereal, and trail mix.
Anyways, the Farmer’s Market is bigger than our Chicago one, Green City Market, which makes sense, given that most of the stuff in Chicago is grown in either Wisconsin or Indiana. When it comes to breakfast, the main options are pastries (vegan and non-vegan), quiche, and tamales. The tamales always look really good, with fillings like black bean and goat cheese, but I can’t really stomach those in the morning. There is always coffee, chai and smoothies.
These are black raspberries, not blackberries. Traders point Creamery is amazing. Even as I write this I’m eating some of their yogurt, which is really almost a yogurt drink, like kefir. Their cottage cheese is the perfect small curd texture. The curds and whey aren’t obviously separated, and it’s creamy without being too salty. On toast with some cucumber or radishes and a dash of black pepper, it’s heaven. Today I also sampled some of their fromage blanc, which comes in plain, herb, and spicy flavors. It was also really good, like a cream cheese or mild goat cheese, but I think I’ll stick with yogurt and cottage cheese. They also have milk, but only whole and chocolate.
This is my favorite honey stand. Not only do they have honey sticks, raw honey and beeswax candles, but they also have these honey + nut toppings that are great with yogurt and ice cream (apparently). They sell pecan, almond and walnut. I have a jar of the walnut topping and it goes especially well with the goats milk yogurt I bought at Bloomingfoods (Basically the Bloomington equivalent of Whole Foods). In case you’re curious, goats milk yogurt tastes basically like yogurt with a faint “goat cheese” aftertaste. There’s also always lots of live entertainment: Bloomington Community Band, local bands, little kids playing violin…. today I even saw a Chinese guy playing the erhu.
So today at the Farmer’s Market I bought green onions, garlic, an ear of corn, zucchini and summer squash, heirloom tomatoes, peaches, raspberries, vanilla yogurt, cottage cheese, and a lettuce mix. I so wanted to buy some okra or swiss chard or kale…. but next time, if I actually start cooking. So far, I haven’t been doing much with these ingredients, but they’re so fresh that in my opinion, simple is better.