On Sundays I feel passionate romance in a very bright, public setting.  Fresh aroma of sweet fruits and organic, local fare, smiling faces and sun shining.  Mmmm how I love the FARMER’S MARKET!  My husband and I love going to the Sunday Farmer’s Market!  Don’t worry…If you’re living somewhere with snowy winters, you can always re-create the vibe in the produce section!  As we walk-feeling the warm embrace of the sun, we slowly scan the offerings and let the vibrant colors draw us in closer.  Joe will pick up a tomato, and make eye contact with me before he gives the delicate plump fruit a smooch!  He loves to kiss his food-have I mentioned this before?!  We walk hand in hand, in gratitude that these incredible people are sharing such gifts!

connect with your food and give it a smooch!

If you haven’t been on a farm, consider how much time and attention that is required to grow produce!  I have to be honest…a tomato plant has died in my care.  It was quite sad.  The plant was all happy and green and full of happy little cherry tomatoes.  Then one day, the plant looked a little wilted.  We moved it out of the sun, but the cold snap caught us by surprise-annnd-our tomato plant didn’t make it.  Unless you’re ready to grow your own garden, your local farmer’s market is an important place to get familiar with.  We are so lucky to have people put time and energy into growing food for us!  Consider how much extra time you have in day because someone else is growing your food!  If you do in fact, have your own garden…bravo!  You’re amazing!  We do grow our own mushrooms, as we’re do not consume animal meat in our home.  Mushrooms are a fantastic source of protein and powerful nutrients.  I’m excited to share everything fungus-related in following posts!

Pearl Oyster mushrooms! Yummy 🙂

I feel fortunate to have been raised in Madison, Wisconsin.  The Dane County Farmer’s Market has been reported as the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the country.  All items were produced by the vendors and there is no re-sale allowed. Over 160 vendors are present on Saturday mornings and 300 throughout the year!  I loved going as a child and being in the huge crowds of people with their canvas shopping bags, overflowing with bright leafy greens and fresh cut flowers!  There’s so many sights and sounds and smells, it’s a complete sensory overload!  There are street musicians, arts and crafts vendors, non-profit and political activist booths…there’s so much to learn and enjoy.

Scenes from the Dane County Farmer’s Market: my sister and son enjoying the huge grassy area to play, a funky and creative street performer, my sister and son finding pizza in an unexpected place, and yet another talented street performer!

When I was very young, my favorite was the “squeaky cheese curds.”  Things have changed now, but way back when, there was something so gratifying about biting into a cheese curd that made a little squeaky noise and I took a bite.  Thinking back, this makes me feel a bit strange as I describe it, but the sensation was pure joy.  If you’ve never been to Wisconsin, it’s just dawned on me that you may wonder what the hell I’m talking about!

squeaky cheese curds!

I truly believe that my husband and I have a deeper connection that we developed through our love of the farmer’s market.  He’s had the wonderful opportunity of visiting Madison’s Farmer’s Market with me and now we have fun exploring all of the options in northern California.  We even found a few small ones in South Jersey!  We enjoy picking vegetables together and appreciating their aesthetic beauty.  I hold the bag open, he picks the most attractive happy little broccoli florets or head of cauliflower…or vice versa.  There’s a whole fun experience to be had!

When we arrive home with all of our goodies after-I’ve already mentioned the stories of “cooking love in the kitchen.”  It’s best to wash and prep everything immediately after arriving home.  Prepping can be a daunting task and batching is the way to make it manageable.  Clean the sink with whatever eco-friendly supplies you have.  My favorite is a low quality, inexpensive grain alcohol.  Yup!  Russian Vodka really does the trick.  I wouldn’t drink it if someone paid me, but I would certainly sanitize my kitchen sink with it.  A little in a spray bottle or on a sponge should do the trick! This is a whole other subject, but throw your sponge in the microwave if you have one-for about 10 seconds.  This will sanitize your kitchen sponges!  This is the ONLY use I ever had for our microwave.  I am NOT an advocate for putting “micro-waves” in food.  Microwaves completely destroy the nutrients in food.  I’ll save this for a later post!!

use this to clean!

After you’ve cleaned the sink, fill it up with cold water and squeeze in about 15 drops of Grapefruit seed extract or GSE.  Toss all of your beautiful produce in the sink, and let them sit for a bit while you grab all the containers you need out of the cupboards to store them.  The GSE is great for getting rid of any bacteria, fungus or pests naturally.  Take them out of the water after about 10 minutes and let them dry on a towel for a few hours, or put the leafy greens in a salad spinner.  You can go an extra step and cut them all so they’re ready to toss in a pan, but it depends on how much time you have before cooking during the week.

fresh prepped Farmer’s Market veggies!

Turn your shopping into a romantic date at the Farmer’s market!  If it’s not the season, spend a few extra minutes in the produce section and infuse those extra moments with sensuality.  Smell the fruits, and you can even consider giving a few tomatoes a smooch!  Do this with your lover and make it fun by indulging in sensory pleasure.

Let me know in the comments below when you dive into this romantic food adventure!  Did you discover a new craving of your lover’s?  Did you give a kiss to happy little apple?

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