Farmer’s Market – Finally, asparagus!

I have asparagus!  I have asparagus!  I have lovely, lovely, green, gorgeous asparagus!

Indeed, I have so much asparagus that I can barely fit it in the fridge (especially with all the Shakespeare food) – I’ve packed my largest tupperware box with it, and my second largest one, too!  I positively have a *glut* of asparagus!  Look!

Behold! The asparagus is here!

That’s 2 1/2 kilograms of asparagus, that is.  Also, four leeks and two bunches of rhubarb, but mostly it’s ASPARAGUS.  Is it not a joy to behold?

(I admit, I’m sort of glad I didn’t take the lady up on her offer of 7 kilograms of the stuff.  I’ve never bought vegetables in bulk before and this was quite astonishing enough)

But let us return from these elevated heights of asparagaciousness to more humble levels of vegetable-hood.

There’s nothing humble about this array. And, incidentally, I have asparagus! See if you can spot it!

Hello, everyone!  I went to the farmers’ market today! What with it being a Shakespeare weekend, and having had a delivery of lamb, beef, and gorgeous free-range eggs today, I decided to keep things pretty simple today.  But of course the first thing I saw when I walked in to the building was that amazing stand full of luscious, vibrant greens.  It was so gorgeous that I photographed it on my new phone, which turned out to be a bad idea because I can’t actually upload photos from my new phone on my elderly computer.  So you will simply have to imagine the sea of green from which this lovely bunch of healthy delights emerged.

It’s not easy being green…

I had to make the most of my greens, because next week is the fifth Sunday of the month, which means we’ll be back on 1st and 3rd Sundays again from November, and the Green Man (not his real identity) only comes on the 2nd and the 4th week of the month.  Fortunately, my lovely Italian vegetable lady comes on the 1st and 3rd Sundays, so that’s something to look forward to.  Anyway, I bought parsley and coriander and sorrel and watercress and baby spinach, a great glowing armful of it, which is going to be tonight’s dinner along with the leg of lamb I got from Koallah.  I have this beautiful Diana Henry recipe for roast lamb with rice and lots of green leafy things – just right for a nice, healthy dinner after a Shakespeare party the day before.

(there may also be some asparagus on the side)

I then went over and danced at the asparagus, to the amusement of the lady who brought it in.  She’s going to bring me a kilo of asparagus every fortnight until the season is over.  So I now have my own personal asparagus dealer.  I danced some more, and bought broccoli and carrots and onions and baby leeks, barely pausing to breathe between making excited remarks about asparagus!  Asparagus!  Mine, all mine!

Brassica! Brassica!

(I have bought asparagus seedlings now.  I just have to plant them – and wait for two years.  But then all the asparagus will be MINE!)

We hadn’t actually had breakfast, because I forgot about that with all my Shakespeare cooking yesterday (which I will tell you all about very soon, and can you tell that I haven’t had enough sleep and am bouncing off the walls right now?  I was much worse than this at the market, too.), and I’d spent the early morning hours making cupcakes and whipping cream and doing washing and cleaning the table and making bread dough for spinach pies, so we shimmied over to the Turkish stall next door, where we bought strange and delicious flatbreads filled with pumpkin and with spinach, and also Turkish bread for the Shakespeare feast, which I then cunningly put down somewhere and forgot to bring home with us (I was rather sleep-deprived, remember).

So then we went to the stall that I like to think of as the Weird Coloured Vegetable stall, which was when I suddenly realised that I did not have enough food for Shakespeare and therefore had to buy multicoloured radishes.

I love these!  They are called Easter Egg Radishes because they come in all different colours and you don’t know what they will be until you pull them up.  Magical mystery vegetables!  I have planted seeds for these at home and they’ve started coming up, so I have high hopes!

This was, admittedly, a feeble excuse to buy radishes, especially when you consider that I can never figure out what to do with them once I have them, but you have to admit that those are very pretty radishes indeed.  I also bought purple and yellow carrots on equally flimsy grounds.

I love the autumn-leaf colours of these root vegetables.  It’s so easy to forget that they actually come up in spring…

I did buy rhubarb with actual concrete plans about what to do with it – stymied for now by the sheer quantity of Shakespeare leftovers (which I really could have predicted if I had any sense at all) – and cauliflower, just because they were little and cute and the broccoli needed a friend.  And then I went and sensibly bought sourdough bread, which did actually make it into the car.

Oh, and I forgot about apples.  So I ran back to get some.

New season apples. Do we even have ripe apples in spring? The evidence suggests we do.

And then I brought them all home and laid them out on the table in a big beautiful rainbow of colours – you can really tell we are getting into late spring now – all those lovely yellow-greens are being joined by oranges and pinks and yellows and reds.  We’re in the most beautiful season for vegetables, and it’s only going to get better through summer.

Simply glorious.  Especially the asparagus…

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7 comments for “Farmer’s Market – Finally, asparagus!

  1. Gillian (Reynardo)
    October 24, 2011 at 11:10 am

    If you can’t work out the upload for the time being, you can always email yourself the photos.

    Note to self: do not eat today. Not that I want to. the food yesterday…

    • October 24, 2011 at 3:02 pm

      I might try that later. I also want to upload the video of Mayhem ravishing the rhubarb (and then turning around and starting to wash herself whenever she noticed me filming her).

  2. Carla
    October 24, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    I adore the Easter Egg radishes, and I love purple carrots!

    Early in our relationship, Thorf and I had an interesting conversation about radishes which involved comparing different cultural uses for the same vegetable:
    CD: *mentions putting radish in a salad*
    T: *looking incredulous* Radish in a salad?!?!?
    CD: *looking puzzled* Yeah, what else would you do with them?
    T: You put them in soup!
    CD: *looking incredulous* Radish in soup?!?!?!

    Needless to say we have now tried each others’ ways of serving radishes and thoroughly approve of both!

    • October 24, 2011 at 3:44 pm

      My absolute favourite thing to do with radishes is slice them very finely and make little tea-time sandwiches of them – good white bread, mayonnaise with a little lemon zest stirred into it, radishes and fresh mint leaves. Yum.

      I grew some immense black radishes last year (because I completely forgot they were in the ground) and tried roasting them. Very odd flavour, that…

      • Megan
        October 24, 2011 at 5:47 pm

        I have a somewhat fiddly suggestion of a thing to do with radishes – slice them, pat the slices on paper towel or a clean tea-towel so that one side of the slice is dry enough to spread thinly with butter or nuttelex, then press the buttered side into a saucer of sesame seeds and press so the seeds stick.

        I loathed this as a child, because some hippie mother or another was always trying to pass a plate of it off as ‘just like fairy bread!’ and not fooling anyone, but later on I discovered I actually kind of missed it, so now I make it occasionally. Not as often as I make fairy bread, though:)

      • Carla
        October 25, 2011 at 11:11 am

        Oh, those sandwiches sound lovely!

        Radishes in soup are intriguing though. You know how raw radish has a slightly peppery flavour? Not when it’s cooked it doesn’t! Thorf cooks a lovely pork and radish soup. You take pork ribs and radishes and put them in a pot with water or stock. Once cooked, the red colour on the outside of the radishes comes off entirely and goes into the soup, which gives it a nice red-brown colour. And the radishes are soft and taste quite sweet!

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