This Little Piggie Went to Market

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romanescoToday my husband and I went to our local farmer’s market, the Saturday Morning Market. It’s huge and awesome and a great way to get excited about eating healthy foods. That’s one of the great things about living in Florida – it’s February and rather than being buried under three feet of snow, we’re entering the best time of the year for local produce. (I’m not trying to rub it in, really. I mean, come July, the temperature will be 98 degrees with 319% humidity. I have to enjoy the weather while I can. The polar vortex has fucked everyone else in the country over, but it’s given us a solid two months of crisp autumn weather, which has been really lovely.)

We loaded up on organic, local fare, including Romanesco broccoli. I don’t know how I’ve gone 38 years without ever having seen it before, but Romanesco broccoli is pretty much the most beautiful vegetable that has ever existed. Not that it has much competition. (I’m looking at you, turnips.) Anyway, Romanesco broccoli (or cauliflower, depending on your loyalties – it’s called both) is an example of a naturally occurring fractal. I don’t really know what a fractal is, just that twenty years ago, in college, everybody liked getting high and looking at them. We actually had a cable access television channel that was nothing but fractals. (Kids, see what we had to do to amuse ourselves before the Internet?)

Besides all the local farms, there are also a number of artisan craft makers and homemade food stands. I just had to stop at “Old Fashioned Goodness”, a candy booth operated by an adorable older couple. Thirty seconds earlier I had sworn off empty calories in favor of the natural, delicious bounty of fruits and veggies we are blessed with on this planet, but they were giving out free samples of chocolate fudge and salted caramels. I’m only human.

I forgot to mention, one of the things I love about this market is that a lot of people bring their dogs. (Not us, mind you. Our dogs are terrible. Fletcher is sweet and friendly, but Lucy thinks she’s in the Secret Service and I’m the President. She’s a fifteen pound, fluffy killing machine. We can’t take her anywhere.) There were so many big and little sweeties – an assortment of dogs as varied as their owners.

benetton_eggsA few minutes after visiting the homemade candy booth, while Bryan was standing in line to pay $5 for a dozen mismatched eggs, I started digging into my fudge. As I reached into the little bag and unwrapped a single piece of peanut butter fudge wrapped in noisy cellophane, every dog within a ten foot radius promptly stopped in their tracks and gave me the “Treat?” stare. It’s funny how universal that is. I almost felt bad, but I wasn’t planning on sharing my goodies with my husband, let alone some strange dogs.

Now that we’re home and my homemade candy is long since eaten, I have to look up some recipes for cooking all of these fresh, delicious vegetables we bought before they rot an ugly death in the crisper. Maybe later I’ll put on some Pink Floyd, turn on the black light, and stare at my Romanesco broccoli.

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