Updated 2008-09-14 15:09:21 ID=114:3

© 2008 The Romantic Table
©2008 The Romantic Table 2008-09-14 15:09:00:49
©2008 The Romantic Table

There is still a good selection of summer produce like heirloom tomatoes in the market.

Templeton Farmers Market September 13, 2008

There was a cool crisp breeze and light fog this morning at the market. No doubt about it, Fall is on its way.

It was a cool crisp morning at Farmers Market today. --Good sleeping weather and as a result there were fewer early morning shoppers lined up in front of the vendors' booths.

We have company from New York City coming this next week to stay with us and I wanted to have plenty of fruit on hand for their enjoyment. -We take a lot of our bounty for granted out here. Back East, they don't have the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables that we do here and I don't want to disappoint them.

I headed straight to Cody Farms peach booth for some picture-perfect peaches. Then I went on looking at all the different booths to see who "new" had popped-up.

Just down from the Cody Farms booth, was a new vendor-Jim Welt of Atascadero's Graves Creek part of town. He had some very strange-looking baskets of strange small fruit that I had never seen before. The fruit in question is called "JuJubes." They are a Middle East variety not often seen here. Mr. DeWelt grows them in his garden. He said that they were very unusual-not normally seen here. At fifty cents a basket, and always "game" to try something new, I bought a basket.(When I was a little girl and would go to the movies, I used to buy the candy "JuJubees".--It wasn't that good, but it would last a long time because the candy would stick to my teeth!) I wondered if that candy was based on this unusual fruit with the similar name. After buying the basket, I tried a small piece of fruit. It was very dry but DID taste like that "long-ago candy!" I asked Mr. DeWelt how you use them. --He didn't know how to use them either. They taste between a date and a dried apple. --perhaps you could cut them up in a salad or something.

Next up I had to find some basil. My regular source, Le Forts Organic Crops booth, wasn't there this week. I ended-up buying some Basil from Maria from Bakersfield--a regular at all the farmers markets.

There were many booths with wine grapes as well as table seedless varieties, also more cold crops are showing up. Raspberries of many varieties are also available, Still lots of figs, but few of the Mission variety.

Next up, I needed a half-flat of strawberries to last until Monday, -Then on Tuesday, I'll buy a full-flat on Tuesday's Farmers Market in Paso Robles. My niece Carrie is coming and has requested lots of strawberries during her stay, and I aim to please!

I also needed some tomatoes to make the sauce for our Eggplant Lasagna. Tomatoes are in plentiful supply and going for $1.50 per pound for the red variety, and up to $3.00 per pound for good-tasting Heirlooms. I got mine and we were off!

On the way home, we swung past the new seafood market , "Pier 46", in Templeton next to Trader Joes. They had some beautiful Manila Clams and I've really been craving the recipe Fresh Clams in White Wine Sauce with Linguine. I made my purchase and we were on our way. I'm so glad to have another source for fresh fish!

It was a fun morning! It started pretty cold, but that made the morning mug of coffee so much better. It was fun to wear clothes that layer again and to see both the final burst of summer and early Fall produce available, It's a cook's delight and has so many options. This should be a fun "food week!"

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A tip from Sue!

Shake That Can!

When selecting a can of vegetables, fruit or stew-like contents, while holding the can in your hand and carefully rotating it back and forth, you can tell just HOW MUCH volume is made up of actual solids versus liquid (i.e buying a can of canned whole tomatoes in their juices). The less slippage back and forth, the higher the solid food-content versus liquid and a better bargain for the price!