Updated 2009-01-11 15:06:22 ID=268:3

© 2009 The Romantic Table
©2009 The Romantic Table 2009-01-04 18:27:03:102
©2009 The Romantic Table

Teresa and Roberto of Twin Berry Farms from Santa Maria had flats of fresh strawberries!

Farmers Market January 10, 2009

What a frigid morning it was, but I braved the cold and picked-up some more of Farmers Market's best!

It was a densely foggy and cold morning today, but I was determined to get stocked-up on some more of my basics to get me through the week. I shopped alone today because my husband was doing his own shivering at an early morning vine-pruning seminar.

When I arrived at the Templeton Park, I noted that the cold and fog must have convinced some of the "regulars" (both vendors and shoppers) to stay home and warm. But I wasn't fazed, this meant I had an even better selection of parking places to make my shopping quicker and a lot of produce to choose from.

I stopped first at Gary Billington's "Sunrise Desert Tropical" booth to buy some more dates. I asked how late in the year will he be selling dates. --Until April or May! That's a pretty long season! I also asked what was the best way to store them. He told me in a "Tupperware" container that's refrigerated and they'll keep really well. Ah! The plot thickens! If that's the case, I can stock-up on my favorites to carry me through until peak strawberry season, which I'll probably switch to when it's warmer.

Just next to him was Donna Olsen from NPO Organic Pistachios. I asked how they process their pistachios. I learned that they hire two men to knock the nuts down, and then Donna and Celcia's family and friends do the harvesting themselves. However the roasting and final processing is shipped out. They sell at the following Farmers Markets: Templeton, Paso Robles, Baywood Park/Los Osos and Cambria.

I passed Twin Berry Farm booth and they had gorgeous strawberries in this frigid weather! --We are so lucky to have such a vast array of produce year-round to us!

©2009 The Romantic Table, Winter Spinach Salad with Persimmons and Sesame Seeds 2009-01-11 15:08:22:108
©2009 The Romantic Table

Winter Spinach Salad with Persimmons and Sesame Seeds
I walked on and wanted a few more Persimmons from Dragon Spring Farm. This is the last week for the Persimmons from this booth. The Persimmon season is over- at least for them. I'm going to miss their fresh flavor! But I've got enough now in cold storage to last about half a month, used on salads like Winter Spinach Salad with Persimmons and Sesame Seeds. But I'll be frugal with their use!

Just down from Dragon Spring Farm, was the Mount Olive booth. There, I bought a few gorgeous Fugi apples at $3.00 a pound which is rather pricey, but their quality is extremely good (and they're about the only good Fuji apples available. You know the rule about "market price:Supply and Demand!) I'll have to savor these apples!

On my way back to the car, I saw some gorgeous peppery arugula at the Bautista Farm booth, for $2.00 a big bunch. I bought one nice bunch and thought one way or another, we'll find a use for it: either Arugula Salad with walnut-olive dressing or an ingredient of a filling for some ravioli.

With my finds I then scurried to my car. The fog and cold were still present but I was so glad I came! This weather really woke me up! I felt like taking on the world again! I hope that this is the start of a good week!

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A tip from Sue!

Eating well with no guilt!

For those health-conscious, alternate a "healthy meal" just before and after a "splurge meal." You can enjoy the food much more when you're not plagued by guilt! And this keeps you on a self-imposed "mini-diet" and maintains your weight much better than if you haphazardly eat at random.