Updated 2009-02-09 17:00:58 ID=302:3

© 2009 The Romantic Table

Farmers Market Report February 7, 2009

A welcomed rain didn't ruin my outing at this morning's Templeton Farmers Market

It was a gray gloomy rainy day, but that didn't deter me from checking in at today's Templeton Farmers Market. I'm solo again today because my husband is working on one of our offices.

Though the rain did cut down on the number of shoppers, most of the food-vendors made a showing. I parked near the Olde Port Fisheries booth, and noting that there were no customers waiting, I took advantage of the time to ask Chris, their salesman, a few questions.

First of all I asked him if he had any fresh Mexican white shrimp for my Shrimp Risotto that I want to make this weekend. He didn't and he explained during the Winter, his company cuts back on some of the more exotic varieties of seafood because they just don't have the volume of traffic to warrant stocking them. This time of year, if they can get them they get these fish in five pound blocks for their restaurant clientèle. However, those wanting this variety can call ahead on Friday afternoons to see if they are available and can reserve them to be brought up to the Farmers Market on Saturday to buy them.

I then asked Chris about their fresh lobster meat (available at $14.99 per pound). He's been having a hard time keeping it in stock, but plans to have more of it available in the upcoming Saturday mornings. The best thing to do when wanting this, is to call ahead to their store on Fridays and order some to be reserved and brought up to the Farmers Market booth for delivery. He mentioned that his favorite way of using the lobster meat was to buy a little bit and have it used in an omelet for lunch. That got us talking about some of our favorite seafood recipes.

By this time, a customer came up behind me, so I bid him farewell and went on my way. On down I walked seeing what was new in the market. I saw that Oak Hill Mushrooms had some enticing crackers spread with their house wild mushroom mixture. Co-owner Leah Bailey was enjoying some piping hot coffee (which looked good right then.) I wished her well and went on.

Down at Arroyo Grande Greenhouses, they had some beautiful color plants that were thriving in the cold temperatures.

Down at Stolley's Bee Farm booth, from Atascadero, Carlos (their salesperson) was patiently waiting for customers. I stopped and asked him if he had any Eucalyptus honey yet. (That's my favorite variety. It's very intense!) He said the hives are about ready now, but due to the rain they haven't been able to get into the fields. This is good news! It should be ready soon! Maybe in a couple weeks or so it'll be here!

I then continued on. Again there were three produce vendors with strawberries! --Even in this weather!

I did notice one missing booth: Y Hayashi and Sons They're located in Arroyo Grande. They probably couldn't get into their fields as well. - Oh! I'm so glad that I have a batch of last week's Brussels Sprouts to use this week.

On I walked down to Gary Billington's Sunrise Desert Tropical All his dates were well stocked but the Medjools looked especially appetizing. A number of his customers were looking at and busying his tropical floral plants. I wished him well and then walked on.

By now the rain was starting to penetrate my jacket so I decided to head for home and have some of my own hot coffee! It was fun seeing everyone today. Everyone was happy about the rain! -We need it so!

Hopefully next week our County's vendor's farms will be even more green and be in the process of growing even more bounty for us to share!

See you next week!

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A tip from Sue!

Cut down on the splatters as you fry or saute

When you're frying meat or fish you can cut down on the splatters by either using a splatter guard or even easier, by simply using a cover for the frying pan. But adjust your heat down to compensate for the increased heat buildup.