Updated 2008-08-23 20:45:24 ID=68:3

© 2008 The Romantic Table

Templeton Farmers Market Report Saturday, August 23, 2008

Though our time was limited to shop today, we made the most of the time we did have and bought enough produce to last the week. All the "regulars" were there. -Vine-ripened tomatoes, tree-ripened peaches, plums. and fresh figs, berries, eggplants, squash and of course fresh basil .

We arrived there at 8:59 A.M. and found plenty of good parking spaces. In fact, some of the vendors were still assembling their booths and since we were in a hurry we made haste to try to get in all our buying before the time was up.

We saw some changes in the price of tomatoes. Last week the market price was $2.50 per pound. This week it was twenty-five cents more per pound. This must mean the peak of the summer tomatoes is over. How SAD! We really love tomatoes! And this year was relatively a less productive and less flavorful crop. From what I've heard this is state-wide --perhaps even a nation-wide phenomena. There hasn't been an outstanding tomato crop now for at least two or three years.

The peaches and nectarines are still pretty flavorful. I asked how much longer will this year's crop be available. I was told another month. Several of the stone-fruit booths are still offering free samples, so I urge you to get them now before the season is over-but taste first,

We went on to buy some always "must-have" fresh basil, as well as Italian eggplants for an appetizer and entree this weekend.

I also needed farm-fresh carrots for my Carrots Marsala. Though this recipe is traditionally more of a Fall-Winter side dish, they're so good that I want to get the recipe and their photograph of them up now for all of you to try them out.

I glanced at my watch; it was approaching 9:30 A.M. but I had one more purchase to make. Summer may be fading, but the Fall fruit is getting better every week and I saw some delicious-looking tree-ripened Gala apples. --I'm a "sucker for a good apple," and these looked just the right lunch-size for me to enjoy daily. I bought a four-pound bag and we were on our way.

Why the hurry you're wondering. We had to take all our produce home for storage and then turn around and head off to the Paso Robles Olive Festival where both my husband and I were guest judges and we had to be that the Paso Robles City Park in less than an hour.

I was really worried last night if we'd be able to "beat the clock" and still do the market justice.
Somehow, everything came together and we were able to pull it off. I'm sad that summer's produce is beginning to fade --I was just getting "warmed-up" with all my summer recipes now! It doesn't last long so if you have plans to make a summertime recipe, better take advantage of the summer produce now.---In a couple of weeks it could be almost gone!

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A tip from Sue!

If rushed, prepare your ingredients in advance.

If you know you’ll be rushed at cooking time, pre-measure out as many of the ingredients as you can, and arrange them by the cooking order of the recipe.

If it’s going to be more than several minutes before you actually start making the dinner, be sure to cover the perishable ingredients with plastic wrap or place in containers and put them back in the refrigerator to hold until you are ready.