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Monday, August 17, 2009

Food Glorious Food

Time has a way of playing snap! I remember as a 14 year-old rolling my eyes at breakfast as my parents brought out the 'Vitamin Box.' No way was I going to be taking a million tablets when I was forty!! The other morning when I hefted the ENORMOUS basket of supplements onto the kitchen bench, that image thundered through me. I'm doing what my parents did, which can't be all bad I guess as they're in their late seventies and recently enjoyed a month in the Antarctic so there's something to this healthy lifestyle gig. Don't get me wrong, I love all the bad stuff as much as anyone but these days my body just doesn't forgive me as fast.


I love going to the Farmer's markets on a saturday morning. In the mid 90's when I lived in Madison, Wisconsin, I adored going up to the square, getting my mug of 'Steep and Brew' coffee to sip while I wandered around the stalls. It was at the Dane County Farmer's market that I was introduced to morell mushrooms. Back in Australia my town's Farmer's market doesn't quite match Madisons's but it's still fun. I love the colors of the vegetables; the glossy skins of the red and green capsicums (bell peppers), the way the plump white ends of the spring onions (scallions) contrast so brilliantly with their healthy deep green tails and the ruby tomatoes that promise good, old-fashioned flavour. Who knew vegetables can glow with good health and look positively sexy!


When I wrote the market scene in Miracle:Twin Babies, I was thinking of the Farmer's markets and food as a part of recovery became a big theme in the book.


Nick, my hot-shot emergency care specialist has left the big city for a while and has gone 'up bush' growing organic vegetables while he recovers from the biggest challenge of his life. At the start of the book he has no idea what an impact organic food is going to have on his life, and how it will change it forever.


I'd love to hear your stories about Farmers' markets and what you enjoy about them, so leave a comment and I'll put you in the draw for one of my black-list books!


Fiona Lowe is an Australian author and her current release, Miracle:Twin Babies is on sale now at eharlequin, Mills and Boon UK and Mills and Boon Australia.

24 comments:

Laurie said...

I went to UW in the 70's and they had the Farmer's Market way back then. We bought flowers, cheese, candles, honey and wonderful produce! The sweetest cantelopes, honeydews, apples.... YUMMY! The Capitol is such a beautiful building too. Thanks for bringing back wonderful memories. I was in Madison walking around the campus, sat on Union Terrace, walked the lake path to Picnic Point, walked to Union South it's gone! just a huge pit. Lot's of constuction everywhere. Did you know that they're going to tear down the infamous Humanities building? Finally, we did get Babcock ice cream DELISH!!
Others: West Allis, WI has a huge one. Ft Pierce, FL has a nice one too, right along the ocean.

robynl said...

on Thursdays if I go to the city I can catch the Farmer's Market at one of the local malls. Here you can purchase delicious new red potatoes, canning, jams, pies, all sorts of fresh veggies, etc.

I love being able to shop and when I get home I can make a delectable stew with the fresh veggies.

Estella said...

I love the freshness of the veggies, fruit, and flowers from a farmers market.

Fiona Lowe said...

Oh, Laurie, I loved to walk along picnic point! We lived close to the lake and my now 15 year old was a baby so I did a lot of walking! I loved taking him to see the cows being milked! Where else in the world can you see that at a university in the middle of a city of 200,000!

Fiona Lowe said...

Robyn, Shopping fresh is something our grandmothers did...each day. I have returned to that, buying what I need for the meal that night on the day as I have shops at the bottom of the street but it does mean I throw out less at the end of the week

Fiona Lowe said...

Estella, they taste different don't they!

Mari said...

When I was a kid, there was this gentleman who would drive around in a fruit and vegetable truck and sell to the Moms in the neighborhood.

Laney4 said...

Helloooo! Thanks for asking about farmers' markets (FM).
When I was 16, I "ran" the local FM. Sounds impressive, but all I did was stand where farmers could see me when they backed up their vehicles, and then I took their daily fee. Rough job, but it paid for part of my college education!
Today I try to go to my local FM as often as possible -- all depends on when I haul myself out of bed, as they start pretty early for me and what I want is gone before 10 am.
Have you ever noticed how long vegetables/fruits stay fresh compared to store-bought vegs/fruits? I was just amazed. When I bought green beans, for example, at a local store, it would be garbage 3 days later if left in the fridge. I bought green beans at the FM and forgot them in my fridge for 10 whole days (darn that crisper being so crammed full at the back). I was resigned to throwing them out, but they looked "brand new". Cooked them up and they were delicious. Makes one wonder how "old" store-bought foods are, although I JUST saw an email clip from Hellmann's within the last week saying that some foods take over a week to get to our local stores! Incredible! When I heard that, I told myself I'd better get up earlier on Saturday mornings from now on! It is well worth it!

Mary said...

I love going to the Farmers Market, we don't have one here in town but there is a weekly one in Henderson, which is about a 45 minute drive from where I live in Las Vegas. I love the neat things people make and put out to sell, the different canned products, home baked cookies, and pies and the fresh fruits are just some of the things that I love about it. Plus, everyone is always so darn happy, everyone's smiling and wants to talk. You don't get that in the grocery stores.

Fiona Lowe said...

Mari, where I go camping in the summer a farmer comes around with his van of free range eggs!

Fiona Lowe said...

Laney, I hear you on the freshness. In Australia the farm to supermarket takes a bit less time and they have recently introduced a one touch system in some stores where the picked crop goes direct into the container at the farm and then that container goes into the store. Less handling, less bruising. But when we can, Farmer's Markets are the way to go!

Fiona Lowe said...

Mary, you're right! There's always a vibe at the market :-)

Maureen said...

I haven't been to one in a while but I do enjoy seeing all the different fruits and vegetables and then figuring what to make with them.

Kiki said...

I love my tiny local farmers market! It makes such a huge difference to buy locally grown produce. The quality is incomparably better.
Not sure if organic fruit and veg are really better for you per se, but they taste better and have less of an impact on the earth, and that's good enough for me.

Fiona Lowe said...

Maureen, maybe it's time to visit one again :-)

Fiona Lowe said...

Kiki! I think organic is good not only for the earth but for us as well:-)_

Serena said...

I'm with Kiki - not sure that organic or home grown is better for you but it does taste better. Nothing beats a home grown tomato -supermarket tomatoes taste so flat in comparison. Best little farmer's market I've been to is down at Coronet Bay near Philip Island. The produce is so fresh and colourful and tasted delish!
Hugs
Serena

Cherie J said...

Just something about strolling through the market and picking out fresh fruits and vegetables that is just so therapeutic. I love thinking about all the different ways I will use the produce I buy.

penney said...

I love the fresh veggies and flowers. Before we move into a apartment we always had a veggie gardens and a flower garden the girls and I miss that so much.
Penney

Fiona Lowe said...

I put all the names in a hat and my 11 year old son pulled out.........MARY! If you go to http://www.fionalowe.com , browse through my back list books and then email me at fiona@fionalowe.com telling me which one you would like me to post to you and your snailmail address I will pop it in the post!

Thanks everyone for commenting on Farmer's Markets and if you want to revisit them, read Miracle : Twin Babies which is out now at eharlequin :-)

Cheers
Fiona

Mary said...

Oh my goodness. Thank you. *does little happy dance* I just sent the email :)

Alison said...

I'm a cheapskate so I love the free tastes! The last one we went too, my daughter was given a piece of biscuit with a spoonful of jam, licked all the jam off, and handed me the soggy biscuit!

cheryl c said...

Congrats, Mary!!

Atlanta has a famous and huge farmer's market.

Mary said...

Thank you. I got the book yesterday and it was wonderful!