Farmer love

Happy Saturday! I finally have pictures for you!

I managed not to sleep till 10:30 today (actually woke up soon after 8) and after rousing Hubs and a shower, we headed out for many adventures.

First off, breakfast, was Dunkin Donuts. I know Tina loves their iced coffee, and it was only 99 cents, so I figured I’d try one, without milk (you know, being lactose intolerant and all). As you can see, I got some sugar though! It was pretty good! The first few sips definitely had some crunch to them… I haven’t consumed raw sugar in awhile, so it was a bit surprising, but I got over it 🙂

0522100951-00

(Athenians, hazard a guess as to which intersection this is?)

I also finally got to try their veggie egg white flat bread and definitely should have asked for no cheese (it all melted to the back end and I definitely didn’t miss it). It was actually pretty tasty, if a bit disconcerting to have this perfectly formed triangle with bits of color mixed in. I could still taste some of the vegetables though, I like me some veggies though.

0522100953-00

Yes, I drive a stick, and yes, the gear shift comes horizontally out of the center consol. I ❤ my car.

Next stop was the Farmer’s Market! We slept through it last weekend but made a point of going to day. It was busy!!! And there were some new farmers who weren’t there last fall. (I have no idea who any of these people are, but I bought from both of the vendors pictured, tomatoes and basil from the guy on the right edge and squash from the left most man (in the background). Both were very friendly, helpful, knowledgeable. There’s one guy that I won’t buy from because he spoke to me like I was an idiot at some point last year…

0522101020-00

We came home with spring onions, baby potatoes, tomatoes, a bunch of basil, red butter lettuce (a huge head!), squash, and sugar snap peas for $19.

IMG_2967

Funny story about the sugar snap peas… Hubs and I were talking while still scouting out the selection, he about how last time he had some they didn’t sit well with him and I was just saying how I don’t like them when one of the farmers that we like a lot came around his table and offered us a sample of some. These are so sweet! I’ve only ever bought them from the grocery store before and they never have any flavor. Now I see where they get their name… We continued our walk and then went right back to him, he asked whether he sold me and I said yup! (also bought the lettuce from him). See kids? It pays to buy local and organic, the flavor is so much richer!

The green squash is called clarimore and I’ve forgotten what he called the yellow zucchini. I can’t seem to find the name online.

IMG_2968 IMG_2969 IMG_2970 IMG_2971

Each tomato is a different variety, which to some extent is a shame because I won’t know what to look for next week.

Everything but the lettuce is smaller than you would find at the grocery store but the flavor is so much more intense because it hasn’t been dulled with super plant food or pesticides, it all has the chance to soak up the real flavor of the earth. And the smaller, the sweeter, as the tomato guy and various websites as I was trying to find the squash names. You want them young and sweet. Seriously guys, check out your local farmers market. The food probably won’t officially be labeled organic because the certification is often too expensive for small farmers to obtain, but just talk to them. The guy who sold me the sugar snap peas told me last year that everything is definitely organic at ours. Plus once something has come into season, the prices will be comparable to your big chain grocery store but the flavors will be twice as intense. You won’t be disappointed.

*steps down from soapbox*

Later, after Hubs cleaned the bathroom and I wrestled with trying to connect my computer to the cable modem (our wireless hub seems to have died), I bribed Hubs with lunch at Chickfila (not my best decision) because he had a coupon for a free sandwich (last time we went my wrap took forever to be made so the manager offered us two free sandwiches). The desire for better contact solution at the nearby CVS might have played a part in his willingness.

We’ve kind of been go-go-go all day. We came straight home and took the dogs on a walk! We kept it a lot shorter (still a good half hour probably) so other than getting tired, Gypsy stayed healthy (she’s the grey one). I never realize how small she is until I see her in photos or am around other dogs.

IMG_2972

Ignore my pointy hair, when I wear my bangs down I part it on the side it’s not used to (does that make sense?) to hide a cowlick on the right side of my forehead (my right). I guess I didn’t specifically smooth it down while I was blow drying it this morning.

Ollie! So excited! (Sorry about the camera string, blame Hubs!)

IMG_2977

(As a side note, the little bugger peed on me twice today. The first time I happened to be sitting on the floor when he was let out of the crate so it was an unfortunately typical I’ve-been-locked-up-and-I’m-so-excited-to-see-you sprinkle. We usually rush him straight out the door to avoid this. The second time he was quietly resting on my lap when he shifted and it suddenly got very warm. That one was unusual. Good news is, most of my jeans are now clean.)

A Gypsy glare (a nice change from her typical depressed though!)

IMG_2979

After the walk, I got in touch with my mom and she tried to help me with the internet, to no avail. We ended up driving up to Best Buy to buy a new router (which works sooooo much better than the old one, hello streaming video!) and stopped by Target to buy Ollie a new leash. His old one was once Rose’s (sigh) and technically pink. The clasp was also broken so he could wriggle away from me at times. Now he has a nice, manly blue.

I snacked on some hummus and Wheat Thins at some point (if you must know) and then Hubs and I made a farmers market dinner! Seriously, everything but the salad dressing, hummus, craisins, and the okra were bought this morning, meaning it was all picked within the last 48 hours. So, so fresh and flavorful!

IMG_2981

For the dressing I made Ange’s Better Than Bottled Balsamic vinaigrette but you know, I had to work with what we had, so I used red wine vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar, yellow mustard, and (I’m ashamed to say) Eggo syrup instead of real maple. It was still really good though! I doubled the recipe so I can have it on salads at lunch this week.

My salad had butter lettuce, a few pieces of onion, some sliced basil (this added so much!) a wonderfully fresh tomato, some red pepper hummus, and craisins. Basil is definitely my favorite herb. Please expect to see a vegan caprese salad sometime this week!

IMG_2980

Hubs also roasted up two of our potatoes, one yellow zucchini, one clarimore squash, two onions, and some frozen okra (what can I say, he’s obsessed). Seasoned with salt and oregano, I believe. The potatoes were softer and almost creamier than any I’ve had before (and free of pesticides! Very important as anyone who’s read In Defense of Food will agree). The texture was smoother… I don’t think of potatoes as being grainy, but they almost seem so in comparison with these.

IMG_2982

Look at that beautiful yellow ring of flesh in the zucchini! Hubs and I both agreed that the flavor reminded us of tea! It was interesting, in a good way!

IMG_2983

The squash was sweeter, and maybe just slightly nuttier? than regular squash. I couldn’t quite decide what was different. I absolutely love summer squash though and I’m so excited that the season is arriving!

IMG_2984

One disappointment was finding a much better option for breakfast when we arrived. There’s a restaurant called Farm 255 who’s mission statement begins with the lines:  Farm 255 is a restaurant that seeks to reconnect food to its roots & people to their food. We serve local, seasonal, & sustainable food for supper nightly. In addition to the Farm we manage Full Moon Farms, an organic/biodynamic animal and vegetable production farm in Athens.

Their menu changes daily, depending on what crops they are able to bring in from the farm. I love, love, love their food philosophy but they are quite out of our price range so I have yet to eat there. Maybe for my birthday! Hubs asked me what I wanted and I told him a nice dinner out…

But to get on with the story… at lunch time they have a small cart (called Farm Cart, of course) out of which they serve sandwiches (haven’t had one of those either). As we were walking up to the farmer’s market today I squealed with excitement “Farm Cart is here!”, which quickly turned to disappointment when I realized that we’d just eaten (as in, had to sit for an extra minute in the car for me to finish eating). They weren’t ever there last fall when we went, but I found them on Twitter and hopefully they will make it a regular thing. They had a good line today!

Okay, I know this has been a monster of a post, but I want to add one more thing. I can’t wait until we move! Currently our options for walking the dogs is a 3/4 mile loop around the block or having to walk them under the highway. Neither of which is very appealing for anyone involved so we walk them a lot less than we should. Jack Russells are known for being hyper dogs, but Ollie has been so much better behaved today. He never sleeps in the middle of the day anymore, but he sat with me for a good half hour while I read (before watering my lap) and now he’s lying on the couch beside me, hiding under a pillow (they’re also diggers):

IMG_2986

But once we move across town at the end of July we’ll have sidewalks galore and new neighborhoods to explore. Plus the apartment complex has a dog play area, which will hopefully be fenced in by the time we move!

Today has been a really good day and I just had to share it with you! I know this has been terribly long, but I hope you enjoyed it!

Advertisements

A confession

More pumpkin oats! I warned you 🙂 Here are my mix-ins (sorry, should have zoomed in further): brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and pumpkin pie mix.

IMG_2033

All mixed together. It may take me awhile to learn to eat oatmeal without a ton of brown sugar. I ended up about doubling the amount in the picture above and still would have liked more. I won’t feel too bad about it though, since its the only sugar I add to my diet. I’l teach myself to really love oatmeal and then wean myself off 🙂

IMG_2036

Lunch was a salad of baby spinach and some of the lettuce I got at the farmer’s market. It was nice and light and fresh. I also had some fire roasted vegetables Kashi crackers. The flavor wasn’t as good as Ritz crackers of the same flavor, but they weren’t horrible. Still probably won’t buy them again.

IMG_2037

Since I basically had lettuce and crackers for lunch (poor planning!) I was quit hungry by the time I got home and had a mix of cashews and the Cascadian Farms cereal I bought as a snack.

IMG_2038

And a stale oatmeal cookie. I definitely recommend freezing these cookies instead of leaving them out in tupperware! So much better!

IMG_2039

Instead of going out for dinner we ordered pizza. I figured that ordering myself a thin crust mushroom, light on the cheese (supposedly) wouldn’t be too painful. The edges were a bit over done but otherwise I’m very happy. I ultimately ate 5 pieces. And finished off my Rieces Pieces. Which removes that temptation from my life at least…

IMG_2040

*******

I’ve been trying to make my way through all the Shape magazines I’ve been neglecting since January because I don’t want to tear up my friend’s copy of The Omnivore’s Dilemma carrying it back and forth from work every day. As inspirational as the book has been when it comes to changing my diet, the magazine has been making me feel kind of down on myself. My self-confidence has been really low these past few days. I should have run Friday, but the gang was hanging out. I was going to clean the apartment Sunday instead of running, but the gang was back so I don’t even have a clean apartment to show for my laziness. I was going to run today, even with a hurt heel I wanted to try to go, but I let plans change again, using the excuse of my heel. I know I’m being silly and I should cherish the time with friends while they are here but I keep telling myself that I’m going to exercise and then don’t do so and I’m getting rather frustrated with myself. I just wanted to get that off my chest. Typing it all out helps me feel a little bit better. Thanks for “listening”!