Sunday, November 30, 2008

at last!

today after unloading spencer and his musical equipment at church, i eagerly snuck away from the obligatory pre-church cordialities to go to the new farmer's market in old town la quinta. this is the best thing that could have happened to me culinarily speaking in the desert, short of le cordon bleu opening a new branch. i felt like giada, wandering around like a kid on christmas morning, asking questions and trying to befriend every vendor i met. i wandered through each and every stall, smelling, tasting, touching everything. Some enormous light green grapefruits, called oroblancos. they were sweeter than any grapefruit i'd ever tasted, and milder, too. that same vendor, from redlands (most of them travelled an hour or more to be here), let me try persimmon. it looks like a tomato but tastes something like a tart plum, and can be made into cookies. next was a very friendly and chatty lady selling herbs and potted lavender, along with produce, which she grows using little volcanic stones. she says they keep away fungi better than normal dirt, and allow her to be pesticide free in her farming. she had a photo album to show me all of this. bells rang, not from a church, but sounded cheery and european, and if i closed my eyes, i could be back in praha, wandering down cobblestoned streets to school across the vlatava river. i wandered past flower growers, wondering how many times a month i could come home with flowers before spencer would say something. at a stall selling flavoured honey and cheeses, i tasted 12 month aged gouda that was amazing- crumbly, salty, sweet and earthy. i resisted the nearly ten dollar price tag but am determined to go back and get some with a baguette and wine for a small simple dinner. i tasted many other perfectly ripe fruits, regretting that i had eaten breakfast before i came. suddenly an hour had gone by and i had to go to church, nearly escaping without buying anything, but i couldn't resist a rustic baguette and two muffins for tomorrow-blueberry and cranberry orange. this is going to be my new hobby and reason not to dread waking up at seven am on sunday mornings.

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