Today’s haul from the farmers’ market

  • One loaf of bread
  • One big bunch of Swiss chard
  • One bag of arugula (more than I can eat in salads, so some of it will go into pasta)
  • Five strange little cucumbers with yellowish-green skin, each the size of a lemon
  • Four tomatoes of various colors
  • One bunch of purple basil
  • Three donut peaches
  • Two little green pears
  • Two bitter melons, plus one unidentified hot pepper that the vendor offered me for a nickel because he said bitter melon should always be cooked with some hot pepper

Not bad, eh? I haven’t been cooking much this summer, but I’ve been starting to miss it. Yesterday I tried making carciofi alla romana for the first time ever (not an unqualified success — I’m still an artichoke newbie — but the combination of mint, artichokes, garlic, and white wine was the most interesting taste that’s come out of my kitchen in a while). Next week I plan to scale back my ambitions a bit and try braising some fennel, or maybe frying some squash flowers if they’re still available. I may be on the verge of a foodie renaissance.

The other great thing about the farmers’ market: everyone offers free samples, and you see little kids running around voluntarily munching slices of cucumbers and tomatoes. Plus, some of the farmers have blogs!

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