The Good Earth

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What a stunning weekend we enjoyed here in Santa Barbara!

We felt very blessed indeed to be on the other side of the country from Irene, though Older Son lives in Manhattan so as you can probably guess there were just a few phone calls and gentle reminders to buy flashlights & batteries, followed by “MOOOMMM, REAlly, I’ll be FINE“.

 Hey, that’s my job.

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Saturday I woke up very early (one guess why 🙂 ) and convinced my husband to go to the local Farmer’s Market.

What a treat! I hadn’t been all summer and I was truly inspired by the abundance of delights our local farmers had to offer.

I picked up everything from passion fruit to ginormous fresh stems of ginger (another post)  They filled the house with the most divine scent you can imagine- you only had to close your eyes to be in Hawaii.

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At the other end of the scent spectrum, check out the size of these scallions!

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(we just used regular honey for this, but I’d like to try making the Lavender-Rose version; recipe here;

In a glass jar mix 1 quart mild honey with 3/4 cup dried organic rose petals  and 1/2 dried lavender flowers  (I’m going to try to dry my own, how hard could it be?).  Seal and let stand on a sunny windowsill for 2 weeks.  Warm jar under hot water and strain into a clean jar. Store in cool, dark place.

(Recipes via Food & Wine magazine)

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Like going to church on Saturday, “Mama’s” homemade jellies provide stained-glass visuals at the entrance to the market.

“Mama” calls everybody “Sweetie” 🙂

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Not sure what these are, but awfully interesting texture, they’d be beautiful in a big ebony bowl

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Have you ever seen purple green peppers?

I’ve seen yellow, red and orange green peppers but never pecked a pack of purple peppers pefore.

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The plums were positively bursting to be ‘crumbled’

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Dragon Tongue snap beans

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Lemon cucumbers

I don’t know what you do with them.  The vendor was about as helpful as a sidewalk crack.

Read this and be sorry Mr. Lemon Cucumber Vendor.

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Beets like sunsets

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Crazy eel cukes

I could go on and on…I took so many photos at the market (husband tapping foot, patiently wheeling my purchases) but I’ll leave you with a cool drink, some carrots and a delicious recipe for crudite dip.  Aren’t we all healthy?!!

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I think you could substitute greek yoghurt for mayo?  Just don’t take my creme fraiche away from me.

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Watercolour carrots by Slim Paley

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Love your last few days of August!.

xx

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.For market days & locations click here

52 Comments

  1. OMG! What a visual feast! I have never seen such gorgeous, different produce, ever! The purple peppers blew me away. Will need to google their origin and flavor. We certainly do not see those down here in Texas! Thank you for a lovely post.

  2. This is a visual feast and thank you so much for the recipes.. beautiful, and a big thanks for all of the hard work that farmers do for us!

  3. What a fantastic display of every thing I love. Love just about every fruit and veggie, except parsnip and turnip-yuk. Your photos just keep getting better and better. What a glorious morn to be at the market,fabulous weekend. Yikes Fall is almost here, but dare we complain ? NO. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who suffered a devastating weekend. Good Night Irene.Don’t even think about going to Canada.
    Great blog as usual Slim. ox

  4. I think you should hire me to wheel your purchases. I live in Toronto and winter is coming.
    We call those Romano beans but I definitely prefer the name Dragon Tongue, unless these are something else entirely. I could sit in that pile of haricot vertes and eat my way out.

  5. What a weekend! We had ten relatives staying…then a 5.8 earthquake…then Hurricane Irene… I’m ready for peace and quiet…shhhh! franki

  6. weird, my friends and I were just talking about purple peppers yesterday. I did not know (according to my friends) that yellow, red and orange peppers are just green ones in different stages of development, I thought they were each their own species…..or were they pulling my leg?

    Fab photos!

  7. I think that was maybe a bitter melon? And the recipe definitely looks like Food and Wine. Would love some fresh ginger myself.

  8. Now you paint.
    What’s next?
    I have no self worth at this very moment.
    Going to the kitchen to crack open a
    lemon cucumber. 🙂

  9. Lemon cucumbers? Come to mama.
    We don’t have those at Granville Island. 🙁

    Yes indeedy ~ swap out the mayo for Greek yogurt.

    SP, you are on a roll with these GORGEOUS summer posts. I know I’m
    looking at brilliant photography when a pile of haricots vert looks exciting. Ditto what Carol said.

  10. Thank you for such a great post on my birthday! How did you know? 😉
    Also confirming that unidentified veggies are bitter melon.
    Always enjoy your posts.

    P.S. This is the first time I’ve ever left a comment on any kind of blog or website! Ever.

    • Happy Birthday Princess!
      and look, new horizons are opening up for you already- your very first blog comment!
      I’m very honoured 🙂

  11. Those bubbly things are Chinese Bitter Melons and they’re delicious when cooked properly. Slice each melon lengthwise then slice each half into thin slices. Parbolil the slices and drain. Repeat 2 more times to get rid of the bitterness. Stirfry them with garlic, ginger and thinly sliced pork. Wonderful.

  12. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!!! Now I need to go to my farmers market. You took such amazing photos of some pretty amazing produce. I am fascinated by the purple peppers, I am going to have to find some of those. I can just see those in a lime green bowl!!! Kathysue

  13. Love the purple green cucumbers. That’s a photo I’d put on my kitchen dining area wall. P.S. Did you tell Mr. Lemon Cucumber Vendor what he could do with this Lemon Cucumber? 🙂

  14. Gorgeous photos of delicious food – aren’t we all blessed to have this abundance available! I love farmer’s markets and eating locally grown food. Everything tastes better because it can be picked riper than if it’s going to be transported long distances.
    Irene was exciting here. A gigantic, ancient oak tree was up-rooted by Irene and landed on our garage. The root ball ripped out a fence as it came out of the ground. Other than that, we did pretty well. We watched Marwencol and Exit Through the Gift Shop – ate popcorn and downed summery drinks. Marwencol is very good, if you haven’t seen it. As for Exit, I can’t decide if Mr. Brainwash is a hoax or not. What do you think? Do you have some inside info to share? Best, Ruth

    • Thanks Ruth!
      I’m so sorry to hear about your ancient oak. I hate to hear that, but thank goodness everyone was safe.

      Mr. Brainwash? Thierry Guetta.

  15. Hi Slim. As always beautiful photos. The jellies and jams look wonderful. My hubby makes Rosemary jelly (shown in the pic), and it is so good, and amazing with RACK OF LAMB instead of the usual mint jelly. He thought it was his creation, but guess not! I keep going back and looking at all of the veggies and fruit, so I am now heading to the fridge for a handful of grapes, much better for me than the choc. chip cookies I just made, but will have to have at least one, to make sure they are okay!!!!!!. Thanks Slim, you are the greatest.

    B J

  16. Slim, the Lemon Cucumbers taste like the regular ones; they just LOOK like lemons. My husband has been growing them for years.

    Fabulous photos and OMG you paint too!!!!
    Sandra

  17. Holy Vegetables ~ what beautiful displays, what tasty photographs! Speaking of tasty, I can just taste that dip, it sounds so fresh and fabulous! I love lemon cucumbers, they have a little bit of a lemony taste to them, they are a little more flavorful than regular cucumbers.

    Do you think the green things are gords? They’d make a marvelous display for Halloween {sorry to refer to the “F” season}.

  18. Hey “Sweetie”……….that is some market! I thought we had an overabundance of veggies here in Southeastern Ontario (but millions of greenhouses) but I guess i was wrong. My naturopath says to stay way from peppers but she didn’t say anything about purple ones……..wonder if we will ever see them in turquoise? Some of these weird vegetable colours are weirding me out! Enjoy the end of summer. Weather here is heavenly too. XO

  19. I have never seen purple peppers or the dragon tongue beans! Both look wonderful. Your photos are gorgeous and make me wish we had ONE DECENT farmers market nearby!!!! LOVE the painting too! What a talent you are! XO, Pinky

  20. Love your vegetable porn, Slim. Your photos are tantalizing (love that word).
    Irene packed a punch, it’s true– more than half of our little town on LI Sound is without power. No trains to NYC today so it felt a little like a holiday. We just had a lovely impromptu “hot shower and dinner” party for those of our friends without power (we were lucky and didn’t
    lose it). Counting our blessings. Love your blog!

  21. Wow! I’ve never seen or heard of some of those critters – and I live in SoCal, with great produce and farm stands!

    Lovelovelove your carrot painting. You must have created that while rafting class 4 rapids and sipping on a Pimms Cup. How civilized… sigh.

  22. What amazingly crisp, clear, life-like images! No, I’ve never heard of purple bell peppers. Nor lemon cucumbers. Everything looks absolutely yummy!

  23. I did not see you @ the farmers market, those pictures tell the story… It’s part of my Saturday routine and I absolutely love it!! Try the lemon cucumbers sliced thin in a
    veggie sandwhich with toms/avo/good cheddar and crisp lettuce on whole wheat bread
    sooooo good.

  24. Great post Slim – your pictures are stunning as always.

    The unnamed veg we know as a chu-chu (also called cho-cho) think it is of Chinese origin. We use the peeled and grated veg in soup.

    Have a great week!

  25. I’m a weekly visitor to our farmer’s market and am always sad when it’s closing day comes. These images are a feast for my eyes and can hardly wait to try some of these recipes!!

  26. Slim,
    Your photo caption where you said the lemon cucumber vendor was as helpful
    as a sidewalk crack just had me rolling on the floor in laughter! Where do you ever
    come up with these hysterical comments?? You definitely have a talent there.
    Keep them coming at us. Loved your watercolor of the carrots. Do show more of
    your artwork to us “not capable of art on our own” engineering types!
    -Susan

  27. oh good grief charlie brown!
    the jams and jellies in your picture look as if they’re lit from within. what? slim-light?
    ditto to every comment above on your glorious photography. how odd… i returned too late and tired last night from our trip to the high desert country … heavenly cool on sandia! … and i was actually thinking, can’t wait to see slim’s blog (talk about living vicariously!!!)
    anyhow, was thinking of it as ‘always a beautiful visual feast’ and i’ll be darned if you didn’t have a post that is literally a beautiful visual “feast!!”
    thanks as always dear heart.
    tammy j

  28. Another beauty, Slim. Mother Nature is quite an artist, isn’t she? Those lemon cucumbers are calling my name- will be on the lookout for them here on the east coast. I think I might need to create a cocktail around them…Thanks for sharing the farmer’s market love.

  29. I just discovered your blog and wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it. Your photos as well as everything about your blog are great. I can understand your worry about a child in New York during the storm. We live in New England and worry about our children in Florida each hurricane season. This time they were all calling us.

  30. I’ll take one of those plums, thank you!
    P.S. At her wedding celebration my daughter is using labeled jars of blackberry jam–all fancifully decorated–in lieu of place cards…capturing a little bit of summer spirit in a jar.

  31. loved your post on the fresh produce market. The foods all look so colourful. Enjoy the end of your summer. We have just reached spring and are awaiting our summer with its fruits, especially the figs, with much anticipation. thank you. warm regards lisa.

  32. LOVE your gorgeous photos!!

    Have a thing for Farmer’s Markets. The color, abundance, finding something novel, and so good for the planet/community/local buisness. Used to go to SBs often when lived there. Saturday at the Ferry Building in San Francisco is THE BEST (literally one of the 5 tops in US). Here on Monterey Coast many to choose from–all w/distinctive personalities. And live 3-miles from Earthbound Farms Organic that see in Whole Foods etc.

    Very fascinating.

  33. Dear Slim: I made your Pistachio Spread–it is divine!! Your recipes are always so wonderful and interesting. As is your blog. I had a meeting in my home for 26 women tonight and they Raved about the spread. It is so fresh and crisp. What a great blog!! I love entertaining and trying new dishes for my guests. This is a very successful party. The dishes are washed, the silver is put away, the house is almost in order and I think I will go to bed. Zzzzzzzz!

Would love to hear from you!