Saturday, November 1, 2008

Farmer's Market Finds

My husband of two weeks left me behind today. He got an invitation from my dad to go bird hunting in Dilly, Texas. So at 4:30am I started the coffee and went back to bed. I was sad to see him go, but began looking forward to sleeping in late, drinking coffee on the sofa, surfing the food bloggs on the lap top, and planning my attack on the local farmer's markets.

The Siamese decided I should get up earlier than I was planning so I shut the bedroom door and left them with a toy mouse in the hall.

There are several farmer's markets around San Antonio and I found two that were close by. When I arrived there were about eight vendors. Small market compared to the ones I was used to. I lived in Boston for the summer of 1988 while I was doing my internship with the National Park Service. I was treated to the best market in the states - Hay Market! There I could purchase a pound of tomatoes for 50 cents, celery for 25 cents, potatoes, radishes, apples.... just DON'T TOUCH THE PRODUCE!!!! If you touched the produce to give it a little squeeze the vendors would begin to yell at you. The procedure was to inquire and let them pick it out and bag it.

I was also used to the markets in Sacramento. You could walk for hours and not see all of it. It was plentiful and cheap. So eight vendors in a city park was a bit of a let down. Still the idea of local grown produce was exciting.

At the first vendor my eye was caught by some Anaheim Chilis. I lived in New Mexico and these were sold by the bushel and roasted on the side of the road. In New Mexico if you didn't sweat while you ate - the food wasn't any good. So I purchased a small basket for $3.

The second vendor had potted herbs. The basil stood tall and I thought of the herbs I gave my husband as a wedding present. Each herb had a meaning that I attributed to our life together. The pot of herbs, particularly the basil had been hit hard by the panini sandwiches we kept making with our new panini grill. I bought two plants for $3 each.

Next vendor had okra. Texas okra and dreams of it fried in cornmeal flashed before me. I got a basket for $2.

Jalapenos are a staple in Texas food. But since I am a new bride and expected to bring a dish to the new in-laws for Thanksgiving I decided to try out a recipe on my husband for his approval. I got a basket of Jalapenos and wondered if I got enough. If he got his limit on birds this morning he would want jalapenos and bacon for them.

Oh and some grape tomatoes for salad - $3 - same as the store, but fresh from a Texas garden and not shipped in from who knows where.

I started for home and a quick trip to the store. I got a text that there were no birds so I called to ask about salsa ingredients. I figured if birds got you down, make salsa.

After listing his ingredients he confessed to bagging his limit and that he was bringing home dad's limit too. So I got bacon too.

Now, we are both good cooks. Not only are we good cooks we love to cook together. Our first date was to the grocery store where we purchased rib eye steaks and king crab legs. What a wonderful first date that was. We cooked together - well, he cooked in my kitchen. He wouldn't let me do a thing. It was wonderful.

Hoby's Salsa

2 large cans whole peeled tomatoes

1 medium onion

1 bunch of cilantro

6 jalapenos - 3 should be seeded

garlic powder or cloves of garlic to taste

salt & pepper

Process tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, cilantro and garlic in food processor. Place in a large sauce pan. Add salt and pepper and heat over medium heat stirring occasionally until heated. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Serve with chips. Keep refrigerated.

Well since my blog is called Cooking with Siamese I guess I should have something about cooking with the Siamese. When you are owned by a Siamese you don't do anything alone. We are owned by three Siamese. So while writing this blog I have the old man "Pong" sitting next to me. "Lord Boswell" is sitting on the back of the sofa checking for typos and "Song" is prowling around the sofa like a shark.

Hoby took his bag of birds to the patio. It was such a nice day that Boswell went out with him. Truth is that Boswell always goes out when the door is opened. But Hoby and Boswell cleaned birds together.

After cleaning a few birds with Hoby, Boswell learned to climb the Texas Live Oak tree in the back yard. Hoby drank a beer and sat from his ring side seat as we watched Boswell enjoy his first tree adventure. He had a great time and isn't afraid of anything. Watch this video of him leaping from branch to branch.

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