A big ‘ole thank you to all you farmers out there who pack up your goods and haul ‘em to your local city to hock to all the urban folk who are too lazy to grow our own! I grew up in the country, with a large garden to help tend and it was NOT my favorite summer activity. I have some rose-colored fond memories of snapping beans into big bowls while watching movies in the basement. But I have no such fond memories of weeding the garden or planting. All that bending over! This has caused me to continually postpone planting of any kind at my home. We built a new construction house about 3 years ago and I have yet to plant any living thing except for one nice red maple tree that was donated to us as a house warming gift by a good friend from church (and to be honest, I didn’t really do the planting then either – Jake & a co-worker of his planted it, though I spread the mulch around it after). In fact, I’ve even had a couple friends donate plants to me from their yards that I just didn’t get around to planting before they died. I feel awful about that wastefulness! But not awful enough to actually rectify it, I guess, since it’s happened more than once.
In any case, I’m super grateful to the area farmers that sell me your wares at decent homegrown prices. But I’m even more grateful to my gardening friends (that’s you, Aunt Marti!) that just give to me from the abundance of your garden bounty!! I love it when my kitchen table produce basket is overflowing!
Unfortunately, I only made it to our area farmers market twice this year. But I hit the beginning & the end, so I feel fulfilled. And this last trip produced a good-sized spaghetti squash for only $1.50, which I roasted via a recipe from www.skinnytaste.com that was super easy, and topped with regular store-bought spaghetti sauce (Hunt’s has become my friend due to its uber cheapness) mixed with Italian sausage. Delicious & nutritious! (I do cook my sausage in a Pampered Chef micro-cooker, using my Mix ‘N Chop to break it into small pieces, and then draining off all the fat through the drain holes in the lid, so it’s much less fatty, though lean ground turkey would be the healthiest way to go, probably. Less tasty, though. And I have to find a balance between health & tasty, so since I used the squash instead of noodles, the sausage stays.)
I was amused at my husband’s amazement with the spaghetti squash. I grew up with such delicate cuisine, so I knew exactly what to expect. But he was really surprised that we were substituting the squash for the noodles and then, as I was shredding up the squash, he asked where all of it was coming from. Which made me chuckle. It does take a bit of work to shred all the flesh of the squash with forks, and it is a bit surprising that so much squash is produced. Oodles of “noodles” indeed!
One last note: I have a friend that used to live in Kansas City and last summer we went to the farmers market downtown there. It. Was. Crazy. Amazing!! It’s in an area that is surrounded by ethnic food shops, so that was an added delight. But there were so many booths & lots of fun stuff in addition to food. I highly recommend a visit to that area if you’re ever in town during the season.