Support Your local Farmers’ Markets

This weekend, I went to the farmers’ market in Raleigh.  It is a very nice market, with many, vegetable growers, cheese makers, local free range meet vendors, organic salsa makers, authentic German pastries, North Carolina wines, and jams and jellies galore!

After walking around, looking at all the fresh, spring vegetables, and tasting more than my alotted  amount of strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, and cucumbers, I decided to treat myself to an old fashioned lemonade!

It was terribly hot outside…mind you…..and I just needed something refreshing, and….well, I just couldn’t resist……

A large beautiful cup full of yummy lemons, limes, and oranges with just the right amount of sweetness! Perfecto!

Spring is such a wonderful time to go to the markets.  After a long winter, it is nice to see the fresh produce spread across tables, and spilling out of baskets just begging to get bought and made into a healthy, local meal.

One of my favorite signs attached to the vegetables read: “the dirt is free!”

MMMmmmm…..sweet berries, grown right here in North Carolina!! There were also ‘seedless’ blueberries!  Have you ever heard of such a thing???

One fun thing I came across, was a papaya squash.  It had a beautiful golden yellow color that shouted out from the table to me, so naturally, I had to get some.  The flavor was nice.  It had more of a squash flavor than the regular summer squash does, yet remained sweet.

Another table, of great interest to me, was the one with the beautiful German pastries on it.

A coincidence that I just happened upon this beautiful pastry table?????….

I think not   

Annelore Gstattenbauer, chef of Annelore’s, brings over 30 years of tradition in to the pastries.  I tried the, oh so classic, Linzer tart(who could resist?)… and the traditional Oktoberfest pretzel(with mustard, of course!).  The pretzel is not a soft pretzel, but a hard one that has a nice after-taste of malt.  The Linzer had very nice texture, not too sweet and a hint of cinnamon.  This was not just your regular old cinnamon either, Annelore’s cinnamon taste like fresh cinnamon oil with a hint of clove…a very distinct flavor.  They really take pride in their pastries there, and make sure the product is done correct and to tradition…..and we all know how I support tradition and culture!

I think the word is out on Annelore’s. As you can see from my pictures, there wasn’t much left!!

There was also a large amount of goat cheese.  Every flavor you could want!!  The fruity ones; strawberry, mango, cranberry, and honey & fig are wonderful, nice to spread on your toast in the morning.  The horseradish goat cheese lends a nice spicy kick and would go wonderful on a fat ham and gruyere sandwich!

Last, but not least….the locally made breakfast meats!

Ah yes, the smell of sizzling bacon in the morning, salty country ham getting stacked between fluffy butter and lard biscuits, and……well, do you see that large white pack in the middle?  That is fatback, a southerners’ pride and joy when it comes to cookin’—just throw a little of that in your green beans and viola!

I urge all of you to seek out your farmers’ market, support your neighbors who work so hard to bring you a local and seasonal crop, take the kids and visit the farm, know where your food comes from and be thankful for it!

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