Some of my loot from the farmer's market.
I love summer! The long days, the warmth. People seem to be in a better mood don't they? And then there is the food. Fresh corn on the cob. Juicy fruits and vegetables galore! Farmer's markets. I have to admit I am really enjoying my Sunday morning routine of the Farmer's market, once I got over the shock of the $2.50 head of garlic. I am getting to know the regular attendees and the Vendors. Getting to know who has the best produce at the best prices. Today, since I wasn't as restrained budget wise I bought more apples and nectarines. Fresh green beans. Carrots that are so crisp and sweet that they are breaking in half as you put them in the bag. I'm in love. I even found garlic at a good price! And I purchased the most gorgeous summer tomatoes, a bunch of different varieties. I asked the vendor to put together a sampler of his best. Oh my they are beautiful. I got home and sliced up some Mozzarella and put some baby tomatoes in a bowl. Heavenly. Yesterday I went to a different market, an impromptu idea from my girlfriend Wendy. The produce there still had dirt on it. The onions were misshapen and gorgeous. There I bought English Peas. That evening I sat on the porch, watching the sunset and shelling English Peas. All that was missing was a porch swing. I felt so old fashioned. The only thing is I ended up just a smattering of peas when it was all said and done. It will be a TBSP each at dinner tonight. Mind you, between the dogs, me, my husband and Wendy we ate our fair share of fresh peas from the pod. They were delicious. The taste of summer.

So I've been thinking ... oh oh ... I have my own package habit. I need to get off the can, so to speak. Mostly canned beans (black, kidney, chick peas) and canned tomatoes. I've had readers point out to me the nastiness of canned food. Will it never end people? Oh this and that leaches into the cans. Ok. Ok. I'm going to end up spending half of my life in the freakin' kitchen! After grumbling and complaining, I decided to give dry beans a try - mostly because I was out of money and had some dry beans in the cupboard - but I'm going to stick to grumbling and complaining - it reads better. So before I went to bed one night I threw a cup of beans in a pot and poured some cold water over it. Time involved 10 sec. The next day. I emptied the water and then poured some fresh water in the pot and turned on the element. Another 10 sec. When the water was boiling I turned down the stove to minimum and put on the lid. Another 5 seconds. I let it simmer for two hours while I worked in the office. (talk about efficient) Then I drained the beans and put it into a container and into the fridge. About 20 sec.  I was so proud of myself. Like Tom Hanks in Cast Away "I have made black beans!". They were so cute and looked just like their canned cousins. So the actual work involved in cooking the beans was about 45 seconds. A minute if I'm tipsy. I'm thinking that's not so bad. I'll do it from now on. No more canned beans for me unless it's an emergency.

Now for the canned tomatoes. I've decided next year I will attempt growing my own tomatoes. Then I will get together with my fellow farmer's market pal Wendy and can said tomatoes. That is if I am actually successful at being a balcony tomato farmer. Time involvement, probably loads, but I'll be with a friend and there will be wine involved on my part, and general whining I'm sure and lots of mess and laughs. We might even end up with some canned tomatoes ... who knows? But if I do? Then no more cans for me. I'll be off the can and free forever ... or at least until I run out.

However, I'm still looking for a challenge for right now ... any suggestions?

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