|Some of the contents of a recent organic CSA box after washing, below original TV dinner|
Our mothers thought that Swanson frozen TV dinners were the pinnacle of convenience. The same with peas, green beans and that godawful fruit cocktail from cans. Do you remember? Back in the 1950s and 1960s, that was how we ate. Do you recall TV trays? Yeah, me too.
|Ft. Mason Farmers’ Mkt in San Francisco|
And yet, there’s nothing as lovely as produce from a farmers market. The colors are vibrant, the skin has a natural sheen and they’re firm and healthy.
Even the lettuce seems greener, crisper, when it goes straight from the farm to our table.
The seasonality means that there’s a constant turnover of the types and styles of fruits and vegetables in our weekly box. Plums have been big, lately.
And then there are a plethora of farmers’ markets around the San Francisco Bay area. The wares on offer are gorgeous and little tastes are happily offered, so we know what we’re buying. Yummy stuff.
I can’t believe my mother –who did not work outside the home–used so many convenience foods. Frozen and canned vegetables–I hated them! For her, cooking was a chore, not a pleasure, and what a shame. We missed out on the zest of fresh produce, and she missed out, too.
There’s no question that it takes longer to prepare meals using fresh ingredients. But. What we sacrifice in time today we get back in taste and pleasure.
It takes about an hour to boil up beets, and if the flesh is accidentally pierced it takes time to clean the blood-red residue off the pot. But the unique taste of a fresh slice of beet in salad? Worth it.
Tomatoes in chain grocery stores taste like what they are: products bred for shipping. Colorless and absolutely tasteless; even their texture is off-putting. But these beauties from the farmers’ market at Ft. Mason in San Francisco? Sweet, succulent gems. It might be convenient to stop by Safeway, but the satisfaction we get in these is worth the extra step of a stop by the market.
Have you ever bought berries in the grocery store that looked gorgeous and sweet, but when you got them home had no taste at all? Avoid that by tasting at a farmers’ market.
Tough, tasteless Asian pears –that’s what I’m used to. But these were delicious–a nice crunch but delicate sweetness, too. I could like these. A lot.
The sun hitting these pears made a lovely sight. Don’t you relish biting into a juicy pear and wiping the sweet nectar off your chin?
Color. I think that’s what I love most about farmers’ markets when I’m there. A feast of color and then, later, the feast on our table.