This weekend I scouted my nearest Farmer’s Market and was pleased to find a stronghold of local meats, cheese, baked goods, and vegetables. Its weakness is that it seems rather pricey and I did not see much in the way of fruit. There will probably be more fruit as the season gets warmer, but I doubt the prices at the market will ever go any lower.
I left with a bunch of nubile radishes, two plucky kohlrabi bulbs with greens still in tow, a gigantic jar of wildflower honey, a tender log of chèvre, and some dainty lacinato kale.
The radishes and kohlrabi are from Beaverdam Creek Farm. I actually had never tasted kohlrabi before, but they were giving away samples. The whole plant is rather silly looking with these green stalks coming out randomly and lifting up from its bulb. It tastes like an extremely mild radish with a hint of pepper that builds with time. The texture is very crisp and smooth, almost as refreshing as celery. (A few hours after leaving the Farmers Market I remembered where I first heard of kohlrabi–oh, yes, my 1980′s childhood: the TV episode Strawberry Shortcake in Big Apple City. The Peculiar Pieman of Porcupine Peak tries to beat Strawberry Shortcake in a cooking contest with his kohlrabi cookies. Kohlrabi cookies? Gross, bleck, expletives!)
The honey at the market comes from Ed Johnson in Goodlettsville and it is consistently on target and one of the few items at the market which is very reasonably priced. They have to master an army of bees to get it, so honey is just expensive, period.
The goat cheese comes from Bonnie Blue Farm in Waynesboro and it is luscious, an affordable luxury. Do you know why goat’s milk is easier on your stomach than cow’s milk? On the molecular level it is similar to human milk. Good-bye lactose intolerance, aye?
The kale was early cut from H&H Garden. I had a nice talk with the lady from H&H about liking all things bitter, which kale is. The thing about bitterness is is helps you salivate and taste all the aspects of your meal. Supposedly, it can help with digestion, too. Bitterness is not for everyone, I suppose, but I would encourage everyone to put little bitterness in their palate. It makes you strong, er, at least well-rounded. Start with kale.
Being at the Franklin Farmers Market was like a swig of whiskey for courage at this new venture. Hmm, whiskey. . . perhaps the Jack Daniels Distillery is in General L. Gingersnap’s future. . . ?