Springtime at the Market

When I lived in Houston I really wanted to be one of those ultra-cool people who only bought produce that was in season.  I struggled mightily, though.  For one thing, I wasn’t sure exactly how far afield I was allowed to go for “the season”.  Texas?  south of the Mason-Dixon?  the northern hemisphere?  Also, it was just so tempting to buy my favorite fruits and vegetables whenever I wanted them, because they always seemed to be  mounded up in the vast produce sections of my cavernous grocery stores.  I was weak.

But I am a better seasonal shopper now, because it’s much easier to shop seasonally here.  The outdoor markets  will offer produce from far afield,  but it’s easier to resist it.  For one thing, the country from which each food hails is printed on the sign with the price.  It’s kind of hard to ignore that those pomegranates came from Israel when it’s staring you in the face.  Also, as we all know, there just  isn’t the infinite choice of products to which we Americans have become accustomed.  And I have kind of enjoyed the challenge of looking for fruits and veggies from “the Hexagon” (as we people who live in France like to call it).

Today I went to the outdoor market with the specific goal of finding my first French asparagus and strawberries of the season.  I scored, and also found some rhubarb and a few lovely apples.  Voila-

Of course I haven’t resisted popping a few of those strawberries in my mouth, and they were definitely worth waiting for.  Oh my.

The rhubarb has already been transformed into rhubarb compote, thanks to Melissa Clark’s video on the New York Times web site.  I tasted a spoonful and it is delicious.  I know- many of you are Rhubarb Skeptics, but that is probably because you have never tried doing anything with it.  It’s really, really good.  Really.  Try it.

I haven’t yet decided the fate of the gorgeous asparagus.  I think I want to sautee it with some of that awesome French butter.  But I’m open to suggestions.

What are you making for dinner?

PS- I am whipping out my passport yet again.  Tomorrow I fly to Washington DC for the culmination of my daughter’s gap year experience.  Sunday she and my husband and I fly to Houston for a few days, Thursday my daughter and I drive to Memphis (husband gets to fly) for my son’s graduation from Rhodes College (woo hoo!), Monday we drive back to Houston, and Wednesday we fly to Paris.  Are you tired yet?  So if I am quiet for a while, that is why.  Thank you for your cooperation.  Good bye.


Filed under cooking, food markets

14 responses to “Springtime at the Market

  1. God bless you is all I can say!!! You’ll be asleep for a month when you return.

  2. Lady Jennie

    You make it all look so good! We are preparing the ground to plant asparagus next year because it’s so darn expensive. But in the meantime we’re planting wildflowers and we may like it so much we leave it as is.

    I’ve been drying to try the rhubarb pie my mom used to make when I was little.

  3. martha clay

    Do I recognize the anniversary bowl? Looks gorgeous. xo

  4. Mary

    Congratulations to Patrick on his graduation!! That does deserve a big WooHoo. Does he have a job? Where will he be after graduation? Have a great time on every leg of your trip.

    • No, he doesn’t have a job (sigh). He will be in Houston and then maybe Austin, waiting tables and studying for the LSAT. Hope to see your smiling face soon.

  5. I was just complaining the other day about how I wish stores would CLEARLY mark where they get their produce. I can’t way that it would completely deter me, but at least the decision could be mine. But with wonderful stores like the new HEB that popped up over in my neck of the woods (Montrose), it’s so hard to resist the ‘perfect looking’ produce — no matter what season it is. Coincidentally, I just posted about our dinner yesterday!

    Happy Travels Kate, and welcome home… if even for a short while.

  6. nancy craven

    Strawberries look wonderful. Will serve Strawberries Romanoff to your folks tonight if I can find some as yummy red as yours look.
    I have bought rhubarb in Texas for the last time. Tasteless. I should have known when I broke it in half and it had no aroma.
    Happy travels. Congratulations to Patrick. See ya soon.

    • Weren’t those beautiful berries? And sooo good. I wish I had some left. I do have some compote left but nothing to put it on. Could you bring me some BBHV?

  7. Bon voyage and safe travels…again! Congratulations to your daughter on the culmination of her gap year and to your son on his upcoming graduation. But most of all, congratulations to you for your willingness to board another plane after you just got home from Bali!

Hollah back y'all!

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