Farmers' Market · Recipe · Uncategorized

Reconnecting with my Inner Baker

I still consider myself more baker than cook, though belonging to a CSA has changed my kitchen perspective.  When I scan the refrigerator and pantry these days, I’m planning dinner entrées and side dishes, instead of checking on the flour, butter, and sugar supply (critical staples for a baker).  Until I signed up for my first CSA in the spring of Twenty-Ten, I cooked a dinner meal perhaps two, maybe three times a month, and only on weekends.  Now, I cook meals three or more times a week, to make use of all those veggies I collect each Saturday, and baking has become the occasional weekend “hobby”, sadly.

When I first saw these carrots at the Eno River Farmers’ Market on Saturday,

 I considered using them in a slow cooker beef stew recipe, along with some onions and potatoes already on hand.  Then, my inner, somewhat suppressed baker asserted herself and reminded me that I can bake with carrots too.  I could bake cookies, or a cake, or muffins even – I haven’t baked muffins in for-evah!  I found this recipe, that uses no sugar, only honey (and I have plenty of honey on hand).  I modified it a bit, adding toasted walnuts to top the muffins.  One bunch of carrots from the market yielded exactly the amount called for in the recipe.

Ingredients for the Carrot Raisin Muffins

 I was running a bit short of whole wheat flour (which would never have happened had my baker side been more active), so my modified muffins used equal portions of whole wheat and all-purpose flour.  I think next time, I’ll add a full cup of raisins too. 

Carrot Raisin Muffins served with honey

 This morning, I drizzled a little honey on my muffin, just because.  Tomorrow I’ll try a toasted carrot muffin with a little apple butter.  It feels good to start the day with (baked) veggies.

Though I made my stop at the Eno River Farmers’ Market on Saturday, you’ll find them open this afternoon as well (4-6pm).

Eno River Farmers' Market, in downtown Hillsborough

 I purchased those carrots from Timberwood Organics.

 I think these cinnamon buns from the Queen of Tarts inspired my inner baker, perhaps taunted her a little.

Queen of Tarts cinnamon buns

There were lovely bouquets of flowers too.  And wouldn’t they be pretty at the breakfast table?

Flower bouquets from Cut & Carry

I may make a special trip back to the market to buy a jumper from Baby Dreams, for a special little boy (there was a cute pattern with colorful beach balls, just perfect for summer weather).

Sweet clothes for girls & boys, up to two years, from Baby Dreams

If the Eno River Farmers’ Market is too far out of your way today, Durham Farmers’ Market and Carrboro Farmers’ Market are open Wednesday afternoons too (3:30 – 6:30 pm).   And downtown Raleigh’s Farmers’ Market holds market hours each Wednesday, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. 

I’d encourage anyone to seek out a local farmers’ market this week, to find not only the freshest, tastiest local produce, but to find inspiration to make something delicious for yourself.

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