If your mother is anything like mine, dinner always includes something home grown, whether freshly picked from the garden or pulled from the shelf of canned goods put up in the last season. One of my favorite family meal memories is the year of the “big, fat, ugly beans”. It’s a long story, but in a nutshell the green beans were picked late and were larger than my mom would have liked (hence, big and fat). Near the end of her canning season and not in the best of moods it seems, each jar of green beans was labeled in bold, black lettering with that unattractive title.
That winter when the dinner menu included green beans, we went out of our way to compliment my mother on how good those “big, fat, ugly beans” tasted and thanked her for her endeavors to make something so unattractive so very delicious. Sometimes, my dad would make a special request for some “big, fat, ugly beans” with dinner and mom would just smile. When the final jar was served, it felt like a special occasion, a celebration of sorts. Those were the last of the “big, fat, ugly beans” we would eat, though the memory feeds us still. Thanks Mom, for so many things, but especially for the wonderful memories.
So, in addition to all the great food (like strawberries, asparagus, sugar snap peas & new potatoes) you and your mother will find this week, here’s what else you can expect at a few of the Triangle area markets:
Chatham Mills Farmers’ Market has put together a wonderful gift suggestion list for Mother’s Day, all for items crafted by market vendors. The list includes a peppermint cold-processed goat’s milk soap, scented soy wax candles and a key lime cheesecake from a local dairy farm (call ahead ordering is recommended for the cheesecake). Market shoppers will enjoy jazzy tunes from a young duo known as The Bucket Brothers, a special musical guest at this week’s market.
It’s Kids Tomato Seedling Day at the Durham Farmers’ Market this Saturday. Farmers have set aside tomato seedlings for kids to take home and nurture. The kids can pick up a tomato seedling, get growing instructions from Master Gardener Volunteers, then hear stories about growing and eating tomatoes from local storyteller Cynthia Raxter. For the mom on your shopping list, you’ll find loads of gorgeous flowers from many vendors at Durham Farmers’ Market, so no excuses for leaving without a bouquet, or two.
Eno River Farmers’ Market hosts special entertainment for kids and adults this week. While the kids will have fun with activities organized by Megan Rowell, and a children’s craft market, Blue Star Travelers provides melodies for all. Like to try your veggies juiced? Then see Chery Zheng (starting at 10:30 am) to have your produce transformed to something drinkable. Special note – next Saturday in Hogg Day in Hillsborough and the market pavilion will be otherwise occupied. Look for an updated from the market regarding an alternate location for market on May 18th.
Western Wake Farmers’ Market hosts a special Spring Craft Fair this Saturday (all the last minute gift shoppers are in luck!), so you can multi-task and find a unique gift for Mom, as well as the ingredients to make a special Mother’s Day meal. Want to treat Mom and/or Dad to a really special meal? Western Wake Farmers’ Market teams up with Executive Chef Scott Crawford at The Umstead Hotel and Spa for a multi-course dinner of farm-to-table cuisine on June 13th. The ticket proceeds benefit the market’s endeavors to promote educational initiatives, an in-house EBT system and access to nutritious, local food sources. Better scoop up tickets now, before May 13th when the price will increase. Oh, and Fullsteam Beer and wine provided by Sip… a Wine Store are included.
The Midtown Farmers’ Market vendors are participating the first Vendor Cook Off of the season this weekend. Each participating vendor’s tent will be numbered and between 8 am and noon market shoppers can taste dishes created with market ingredients. Once tasters have tried each dish, they are encouraged to visit the market information booth to vote for their favorite. If you feel the need to work off those tasting calories, Raleigh Parks and Recreation is offering a free BollyRobics fitness class – sounds fun! Join ’em on The Commons at 9 am.
Did you know that the chicken coops at The Saturday Market are part of this year’s Tour D’Coop 2013 (May 18th – rain or shine)? This annual event allows the chicken-curious among us to tour backyard chicken coops in the Raleigh area, with donations benefiting Urban Ministries of Wake County. For those interested in details of chicken keeping, check out the Chicken Keeping 101 Spring class and browse the Tour D’Coop website for a lot of great resources.
That’s the farmers’ market news for this week folks. Remember, you can always find hours of operation and more market info on the Triangle Localista Farmers’ Market Map and Calendar whenever you like. Be sure to check back next week, for what local markets have planned for mid May. As always, thanks for keeping it local!