"Let's see," Sapphira said. She mentally tallied up my finds as she pulled the netted bag off the scale. "That's $25."
"Did you remember the lettuce?" I asked, holding up the bag of baby lettuce.
I delved into my pocket, pulling out five 1's and a crumpled twenty dollar bill. I know many people buy from every farmer at their market. Perhaps I should but I don't. My farmers' market is always bustling and, besides, Sapphira is my friend. I've known her for the past year. She supplied me with the most beautiful San Marzano tomatoes last fall for pasta sauce. She sets aside cheddar and purple cauliflower for me because she knows my oldest loves it. I bought Frankenstein - an enormous blue-green Hubbard from her - and, even though she named him for me, we turned him into pie and soup. Sapphira and I have talked about our kids, her broken washing machine and my book club. We've swapped recipes and shared garden growing tips (well, that mostly comes from her side).
Sapphira is my friend. I buy my vegetables from her.
I handed her the money and carefully nestled my potatoes and tomatoes, peas and cucumbers, and remainder of my bounty into the wagon. I stood to say good-bye and prepared for the onslaught. Sapphira does this every week. "Can I give you some onions?" She offers. "They are wonderful." I laugh and tell her I haven't yet eaten the ones I grew in my own yard. She switches tactics. "Then the Swiss Chard. You must take some. Look, look. The colors are so gorgeous. Please take some." I wave her away and tell her I don't need any freebies. I've got all I need but thank you very much for the wonderful produce. I'll see you next week.
Then she stops me cold.
"How about these carrots? You must take them. They are beautiful." She waves a bunch of the most glorious carrots I've ever seen in front of me. I've bought many different carrots over the past year - purple, white, red, yellow and the ubiquitous orange but never this lovely shade of rose. This delicate, soft pink.
"Okay," I give in. Who wouldn't? I thank her profusely and promise to see her next week.
I toted Sapphira's pink carrots home. I have no idea what the variety is. As Kale for Sale suggests, I should have asked. But, in my gratitude, I forgot.
That night, the comely carrots mixed with some standard orange ones I bought from Sapphira last week to become Carrot Risotto. It's a dish so delicious that I am not the only APLS in the Bushel Basket who made it this year.
One Local Summer Meal: Carmelized Carrot Risotto
The recipe is from Sunset magazine and you can find it here.
Long Meadow Ranch olive oil (purchased on site)
homemade vegetable broth (from vegetable scraps)
Peju white wine from organic vineyard (purchased on site)
Bravo Farms Silver Mountain cheese (substituted for the Parmesan, I skipped the mascarpone)
Non local ingredients:
bulk organic Arborio rice
bulk fair trade, organic sugar