Farmer's Market Day
30 May 2010
So Saturday was pretty awesome.
Rob had to work, so I was expecting him to be gone all day. The kids woke me up around, oh, 10 AM, maybe? We had breakfast, and then we were relaxing for a little while before I planned to get started on laundry while they "cleaned" their rooms. But lo and behold, in walked Rob around 1030, finished for the day. Yay!
His annual uniform allowance came in last night, so he had to go back to base to buy all his uniform stuff. It sucks because he has a seabag inspection coming up, but never in the next three years will he use half the things he's required to have in his seabag. We could have used that money for other stuff, if it weren't for the inspection. He does plan to return a lot of the stuff afterward, though, so that might help.
And he surprised me by taking ALL three of the kids with him to base for his shopping trip, without complaining. He must have been in a jolly good mood for getting off earlier than planned, I suppose. Yay for me! I puttered, showered without having to scream around the shower curtain 30 bazillion times, "KNOCK IT OFF!!", and worked on laundry while they were gone. Just the quietude was pure luxury.
When they finally arrived home, some three hours later, we were off to the Farmer's Market to do our grocery shopping. What a fun trip, compared to the grocery store. Unfortunately there's no long receipt, at the end of which is a statement of mega coupon savings, but the knowledge that we're eating fresh, local and organic more than makes up for it. Our first stop was to see Uncle Chuck, the fishmonger. He is one cool dude; on that, Rob and I wholly agree. I try not to go on a weekend day, but that's when payday hit, so that's when we went - and he was insanely busy! We pulled his "menu" - a sheet with all his offerings and prices - outside to look over, and keep the kids out of his small shack, until there was a lull in business. When it was our turn, Sophia wanted to know what everything was, touch it, see it, smell it - and Uncle Chuck was entirely patient with her. Here he is showing her some large shrimp that the previous customer was coming back for after finishing their shopping.
I asked him if I could take pictures, and he was like, "Uh, sure, why?" I said, "Um, for my blog!" and he was all, "Oh. Okay, whatever!" and pulled all the kids in for a photo op. Very cool dude, right??
From his shack, we bought a package of crab cakes (note to Stephanie: If you didnt get my text, I asked Uncle Chuck about his preparation, and he'll be happy to custom-make them for you without the offending ingredients, so shoot me an email!), a huge bag of large shrimp, a gigantic haddock fillet, a couple dozen littleneck clams for Rob, and some ocean scallops for moi. Fortunately, we'd brought our coolers along, so there was no worry about leaving them in the car while we continued our shopping.
I didn't get to take a picture of Michele or her lovely daughter, Erika, from Virginia Garden - the organic food mart at the Farmer's Market, but maybe next time. I think there are pictures of them somewhere on her site, if you care. I knew I was going to way-overspend our grocery budget there, and I did, but I was able to get a LOT of stuff and use the 10% off coupon from their website this time. While I shopped, Rob took the kids out back to run around the field, and I think that was a big relief to Michele! I know it was for me... I had apologized to Uncle Chuck for my kids, and he was effusively nonplussed, if there can be such a thing, hugging me and telling me not to worry, "it's the only way kids learn how to behave!" He's right, of course, but I always feel like they are overwhelming for other people.
After we arrived home and brought everything in, I was left to sort it all out while Rob took Jack back to the base again, for a much-needed haircut. He was getting quite shaggy, and since I trimmed his bangs the other day, he looked like a major dork. Anyway, you'll see that later. Here's our beautiful bowl of some of the organic produce I bought: avocados, oranges, pears, kiwi, tomatoes, lemons... mmm. Rob remarked that if we had the money, he could eat that entire bowl of fruit every single day of his life. It did look quite good, but when he says stuff like that, I always feel bad that we can never quite satisfy his voracious appetite!
Sophia, who hadn't gotten to try a kiwi the other day when we stopped by Virginia Garden, opted to sample one now. Here's her first reaction. What do you think, does she like it?
I don't think so!! I think it was a bit more tart and tangy than she was expecting. Of course, it didn't help that she first bit right into it, peel and all!
But she soldiered on, and bravely went back for another piece.
I think now that she knew what to expect, the kiwi was much more Squish-friendly. Oh, "Squish" is my new nickname for her. I'm not sure she likes it; it might not stick.
In the end, she was quick to hand over more than half of her remaining kiwi to Chloë, who positively loves it, and steal some sips from my organic root beer, which I needn't really be drinking anyway.
Curls was happy to oblige. I think she would have eaten another five kiwi if I'd have let her!
The boys came home shortly thereafter, and Jack insisted on having a kiwi, too. See how he has the whole handful of it, rather than leaving it on his plate? He always eats like that. Maybe he's afraid someone (like Soapy) is going to come along and swipe his food? It's a definite possibility, anyway...
The kids went out to play in the leftover ice from the coolers, while I continued putting away food and tried to get some sort of dinner together. I tried snapping a picture of them splashing around inside the cooler, but they stopped as soon as I held up my camera. Rascals!
I didn't really have a well-thought-out plan for dinner, so I kind of just put things on as I thought of them. Of course, there were Rob's littlenecks, which can't be frozen without losing their texture, so they had to be eaten right away. And since he's left his grill at work for at least three months now, if not way more (!!!), I had to cook them in the house. I just put a little water and a smidge of butter in a frying pan and heated them up until they popped. This always fascinates the kids and, I admit, I like it, too.
While they cooked, I threw together a nice, organic salad. Curls insisted I photograph this beautiful tomato. She simply adores tomatoes, along with her father and, to a lesser extent, Squishy Soapy Sophia.
Pop! The clams were ready. I called The Bob inside, from where he was tinkering on his truck and motorcycle. The man could tinker out there 'til the cows came home, I swear.
Yup. It's a salad. I don't eat 'shrooms or tomatoes, so I nibbled a little at the lettuce (which was a bit bitter) and carrots (which were delightful). This salad was purely for Rob and Chloë. They had requested I add some sunflower seeds, but I forgot. Sorry, guys.
Chloë surprised us by deciding to try one of her daddy's clams. Her reaction was hysterical!
Hee hee hee. It's okay, Honey. I don't like 'em, either!
Jack refused to touch any salad, but Sophia asked for some! She didn't like the lettuce so much, and I can't say I blame her. It really had a weird taste. She managed just fine on everything else, though.
After that, I was in a mood to whip up some OG (organic) hummus. I'd picked up OG chickpeas, olive oil, lemons and garlic at the market, and I already had the tahini. The kids wanted to know why I was putting peanut butter in the hummus, even though they've seen me make it tons of times before. Then they all wanted to help crush the garlic. None was strong enough to do it alone, though!
Rob - who is more muscular than this picture implies - had to step in and help. Jack was fussing about that, but he wasn't getting anywhere on his own!
Chloë gave it the ol' college try, but she, too, needed assistance.
The kids all wanted to use the hand-mixer to blend the hummus, but I did it myself this time. I don't know why; I guess I just wanted to hurry up and eat it! It was WAY too strong on garlic, since I'd let them all try to crush it in and put double the amount I normally would have, so I had to add another half a lemon's worth of juice. Ahh, that's better.
Then we broke out the OG cheese and OG crackers, and I insisted the kids try some hummus before letting them have some without. None of them was impressed with it. Fine, more for me!
We had devoured so much cheese, crackers & hummus, that no one wanted any of the chicken I made, by the time it came out of the oven. Rats and damn. I wanted it, but Oscar the Pouch can only hold so much, and I didn't want to barf. Again. So, we'll have it tomorrow, I shippose.
I'd completely run out of flour during the past week of marathon bread-making, so I was glad to buy some OG bread flour today. Unfortunately, it needs to be refrigerated so it doesn't go (get?) rancid, so that's taking up too much space in the fridge right now, but it's worth it to have such fresh, wholesome bread. Chloë had requested some more sunflower seed bread, so that went into the baker first, with some OG honey and hemp hearts. I REALLY want to have some, but after way over-doing it on bread this past week, I'm abstaining. God, I love fresh bread, though. It's hard. I don't have very strong willpower, either, but the desire to see that scale move back down is going to have to be stronger.
After our non-dinner, Jack insisted we watch a family movie, so we all settled down in the living room to wath Fly Me to the Moon on Netflix streaming. Chloë and I had seen it before at the theater, but she totally didn't remember it. It's cute, but I fell asleep about halfway through and didn't wake up 'til after midnight. Of course, everyone else was upstairs and sleeping by then, and now here I am, alone and wide awake. Kind of sucks; I was hoping to sleep through the night. Ah well, what else is new?
Oh yeah, the picture. The sunflower seed bread was done when I woke up, so I pulled that out and started another loaf. This time, banana bread. I normally make that in the mixer and throw it in the oven, but I saw that my new bread machine has a quickbread setting (and maybe they all do, who knows? Not I), so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I did beat up the bananas and eggs in my trusty KitchenAid first, though. Love that beast!
I had picked up a couple packages of Spiru-tein protein shake mixes at Virginia Garden, since they weren't all that expensive and hey, I need the protein. Oh, my. Do not buy this, ever. WORST protein shake I've ever had, which is saying a lot! Maybe I made it wrong, since it said to add all sorts of honey and fresh fruit and stuff, but it is just nasty. I've managed to choke down about 4/5 of this, and I just don't think I can handle any more. Even after adding a kiwi and six packages of Splenda, it is The Nast. Blech. Ich. Yuck. PUKE.
So that's it for Saturday. I can't wait to see what Sunday brings!