This morning little Miss Mollie Sue (my little black pug) and I went to the Rockwall Farmer's Market and checked out all of the goodies for sale.
In the news today, we are reading more about organic gardening, knowing where our food comes from, buying locally, eating in season...
and it makes me chuckle, because years ago when I was growing up, that's pretty much how we ate.
Back then, I had never heard of kiwi fruit, or Peruvian blue potatoes. Our meals were quite simple and built around what was available.
Air travel and transport of food from far away places was not the norm.
In the winter months we ate canned food (either commercial or home-canned) and our choice of meats was quite limited.
When home freezers became popular, we could actually buy ice cream to keep at home rather than going to a little "mom-and-pop" country place
that sold gas, ice cream by the pint and a few staple items. This was a pre-cursor, I guess, to the 7-11's of today.
We ate seasonally, and would buy our fruits and vegetables in the spring and summer months from local roadside stands.
Some businesses were there all season long and others were local neighbors who had an abundance of produce from their garden and wanted to make some extra money.
We ate so seasonally that we would not drink iced tea in the winter because that was a summer drink and we would only eat deviled eggs and potato salad in the summer.
Kind of crazy when I think about it now.
We had an elderly farmer who would load his old pick-up truck with whatever was ripe at the time...
wooden bushel baskets of peaches, concord grapes, tomatoes, sweet corn, and the list would go on and on.
He would drive into town and go door to door to see what you needed. Now that is door to door service.
My mom would always buy from him. Whatever he sold was at it's peak of ripeness and you seldom found any rotten fruits or vegetables at the bottom of the basket.
He wouldn't do that because he wanted repeat business.
His name was Mr. Hartpence and I was always excited to see his truck coming down the street.
Those were the days when strawberries were red, soft and juicy. Today when we buy strawberries, they are sometimes huge, red, but hard and tart.
To my mind, that is not how a strawberry is to taste.
Of course the very best are the tiny wild strawberries eaten as you find them... warm, sweet and juicy in the summer sun.
Those too were the days when we bought fresh lima beans and peas and I loved sitting on the back porch with my mom shelling them for dinner,
and every once in a while I would pop some fresh peas in my mouth.
Today I came home with a loaf of multi-grain bread from the Village Baking Company and
had the good fortune of receiving a "care package" from our friends in England, John and Margaret.
Tucked in that package was a jar of strawberry jam. How I love jam... always have... and always will!
Sometimes the simplest things can be the most satisfying and that is what happened when I smeared that wonderful jam on a piece of that bread.
The consistency of the jam was just perfect and when I opened the jar, the smell of fresh strawberries took me back to my childhood.
So visit your local market and support your local farmers and food purveyors and also
be thankful that we can have so many choices available to us as we feed ourselves and those we love.