I have been looking forward to the Lawrence Farmers Market since before I moved here. My thorough Kansas research took me on a culinary tour (via the internet, my bestest friend) of all the minor and major cities in my surround. Lawrence has a fabulous market website to support their three-day-a-week produce fest. Still, it is an 80-minute drive from our Iola rental. Janelle agreed to meet me there today to make it worth the drive and show me around a little. Home of the University of Kansas, Lawrence has the feel of a larger Lincoln, NE, with a touch of Boulder, CO. It's hipper than Lincoln but not as hippie as Boulder. A very nice mix, really, though I'm not sure what to say about the booth pushing emu meat. I guess it'd make a huge statement at Thanksgiving.
Also in Lawrence, the Community Mercantile , a coop-type store in the vein of Whole Foods. It stocks lots of local produce with notes of how far things have travelled from farm to shelf. I bought some fresh tofu made in town, unpasteurized local milk (which I need for my upcoming cheese experiment, more on that later), better-looking local tomatoes than were left at the market by the time I arrived, two types of goat cheese from 50 miles away and a fresh baguette to spread it on.
Here's a photo of some of the things I scored today: bag o' oyster shrooms (only $2.50 for the bag), sweet corn, fresh arugula, thai basil, squash, finger eggplant, red onions, local eggs, milk, tofu and a lebanese walnut dip. I also got a new type of cheese called lebnah that tastes like thickened yogurt. I'm not sure what to do with it yet.
What I am making with the goods, aside from goat cheese and baguette:
(1) basil, arugula, tomato & onion salad with homemade croutons
(2) pan-fried tofu with mushrooms, ginger & soy with this summer cole slaw
(3) paprika & lime roasted salmon with this nectarine & chevre crostini with my day-old baguette
(4) sauteed eggplant, onions & squash with thai basil & peanuts over basmati rice
Mmmm, food. In all honesty, I've gained some weight during the course of this move, beginning with floundering over the decision to move at all. The sabotage began months ago, probably hand in hand with the baking job, but I tried not to be too critical because of all the stress. It is a fact that I am a stress eater. Though I am always a huge foodie, this love tends to overtake me during life changes. Corrupt my judgement. I'd love to say that I gained a certain amount of pounds, however our scale was compromised during the course of the move. I placed it tenderly (really!) in the back of my car, wedged between the rearview light and a speaker, for the drive. A week ago, I reluctantly placed it in the living room and lumbered on to find I weigh a mere 75 pounds. Hooray! If I jump on it a little, I can weigh as much as 210 or as little as 40. It's relatively great for the self-esteem, but it doesn't fix the button on my pants. And, really, who am I kidding to say I'm going for a quick jog when it's 95º out there? Those mini bike rides and nightly dog walks are all that's keeping me from the Biggest Loser Kansas.
Moving along now. . . oh just to the couch.