Now is the time to wander in the farmers markets. Late harvests yield unexpected richness and ripeness, as if June were only a warm-up act. Last week’s Westside Farmer’s Market was practically levitating with inquiring foragers, combing the brilliant patches of purple cabbage, scarlet peppers, and huge embankments of sunflowers. I ran into people I hadn’t seen for a long time. Terrific, especially since I got a good place in line for Adorable French Bakery wares, where I was almost dizzy from the overload of possibilities. In the end, I purchased a glistening slice of almond apple tart and a classic Kouign Amann, so large it required two hands to lift. But oh, the many quiches! I visited a few slices of nectarine at the Kashiwase Farms display of stone fruit, and picked up a bag of microgreens—sunflower, arugula, pea sprouts—from New Natives. At the Fogline Farms stand, I admired marinated chicken and hand cured guanciale. At the Amazake counter, people were going nuts over handmade miso and other choice probiotics.
Sea to Sky Farm squashes were piled high in huge mounds of orange, red, and yellow. Lots of action at Holey Roller bagels, and at the endless row of fragrant strawberries from JCG Farms. I purchased dark maroon baby gems and petite red peppers at Happy Boy before lingering at the specialty apples from Watsonville’s Billy Bob Apples. Braeburn, Cameo, Orrin, Sonata, and the greatest apple alive…the Mutsu! I bought one for 75 cents and will have it today with my lunch. Farmers markets, all of them, are part of the reason we live here. Watch the seasons arrive as the fresh harvests offer endless ideas for your next meal, picnic, or parking lot snack, and don’t forget to mask up! Westside Farmers Market Saturday 9am-1pm. Swift & Hwy 1, SC
Lobster in the Redwoods
The Mountain Parks Foundation will present its annual Lobster Feed Saturday October 9th from 4:30pm—8 pm at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Picnic Area 1. Can you believe this is the 26th year of such happy outdoor feasting? The dinner features a 1.5-pound fresh Maine lobster served with hot and steamy corn-on-the-cob, toasted garlic bread, a fresh green salad, drinks and dessert. Two servings of wine or beer, plus non-alcoholic drinks, included. General admission tickets are $100. A lobster feast to enjoy while the sun sets and the stars come out, serenaded by local band Wild & Blue. Proceeds directly support our local redwoods state parks, Big Basin and Henry Cowell. Tickets must be purchased in advance and can be purchased at mountainparks.org.
Katherine Stern and her luscious Midway culinary designs are now cooking at Bad Animal, home of enlightened books and a piquant natural wine program. The seasons rule Stern’s evolving cuisine of small plates, creative salads and a small selection of entrees. Stern is a talented and always inventive chef who won local hearts during her 10 years at La Posta. Bad Animal is back serving food and drink from 5-9pm Wednesday-Sunday, with the bookshop opening at noon. Bad Animal, 1011 Cedar St., SC badanimalbooks.com
Gayle’s to the Rescue
I was late, in a hurry and there was the Bay Street exit. Grabbing dinner to go at Gayle’s was easy as pie. I grabbed a small quinoa power salad with almonds, lemon, and carrots ($4.95). And yes to a Chicken Marbella dinner ($20.95) ready to heat, with two large tender chicken thighs slathered in red wine vinegar, capers, prunes and green olives (incredible!), with buttered basmati rice and roast broccolini. Thank you, Gayles, once again.