Unusual Market Finds
A farmer’s market is a great place to find unusual varieties of things that you’d never find in a typical grocery store, and this week I must have been in an adventurous mood, because I came home with several things that I’d never bought before.
This Rock Melon (back) caught my eye because it was so darn ugly, but it smelled absolutely heavenly, so I decided to bring it home with me. The Tiger Melon was something I considered trying in the garden this year, but didn’t, so I thought it would be a good idea to test it to see if they’re worth growing (they taste much like a Honeydew, but are the perfect size for one person). The Yellow Ruffled tomato was just plain pretty, so I picked it up too. While savouring these farm fresh delights, it occurred to me that I had the makings of my own crop of unusual fruits sitting right in front of me, so I scooped some seeds from each one and set them out to dry (tomato seeds are easier to dry if you soak them in water for several days until the gelatinous coating on them dissolves).
Any guesses what this plant is? It’s a Tea Tree (as in tea tree oil
)! The anti fungal/antiseptic oil is difficult to extract from the leaves, but they can apparently be used in their natural state as a tea to soothe a sore throat.
I’ve bought these before, but they’re another thing that I rarely see anywhere other than at the farmer’s market – cheese curds. They’re yummy little nuggets that are great for nibbling, but my kids have been begging me to make poutine
with them (a dangerous French Canadian specialty which involves french fries topped with melty cheese curds and a generous helping of gravy). I can feel my arteries clogging at the very thought of them!
Aside from perusing the farmer’s market, we’ve been busy trying to finalize plans for the actual groundbreaking on our property (frankly, at this point I don’t even believe that’s ever going to happen), planning activities for the upcoming “not-school” year, and doing a bit of preserving.
We picked 6 quarts of wild blackberries when we were on the island, which I froze, and I’ve also been busy making and freezing pesto
. The basil plants that were spared from the food processor were frozen loosely in bags. The leaves will be crumbled into sauces to add a bit of summer freshness to our winter meals.
Before I go, can somebody please tell me how the heck I’m supposed to tell when a Green Zebra tomato is ripe?!