For some time I've wanted to integrate my love of cooking and food in general into my blogging attempts, so today, here is my first food related rambling. Inspired by a trip to one of our local SoCal farmers markets on Saturday morning, I shot some photos of my hoard. I was in Santa Monica - not at the world famous, huge and slightly intimidating Third Street market hyped far and wide as one of the world's best - but at the smaller, homier, more manageable market at Virginia Park on the western fringe of Santa Monica at Cloverfield and Pico Blvd. Parking is easier, it's closer to our home in Westwood and is in general much more user friendly than its huge and glamorous downtown counterpart.
My first find was this amazing display of Romanesco cauliflower all laid out on the grower's table. Does anyone else see little chartreuse horney toads or dinosaur skin? I am completely fascinating with their perfectly geometric spirals! The texture is amazing and I only wish Icould figure out some way to capture it in a quilt......
The same stand - the charming and smiling English guy who also sells seven different kinds of potatoes from the teeniest of fingerlings to huge gorgeous German things that looked like Yukon Golds to me - had several kinds of exotic radishes including the two pictured here on the right - a watermelon radish and a honeydew radish. They both are lovely and sweet with just a tiny bit of radish heat. The pink and green one was spectacular in last night's salad.
Finally, I was astonished that even in mid- December there were heirloom tomatoes available from some sellers from the central coast. I love these and the still life they provide in my Delft dish on our kitchen counter.oh, the many blessings of living in southern California!
Why was I a few miles away from our neighborhood? Our own beloved farmers' market housed for several years on the Veteran's Administration Campus off Sepulveda Blvd. just a quarter of a mile from our house has been discontinued, a victim of a recent VA policy to ban all commercial venues from the property. I understand that the car rental storage lots, and other commercial sites will disappear as their contracts expire, but it seems such a shame and unnecessary that something like the market which benefited the neighborhood as well as the hundreds of VA employees had to go, too.