Is it really November? It was pushing 90 degrees at our L.A. farmer’s market this past weekend. Everything was wilting, kids included. The farm fresh eggs, cooled only by the shade, didn’t look too appealing in the heat as the morning wore on. Grapes threatened to become raisins. The tuscan kale looked shrivelled. The chard was drooping. But the brussels sprouts were looking good and the apples were bigger than ever. There were local strawberries, tricked into thinking it was spring by the heat. Nothing was addding up. The best and truest thing? A humble bunch of carrots. Not the decapitated uniform giants of the supermarket. Not the preskinned, micro carrots in the plastic bag. Not the central casting version from some film shoot in the south of france, with bushy green tops and perfect tapered ends. These things were so ugly they were beautiful (check ‘em out in the photo. I even love how the string couldn’t be bothered to straighten out). I showed them to my 5 year old daughter and she said: “Yuck.” I peeled them, we ate them. And the yuck became a yummy.
Gastroparents: tell us what’s good at your local farmers markets wherever you are. Apples are getting good in California and Damsons have just about disappeared in Wales. But what’s up in New Jersey? What’s the noise in Illinois? Fall produce means something different wherever you are. Tell us and other gastrokid readers what’s good in your home town, and tell us how you like to cook it up for your kids.