This morning Mark was just sound, sound asleep and it was 9:30 and the Farmer’s Market was calling me. So on a perfect fall day, there I went. Just look at these squash! Mark hates squash, but I got a butternut along with some turnips. I’m going to roast them with maple syrup and make a convert out of him. One of my best childhood food memories involves squash. You know my mother was not a cook and never made anything that didn’t originally come in a can or a box. But my best friend’s mother, Mrs. Clark, was a terrific cook and very bohemian. So after our dry dinner of overdone halibut and asparagus out of the can, I’d sneak up to the Clarks and have dinner again. This possibly contributed to the weight problem I eventually developed. But in my mind, I was starving to death. One night, Mrs. Clark made acorn squash. She hollowed out the squash, baked it with butter and brown sugar and then filled it with crispy fried country sausage. Simple and profoundly delicious.
One of the great things about the market is that you get to know the people who grow your food. I have my potato guy, my tomato guy and now I have my sausage guy. This is Ralph Cole, the co-proprietor of West Wind Farms along with his wife, Kimberlie. The Coles make the best sausage I have ever eaten. When I asked Ralph if I could take his picture this morning, he got kind of embarrassed. But he did allow as how he’d move over in front of his sign, so I guess he got over it.
So here’s what I bought this morning, besides two kinds of sausage and some Berkshire heritage pork chops from Ralph. I have cabbage. I’m making corned beef in the slow cooker right now, and I’ll fry the cabbage to go with it (talk about stinking up the house – throwing the cabbage in the slow cooker will do it every time). The turnips and squash will go with a roast chicken tomorrow night. The potatoes will be simply boiled and buttered to go with the corned beef. The apples will be fried to go with the pork chops.
The only indulgence I left behind this morning was a fried pie from Mrs. Armstrong’s. Hers are mighty good, but I have a cherry pie cooling on the counter. I can draw the line somewhere. Sometimes.