Yesterday, the Franklin Farmer’s Market turned 10 years old and, of course, I was on hand for the occasion.
Here’s what I love about the Franklin Farmer’s Market. Everything that’s there should be there. You do not find such items as bananas or kiwi, which everyone knows do not grow in Middle Tennessee. You never find tomatoes in May or baby lettuce in August. This past Saturday, what we found were beautiful spring strawberries, vibrant greens such as kale and Swiss chard, baby onions, radishes and pea tendrils. Just as you should when visiting the grocery store, you should never make a list. See what’s beautiful and fresh and inviting and then decide what you want to cook. This was the reason that I made pork and lemongrass meatballs last night. I found beautiful ground pork from West Wind Farms and tender lettuce, which the recipe calls for as the sort of dish to hold your beautiful pork meatballs.
So this recipe is from Bon Appetit and here it is. You are now about to accuse me of the very thing I harped upon just a moment ago – that obviously lemongrass doesn’t grow in Middle Tennessee. I will concede the point and also tell you I left it out of the recipe and it still worked spectacularly well. I went to two very well-heeled grocers looking for it, but apparently there are not enough Vietnamese people yet living in Williamson County to require a grocer to stock lemongrass. I hope we can remedy that as quickly as possible because we also need the ingredients for banh mi sandwiches.
I also bought some of the beautiful strawberries. Here’s a tip for you that I’m sure you already know, but just in case – don’t wash strawberries until right before you use them. They are the delicate flowers of the berry world and will turn mushy almost before you know it. The strawberries needed zero additional sugar. They were bursting with sweetness. So I just whipped up a quick custard sauce and called it a day.
Vanilla Custard Sauce
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Heat milk and sugar together to a simmer in a saucepan. Whisk egg yolks in a bowl and gradually whisk in the hot milk mixture. Return to the saucepan over medium heat and whisk continuously until sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
Cool custard by placing the saucepan in a bowl of ice. Chill until cold.