It must be berry season because the cherries and strawberries are out.  S likes a good strawberry, dripping juice and all.

I never buy the cherries, I just sample them.  What I want is for someone to make me a homemade cherry pie.  Maybe I should just buy one!

I Eat Fruit Too!

You might think I just eat doughnuts, danishes and other sweet treats.  But we consume more than a few fruits and vegetables during the summer.  The Union Square Green Market provides us a week’s worth of salads. And now the PA growers have their cantaloupes in…yum!IMG_4999 IMG_4998

Berkley for the Afternoon

Last Thursday, we ventured into Berkley for a bit before meeting up with friends at their house for dinner. On a side note, we had Zachary’s pizza, which is deep dish with really fresh ingredients…and I love it.  But that afternoon we stopped by the North Berkley Farmer’s Market, which we discovered last year.  The fruit is to die for.  Started with an apricot, then a white nectarine and finished with a pint of strawberries.  Then a stop at a wine store (the converted pumping plant, below) for a rose.

The flowers are from J & M’s backyard.

I also discovered a new iced tea that is sweet without any added sugar:  Good Earth Sweet & Spicy.  Funny, but it was the same tea I had every morning at M’s parents house.  Made myself some this past weekend.

California. Oh, the fruit!

IMG_5505One thing I LOVE about California is the fruit.  The strawberries are so much better than out here.  Probably because they were picked that day instead of being shipped 3,000 miles.  I had my first Brown Turkey Fig.  It was the size of an apple., I loved it.  And I had cherries, and strawberries (lots) and a snow angel peach.   And we picked this up in Napa, Walnut Creek, Berkeley farmer’s market…and with friends.

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Vegetables This Week: Jersey Tomatoes

I think I’ve posted a picture from the Union Square Greenmarket for 3 weeks in a row now.  Well, we were back this weekend.  

We love Stokes for our tomatoes.  There is a list to tell you how to tell if it’s ripe (don’t squeeze!).  Look at the color on the top and bottom, they should pretty much match.  The Stokes Grower (yes, it’s a Grower versus a Farmer) helped pick one that was good for a salad Saturday night.

And when did squash and zucchini start to come in round shapes?  I was intrigued so had to get a few.   

Summer in Full Swing

Sour Cherries at the Greenmarket in Union Square.  

Does’t this just look like summer.  Granted, I’m not sure what you make with sour cherries.  I like my cherries in pie.  Gearing up for a long weekend, with some city exploration, some tasty eats, and a bounty of fresh vegetables from our Greenmarket trip today.  We’ve got fresh garlic and dill for the buttermilk dressing.  Tomatoes (ones with taste!), carrots, radishes and fresh lettuce for the salad.  And with some Whispering Angel, we’re set!

My Local Fruit Cart

More fruit for you today!

Did I mention I love fruits and vegetables? When I can’t make it to the Greenmarket, I can always rely on the fruit guy on the corner of 23rd and 9th Avenue for fruit. I will admit, I used to think it was odd to buy the random banana from a guy with a few pieces of fruit on a table.

But I’ve noticed the vendors these days have piles of fresh fruit at great prices. I have actually seen My Fruit Guy on a headset with clipboard in hand, calling in orders. This is when I realized this was not some one off operation. That is him in the yellow shirt below at 8:15 am this morning:

My Fruit Guy is out there well before 8 am, and he’s selling fruit until well after 9 pm. Have I mentioned the amazing deals on fruit? Three containers of blueberries for $5. Five huge, non bruised bananas for $1. Pineapple, cherries, lychee (yes, I’ve seen these!), grapes, mangoes…he’s got it all. He is also well skilled at the upsell (“1 more box for $5?”). Needless to say, I’ve eaten lots of blueberries this summer: in my greek yogurt, in cereal, plain, in muffins, and in cake. I did not get to the pie, but there is still time left.

My Fruit Guy Selling Fruit

Keeping the Fruit Shaded

I’ve noticed that there are more fruit carts all over the city these days. They are officially known as “Green Carts” and New York City has actually approved more food carts to sell fruits and vegetables, particularly in areas that don’t have great access to fresh produce or supermarkets. Yes, because everything needs a permit in NYC (the hotdog guy in front of the Met? His license cost upwards of $500K a year).

According to the Times, one vendor at 165th Street found business to be so good, he stays open 24/7.

I snapped this one on my way from the ATM on 23rd and 8th Ave this morning.

Getting Shipments for the Day
I think it’s great when we make produce easily accessible for all!

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies: Union Square Greenmarket

And here is what is fresh this week:

I love fruits and vegetables in the summer. Love them. I will say, that I do like a good sprayed apple (they are bigger, crunchier, last longer) from Fairway. But I can’t help go local or organic at the Union Square Green Market. The market is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday (I think Saturday is the best day to go). We bring our handy Whole Foods reusable back and walk over there (I try to do my part).

On our typical shopping list is radishes, basil, carrots (never will I buy baby carrots in a bag again), and tomatoes (heirloom and Jersey). Who knew there were purple and white carrots, in addition to orange? The heirloom tomato is a particular favorite, and we lean towards the big, oddly shaped ones. But these little baskets looked too good to not take a picture.

I’ve been reading about tomato blight that’s affected our tomatoes up north. Tim Stark, a Pennsylvania farmer with his own stand (and the author of “Heirloom Notes from an Accidental Tomato Farmer”, see my Aug. 14th post), said he had to spray one of his organic fields to save the tomatoes. The late spring rain was a factor (and there is an interesting read in the NYTimes from a local chef about other potential causes. Interesting read).

Here is a nice pile of local corn. This reminds me of the Elote (Mexican Sweet Corn) at a friends BBQ this month. They sell it at the street fairs (I can’t even imagine the margin, at $3 an ear?). But it’s so yummy. The corn is roasted on the grill, then brushed with a creme fraiche mix and sprinkled with a mix of spices (chili powder, cumin) and Cotija cheese. I’ve found a recipe so can make it on my own when I get that grill, and deck. Or you can invite me over to your rooftop and I’ll make it for you.

I don’t have a picture, but my big find earlier in the season was fresh beets which I roasted in the oven and made a beet, goat cheese and candied pecan salad. If the local chefs shop for their produce here, I can shop and cook, too! I will admit, I passed on the ramps. In fact, I actually had to email my friend, Emmie, and ask if she had ever cooked with them.

One last picture, the flowers for sale:

Here’s to more finds at the market this Fall!

*I’ve become a big fan of the camera on my iPhone. As someone pointed out, it’s always with you. And I can very discreetly take pictures. People think I’m texting. I only have the 3G version, but hear the camera on the 3GS is even better (and it does video, though I would spare you on my blog). All the pics easily transport over to my mac when I sync, it’s great.