Archives for posts with tag: market

Ideal overcast Sunday: up early-ish, yogurt and almond butter (breakfast part 1), “yoga church” with dear roommate-friend Laura, back home for breakfast part 2 (raisin toast with cream cheese), and a walk across the locks to the Ballard Market. Plus a stop at Cafe Besalu, Seattle’s beloved (and packed) French patisserie. Line out the door, beautiful buttery scent out the door. Just this morning I’d been telling Laura about the tragic scarcity of orange rolls in this world (craving sparked by Saveur) and whaddyaknow, there in the blessed Besalu case, orange brioche. Aka, extra eggy, extra good orange rolls. And there’s breakfast part 3: americano and half an orange roll.

Then on down to the market, where I tried every single sample. Ballard Market has a freakishly high/great percentage of sample-doling vendors. Anne ate: apples, pears, kim chi, sauerkraut carrots, gingerbread caramels, absinthe caramels, chocolate-covered toffee pretzels (really), salmon jerky, muesli, the best $12 strawberry jam on earth, camembert, cheddar, and some picked salmon. Yes. Breakfast part 4: shmorgasbord.

TEMPTING:

Everyone was parked on the curb, eating folded-over wood fired pizza slices, making me envious. But I somehow managed to resist, saving myself for the best “quesadilla” of my young life. A gigantic heap of hearty, winter market-y vegetables (think dark green kale and bright ruby beets) steaming on a hot hot grill, ready to be folded into a tortilla with just enough cheese and topped with spoonful upon spoonful of tomatillo salsa. Yes. Went home full and happy with half a pound of adorable teensy brussel sprouts, a hunk of smoked salmon, some fresh fettuccine (…and a new Kavu jacket.)

Unrelated but kinda related: Lately I have been feeling… inspired. (For lack of a more inspired word word.) I have been reading lots of fantastic blogs (Orangette, Sweet Amandine, Wednesday Chef, Hungry Ghost, An Apple A Day… if you’re bored too) and magazines (Lucky Peach, Kinfolk, The Art of Eating) and feeling like there are two million things I want to do: flower arranging (no, seriously), traveling, photographing, selling orange rolls at the market, writing, eating, cooking, baking, studying critical theory, gardening, editing cookbooks, eating, reading, eating. Thrilling! Possibilities are thrilling.

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Every morning I walk through Pike Place Market. I will never stop loving Pike Place Market, nor will I ever give up calling it Pike’s like a spacey tourist. I arrive on bus 31 at 3rd and Pine at 8:16, which leaves me 14 minutes to walk to 1201 Western Ave, Seattle Met HQ, 6 blocks away. I hustle past the closed shops on Pine and the just-waking homeless, racing down toward Puget Sound so I can go slowly through the barely roused market. I pass by the guy with the “Old Hippies Need Love Too” sign and exchange routine nods and clomp down that last little steep pitch past Sur La Table and Beechers, peeking into both. Some mornings I see the white-jacketed staff of Marche prepping in their big kitchen, quietly looking over long lists, clearly appreciating the rarity of silence in that space. Then I’m on down that little strip of shops on the left of the market; the Chinese steamed bun place, the tiny old couple already there rolling dough; the pastry shop whose windows are filled with croissants and baguettes, leaving only a tiny hole for the vendor’s face; the cinnamon-heavy bakery whose blueberry bran muffins I cannot resist. I continue South, muffin in hand, crossing paths with this dapper old man who is always, always there, nodding to his market friends, hands in the pockets of his khaki overcoat. Sometimes I pop into the market proper, the covered space that becomes packed pandemonium on a summer Sunday. The fish is coming in, their shiny bodies getting re-situated in new ice, their glassy eyes all lined up, their mouths gaping, showing their odd little fish teeth. The dried flower ladies arrive around the same time as me, announced by their rustling as they move box after box of dyed-purple thistles and silver spray-painted wheat in from vans. 8:25, I walk back up to 1st. Past the tacky T-shirt shops, past the Four Seasons, past Frans and their worth-three-dollar dark chocolate almonds, past SAM and the hammering man I remember thinking was Paul Bunyan. Turn right where University ends, trot down the Harbor Steps, look at myself in the vacant storefront windows on the corner, watch everyone else look at themselves in the window, lust after the candlesticks in Liave, pull open the very big front doors, click across the lobby, catch the elevator, wonder whats on the key-holder-only 7th floor, get off at the 4th, say “Good Morning” and try not to yawn, walk past the food critic’s office, feel full of job envy, and there I am, at my very own desk, with my mason jar of pistachios and tacked-up picture of me and my mom and dad.

P.S. I am a tiny bit proud: read my restaurant post on the Seattle Met food blog.

McCall has a surprisingly great little farmers’ market. Kids selling lemonade, the greens guy selling all my favorite things (spinach, collard greens, chard, and the best kale I’ve ever had, in all my kale adventures), cute old pair selling jams and muffins, grizzled ranch guy hawking lamb and cows that I’ve probably driven by in their living days, the famed Stacey Cakes with her irresistible smattering of tarts and pies (I succumbed to a cherry almond tart, breakfast of champions), and a couple selling tamales. Dang good tamales, chicken with green chile or pork with green, served out of of giant steaming pots stocked with seemingly unlimited goodness. Stacey Cake for breakfast, tamale for lunch, market kale for dinner.

Pike Place post number 3! Slowly morphing this here blog into a blog solely about tacos and markets. Not such a bad thing, I’d say. Anyway, Pike Place. It’s a nice place. It is chock-a-freaking-block full of turistas, but I still love it. I wondered if it’s indeed 100% gawkers, taking photos of Washington apples and buying smoked salmon and novelty umbrellas, but Daddy-o said he used to actually shop at the market (like, you know, for food) when he was a Seattlite. I know if I’d lived nearby I’d be Pike Place-ing it like mad. Even if only for the witty banter and overpriced sugared cashews…

I sort of can’t remember what this is of exactly, but I know it’s somewhere in Pike Place (…because I only took pictures there…didn’t do such a good job documenting this trip.)

Produce! Wahoo!

Brisk (aka mean) Queen of sugary nuts. (But they were darn good. Except the “Banana Walnuts,” ew, totally gross. Cinnamony, coated in big chunks of sugar hazelnuts though? Yes plz.)

Unlike at home where winter means frozen fields, in Florida winter means it’s finally cool enough for plant to grow without being burnt to death. The growing season is just starting in earnest, and this weekend’s farmers’ market was jam-packed with truckloads of fresh local produce and crowds of freezing local people. Starfruit and radishes and the famous Florida oranges, Floridians wrapped in their warmest winter garb for the bracing 65 degree morning. (Tragically, pathetically, I am one of them, shivering in my pashmina in the sunshine.) 

There were masses of the giant beetle-shiny avocados, slices of which I’ve been smearing on slabs of baguette and topping with sprouts for a mid-morning, mid-afternoon, midnight snack.

And lots of dogs, big brawny goldens smiling at tiny sweatered pomeranians. Even a few corgis, all of which I petted with extra love.

It’s nice to not be shoving sunglasses up my sweaty face and instead be cozily wrapped up in my Northwesterner fleece as I pace the market looking for sun-lit vegetables.

Even though it was still solidly within breakfast hours, I couldn’t help myself from getting a fresh grouper taco from the fish van. Big filet of just-grilled grouper topped with chunky avocado-cucumber salsa-guac, lime cream, and lightly pickled cabbage. I felt very content with the world as I perched on the curb and ate my mess of a breakfast taco and watched the dogs and octogenarians go by.

I need a word for the opposite of homesick. For missing places that aren’t your home, but you sort of really wish they were. Like such as Fes. I really really really really liked, aka loved, Fes. The whole time we were there I dreamt of being a local, of learning Arabic-y French and traipsing down to the market each morning, past Ali at the marzipan shop, down along chicken row, live and dead birds stuffed into cages and hanging from the ceiling, picking up a few oranges, still on their branch, from the wizened man who looks like a he might spout extraordinary wisdom at any moment, munching on the strange, light Morocco version of the crepe, big thin sheets of pastry folded onto itself and cooked an a hot metal orb, buying giant, cheap baskets of olives swimming in garlic, barrels of confits, stuffing my bags with local produce and protein before wandering home through the market-maze to create something horrifically good, Middle East-meets-West, in my big, open, blue tiled kitchen. And after dinner, of course, mint tea. Which I may miss most of all. Beautiful, shiny little glasses, appropriately chipped at times, stuffed with fresh mint leaves (available in an abundance unknown to us Americans) and a colossal amount of sugar, melted into it all. Steeped in hot water and drank on a rooftop, having a Lonely Planet moment, listening to the call to prayer, smelling the tanning goat hides, gazing languidly out over the cross hatching of tan buildings crouched below big green hills.