Farmers Markets, Everyone?

The markets are coming, the markets are coming! Actually, they're here. So grab your baskets and vegetable dyed reusable bags. Time to shop al fresco.

I hit Green City Market this week (Wednesdays & Saturdays 7 a.m. - 1 p.m.) located on Clark just north of North Avenue. Oh happy day.

Phoenix Bean's Jenny Yang was offering several different tofu samples, so that was breakfast washed down with coffee from my reusable to-go mug. A taste of leafy greens served as a palate cleanser. Next visit I hope to eat more, perhaps a cheese sample or two.

On this first outdoor market shop of the season I was "out and out" in 20 minutes (my record is 12). I nabbed two packages of Phoenix Bean tofu, one dozen eggs and a bunch each of asparagus and rhubarb from Ellis Farms, two hunks of Brunkow cheese, two dozen eggs from Mint Creek Farm, 1/2 pound mushrooms from the mushroom guy, one pretzel braid from Bennison's Bakery, three lettuce heads from Tomato Mountain, and a partridge in a pear tree. Mission accomplished.

This season I'll be posting as I shop to aid the market-phobic (me ten years ago). Yes, I'm looking for converts. Always. So stay tuned if you're game. I'll do my best.


Steel Cut Oatmeal

Yes it's true. A lesson on steel cut oats. Those instructions on the package sound no fail. But are they? I've over/under-cooked enough oats to cry uncle forever.

That was until Sister-in-law Amy's slow cooker oatmeal recipe arrived via email. I nabbed a 1.5 quart crock pot, in turquoise, for eight bucks at Target. The games began.

I tried the recipe several times. Tasted great. Took some patience. Not a good combo for me. Lots of timing and pot scrubbing involved. My pragmatic inner voice said, "There must be another way!"

My solution is a mash up of the slow cooker recipe and the package instructions. No more wasted oats. No more head shaking at breakfast. Just me and a hot bowl of goodness.

The turquoise slow cooker goes to the next college student who walks through my door.