Saturday, February 2, 2008

Dark Days Challenge Week 4: Saturday Mornings

What you see above is a typical brunch in my home on the weekends - eggs, toast, and homefries - and it's all local. I've been waiting to tell you all about my weekend morning feasts until I could say that. Last weekend I found flour at the farmers market, so I was able to make my weekly bread local AND homemade! I don't know how I missed the flour before...maybe I never looked closely enough, or maybe the farmer had just freshly milled some that week. It's from Oak Grove Mill on the Blew Farm in Franklin, NJ, only 50 miles away, and in addition to the whole wheat flour I purchased, he was selling a whole cornucopia of rye, cornmeal, pancake mixes, and buckwheat. I was happy to discover that this local flour worked just as well for breadmaking as King Arthur flour. So there you have it, homemade toast, potatoes and onions from the GreenMarket, and eggs and butter from Ronnybrook Farm. Somtimes I wash my breakfast down with a cup of sweet Ronnybrook milk too.

Afterward, we get dressed and trek a few blocks away to the Greenmarket in McCarren Park, where we refresh our supply of eggs, milk, butter, vegetables, and so on for the next week. (Sometimes I also supplement this with a trip to the Union Square market, if the selection in McCarren Park is particularly scarce). Saturday mornings have become my favorite part of the week ever since I started going to Greenmarkets this summer. For some reason, I really look forward to the chance to be outside in the morning air to pick out my food for the week from farmers who always manage to smile even when that morning air is frigid. And the chance to enjoy a leisurely, terrific, fresh meal, knowing that it's better than Enid's, which I used to think served the best brunch in Williamsburg. When the weather was warmer and the Greenmarket teemed with hipsters, strollers, dogs, and other ecletctic personalities, I was energized on Saturday mornings to wake up as early as possible and get to the market before all the good stuff ran out. Now that it's winter, I'm lazier and sleep in because there isn't much competition over eggs and vegetables, and also because I think I have a touch of seasonal affective disorder.

To think that last winter I didn't even think about where my food came from and felt awkward and intimidated by farmers markets. Actually, I think my whole environmental awareness emerged around this time last year, when I started reading No Impact Man and other green blogs, but my enthusiasm for local eating didn't really start until I was inspired by One Local Summer to make great meals out of ingredients from farmers markets. So next time you're planning a grocery store trip, consider spending a fun morning or afternoon at a farmers market instead. Something tells me you'll find it more enjoyable and rewarding.

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