Yesterday I finally made it to the farmer’s market that sets up in the stadium parking lot at Rice every Tuesday. I’ve been meaning to go for weeks.
The market at Rice is small — probably about eighteen or twenty vendors — selling not only fruit and vegetables but also gelato, massages and essential oils, fresh meat and eggs, and homemade cheeses and desserts. I found a woman trying to sell off some zucchini quickly, so I got three for a dollar. But the Indian food vendor was by far my favorite. He was handing out small samples of his pickles, curries, and chutneys smeared on naan and other herbed Indian breads. I picked up some refrigerated spinach bread dough and a garbanzo bean chutney that I loved before I even tasted it. It’s golden-red and smells delicious.
But it’s something of a challenge to shop at a farmer’s market when it isn’t terribly busy. Every vendor looks eager and expectant, and walking by without considering one vendor’s brown-bagged peaches or deciding not to purchase a pint of blueberries after asking about the price feels like a personal affront to all Houston local farmers. Still, I plan on budgeting myself about $10 or $15 to spend at the market each week, and for that I can purchase a lot more fresh produce and interesting local foods than I could at the grocery store.
I haven’t decided yet what to do with the zucchini, so I’m open to any recipe suggestions. I’m thinking I’m going to scoop out their middles, stuff them, and broil them.