One thing we tend to take for granted, those of us who live in Southern California, is the abundance of delicious, fresh and healthy produce that is available to us all year 'round. This was brought home to me when we had family in town from the midwest last week.
They had come here for a birthday celebration and were able to spend a couple of extra days hanging out in our fantastic weather. On one of the hottest days we've had so far this year in NE LA, we piled into the car and headed out to Malibu. But being at the beach makes me hungry, so I packed up some sandwiches and fresh fruit to take along with us.
You cannot imagine the impact a cucumber can have on someone! I had picked up some fresh cucumbers at the farmers market a few days earlier. Without giving it too much thought, I sliced them up and popped them on some bagels with a smear of cream cheese and some smoked salmon. Delish! But the cucumbers were the talk of the trip from that point on..... How fresh, how delicious, how sweet and crunchy... Nothing else our relatives ate on their entire trip inspired as much conversation or compliments. Of course, I basked in the attention and got all the credit for the making the most amazing sandwich (which really just boils down to having the good sense to buy a few cucumbers at the market - who would've thought?).
Now, I have to say that I myself do love these cukes. They are small, have few seeds and a thin skin that is NOT waxed, so they are yummy unpeeled. I find myself putting them on everything (they are especially good with egg salad).
The other big impression on our out-of-town family was made by juicy, ripe strawberries on homemade waffles for breakfast one morning. They add color and vitamins, as well as flavor and sweetness to an otherwise only marginally healthy breakfast. Fresh squeezed juice (from citrus from the market, of course) is the prefect compliment.
It is easy to overlook how lucky we are to have such a variety of fresh, healthy and delicious produce available to us at any time of the year. To see this bounty through the eyes of visitors really brings it home and makes me grateful to live in CA and also to have a great farmers market to shop at within just a few blocks of home.
The market is found every Tuesday from 3- 8 p.m. on Avenue 58 and Marmion Way, between the Gold Line station and Figueroa Blvd. There is FREE PARKING after 4 p.m. in the lot adjacent to the market.
See you there. ML