28 July 2011 § 3 Comments
Earlier this week The Ladies™ and I went back to our old stomping ground, Hoboken, New Jersey.
When they were babies, we spent a lot of time at the Farmers’ Market, as I found it was perfect for a bit of much-needed grown-up conversation with the market vendors and with other moms, even if that did revolve around comparing how little sleep we were getting.
It was during that sleep-deprived period of time that I first decided to write this blog. Friends had been asking me what I was going to cook with all the fresh produce I’d bought and others asked for advice on what was good for making fresh baby food.
Set against an urban backdrop (quite a contrast to the rolling hills of Delaware County for the Pakatan market or the historic Stockade District that houses Kingston’s market), Hoboken Farmers’ Market is small and friendly. The stalls sell mostly fresh fruit and vegetables with next to no meat or cheese vendors. It was good to see some familiar Montclair Farmers’ Market faces though—Sally from the Montclair Bread Company, John Krueger from Starbrite Organics and of course, Picklelcious, whom I must thank for letting us eat through their entire stock of samples.
Our trip was special as we visited the Farmers’ Market with their oldest and best friend—lifelong Hoboken resident Princess Protea—who is also four and a half. It was so funny watching the three of them eat their way from stall to stall, like so many Eric Carle caterpillars, savoring the samples at Picklelicious, smelling the overgrown basil plants and munching on apples and carrots with the big green tops still on.
By and large, the produce on sale was a reminder that summer is flying by: huge fragrant melons, mountains of Jersey peaches, basil, plums, and apples – a sure sign of seasonal things to come. Fall flavored evidence that summer is nearly over.
One of The Ladies™ strong-armed me into buying some baby artichokes. I will remind her of that fact when she refuses to eat them. Watch out for a baby artichoke recipe later this week and some tips on patient parenting.
The big purchase of the afternoon involved some juicy Jersey plums. I used them to make these delicious honey and cinnamon plum cakes. Like so many other Nigel Slater recipes, they are worth making for the smell alone. The wafting aroma of golden syrup simmering with butter is rich beyond words. So much so, I can’t even bring myself to write up the recipe until tomorrow.
The Hoboken Farmers’ Market is located on Washington between Newark and First Streets and is there all summer from 3pm to 7pm every Tuesday. It is very close to the PATH, NY Waterways and NJ Transit, so you have no excuse not to visit this very urban outpost of the Garden State.