If there ever was a day that I’d feel sluggish, I would lug myself to the local farmers’ market and find myself reinvigorated by the gifts abounded from Mother Earth. Now, there was a place where people were for the most part happy – happy to have found the perfect zucchini blossoms for fritters or happy to soak in the sun while savoring lunch on a slow Friday. The entire crowd seemed to be in slow motion because one didn’t just hop in and out of a farmers’ market. One slathered around. This was no small titter. This was an affair to plan ahead – walking shoes and tote bag in hand are the uniform of the day. Also, one should always plan to come back with surprise and unexpected finds which would later culminate into the highlight of the day in the forms of a spur of the moment dessert or a test recipe.
Any day of the year, I would find flowers that I would never have gotten from my own garden, not in a million years. I especially like the mixed bouquets for their intense play of colors. There are also those bunches of lime green Irish bells and deep purple delphiniums – the kinds that you would want interspersed in whatever floral arrangements you come up with, for they are as sure a success as any Pucci prints.
I found an array of sweet potatoes and yams – Okinawan yams, purple yams, Jewel sweet potatoes. I settled on a bag of purple yams which I later microwaved for 4 minutes and gobbled up with dollops of Spring Hill Organic Cultured Butter. Vitamin A versus organic cholesterol – Yammy!
At another stall, I found fresh peas and Chinese kale. I have already been dreaming of spring pea soup and sauteed greens. I couldn’t decide whether to rework an old recipe for pea flan or spring up something totally new. Then I thought of that absurd Princess and her Pea story – Mr. Hans Christian Andersen must have been smoking pea leaves when he thought anybody, princess or not, could feel a pea beneath twenty mattresses. Anyway, anything green would do for me – that color of lush grass and new sprouts that plants show off after a harsh winter.
In a moment of grandiose imitation of top chefs, I decided to make up a pea souffle recipe. Here is my attempt:
- 1/2 cup of fresh peas
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 1 Tbsp of flour
- 1/2 cup of shredded Fontina cheese
- one egg yolk and two egg whites
- minced chilies, salt, pepper, sugar to taste
- 3 small ramekins buttered and coated with parmesan cheese
Boil fresh peas until cooked, set aside. Preheat oven 400 F. Cook flour and milk till smooth and sauce thickened. Add peas, chilies, and salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Blend entire mixture in blender till smooth. Return mixture to saucepan. Add Fontina cheese to mixture, cook till cheese is melted, set aside. Add egg yolk to mixture. Beat egg whites till soft peaks. Fold in mixture carefully. Pour mixture into ramekins and put in oven at 400 F for 20 minutes.
Serve with salads, a dab of balsamic vinaigrette and anything that you fancy. Voila!
So, today I came home with bags of produce and continued dreaming of becoming a Martha Stewart/Diva. Wow, how bountiful could Earth be without worms like us who dream of becoming butterflies?