I absolutely love summertime and the Farmer's Market! I quickly rose this morning with great anticipation as it was going to be my first trip of the season to the Farmer's Market. I couldn't have asked for a more picture perfect morning. There was just a hint of cool in the morning air, it was perfectly calm, little birds tweeting every where I went. Even the rose bush outside of my front door is in full bloom and smelling particularly rosier this morning.
I arrived at the Market about 8:15 and found a lovely parking spot in the shade. As I walked into the market, the frist 5 men I saw all greeted me with a very cheery, "Good morning Miss." I then ran into my Herbology teacher and told her I would bring her some beeswax next week. She insisted I take a heart shaped bottle of Love Potion Bath Salts she had just made. They smell amazing. It was starting to be a lovely morning! I continued on, meeting friends, sharing stories over the miniature zucchini and micro greens. Everyone seemed to have a smile and a hug to share.
As I made my rounds, meandering through the baskets of freshly picked greens, testing some local sprouts and pondering the raspberry vs. the cranberry scone, I spotted my favorite little old german woman who sells the most exquisite little tarts. Being that I was her first customer I was able to snag the ONLY full rectangular raspberry tart she brought to the market. I had scored! I have a dinner party tonight and said that I would bring dessert, being that I had NO clue what to take, well - this was a find indeed!
I had a lovely conversation with her husband for 20 minutes or so and then found what I had come there for - the Squash Blossom! Lovely, fresh, vibrant, squash blossoms! I was simply giddy as I began picking out each individual blossom, making sure each met my specifications of size, color, appeal. As I was walking away I heard a, "Hello Vecina! Have a wonderful day!" It was Manuel, my neighbor from Mexico. Manuel and his friend play the guitar and accordion at the market and sing their hearts out. I had been listening (and tapping my foot in time with the music) when right in mid-song he gives me a shout out. Man, you gotta love small town living. I looked around, I thought for a moment, and I said to myself: "These ARE my people. This IS my home." I felt happy, fulfilled.
The joy and the kindness I felt from everyone this morning reminded me of a verse I read before I left: Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves, do not merely look for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 2: 3-5 I had a glimpse of this everywhere I went today. I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like to live in a world like this, all day, every day.
I left the market thinking how many wonderful things had just transpired. I continued to the health food store and was the only one in line! (Never happens)...I then went to Smiths and not only was gas $3.40, but my pump clicked off on exactly $40.00. A quick dash into the grocery store and I run into my sons best childhood friend, a boy I love and haven't seen for 3 years. WOW! This was shaping up to be an amazing day - and it was only 10 am...
I love days like this. I have now fed my bees, taken care of the chickens and set up a swimming pool for my 100 lb german shepherd Zed. It's these simple things that make me pause, make me smile and make me say, "Wow God - you rock! Thanks for the awesome morning."
I thought you might like a Stuffed Squash Blossom recipe. I make them once a week while I can get them. Next week I think I will attempt a squash blossom pasta and soup.
STUFFED SQUASH BLOSSOMS
For the batter:
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 extra large egg
1/2 cup cold water
Mix all ingredients together and place in a covered dish in the fridge for 30 minutes.
For the stuffing:
6 Tbs Ricotta ( I am making fresh goat milk ricotta)
1 Tbs Freshly grated parmesan
1 tea chopped shallot or scallion
1 Tbs chopped fresh basil (or fresh herb of your choice. Thyme is great as well)
1 Tbs chopped parsley
1 Tbs chopped mushroom (I used some dried chanterells & morels)
1 small clove of garlic, minced
Salt & pepper to taste
Hot oil, about 4 cups so you have a good depth in your pot.
10-15 Squash blossoms preferably with stems attached
Mix all ingredients together. I use a sandwich ziploc bag and put all of the ingredients into it. I snip one corner off the page and use it as a piping bag. Dry brush off any debris you see on the blossoms. Gently open the petals and remove the long stamen. It will be bitter if you use it. Slowly squeeze about 1/2 a tbs of filling into each blossom. Slowly pull the petals together and lightly squeeze the tops together so that they close. Repeat with each blossom. Now, depending on how many blossoms you have and how big they are, the filling amounts will vary. Often I make a double batch of this batter. You just don't want to overfill the blossom.
Once the blossoms are stuffed, remove the batter from the fridge. Bring your oil up to 350-375 degrees. Take the blossoms, one at a time and dip them in the batter (keeping an eye on the tips of the blossom, make sure they stay closed together). Gently and carefully lay each dipped blossom, one at a time in the hot oil. Do not overfill your pot! Cook in stages if needed. When they are fluffy and golden brown on all sides, remove from oil and drain on paper towel. Keep covered until you serve. They will be delicious!