June 2, 2012

Saturday Fun

This morning Bo and I woke up and decided to do something we had been planning to do for weeks...go to the Riverside Art and Farmer's Market!  Looking back on it, I don't know what took us so long, but whatever it was, we shouldn't have let it hold us back because this farmer's/art market is seriously awesome!
The Riverside Arts Market is "Jacksonville's Premiere Outdoor Arts & Entertainment Venue [and is] located ...under the canopy of the Fuller Warren Bridge."
Here's a panoramic view of part of the market located underneath the bridge.  
Pretty cool, huh?!

As we began to meander our way up and down the markets' first aisle, whaddya know but a little birdie wanted to let me know that he was overhead.

What, exactly, does that mean - you might ask.  

Well, let me enlighten you. 

It means that a bird pooped on my head!

I mean seriously...what are the odds?!

Thankfully my hair is light enough that you couldn't tell too much.  Bo used one of our re-useable grocery bags to try and pull most of it off of my scalp, but I couldn't perform proper damage control until we got home.  Oh well, I don't think anyone except Bo and I actually noticed.

With that said, now I know that birds pooping on people's heads isn't just something you see in the movies...lucky me. ;)

With the birdie-poop-incident behind us, Bo and I decided to concentrate on the abundance of produce around us.  In addition to the produce being absolutely beautiful, I was particularly thrilled that every fruit and vegetable in the entire market had been grown within two hours of Jacksonville, FL!  It doesn't hardly get more local than that!

And I have to say, buying produce that is locally grown leaves your feeling really good as a customer.  It feels so - I don't know...right?! - to know that you are funneling money right back into the community you call home.

Bountiful ears of corn.

Handmade bars of soap in dozens of flavors.  

I think that these would make great gifts.  At the very least, I know that I would love to receive something like this with which I could pamper myself!  Christmas presents perhaps?!

Sweet potatoes. Eggplant. Zucchini.

Just look at the colors!

Eggplant, zucchini, and crooked-neck squash by the bucket full!

What's red, yellow, and green AND tastes juicy and delicious?!

No. Obviously it's not a stoplight...

...it's a tomato!

These gorgeous portabello mushrooms had me envisioning a mushroom spaghettini right away...
...recipe to (hopefully) come soon!

Citrus of all kinds: lemons, grapefruits, and oranges.

In addition to all the food and art vendors that were selling their goods, there were also a number of food stands that were offering baked goods for breakfast (scones, muffins, turnovers, and doughnuts), hot coffee, freshly squeezed lemonade, raw juices, and one fusion cuisine station that REALLY caught our attention!

Let's just say that the next time we come to the Riverside Arts Market we are coming closer to lunch time AND with empty stomachs!

To top it all off, there was LIVE music to boot!

Next time I envision that, after we have bought our goods for the day, we will grab a bite to eat from the alligator, cop a squat in front of the band, and enjoy a peaceful and relaxing lunch to the sounds of live music and community.  Honestly, what better way is there to spend a Saturday?!

Once we got home, I couldn't wait to spread out all of our purchases on the breakfast table.  I couldn't believe how much we ended up walking away with!

All together now.

I could hardly believe it, but our total haul only cost us $35.00!  

Just in case you can't tell from the pictures above and below, here is a list of all the produce we brought home with us:
  • 1 bunch kale;
  • 1 bunch arugula;
  • 1 basket of green beans;
  • 1 basket of portabello mushrooms;
  • 2 beets;
  • 2 avocados;
  • 2 cucumbers;
  • 4 tomatoes;
  • 4 pears;
  • 5 peaches;
  • 2 banana peppers; and
  • 2 baskets of strawberries. 

It didn't take me long to come up with a delicious use for our farmer's market goods! 

For dinner, to go along with Honey-Roasted Carrots and Bo's Dijon-Basted Chicken Breast, I whipped up an amazing salad that had both of our taste buds dancing!

Farmer's Market Arugula, Strawberry, and Avocado Salad (ASAS)
Serves 2

1/2 medium bunch of arugula, roughly chopped
7 strawberries, sliced
1 avocado, diced
1/8 C sliced almonds
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 T lemon juice
1 T Dijon mustard
1 tsp dried crushed mint
1 tsp honey


  • Add the arugula, strawberries, avocado and almonds to a medium salad bowl.
  • In a small Mason jar, combine the apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, EVOO, Dijon mustard, mint, and honey.
  • Shake well.
  • Pour 1/2 to 3/4 of the dressing over the salad.
  • Toss to coat.
  • Chill until ready to serve.

Like eating summer on a plate, this salad is light, sweet, and peppery!  I am telling you, the next time you pick up fresh strawberries MAKE. THIS. SALAD.!  It really is delicious.  And if you aren't a fan of cooked carrots (although you should be...if you know how to cook them correctly!), you could make this salad a meal in and of itself my simply topping it with baked chicken or broiled tofu.  Done and done.

Question of the Day:

Is there a farmer's market where you live?  If so, do you visit it regularly?  What is your favorite thing to pick up while you are there?!

Ally and Bo

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