The Assyrian Monks Sold Olive Bread

Saturday morning ritual- up before the sun and head down to the farmers market.
First let’s discuss this daylight savings time nonsense. I will just take the position right now that I hate it and refuse to set my watch to the “new” time for at least another week. There. Enough said.
Farmers market- you really must get up early to see the best stuff. Look, I know it’s Saturday and this is your only day to sleep in, but you’re not going to be there that long. You can go home and crawl back into the sack if you must! Quit complaining!
In my neck of the woods, if you want to see what’s grown locally you have to go downtown, “under the bridge.” Well, it used to be a bridge but now it’s the freeway, but basically, you’re under a road, so don’t quibble.
I always take my all-knowing cooking friend with me to ask questions (I’m a little shy that way) and because he’s strong, to carry the bags- take your own grocery bags or if you really want to go “pro-mode,” one of those wheeled carts and bring small bills.Maybe, if it’s very early, take a flashlight.  By the way, if you don’t know what something is or how to cook it, go ahead and ask. Usually the answer is “sauté (stir-fry) with garlic.”   It’s the same in every language. I think garlic is truly the most international, cross-cultural food.
This is not your frous-frous market. This is where the real people shop.  Things brought home today: cabbage (you haven’t seen heads this big- ever), beets, $1 a bunch, spinach, also $1. a bunch, and lovely, lovely brown eggs. Let me stop here and praise the eggs. If you don’t go for anything else, go for the eggs. Yum! Oh, and snap peas- fresh, fresh ones.
There is also a row of fish vendors. This can be daunting. If you know what you’re looking for, you’re in good shape. If you don’t, skip this row.
I’ve bought red spinach under the bridge. I could not believe the color… or the flavor. Unbelievable!
Fresh local honey, fruit of every variety, many you haven’t seen before. Rainbow chard, kale, peanuts, taro. Sometimes there is a girl there selling tuberoses. Amazing, sweet fragrance. Onions are another reason to go- as my good friend describes them: red, green onions- long green stems, red and white bulbs. Too good.
On the south end of the market are several bakeries. Stop here last.
Look for the earnest young man with a beard in the long dark robe and head covering. Try everything on the table- they have samples of it all. But take home the Kalamata olive and garlic bread, or the onion and garlic herb bread or the cinnamon bread (great with that coffee you’ll get on the way home). If you have a few minutes, stay and talk awhile. Lovely people.
You are going to feel so good when you finish your excursion here. Trust me when I tell you this.
Go home and make breakfast. Enjoy the beautiful day.
See you there next week- We’ll talk later.

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