Oak Park Farmer’s Market 2016

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Today was the first day of the Oak Park Farmer’s Market. I have been eagerly anticipating this market all spring. For one, I love farmer’s markets. Secondly, this is a particularly good one. Thirdly, and most importantly, in my new home I can look out my window and watch the market unfold below me. I woke up before 6 am this morning and looked out my front window to see the farmers buzzing around below like so many busy bees setting up their tents. I took my dog out for his morning walk and, true to form, he wanted to bolt over to the middle of the action, but alas, dogs are not allowed in the market. After our walk I came up for a quick breakfast (so as to not shop hungry) and then I went down to the market as it was opening. I came back with hothouse tomatoes, a San Marzano tomato plant, lettuce, onions, rhubarb, green and purple asparagus, radishes, cucumbers, and this really tasty balsamic herbal vinegar (pictured on the left). My  grocery budget for this week didn’t allow for much more, but that’s enough to whet my appetite for the goodness to come this summer. I’ll be able to spend  more cash at the market next week and I’ve already noted several things I want to buy, like blueberry jam, hot sauce, granola and trail mix, and a plethora of spring veggies from every booth. I might also get some bread, homemade soap, and beeswax candles. Even though I have honey coming to me from my own hive in Michigan (alas, the bees didn’t make it through the winter but the bequeathed their honey to me in their will) I may break down and buy a small jar next week because who can resist those jars of local honey?

I’m looking forward to shopping the market all season and volunteering at the information booth about every other week. I’m hoping to get to know some of the farmers and try out all of the amazing local, organic and artisan foods for sale.

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Sourdough pancakes with no dairy

So I recently started making sourdough again. Many of the bread recipes don’t call for dairy, but the sourdough pancake recipe I have does. Milk is easy, since I have discovered  the So Delicious brand. But egg substitutes are more intimidating to me. I went about finding some egg substitutes. What I used was 1 tbsp. of chia seeds soaked in water for 15 min. It worked just fine, although it did add a bit of texture to the pancakes. The recipe in the link above says to grind your chia seeds first, which would have most likely solved the texture issue. No, I did not take pictures of them. You’ll just have to take my word that they were good. I’ll take some pictures next time, I promise. I actually made them twice, and the second time I made blueberry-cranberry sourdough pancakes smothered in real maple syrup. I washed that all down with some fresh coffee made in a french press….heaven. I beginning, just a little, to stop pining for dairy products. If I could just find a satisfying cheese substitute, I’ll be set.