Sunday, August 30, 2009

fresh + local

farmer's market fun

it's almost embarrassing that it took me this long to wander over to the local farmer's market! the weekly south estes market may not be the biggest show in town (carrboro and raleigh have larger ones), but it is a mere 5 minutes from my house! for me, convenience is key, and that is certainly convenient enough.

located in a chunk of parking lot, the surroundings aren't super scenic, but i appreciated being able to drive right up and park just feet away from the vendors*. i actually liked that the number of booths was not overwhelming. the essentials were all there: fresh greens, peppers, herbs, tomatoes, peaches, figs (!!!). i would have liked some more variety in the fruit department, but i suppose you can't necessarily grow californian crops in NC.

there were also booths featuring meats from local farms, from pork to beef to lamb. there was NC-caught seafood as well! i wasn't prepared to do my real shopping, so i didn't bring any of those things home, but next time i plan on it.

i could not resist the ricotta-fig spread at this shop -- two of my favorite things, with a little honey added in for good measure.

here's my take-home loot:

and my post-market snack:

the aforementioned ricotta-fig spread, served with a non-local (but delicious + organic) plum and some seedy crackers

all in all, i really enjoyed the experience! i felt like the prices were quite fair, the mood was pleasant, and the quality of the produce excellent. i also liked feeling like i was 'voting with my wallet' in supporting these local farmers. i definitely plan on making this trip part of my weekly routine whenever possible.

the rest of my decadent saturday?
was awesome.

massage = lovely.

shopping = successful (i'll share pictures tomorrow.)

we didn't make it to blueberry picking, sadly. josh didn't make it home until 3 pm, and at that point a nap on the couch seemed pretty much essential. it really is a bit heartbreaking because i think this weekend was the last one! and i SO wanted to make muffins. next year, i guess . . .

finally, post-nap we headed out to a rather impromptu dinner with some friends at piedmont. i have had mixed experiences there, but felt encouraged by their delicious-looking menu, updated daily, blog-style:

click to enlarge if you a menu-nerd like i am!

the wine and the conversation were flowing, making for a fun evening. our table consisted of 1 surgeon (josh), 3 OB/GYNs, 1 pediatrician, and . . . a geographer. fortunately, we didn't get too graphic with our medical talk and i learned that geography is actually a rather hip and up-and-coming field!

the food was excellent. i didn't take pictures, but i am regretting it now. i really do enjoy documenting restaurant experiences (i'm even thinking about looking into doing some writing for carpe durham), but last night i was camera-shy.

i feel like i made great selections, though! when josh and i arrived (late), the other members of the table were already midway through the cheese plate. i managed to snag a delicious piece of the asher blue with candied hazelnuts, which went nicely with a piece of warm, grainy bread. i tried josh's summer squash soup, which tasted like summer-in-a-bowl, with a salty kick from green olives minced and strewn overtop.

i went with a theme of simple + local, ordering the local heirloom tomato salad (shared with josh) and the pasture raised sirloin with peperonata, fresh herbs, and olive oil. the sirloin was from a local farm (braeburn) and according to the menu was pasture-raised, so i felt good about this choice. the salad was very fresh and filled with sweet multicolored tomatoes and a small amount of mozzerella, and the sirloin was tender and went perfectly with the sauteed peppers that accompanied it.

we shared a pine nut tart with caramel sauce for dessert, which tasted like pecan pie to me (NOT a complaint!). i may have overdone it with the wine (our friend brought 2 bottles, both of which were delicious, particularly the red which complemented my sirloin very nicely), but i didn't leave feeling overly stuffed.

this was probably the best experience i've had at piedmont, and i would definitely go back.

group run!
this post is late (for me!) because i ended up doing my long run with a group in durham this morning! the carolina godiva group is where i met my much-missed friend (and running partner) siobhan. of course, i know i'll never meet anyone as wonderful as she is, but i thought heading out to the sunday long run might be a good way to meet some others to run with.

i was totally nervous to go for some reason, but it turned out just fine! 10 miles were run on hilly terrain (some of it on trail-type surfaces, some on road), and i met some interesting people. i found several that were very close to my pace, so that worked out well. i don't necessarily think i'll do this weekly, but it was a fun change from my solo tobacco trail or franklin street excursions.


☑ 10 mile run -- check!
☑ brunch with my sister in raleigh
☑ music-sharing fest! (also with my sister)
☑ the usual sunday routine: laundry + meal-planning + groceries
☑ some reading for my new rotation -- endocrine. YESSSSS.
☑ hopefully some time with josh when he gets home -- he has been working insane hours lately and i miss him!

* yes, i know that isn't the greenest way i could have gotten there, but . . . one step at a time, okay?



workout: 40 minutes cycling (stationary) + weights
- 2 x 12 pushups
- 2 x 12 squats with ball, 10 lb weights
- 2 x 12 lat pull-downs, 50 lbs
- 2 x 12 walking double lunges, 8 lb weights
- 2 x 12 tricep pressdowns, 15 lbs (getting easier!)
- 2 x 15 crunches
- 2 x 15 oblique crunches (each side)

doin' time: not yet, but tonight will be a fun martha dinner -- already looking forward to it.

reading: only my geography of bliss book. i'm in the thailand section which is pretty interesting.


runsarah said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Love your farmers market purchases! I am trying to do some laundry/meal planning/scheduling today as well.

Allie (Live Laugh Eat) said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I'm definitely carving some time out of a future weekend to tag along with you to the Farmer's Market!

I was pretty camera shy last night too--I kept asking my friend "is the flash SUPER bright!?!!" The restaurant lighting was so dim and I felt like I was lighting up the room with my camera.

Cool mix of careers at the din din table :)

marathonmaiden said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

i'm lazy too when it comes to heading over the farmers market. i would have loved to been a fly on the wall of that dinner, sounds like a great group of ppl

atilla said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

the market looked great. That restaurant menu is tres interesant, remind us next time we're in town

Kath said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Yay Hillsborough Cheese!!!

I've wanted to go to Piedmont too!

emilyrena said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love the Raleigh Farmer's Market, but I might need to go to this one next weekend. The Raleigh one doesn't have a great selection of local meats, which is my only negative.

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