Sunday, September 27, 2009

Farmer's Market and the leaves are turning

It's Sunday! I love Sunday because it's the day I go to the Ballard Farmer's Market and hold and ogle a bunch of different vegetables, scramble for grass-fed beef, pick which flavor of honey to buy and get pushed out of the way at the heirloom tomato bins. It's wonderful. I haven't been to the market for the last several weeks because we've been out of town, so today was especially anticipated.

I got green beans, purple carrots, yellow cherry tomatoes and sweet corn from the Skagit Valley, red peppers and zebra striped tomatoes from Carnation, pastured eggs from Sedro Woolley, raw honey from I don't remember where, raw goat cheese from Estrella farms and last but not least, mmmmm, raw jersey milk and raw cream from Vashon Island. I'm especially excited about the raw cream because I have been on a relentless search for...raw butter.

Even getting the cream of the crop (no pun intended) from our local co-op, PCC, which runs $3.99 a half pound, it's all pasteurized. This has become a trend, expectation, even law, in the US now--pasteurization. To kill germs and keep us healthy. Unfortunately, it kills most of the nutrients in our milk and dairy products as well. Trying to find raw dairy from pastured (grass-fed) animals is difficult. And expensive. So, the milk runs $8 for a half gallon and the cream $5 for a half pint. Spendy, I know. Here is why I buy it: 1. It tastes so much better than pasteurized milk. 2. Raw dairy has the vitamins we need for healthy immune systems (beat the swine flu!) better brain function, healthier skin and hair and just more happiness (no I really mean this--you eat better food, your body does not get depressed!).

So, I am off to go buy a hand mixer so that I can beat my raw cream into really, really good raw butter. I hear it's easy. However, things are much easier once you've learned how to do them and no longer have to figure it out from a book. So, once I've actually beat the cream into butter and expelled all the buttermilk and then eat it and realize I've been successful, then I will claim victory.

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