I stopped by the Common Ground
stand first, since I've met a lot of the staff over there when I used to work in that neighborhood. It's a high school run by the New Haven Ecology Project
and I love the idea of purchasing both organic and educational vegetables. I bumped into Gammy at the booth, an old co-worker and we caught up. I loved the communal feel of it.
I zoned in on eggplant (which will be an eggplant parmesan later this week, which will not
be mushy because Alton Brown has taught me how to purge eggplant
), then green peppers (I always buy these) then my eyes lit on the hot peppers. My big plan is to make chili soon, because I'll have enough tomatoes in another few days. So, I picked up a habanero, jalapeno and (I think) a cayenne.
But it was the sweet nardello peppers that were the first score of the day (here's this Bon Appetit Editor's blog on them at Epicurious
). I sort of gestured to them and asked, "Sweet peppers?" And the girl at the booth said, "Yeah, have you had a nardello?" I shook my head. "Here, try one." They had little bits of pepper on a plate and I tasted one. "Wow. Yeah, I'll take three." It's very sweet and roasting should bring out the sugars, so I'm very stoked to try these in something.
I peeked a couple pounds of ground beef in someone's basket (a real wooden one!) and asked her where she got them. She pointed to the booth and I went right away. It was the Four Mile River Farm
and the owner was chatting with a small crowd about livers and kidneys for dog food. He turned to me when he was done. I knew I wanted ground beef, but I had read his list while he was chatting and was curious about a cut called petite tender. So I asked him about it and he explained it would eat like a tenderloin but was cut from the chuck area, so you couldn't overcook it. He cut me a tiny deal on two packages of them, plus the ground beef. Second score!
I wandered through the other booths, seeking eggs and finding peaches (for a free-form peach and raspberry tart) and tomatillos (salsa verde and fried up!). Then I saw Debbie, who makes Voda Soaps
. I met her when I was a more regular installment of the Westville/West Rock neighborhood (when I used to work there), through a co-worker and a festival. I got a present of four soaps and loved
them. So I took advantage and picked up a bar of my favorite, Medicine Woman
(score number three!). I chatted with her for awhile and she mentioned that the Wooster Park Farmer's Market
on Saturdays is huge and fun and cool. I think I'll have to make it out there with Becky
, my fellow foodie, next week. Then it was time to take my bounty home. Some of Debbie's Voda Soaps
From left to right, Top: Petite tender steak, Ground beef, Eggplant, Green peppers, Peaches;Bottom: Tomatillos, Cayenne pepper, Jalapeno pepper, Habanero pepper, Sweet nardello peppers, Voda Medicine Woman soap
I seriously can't wait to cook this stuff up. Expect more recipes up (and this time I'll take pictures)!