I made the rounds of the local markets yesterday, and man… shopping local is NOT fast. I left home just before noon and went to Oasis Cafe first to visit Chad’s Produce. There, I bought eggs, spring mix greens, a yellow squash, and leeks. Next I made a quick detour to our landlord’s credit union to deposit the rent, and then headed south toward Market on State.
I got as far south as 700 S when I remembered that someone told me that Heritage Valley Organics (HVO) poultry is sold at Caputo’s, so I decided to give Caputo’s another try. I still don’t like the layout of the store, but at least this time everyone was nice! Not only does Caputo’s sell frozen birds from HVO, but Nels and Mary were there as part of the Locavore market. Yay! I bought a chicken from HVO and a (grass-fed beef) steak from Lori Ann of Lau Family Farms. I also wanted to try Star G Bar natural beef, so I bought one of their frozen steaks (from the Caputo’s freezer) too.
Since I was having good luck there, I decided to see what else looked good. I picked up some Creminelli salami – Wild Boar and Piccante – as well as some ground pork from Christiansen’s Family Farm. HVO and Christiansen’s were both at the CSA Open House I attended on Feb 23 – which I still need to write about – and I’ve been wanting to try their stuff, so I was happy to find it being sold at Caputo’s. I found some local honey from Slide Ridge Honey that’s dark and has a pretty strong flavor. I usually only buy clover honey because I want a lighter taste in baked goods, but I thought I would try a small jar of something new. So far, I’ve just used this honey in tea, but I’d like to make some candies or something with it that will show off the flavor. And finally, Caputo’s has Clifford Farm eggs for $3.99. Nice! Maybe I won’t have to dislike that store after all.
On my way to Market on State, I stopped by Target and an antique store called Chic & Unique that had some cute furniture out front. It turned out that most of the cutest stuff was out front, but I did find a small present for my mom (I can’t say what it is since I haven’t given it to her yet). Back on track, I finally made it to Market on State. I bought my standard clover honey from Canyon Meadows Ranch (yes, the beef people) and some pears and spaghetti squash from Fowers Fruit Ranch.
I also checked out the new vendor there – Daniella with Once Upon The Time Farm. She had some local stuff and some stuff from California. I bought a pineapple, a green coconut, shallots, and shiitake mushrooms – my first time buying (and first time eating?) shiitake mushrooms. I sauteed one of them with other veggies last night for dinner. They are soft and pillowy like a marshmallow! I usually only buy portobellos or baby bellas, so the shiitake were quite different for me!
I was getting tired and hungry, so I skipped Cali’s Natural Foods and headed home. I arrived back home just before 4pm, put everything away, had a snack, and then left again at 5:15pm to go look at a possible location for the tea party that Trina and I want to have. I was there for about 20 minutes, talking to the owner and looking around. On my way home, I passed a Ream’s and stopped in to see what it was like. I’d never been in one before. The lighting was bad and the music was depressing – it reminded me of how some of the old Albertson’s used to be. My last stop was at the Whole Foods on Highland – it was on the way home and I hadn’t been to that location before, so why not? I needed almond butter, frozen fruit for smoothies, and various nuts.
I finally got back home just before 8pm. What a long day of errands, most of them food shopping. I like buying local food as much as possible – and meeting the people producing the food I’m eating – but I need to find a way to make the process faster.