Monday, July 12, 2010

Farmers' Market fun easily leads to fresh baked yumminess!

Over the 4th of July long weekend, we were at Abuelita & Nonno's house, visiting Abuelita and Oma.

Since we were there Friday - Tuesday, we were able to go to the Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Market in downtown Des Moines, held every Saturday from May through October.

Here is the Polk County Courthouse. 
 It's at the intersecting point of a T intersection - Court Avenue begins here and runs perpendicular to the courthouse. Court Avenue is the "main drag" that the Farmers' Market occupies each Saturday. On the smaller side streets, there are also plenty of vendors set up. You could easily walk a couple miles simply ensuring you try not to miss any vendor.

Going to the Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Market is always an experience we look forward to - the fresh produce (especially since it's now blueberry season), artisanal cheeses, pupusas made from scratch and hot off the grill, breakfast burritos, fresh cut flowers in brilliant colors, flavored popcorns, fresh lemonade, artisanal breads, the bands and their various types of music, the people-watching, the dog-watching, handmade gifts, homemade pies, BBQ . . . it's like this every Saturday 7:00 AM - Noon. It's a blast!

 Here's the opposite end of Court Avenue, facing the Polk County Courthouse.
 You can see how packed with vendors and market-goers it is on this particular Saturday, July 3rd.

So we had an exciting moment while we were there . . . we actually ran into one of  Iowa's US Senators - Senator Chuck Grassley. It was a great moment meeting him in person. He was happy to talk to us, and it was nice to see him mingling at a fabulous recurring event like the ever popular Farmers' Market.

At 4-years-old and too young for politics, Livie was much less impressed by what it means to meet a senator. However, since she's always happy to talk to a friendly person, she was polite and eager to have a quick conversation with Sen. Grassley.

Anyway, after our brief visit with the senator, we continued on with our browsing around at the market. We had to get pupusas, lemonade, popcorn for Liv.

We also stopped at a flower booth to get a flower for Liv.

 I got her a rose.
This is the same kind of rose I had when I graduated from Culver. Check Memory Lane Friday - A Ceremony for that story, and a picture of me with my bouquet of roses.

All festive, for the July 4th holiday:

And since it's blueberry season, we just had to get blueberries.

First, Liv LOVES blueberries in her cereal in the mornings. Second, she and I both love snacking on the little nutrient-rich berries.

Well, as soon as I saw the booth with the blueberries, I knew we had to get some right then and there. So Andrew bought a pint.

It was like we'd bought gold. Liv was so excited. I was excited, too. Mmmmm . . . I was thinking blueberry pancakes.

But when we got home, I was suddenly worried that I wouldn't be able to use all the blueberries before they went bad. But . . .one of my good friends, Sara, whom I've known since our Culver days, mentioned on Facebook that she'd recently made blueberry buckle. And she'd made it with fresh blueberries she'd gotten from an Indiana farm down the road from her house.

That gave me an idea. I wanted to make blueberry buckle, too. Plus, since Livie is taking cooking classes and thoroughly enjoys helping me in the kitchen, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to bake something together.

So I asked Sara to send me her blueberry buckle recipe. I made sure I had all the ingredients. Livie and I washed our hands. And then we got to work.

And this is what we made:
Here's the famous, tasty blueberry buckle that quickly disappeared. It's especially good served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

It was seriously good! Wow! And because a few of us posted comments about it on Facebook, a bunch of Culver friends are now passing along the recipe and raving about it, as well. So thanks to Sara, CGA Class of 1988, for starting the hype!

And thanks to my little cook's helper, Olivia! It was fun baking with her and I look forward to doing it again. Definitely blueberry buckle, but probably other things as well.

Of course, now I have to make sure Santa gets Livie that cute little kids'-sized pink apron with her name embroidered on it for Christmas.

1 comment:

varunner said...

I love that you got her a rose!

The blueberry buckle looks awesome! We love blueberries here :-) I just read this study, though, about how high they are in pesticides, so I'm trying to really wash them well and limit how many the twins eat.

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