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Saturday, January 22, 2011

To Market To Market

In the midst of the snowstorm this week, I had a flat tire on my car while it sat parked in a parking garage. Michael came to the rescue with his AAA card and made the required call for service.  It usually doesn't take very long for a tire change. The AAA guy couldn't find the garage for quite some time. Michael could see him from the 5th floor level of the garage driving in circles around the block trying to find us. When he finally did, he wrecked his truck against a concrete wall while trying to park before changing my tire. He was new, it was cold, and  I was his first tire change. He wedged the tires with plastic wedges before taking 45 minutes to change the tire, chatting nervously the entire time.  We signed the paperwork and he drove off, without his tire wedges. After a call from Michael, he stopped by our house to pick them up. Ordeal.

This morning, Michael's car was dead and mine still sported the stupid plastic dummy tire, so
we decided to walk to the Lexington Winter Indoor Farmer's Market for our Saturday shopping. It was an unexpected delightful adventure! We bundled up like giddy sledding bound children and headed out the door.  It was 5 degrees above zero as we made our way to the market over slippery blindingly white snow.  Granted, it wasn't that far.  Most of the walk was indoors once we reached Rupp Arena, rode the escalator down, and crossed the pedway to Victorian Square.  The Indoor Winter Market, located in the atrium of Victorian Square, is open every Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

The winter market was quiet and serene. There were no bright bulbous melons dripping sweet goodness.  No bursting baskets of blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries. There were no tomatoes, jugglers, dancers, barking dogs, or musicians. It was quiet, with a few local farmers selling their goods, happy to see us, eager to talk, and enjoying themselves.  It made us happy and proud.  Kentucky Proud.
Viburnum Valley Farm Confections from Scott County specializes in Chocolate Truffles and European Style Pastries.  This morning, they offered beautiful homemade and handcrafted chocolate truffles; Pure Chocolate, Mocha Chocolate, Chocolate Mint, and Chocolate Sea Salt.  I bought one of each.  I couldn't resist.  They were gorgeous.

Across the aisle, Roland McIntosh of Kentucky Agate from Stanton, Kentucky was selling polished and unpolished specimens of Kentucky's Official State Rock alongside fresh sourdough bread and cabbage. Weird. Although tempting,  I skipped the state rock and picked up a huge green cabbage and a loaf of bread.

After weaving through cameras filming a nutrition documentry, I found Quarles Quality Beef and Jan's Delights from Waddy, Kentucky. They had a lot going on. They offered Simmental/Angus crossbred beef that included cuts of beef briskets, beef chucks, ribeyes, T-bones, filets, and short ribs.  A simmering crockpot filled with shredded gravy-soaked chuck roast was tucked between breads, cakes, jams, jellies, salsas, chutneys, and relishes.  Michael bought blackberry cake with caramel icing and carrot cake with cream cheese icing.  I loaded up on beef chuck roast, green tomato chutney, and butternut squash.

I thought we were finished until Michael spotted Elmwood Stock Farm on another level of the atrium.  Bingo.
With everything organic,  Elmwood Stock Farm was the motherload.  Just what I was hoping for when we set out this morning in the frozen snow.  We picked up baby fingerling potatoes, baby purple potatoes, and baby onions. 

 I was most amazed by the winter black radishes.  Huge and black, they were fascinating. I filled a bag full with them.  Apparently, when cooked, they taste like mild turnips.  I can't wait to find out.  Watermelon radishes were as equally intriguing, but too big.  Really big. Watermelon big. Elmwood Stock Farm had a wide variety of organic free range chicken for sale; game hens, legs, thighs, half chickens, whole chickens, livers, breasts, wings, and stock packs.  We settled on a dozen chicken wings and a dozen pastured organic free range eggs.

We left the market with our booty and headed home. After crossing the pedway, we made  a brief stop in the Kentucky Proud store for a quick browse and an Ale8. After gliding up the escalator, we were back outside for a short walk home.

The Winter Indoor  Lexington Farmer's Market is a hidden treasure. The farmers and venders are honest, kind, and hard working people. Even in the dead of winter, they're offering us locally produced honest food.

Discover the treasure.

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