Market Recap

I was planning on writing weekly about volunteering at the Farmers Market, but as usual, life got in the way, so I've decided to do a recap. I'm going to start with today's Market, because it was such a fun morning.

Do you watch Iron Chef America? I don't have cable, so I never have, but if you do, you might recognize the name Sameh Wadi. Sameh is a chef and a co-owner of Saffron Restaurant & Lounge in downtown Minneapolis, and he went up against Masaharu Morimoto on the show last year.

Here's the video (they introduce him at 2:07):

Sameh brought along his brother and niece to help him out, and I had a great time hanging out with them and dishing/handing out samples. It can get kind of hectic trying to do all of the work myself, so it was nice to have some help, especially since the crowd was extra large this morning.

Sameh made the most delicious curry, salad, and juice using cucumbers, which are in high season right now. Watching him in action was inspiring, because instead of using a direct recipe and amounts, he just tossed ingredients in as he felt they were needed, and didn't really make any use of measuring utensils. The dishes he threw together today were basically from his imagination; they sounded good in his mind, so he experimented with them using us as the guinea pigs. Huge success.

Sameh has also created a line of gourmet spices named Spice Trail. He used one of his spices on some plain popcorn that was freshly popped at the market (seriously), and it was a hit.

Lots of fun was had by all. Check out Spice Trail and Saffron if you get the chance! You won't be disappointed.

Last week, Bonnie Dehn (the "Minnesota herb lady") of Dehn's Garden Herbs cooked us a feast; little Caprese salad-sandwich appetizers, green bean salad, and a slew of kohlrabi recipes.

I have learned an insane amount about kohlrabi the past couple of weeks, which is amazing, because until a couple of weeks ago, I didn't even know what kohlrabi was.

This is what kohlrabi looks like:

I think it looks kind of like a Pokemon. It even has a Pokemon-ish name. Kohlrabi. It's good raw, and to make coleslaw with, and I also learned it makes an excellent hash brown.

Some of the benefits of kohlrabi (as provided by the lovely Krista, seen below at her handy information booth):

-Rich in: thaimin, folate, magensium, phosphorous, fiber
-Contains vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium

Yay veggies!

A couple more fun things that have happened at the market this past month:

The chefs from Big Bowl of Roseville, Edina, and Minnetonka came to cook us a feast...

...and Lynn Rossetto Kasper of The Splendid Table was a guest on Fresh & Local on AM 950 (which Bonnie Dehn also hosts! What a woman.), which was hosted at the Market that day. Emily (my wonderful, intelligent, amazing mentor) even got to be a guest herself, and tried to stump Lynn with all of the ingredients we had at the market that week.

Volunteering at the Farmers Market has been such an insightful and calming experience for me. It gives me a chance to eat good food, talk with people who can teach me things I am curious about, and use my time towards something I care deeply about. I have to get up early and spend five hours of my weekend mornings there, but I always leave smiling and full of excitement (and food). It starts my day off right. Totes worth not sleeping in.

Things I'm diggin' right now:

- A way to catch the subway a little faster if you're running late (and are Dutch)
- This one's for the ladies. I'm still terrified of having children right now, but this is a positive and inspiring way to look at the effects childbirth has on women's bodies.
- This dress that is sold out in my size. It's a crying shame I didn't find it sooner.

Happy first weekend of decent temperatures in Minneapolis this summer!