I have decided that I'd like to start every Wednesday with a stroll around the Santa Monica Farmer's Market. This is an entirely better way to start the day than sitting hunched in front of my computer.
Furthermore, I would like to note that kumquats have now entirely supplanted honey dates as the foodstuff I would like to live for. I know some of you will be gobsmacked by the fact that I had never actually eaten a kumquat until today, but it is the truth. What a sad, sad life I have led. Thanks to the wonderfully generous Pete Schaner, I have fallen head over heels in love with kumquats. I cannot seem to stop eating them. They are addictive little citrus bombs and I adore them.
But lest you think I have become an entirely one-fruit girl, let me tell you that Ojai Pixie tangerines are giving kumquats a run for the money. Gaviota strawberries aren't far behind. Does it sound like I'm starting to talk in code? Come down to Santa Monica and
see taste for yourself.
Who knows, while you're down here, you might hear Mark Peel discuss how he grills whole fish (on a bed of soaked thyme) or see Ron Rifkin buying flowers (purple anemones and a sheaf of lilies, if you're wondering). You'll see fresh chanterelles with stems as thick as saplings, bundles of wild fennel (which I'd never seen outside of Italy) and more types of avocados than you had ever dreamed possible. Local walnut farmers will be selling their own roasted walnut oil and you will marvel at the flavor. There will be spoon-ready Hachiya persimmons and perfectly aged goat cheeses and enough blood oranges to put Sicily out of business. Best of all, you'll see chefs and farmers interacting on a level I've never witnessed in New York.
For this New Yorker, it was an amazing morning. From the bottom of my heart, I have to thank Russ Parsons and Amy Scattergood who accompanied me and made the entire experience unforgettable. Especially Russ, who should win Farmer's Market Guide of the Year, though I suspect there's really no competition. So, can we do this again next Wednesday? And the one after that? And the one after that?