Friday, August 13, 2010

I Learn Something New Every Day

You'll never guess where I got this bowl full of exciting and sexy summer squash. Grocery store? Nope. My garden? Not this year. Farmers Market? Not my typical spots.

I picked these guys up at City Greens, a market in the Forest Park Southeast Neighborhood (I call the neighborhood The Grove). Catholic Charities operates a market at their Midtown Center. You've got to be a member to shop, but memberships are free to those who make less than $30,000 a year and around $5 a week to those who make more. What's great about this place is that it offers locally grown products, at discounted prices, to a community that is under served by the grocery stores. (And by under served, I mean totally ignored.)

I hung out there for a bit on Thursday and met some really interesting people. The place is staffed by some cool ladies who live in the neighborhood and volunteer their time. We chatted a little bit about cooking. When the talk turned to turnip greens, I made the mistake of saying that I usually just throw mine in the compost pile. Upon hearing this, a volunteer named Bobbi told me that if I kept coming back, they'd eventually teach me how to cook. She wasn't just talking either. The ladies there take what's on hand and show you how to use it. Yesterday it was a lasagna that used sliced zucchini in place of the noodles. The week before it was peach pie. They won't let you turn down a sample. (And by sample I mean plateful.) I love it!

Anyway, the produce available there is absolutely gorgeous. I saw peaches, tomatoes, carrots, corn, squash, cucumbers, and melons. And not just your run of the mill produce. Interesting varieties: the stuff you'd find at a good farmers market. Also available: eggs, bread, jams/jellies/honey and flour (who knew they were making flour in Ste Genevieve?)

City Greens is open Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 6 and the first Saturday of every month from 8:30 to 11:30

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