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What a Wonderful Time of Year: Farmers Market Time

Saturday (May 11th), was opening day of the Experimental Station Farmer’s Market located at the corner of 61st Street and Dorchester Ave. I was more excited than a kid with a new bike. At this market, as with others around the United States, you can find flowers, fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, and everything in between. You can also stumble across vendors who offer decadent baked goods, jams, and other tasty dishes. I look forward to my farmers market destinations. I will be sure to share the experience.

You will not find big businesses. Under the canopies are hard-working knowledgeable entrepreneurs who take care with the goods they bring to market. When you get an opportunity, make sure you support your local farmers markets. If you do not know how to find farmers markets in your area, simply search the Internet for ones in your area. You may not have one close to you and it may result in a long drive. Trust me, the drive will be worth it. Below, is a very short list of farmers markets in Michigan:

Detroit: http://www.detroiteasternmarket.com/
Saginaw: http://www.saginawfarmersmarket.org/
Frakenmuth: http://www.frankenmuthfarmersmarket.org/

For farmers markets around the city of Chicago, visit the following sites:
More information in General: http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/farmers_market.html
North: http://www.greencitymarket.org/index.asp
North: http://www.logansquarefarmersmarket.org/
South: http://www.experimentalstation.org/farmers-market

Yesterday, I purchased a number of items. Today, I enjoyed three of those items: the lemon curd from Ingram’s Bread & Jams and the croissant from Penny Bakery:

LemonCurdCroissant

I also cooked the red and green asparagus I purchased yesterday from Mick Klug Farms (I am now a fan of red asparagus). I paired the spears with wild caught lobster tails purchased from the grocery store.

RawAsparagusLobsterMeal

FinishedAsparagusLobstermeal

Grilled Asparagus

1 lb. Asparagus ( ½ Red & ½ Green)
1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cracked Black Pepper (according to taste)
Garlic Powder (according to taste)

ONEClean Asparagus and cut off the tips. Place in a covered bowl.
TWODrizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the Asparagus.
THREEAdd Cracked Black Pepper.
FOURAdd Garlic Powder.
FIVEPlace cover over bowl and shake until Asparagus is thoroughly seasoned.
SIXPlace on hot griddle pan or grill.
SEVENTurn Asparagus to cook on both sides.
EIGHTTotal cooking time is no more than 10 minutes for Asparagus spears that are tender with a crunch.

Steamed Lobster Tails

2 4ounce Wild Caught Lobster Tails
NOTEAsk the butcher to split the tails down the middle but not to the ends
½ cup Water
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Red Pepper Flakes (according to taste)
Smoke Pepper Blend (according to taste)

ONEClean Lobster Tails by rinsing under cold water.
TWOCombine Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Red Pepper Flakes, and Smoke Pepper Blend in a small bowl.
THREESeason the Lobster Tails with the seasoned Extra Virgin Olive Oil by drizzling the oil down the back of the tail between slit.
FOURAdd Water to a steamer or saucepan with top.
NOTEEnsure the saucepan in large enough to lay the Lobster Tails flat on the bottom with top of the shell facing up.
NOTEIt is preferable to use a saucepan with a glass top.
FIVEBring Water to a slight boil.
SIXAdd Lobster Tails to Water.
SEVENPlace top on saucepan to allow steam to cook the Lobster Tails.
EIGHTCook until Lobster Tails turn pink and meat is opaque.

If you do not want plain and typical asparagus, drizzle this quick vinaigrette over the dish

Strawberry Vinaigrette

6 to 7 ripe Strawberries
¼ cup Water
¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar Glaze

ONEWash Strawberries and cut off green stems.
TWOPlace Strawberries in blender.
THREEAdd Water.
FOURBlend Strawberries and Water at high speed until mixture is smooth.
FIVEAdd blended Strawberries to a bowl.
SIXAdd Balsamic Vinegar Glaze.
SEVENMix well.
EIGHTRefrigerate vinaigrette. Serve with veggies or your favorite salad for a touch of sweet.

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