We lived in Lowertown for seven years and the Farmers Market was a weekly ritual in the summer. Looking back, I am not sure we fully realized how lucky we were to live a block from heaping piles of fresh vegetables. We went to the market when we were in St. Paul last month and it is hasn't changed much. The same woman is still selling A Toast To Bread baguettes and boules, there are still baskets of tomatoes under the tables, strollers are still used as battering rams and people still wander the aisles with bags of fresh vegetables in each hand.
Red Kuri squash— my favorite squash for stuffing with sausage, dried cranberries, bread crumbs and Gruyere cheese.
We lived in a loft overlooking the market when Jack was born and it was the first place we took him after we left the hospital. I used to stand at the window at 3 or 4 in the morning with my new little Jack and watch the farmers set up. It provided solace for my sleep deprived spirit to see other people were awake in the middle of the night. It's hard to believe it was eighteen years ago; time has wings and flies faster the older I get. Walking among the stalls, I felt a flood of memories sweep over me. This market gave me lots of 'firsts'— basil for homemade pesto, tomatoes for marinara sauce, zucchini for bread and green beans for roasting. What a gift to not only remember but to re-visit the place where we started.