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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Surprises At The Oregon City Farmers Market

Today was a glorious, sunny day, and because it was, we spent most of it in the garden.  I weeded, and Steve weed-whacked the grass climbing up some of the planter boxes, and he dug a couple of holes for apple tree supports, and we both worked on moving part of Santana's Wall.

This morning, though, we had a mediocre breakfast at Biscuits Cafe in Oregon City, after which we went to the Oregon City Farmers Market, which is still pretty small.  However, we got a few groceries, not much, and some duck eggs.

The woman selling the duck eggs was out of chicken eggs, and had only the one dozen duck eggs left, So we asked about them.  She went though a whole litany of behaviors for duck eggs, like, they're a little hard to beat for scrambled eggs, and they're great for baking (which I don't), but when she said they are wonderful for making pasta, she got my attention.  I asked how long they would last, refrigerated of course, and she said a month- easily, so we bought them.  In this picture above, the top eggs are the duck eggs, and the bottom are commercial chicken eggs.

On the way out of the market, we picked up the pint of cream we had set aside for us- the day was warm, the vendor had the ice, and we had other shopping to do.  So she saved one for us.  If you look closely, you can see the P. on the top for Paula.  I haven't opened it yet, and aside from wanting to make a batch of creme fraiche with part of it, I want to come up with some wonderful thing to do with this heavy, beautiful cream.  Plus, with the bottle deposit, it wasn't cheap!  More than anything, though, I want to do justice to it.  The market boasted of strawberries, but with the exception of one vendor, whose berries weren't ripe, the rest were rotting, most probably due to the rain we've had.  I feel sorry for the farmers, but I'm not going to buy rotting strawberries again.  I did that last summer, and threw more than half of them away.  I don't know how everyone else feels about strawberries, but the commercial growers tend to pick the berries while they're still quite unripe, and I like my strawberries good and dark red- I want to see that the sun has ripened them and they are perfect.  It's likely that the only way to get perfectly ripe strawberries is to grow them myself, but I haven't figured out where to put them- I'll need to commit a chunk of the yard to them for awhile.  In the meantime, our alpine strawberries give us a treat every couple of days...and that's all.

So- duck eggs.  Naturally I wanted to try them out right away, so I did.  Tonight I used the cutter attachment and made linguine, and I don't know if you can see it, but the duck eggs made for a very yellow pasta.  The vendor said their yolks are almost orange because they forage more than do chickens.  The raw dough was very yellow, which disappeared once I got it all floured up, but I hope that you can see from this very bad picture of my dinner how yellow the pasta was.  It was great, by the way.  Homemade pasta rocks.


Anonymous said...

I've never made pasta, but I think I would love it!

It's finally a beautiful sunny warm summer day here in the Sierra Nevada mountains as well! Hooray!

Toni aka irishlas said...

First off, I love your shelves! They remind me of the Yorkshire Dales!

I've never had duck eggs nor have I ever seen them for sale around here. But, I have plenty of chicken eggs for sure!

We transplanted our strawberries this year from the old garden and they are hanging on so far. No berries to speak of, sadly. I'll have to hit the farmer's market so I can make some jam.

Homemade pasta does rock!

FYI- that is landscape paper with just hardwood mulch being placed on top. We wanted to put pea gravel in the new garden, but, at $78 a yard it was too expensive. We needed 15 yards for the garden alone! Yikes!

Paula said...

Toni- I love the crunch of pea gravel, but yikes is right! Thanks for your reassurance on my shelves; you said exactly the right thing!