Sky Full of Bacon

Last Day at the Last Farmer’s Market on Earth

I had some fun a while back with the apocalyptic feel of the Logan Square Farmer’s Market, as it appeared in the dead of winter in a crumbling old theater. Yesterday was the last day of the winter session, though, the market reopening in June in the great outdoors— and this day the old theater seemed lively and packed with vendors and musicians and kids and even a few growing things. The apocalypse has apparently been canceled, in favor of spring.

Since I had younger son with me, our first stop was Zullo’s, so we could get a snack. I had a slice of flatbread with onion on it, he had a cone of little doughnuts, which he was very happy about. Next we swung by Otter Creek cheese to pick up some more of their Spring cheddar, which is expensive and worth every penny, full of deep cheddar flavor, not funk, but rich, full-bodied cheesiness. He was next to the Meat Goat guy, who sold me the short ribs for my Thomas Keller meal a while back; and he told me that they’ll be doing meat and cheese deliveries over the next few weeks, apparently you can place an order through either site and they’ll deliver, including fresh meat (everything brought to the market has to be frozen).

The macarons from the macaron lady looked gorgeous as ever, and Liam had eaten several dollars’ worth of samples by the time I snatched the toothpick from his hand, so I bought a little box of those, even though I already had two different desserts for dinner. The coolest-looking one is a bright purple cassis one. Liam reported it tasted good, too.

Turning the corner, Hillside Orchard actually had apples, not sure where those have been hiding, so I bought some Honey Crisps and some Golden Delicious, and then some eggs. Turning around, Vera Videnovich had one jar of quince marmalade. It looked pretty runny, I question whether it’s suitable for toast, but I’m sure there will be some interesting use for it, with cheese or something. She also had garlic scapes, when someone asked how they could be growing already, she said they’d simply survived winter without drying out or turning brown, somehow.

Last stop we swung by the crepe stand; they had chocolate brioche, and after my own experiences making it for the first time, I thought, well, we have to try this. So Liam and I polished that off, and I realized I still have a ways to go before making a brioche that light and fluffy.

The market was lively in a way I hadn’t seen it before. People were coming out of their caves, happy to see each other and to welcome the return of the growing season. Winter is over. Long live spring. When I got home, we put up the hammock.

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