Sometimes cooking, eating and entertaining begin not in the kitchen, but with a journey. My mom, Connie, and I set out early yesterday on a trip to Lancaster Central Market (LCM) in Lancaster, PA, which is approximately 40 miles from home. We were not in search of anything specific, just adventure. I haven’t been to the LCM in probably 18 years so I wanted to reacquaint myself with it.
I find a trip to the farmers market quite relaxing…. and it can be both informational and inspiring. I like seeing the fresh ingredients and dreaming about what I can make from them. One of the ways I can tell the best stands at the market – the ones with the freshest, choice ingredients – is by spying on the chefs. If the chefs are shopping there, I reason there’s probably some good stuff to be had!
We entered LCM at the corner of Orange and Prince Streets and were met at the door by beautiful sunflowers and the equally sunny disposition of the woman selling them at Spring Knoll Farm. Although not all stands had as much personality, it was a great beginning to the experience.
As we meandered through the rows in search of nothing in particular, we spent a lot of time pointing to various things (produce, flowers, pastries, etc.) saying, “ooh, look at that” or “hmmmm, what is that” and telling each other about things we’d made from similar ingredients.
One of my favorite stands was Tulip Tree Hill Farm, which sells small packages of sprouts and greens and a lovely tart raspberry lemonade. The stand is nice to look at and the woman who helped me with my purchase of micro greens and lemonade was quite friendly. I don’t yet know what I’ll make with the micro greens, but I cannot wait to try them. They will likely be served alongside the roasted veggie soup Jeff is making today.
*I put a quarter next to the greens so that you can get an idea of how tiny and delicate they are.
Other than some multi-grain rolls from Willow Valley that looked too yummy to pass up and 10 pounds of beets (more to come in a later post), it seems our adventure was in miniature. In addition to the micro greens we bought some teeny patty pan squash and some beautiful mini purple striped globe eggplant.
What we will make with the patty pan squash and eggplant remains a mystery. But I can definitively say that we had a great time at the Lancaster Central Market and will surely return soon. Yesterday proved that not all who wander are lost….some of us are preparing to cook, eat & entertain!
Additional photos of the beautiful produce we saw at LCM can be found on my Photo Gallery page. Enjoy!