It's Farmers Market season! We recently teamed up with Ali from Gimme Some Oven, who went shopping at her local farmers market, gathered the freshest ingredients, and made these tasty, eclectic Margarita Chicken Fajitas with our Calphalon AccuCore 5 Qt. Saute Pan. Read below to find out why farmers markets are so special to Ali, and how just a simple stroll at a farmers market can turn into a beloved (and delicious) tradition.
“Whenever I ask people to tell me what they love most about their local farmers market, the response always seems to be the same.
They tell me a story.
Actually, one story usually leads to another. And then another. And by the end of the conversation, they have insisted, with a twinkle in their eye, that if I’m ever in the area, we must grab coffee and go!
This is why I love farmers markets so much. They are more than just a place to shop. They are even more than just a trend. They are all about the experience, which leads to stories upon stories to be told.
There are the stories of the local farmers, vendors and shoppers. There are the stories of what brings people to the market, what new discoveries they make while there, and what draws them back week after week. There are stories of new and old traditions, lessons taught and lessons learned. But what I love more than anything are the stories of relationships – how people share and experience their farmers market together, and stretches them to live better lives.
My own small story fits into the mix.
When I first moved to Kansas City about eight years ago, I was thrilled to have landed my dream job. But for better or worse, it was about as far south in the suburbs as you can go. (As my friends called it, “Oklahoma”.) I had never lived or worked in the ‘burbs. And while there were many great people there, I quickly began to miss the diversity and energy of the inner city. So, one Saturday morning, I decided to make the 40-minute drive downtown to visit the largest farmers market in town – the City Market.
And it immediately felt like home.
This market was bustling with local farmers selling everything from fresh asparagus and grass-fed beef, to warm homemade cinnamon rolls and local bee pollen, to fresh flowers and starter tomato plants, and an endless list of more to explore. The perimeter of the market was lined with ethnic groceries and restaurants, with the best hummus and bubble tea I had ever tasted. The flute player in the corner made everyone smile with his happy theme song to Andy Griffith. But the best part by far was the people, coming from near and far and all walks of life to spend their Saturdays together at the market. The energy and smiles all around were contagious. People loved this market, and they loved being there together.
So, of course, Saturday mornings at the City Market grew a tradition, and quickly became one of the highlights of my weeks. I loved meeting up with friends for coffee or breakfast, spending a leisurely morning exploring the market together afterwards and eagerly introducing one another to our favorites, and then often cooking up a homemade meal together later in the day. My grocery bags would always arrive home overflowing with beautiful produce, which thus inspired me to begin spending more and more time in the kitchen, curious to learn what to do with a beautiful purple eggplant or a fresh batch of ramps.
After a few years exploring this newfound love of cooking, I decided to start a food blog as a place to organize and share my recipes with friends. But much to my surprise, the blog grew. And grew. And eventually after three years, I found myself faced with the opportunity to leave my full-time job and begin blogging full-time (dream come true!). So, I took the leap.
But I have to say that one of the greatest joys of no longer being tied to my suburban commute was the realization that I could now live anywhere I wanted in the city. So I packed up my belongings, and now for the first time feel like I am finally home living across the street from the place where my cooking story begins and now lives on…
…my market. :)”
- Ali from Gimme Some Oven
Photo Credit: Gimme Some Oven
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