Monday, September 26, 2011

Co-op vs. the farmers' market

Moving to a new city meant giving up my co-op in Virginia. I did some searching for CSAs here, but it was too late in the season to start one. I decided to make the best use of the farmers' market instead.

While the market is significantly smaller than the one I went to in Virginia, there's still everything I want and enough variety. I usually make it about every other week. I go in with a certain amount of cash to spend, and my goal is to spend all of it and get several small portions of things. It's amazing what all I can get for $8 to $10. And while I have less stuff going bad, I also finish stuff before I get tired of it.

In a lot of ways this is more practical and cost-efficient than the co-op. The downside is that I know what I like and tend to gravitate to the same things every week. The co-op forced me to try new things, and I often had an abundance of something so I ended up using it several different ways.

This week I created a rule for myself that I had to get one new thing every time I went to the market. I decided on spaghetti squash on Saturday.

I had heard about spaghetti squash before, and I'm sure plenty of people had told me about it, but I had never tried it. Last fall I kept expecting it to show up in my share, but it never did. I was so enamored with the other winter squashes I had never tried before that I didn't think I was missing anything.

I decided to go ahead and cook the squash on Saturday since I was at home and had some time. I quickly realized I had been missing out on something wonderful. All I did was cook it in the oven for an hour or so and then pull the strands out and heat them with butter on the stove. It was great just like that, but my mind started to churn with possibilities that I'll be experimenting with this week.

And I think spaghetti squash will be on my always get list at the market. What else have I missed that I should try next? I'm considering being brave and trying eggplant.


  1. I made a baked spaghetti with it and a tex-Mex one that was really good. It can be used mostly where you would use pasta. Enjoy :)

  2. Here's Dave and my favorite recipe with eggplant: It's super easy and quick to make, so it's become one of our staples. We triple the crushed red pepper and use 4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth instead of the veggie variety. :)