25 April 2009

Spring Mix

The Brookside Farmers Market has been open for two weeks now and I finally went today. I have a big end-of-semester paper to work on this weekend but I abandoned it for a couple of hours to get my farmers market fix. So I took the bus to the market and read the whole way (Greeting Cards: Individuality and Authenticity in Mass Culture, for my paper).

writing my last final paper

The market, indeed the neighborhood, was bustling, even though the vendors and produce were springtime sparse. I wasn't looking for much anyway - I have no time to cook anything too elaborate this week, what with my paper deadline looming large. I was just craving something - anything - green, green, green.

People who have gardens or yards or at least porches were buying plants and transplants - herbs, tomatoes, nasturtiums, et. al. So promising. But I bypassed all of those and went straight to the food at the KC Center for Urban Agriculture stand: salad greens galore, "micro mix" and scallions, kale that someone else bought, broccoli raab that I bought after Katherine (KCCUA farmer, director) urged me and instructed me on cooking methods (you braise it in olive oil and garlic, by the way, and add some asiago). A couple of bread vendors were there - Bread of Life (I bought a pizza crust) and Roaring River Bread Company (I got the last ciabatta). And I bought Green Dirt Farm cheese and "jumbo" eggs from some farmers that I've never bought from before because they sell mostly meat. I used every last dollar in my pocket and came home with many good things and lots of green. I'm so glad it's market season again.

salad spinning

I finally broke down and bought a salad spinner this year. I usually resist the notion of kitchen gadgetry, but I frequently succumb to the ones that look like they'll save time. The 'smarttouch' Zyliss Salad Spinner functions as a colander and a serving bowl as well so I justified the space it will take in my kitchen and bought the smallest one they had at Function Junction. I broke it out of the box today and took my micro mix and salad mix from the market for a spin. The truth is that if you wanted to dry your greens by wrapping them in a kitchen towel and swinging them over your head slingshot style, you could successfully achieve the same degree of water removal as you can with the salad spinner. But I can assure you that the cheaper, slingshot method will result in a water-sprayed kitchen and a surprisingly wet towel, circumstances which the salad spinner will enable you to avoid.

salad having spun

So now I have a dry kitchen and four servings of salad to last me into the week, until next Saturday's market by which time maybe I'll have more of my paper written and can spend more time at the market and can buy more food and can cook more. Although there is that final final exam to study for.


Jon said...

very cool. I didn't even know such a gadget existed!

amber said...

i've been toying with the idea of buying a salad spinner for years but wondered if it was worth the money. Is it worth it?

Emily said...

It is a pretty good gadget, actually. I do think that you could find some other method to dry your greens that would achieve the same thing as the spinner. But I think the spinner makes it go much easier and quicker. So I'd go for it. And it does double as a colander and bowl and it is easy to clean. So I think it's worth it. Especially if you eat a lot of salads.

Also - a good proof point is that I just took it out of the box a week ago and have used it like 5 times since then. Oh, and today we used it for drying sprouts (I'm sure I'll be blogging about those soon enough...) and it was definitely a valuable contraption for that.