Thank god it’s Saturday. And a sunny one at that. I woke up this morning to warm sun for the first time in a week. Took a stroll up to the greenmarket at McCarren Park around 10 am to find it already abuzz with strollers, Williamsburg hosts shopping for tonight’s dinner party, Polish babcias rifling through bins of potatoes, and lots of folks like myself with dirty old WNYC tote bags overflowing with baguettes and spring garlic. What better way to kick off a weekend in spring?

First was a stop at Bakeri on Wythe Ave. and N. 8th Street for a little pastry to get us going – mini lemon bar ($1) for me and mini chocolate croissants  ($1.50) for Yuji. No coffee for me because they won’t serve decaf espresso. (I respect that – decaf is kind of b.s. Even though it’s all I drink I find the idea of it annoying.) I also picked up one of their long baguettes for later ($2.50) which are just sour enough, crusty on the inside, and really chewy on the inside.

Once at the market, the first stop is usually Red Jacket Orchards for a quart of Strawberry Apple Juice (currently my favorite) ($3), and two apples of a variety whose name I forget ($1.15). Then on to Boddhitree Farm for my first asparagus of the season ($5 for a lot), red leaf lettuce ($2), and a small bunch of oregano ($2). Over at Cayuga Pure Organics (I’m so glad they have a stall at this market location), where they’ve started selling their legumes in bulk bins, so you can get whatever amount you like, I bought a 1/2 pound of the Cannellini ($3). Before leaving I took part in their dry-erase poll, checking “Yes” in response to the question, “Do you like our new self-serve bulk bins?”

At this point tonight’s menu was coming together in my mind: Cannellini sautéed in olive oil with oregano and spring garlic; asparagus (preparation tbd); and now I’d just need some fish. Over to the Pura Vida stand. Yuji wanted the small smelt for frying but the person in front of us bought the whole lot and left us with none. We opted for the skate at $9/lb. At the large produce stand (I can’t remember which farm this is, sorry!) I picked up a big bunch of spring garlic for $2.

Before leaving we swung around to Garden of Eve and (I think) Dutchmill Farm, where we purchased small potted herbs for planting: cilantro, basil, rosemary, chives, and a fennel plant. We have a 2′ x 4′ plot in our yard for gardening and it was now or never. We got home, dug up our little garden spade from last year and got dirty.

Stay tuned for how tonight’s meal shapes up.

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