Early Saturday morning my husband and I took off for a little farmer’s market adventure. While we have perfectly nice markets in our area, they are of the small town variety. What I mean is, they are set up in parks or parking lots, with no permanent structures to house things like refrigerators or restaurant equipment. Farmer’s markets with buildings, especially in larger, more urban areas, are just different.
So, our first stop was the Oakland County Market in Waterford (metro Detroit). While my husband has been near the market when it wasn’t in operation, neither one of us have ever been there on a Saturday morning. I didn’t expect much, other than plants, since asparagus and rhubarb is about the only thing in season right now in Michigan. Well, there were a LOT of plants, as well as a lot of people. We decided to walk from a parking lot up the road since the main lot was gridlocked. The plant vendors outside offered some fascinating varieties of ornamental and edible plants, but I really started enjoying myself when we made our way into the building. First stop was a booth that had some luscious looking baked goods. My husband was drawn to a Creole Sweet Potato Bread. We chatted with the baker about it – a cinnamon streusel swirled through it, lightly spiced bread with a touch of paprika, an orange maple glaze – and decided to buy a loaf while we were munching on a sample of chocolate chip peanut butter cookies. As my husband paid I noticed a sign propped on the table. The woman had won one of the Cupcake Wars episodes on the Food Network! The bread was wonderful and I was so excited to meet April from The Cakeria.
At that market I also bought some fabulous, homemade baba ghanoush, a Give and Grow Mushrooms “log”, and a tasty cranberry scone. On the way out my husband and I stopped at Ned’s TravelBurger – voted the best food truck of 2013 by The Detroit Free Press. I opted for the sausage breakfast sandwich while my hubby figured it was late enough to order the Baja TravelTurkey. These burgers were so unique. Have you ever had an oblong shaped burger, served in a brioche hotdog bun? Well, I have now. . . and it was delicious!
Then we headed north and stopped at the Flint Farmer’s Market. This market is not in the nicest part of town, but it was packed with people too and had a nice variety of vendors. The building had everything from a meat market, to a cheese shop and mini bookstore. There we purchased freshly made tortilla chips and pico de gallo along with pitas topped with za’atar that were still warm from the oven (to go with the baba ghanoush). Outside there was a band playing, artists and even a man selling refurbished travel chests out of a vintage trailer. The scent of BBQ filled the air from two BBQ booths and the grill outside the Mexican taqueria.
Every vendor we chatted with was cheerful, some were rather eccentric and all were fascinating to me as a writer. You see, my third women’s fiction series will feature people who are vendors in a farmer’s market. So not only did I have a wonderful morning with my husband, I also came back with some inspiration for an interesting cast of characters.
Have you ever met someone at a farmer’s market who would be a great fictional character?