Sunday, July 31, 2005

Rural advantages

Although Columbia is a small city, Missouri is a largely rural state. This bothers some people who find themselves plunked down in the middle of the midwest, but there are advantages to being surrounded by agriculture:

(1) Heirloom tomatoes: Dark, dark purple skin with the most amazing deep red flesh and a luscious flavor that surpasses even those tomatoes you grow out on your back porch. I'm not exaggerating.

(2) Peaches: I grew up in peach country and have never been able to eat a store-bought peach without a great deal of sadness. Southern Illinois was the first place I lived since my childhood that offered decent locally grown peaches. Actually, better than decent. The ones here in central Missouri aren't bad, either. (Mind you, I'm not saying they're as good as the ones in Parker County, but they're pretty good.)

(3) Blackberries: My grandmother grew them in her backyard and regularly cooked them up into huge cobblers. Just picking up a pint transports me back in time faster than any Madeleine.

(4) Potatoes: Yeah, yeah, they've received a bad rap in the low-carb era, but, really, how can you resist purple potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, little fingerlings?

(5) Cantaloupes

(6) Sweet little watermelons

(7) Zinnias, sunflowers, and other cat-friendly flowers

Just a short list of what I found this week at my award-winning local Farmers' Market.


jeff said...

"how can you resist purple potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, little fingerlings?" Can't. Roasted potoatoes always in a good salad.
And then there's my potato pizza that I make every now and then...

Donna said...

Would that be potatoes as crust or as topping?

jeff said...

you make the dough (flour yeast water salt)
for the topping you boil the potatoes until soft. drain. then in a bowl combine with pepper, fresh oregano (if you grow it all the better), chili pepper flakes, salt, olive oil, garlic, onion (last two could also be roasted first). You could also mix in some crushed olives too if you want. Top the pizza dough (by now having gone through second rise) with this mix. Sprinkle in asiago cheese and some more olive oil to top it off. bake at 500 for 12-15 minutes (sprinkle some water into the oven as well to get the steam going - affects the dough nicely). The asiago will have melted nicely by then.
Cool for five minutes. Eat!

Becky Howard said...

I'm trying to decide whether I'm moving to Columbia for the farmers' market, or whether I'm moving to Detroit for Jeff's potato pizza. Tough choice.

Danica said...

i dont like potatoes that much..

jeff said...

Come on down, Becky! Bring the Syracuse crew.