Alice Waters at the Sunday Market

Photo by Katherine Tallmadge
Alice Waters and Ann Yonkers at the Dupont Farmers Market January 22, 2012
Alice Waters and Ann Yonkers at the Dupont Farmers Market January 22, 2012

I get so many benefits from visiting my local Farmers’ Market. First, are the people: Today, I bumped into my good friend, Ann Yonkers, the Co-Founder of Fresh Farm Markets, and with her, Alice Waters, Chef, Author, and Pioneer for a “Fresh, Clean, and Fair” Food Economy. Ms. Waters is in Washington, D.C. for several events benefiting Martha's Table and D.C. Central Kitchen.

When Fresh Farm Market opened about 11 years ago, it improved the quality of life for me and everyone who visits. The Dupont Circle Farmers’ Market is one of the few in the area open year-round.

Every Sunday morning in Fall and Winter, I’m there tasting which apple and pear variety is the best that week. Today “Pink Lady” got first prize. To me, it’s the epitome of a perfect apple: the ideal combination of crispiness, sweetness and tartness. But other weeks, I may prefer another variety.

I will be eating an apple-a-day this week with just a tad of Pimento Cheese Spread, bought from Keswick Creamery.

Today, I also picked up some carrots and parsnips, surprisingly tender and sweet right now. I love to puree them together to create "Mashed Carrots and Parsnips with Nutmeg."

I couldn’t resist  Toigo Orchard's Bourbon Peaches, picked perfectly ripe from their own orchards and flavored with, um, bourbon. DARN GOOD! I have many jars set aside to give as gifts to my grateful friends who don’t have access to my market. But I always have one set aside pour moi!

Tasting is one of my favorite parts of visiting the market; and that’s true for adults and children alike. When I teach children at the Capital Harvest on the Plaza (C.H.O.P.) Farmers' Market, it opens a whole new taste experience for them. It’s amazing how children can enjoy the differences in the apples: some are sweeter, others more tart, some are crunchier, others softer, there are even different colors outside and in! Children are very observant. One week, a child blurted out that the butternut squash looked like a peanut. Well, I had to agree… a giant peanut, anyway! After a visit to the market, I can confidently say those children go back to school and their homes begging for fruits and vegetables. Studies verify all it takes is positive exposure for children to prefer healthy food.

From my last market visit, I’m already stocked with onions, garlic, greens, and orchids. So I’m pleased to be able to enjoy another week of delicious, locally-grown fruits and vegetables. Nothing makes it easier – and better for you – than buying locally. The fruits and vegetables are picked at peak ripeness, ensuring maximum flavor and nutritional value. You’re helping save the environment too!

By Katherine Tallmadge

0 Comments For This Article

Robin Diener

The Dupont Farmers' Market is fabulous and one of the great boons of Dupont/Georgetown city living. Thanks for writing about it. BTW, are you willing to share the recipe for "Mashed Carrots and Parsnips with Nutmeg" or is it as simple as it sounds?

Katherine Tallmadge

Hi Robin,
Thank you for writing. I agree with you and, of course, I will share the recipe. I first discovered it in a fancy French restaurant. There was a delicious blob of orange on my plate and I had to ask what it was. I was told "Pureed Carrots and Parsnips with Nutmeg." But, of course, there was butter, too! Here's how I have interpreted the recipe and I have made it successfully many times:
Simply steam or boil equal amounts of carrots and parsnips until they are soft (for instance 1/2 pound carrots and 1/2 pound parsnips). Puree with a teaspoon of butter per serving and a sprinkle of nutmeg. For 1 lb of carrots and parsnips, I might use 4 teaspoons of butter maximum (or less) as that will serve about 4 people.
Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D.
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