Nature's Bounty: I love our local farmers' markets! I'm so lucky to live in a town that has not one but two markets, one on Saturday and the other on Sunday. Here are some of my favorite farmers and their best products:
Full Belly Farm, Yolo County, CA: Charentais melons - these succulent little melons are just like you'd find in France. They are similar to cantaloupes, but so much more flavorful!
Hare Hollow: delectable oils and vinegars. My absolute fave is the Fig/Date Balsamic Vinegar - drizzle over heirloom tomatoes.
Molino Creek Farm, somewhere in the Santa Cruz Mountains: they grow these amazing 'dry-farmed' tomatoes, which means that they are not watered by hand at all, relying solely on the moisture in the soil. These little tomatoes are the most intensely-flavored I've ever had. Perfect for soup or sauce, but I just like them sliced, drizzled with the fig/date balsamic vinegar, and scattered with basil leaves. Yummy.
The Hmong lady who sells the best green beans, Thai basil and all sorts of Asian vegetables. I should know her name by now, but I don't, but I was so thrilled when she told me earlier this summer that her eldest son would be attending Stanford University this fall! A true American success story!
Karin Johnson baked goods: Karin comes over from the East Bay each Sunday with her lovely parents, and sells scrumptious, homey creations from her stall at the California Avenue Farmers' Market. I am partial to the lemon semolina cake and often buy it if I'm entertaining on Sunday night. It's moist and lemony, and goes well with sliced fruit and ice cream. If I'm feeling charitable, I also buy a couple of the little single-serving flourless chocolate cakes for DD, my ornery teenager. Oh, and the cherry bran muffins, brownies, (gluten-free) macarons, and fruit galettes are also great.