I drive to the Farmers Market on this dreary Friday. Frankly, it’s nice to have a break from the sunny, humid days. The gray skies impersonate an early Fall and lift my spirits.
This trip gets me out of the house and into a semblance of normalcy that I remember before the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders began.
Since I plan to write this week’s post about the Farmers Market, I park the car near the entrance to take a picture of the main signpost. On my way back to the car, I notice a white face mask on the road. It looks like mine. It is mine. What are the chances it dropped onto a smear of COVID-19 germs? After a brief hesitation, I pick it up and put it on my face.
When I come to the Farmers Market, I like to start at one end of the Farmers Building (which is 30,000 square feet) and work my way down the main aisle checking produce and prices on either side. Then, I turn around when I reach the end and retrace my steps, this time making purchases.
Today, all I am going to do is buy peaches and take pictures.
The market organizers have done away with the wide middle lane running north and south. Now, multiple one-way aisles travel east to west, bisecting the individual farm stands and promoting safe-distancing.
Without the pressure of buying ingredients for a dinner, I am free to enjoy the lovely presentation of produce. I snap pictures as I travel past the arrangements of bright red tomatoes, varieties of eggplant and various chilis categorized according to heat index.
I stop by one of the many corn stalls. A women is husking corn. Before we moved to North Carolina, I had never seen a trash bin near the corn displays at Farmers Markets or in grocery stores. Shoppers are invited to husk the corn and dump the husks into a trash bin provided by the grocery store or market before purchasing the corn. While this may be more convenient, as my southern neighbors tell me, I adhere to the common knowledge that corn in their husks stay fresh longer.
I take some pictures of the corn stall only after asking the permission from the woman who is husking corn. She nods and continues to husk, not paying me any mind. As I’m leaving, she tells me the corn season is winding down. At that news, I steel myself not to buy any more corn since my husband and I have had corn in many reiterations and there is a large container of corn and crab chowder in the refrigerator.
As I turn to leave the corn stand, I see a woman at the other end of the market waving at me. She smiles and points to her head and gives me a thumbs up. She’s commenting on my purple hair. Pandemic purple I call it. I give her a thumbs up, too. When coloring one’s hair was more popular, I kept my white hair. Now it seems I am pretty much an oddity. I like swimming against the current. I may change colors when this hue fades. Maybe a soft blue or intense red will be the next dye. Social isolation has a strange effect on me.
I leave the Farmers Market carrying one bag of peaches.
Black bean and corn salad
Original recipe yields 6 servings
- ⅓ cup fresh lime juice
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 ½ cups frozen corn kernels ( Use fresh in season)
- 1 avocado – peeled, pitted and diced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 medium whole (2-3/5″ diameter) tomatoes, chopped
- 6 medium (4-1/8″ long) green onions, thinly sliced
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Step 1
Place lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper in a small jar. Cover with lid and shake until ingredients are well mixed.
- Step 2
In a salad bowl, combine beans, corn, avocado, bell pepper, tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro. Shake lime dressing and pour it over the salad. Stir salad to coat vegetables and beans with dressing and serve.