If you’ve known me and talked with me for awhile, you know that I have a bit of a thing for farmers’ markets. I love getting up early, armed with my own basket and bags, to visit local farmers, see neighbors, pick up fresh and local produce, and sample as many different cheeses, breads, and other baked goods as possible.
So far in North Carolina, I’ve been to the markets in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham, and (my totally biased personal fave) Carrboro. While I love the routine and ease of getting up and walking just a few minutes to the one in Carrboro, it’s also a fun treat to see what other markets have to offer.
On Saturday, we headed up to Durham to meet up with our friend P and her parents, who were in town visiting for the weekend, at the market there. This was only my second time visiting, and it definitely didn’t disappoint!
Since Kate and I arrived a bit before everyone else, we went ahead and picked up most of our purchases before it got more crowded. Though I don’t have any photos of them, we ended up coming home with two bags of mixed greens, a head of lettuce, a bunch each of kale, Swiss chard, radishes, and green onions, three heads of broccoli, and two tomatoes. Perfect for all of our meal plans this week!
After our purchases, we met up with P and family at Monuts Donuts, who had four different flavors available. We tried a bunch of them, including the maple bacon bourbon (!) flavor, but the clear winner of the bunch was the chocolate earl grey. It was wonderfully moist and cake-like with plenty of chocolate and tea notes in every bite. It was so good I went back for a second one to bring home for Sunday’s breakfast.
We then perused the market, which included stops at Kona Chameleon for P, tasting samples of chocolate babka and chocolate chip mandel bread from Berenbaum’s, and more time to peruse the stands in the market itself.
My one complaint about the Durham market, which may just be because I’ve only visited in winter, is that there seems to be a dearth of stands selling produce. In order to get our veggies, we often had to stand in lines up to 25 people long. I’m happy to wait awhile to get what I’m looking for, but feel this is definitely more extreme than any other market I’ve visited. We’ll have to go back once things warm up again to see if there are more produce vendors in the coming months.
It was cooler than earlier this week and SO windy out. I didn’t even realize how cold I’d gotten until after we’d gotten back into the car. I should have bundled up more! I also don’t think spending that much time outside did anything to help the cold/allergy situation I had going on. Luckily I was able to spend the rest of the day Saturday and much of Sunday recovering on the couch!
After ample time at the market, we headed over to Parker & Otis for lunch. We battled the crowds and managed to score a table large enough for our group. I didn’t take any photos, but trust me when I say that our meal was delicious. The grilled cheese with bacon (bad vegetarian!) with a side of pesto pasta salad (filled with green peas and wilted spinach) was absolutely perfect.
Before we left, P’s sweet parents gifted us with a container of popcorn from Garrett’s (at O’Hare Airport). It’s the Chicago mix, which was a fun combination of cheese and caramel. Although I wasn’t sold on combining the two in the same bite, both Kate and I enjoyed each flavor a whole bunch!
Later that night, I used some of the veggies to make a pizza for Kate and myself to enjoy at home. Trader Joe’s whole wheat dough topped with tomato basil marinara, leftover roasted sweet potatoes, Swiss chard sauteed in a bit of olive oil, broccoli that got nice and crispy in the oven, and organic shredded mozzarella. Paired with a Kennebunkport Brewing Co. blueberry wheat ale and a game of Monopoly it made for the perfect end to the day!