Don’t Worry…I Won’t Get Lost

On Monday, the local street market appears at the end of my Aunt’s street. There’s nothing more exciting to a cook than a street full of fresh, locally grown, produce. My Mom came with me and helped with the purchases. The tomatoes are beautiful looking and have that “just out of the dirt” taste. I didn’t recognize most of the green stuff so I had to taste it. The arugula, known here as “rock” or rocket is so fresh it melts in your mouth. I was looking forward to fresh basil but it’s not in season. I’ll be making cilantro pesto stuffed chicken breasts instead. My favorite find was blood oranges. Ruby red inside with a tart-sweet dance over your tongue. I kept saying to my Mom, “I feel like it’s my birthday.”

After we filled our little, rolling basket with produce, we took it back home and headed out to the local supermarket. My list was carefully laid out so as not to leave anything behind. Couldn’t find chicken stock so I’ll be doing the bouillon cube thing. Couldn’t find sour cream so I’ll be doing a yogurt-cream cheese thing. Couldn’t find zip lock bags so I’ll have to use little plastic containers. Other than a few missing items…the adventure was a blast.

Got back home and still had a bug to walk and greet the natives. There’s a bigger grocery store in town so I decided to head out on my own to find it. My Mom was worried I’d get lost. She and my Aunt debated where the store was and whether or not I should go alone. I threw on my backpack, stuck my earbuds in, and told them I was leaving. I promised to call them from the market.

This proved to be a more interesting market. Still no sour cream or chicken broth, but I found frozen basil in cute little containers, Sauvingnon from France, salmon in a tube, and Happy Hippos. I also found shredded filo dough and pre-made ravioli dough ready for stuffing. How clever is that? Darn. Forgot the ziplock bags. Oh yeah. They had tortillas, salsa, and mexican spices, too.

I found my way home. It wasn’t necessary to leave bread crumbs. I’ve got a good sense of direction and I can read the street signs. It’s absolutely beautiful weather here and walking was a pleasure. Needless to say, I’m wearing capri pants and my flip flops. Folks here are wearing puffy coats and thick sweaters. Hellllloooo! If the tomatoes are in season you don’t need a winter coat on.

I plan on walking every day while I’m here – with Mary J. Blige on my iPod shuffle. She’s a great walking companion and encourages me to get my runway stride on and keep it going…AND…be myself. Tomorrow morning I’m in search of a bakery.

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