August’s First Friday, with three more Fridays on the calendar for August. When the fourth Friday lands, school will be back in session and my free-range Fridays will be at an end, for a while.
It’s been a great summer; and if you listen to Johnny Cash, I’ve been everywhere, sort of. O and I returned from Michigan Monday morning and O made band camp, B and Ivy followed us home Tuesday. We’re all home, for now. We have one more final adventure Up North next weekend before school begins. After then our adventures will have to be local.
On our way home Monday, O and I stopped at our favorite farmer’s market. MM 26 on I-196 between Benton Harbor and Holland if you’re headed north and reversed if you are headed south. Dutch Farm Market is open 7 days a week from mid-May until late October, though we only stop in the summer on our way. Sometimes, like I did, we stop on the way home. We rarely stop on our way home, it’s either too late and they’re closed, or we’re loaded, have no room, and we want to get home.
Dutch Farm Market is nestled along the fruit coast of western Michigan where the climate is perfect for blueberries and fruit trees – peaches, apples, cherries, you name it – it grows and it grows well. Farmer Ed, who owns Dutch Farm Market, has 500 acres of fruit trees and opens his orchards to the public for U-Pick.
I stopped for fresh peaches and red beets. I had stopped for peaches, and red beets, on the way up the previous week and they were delicious. I had left the peaches we hadn’t consumer in the fridge at the lake and wanted some for home. I also bought a five-pound box of Michigan blueberries and green beans all grown locally near Dutch Farm Market.
After we got home, I made beets and eggs. Yes, pickled red beets and hard-boiled eggs. I never thought I’d eat ‘em when I first saw mass of red wet pickledness years ago, but I’ve since grown to love the dish. It means summer. Beets and eggs are perfect by themselves or on a salad, like I made Thursday for lunch.
I enjoy a good salad, but I have to have the ingredients handy. Lettuce, grilled chicken, grilled red peppers, sliced red onion, grilled artichokes, chopped beets, and quartered egg. And of course, a dressing – chunky blue cheese and a French style vinaigrette. All of it homemade except for the artichokes and dressings. Lettuce and dressing by itself, is rather bland, but together the textures make an interesting dish. The different textures of crunchy, creamy, smooth, and chewy melded with the tartness, saltiness, of the ingredients to combined to make a complete and satisfying meal.
I enjoyed my salad on the deck and Ivy watched every bite, patiently. It was delicious and filling.
“We eat with our eyes first,”
but if the tastes and textures are absent, I won’t finish.
That was Thursday afternoon, this morning I enjoyed a ripe peach peeled and sliced and topped with vanilla yogurt, sorry no photos. Maybe next time. The sweet tangy smoothness was a great start to my First Friday in August.
It’s gonna be a great day, it already is. As always, I’ve got a list and my plate is full, so I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, one salad, one meal, and one bite at a time.
What is on your plate today?
Today’s post is inspired by this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Textures. Photography is a primarily visual medium, but we can experience it with more than one sense. This week, focus on the tactile element of the objects you shoot, whether it’s one distinct quality — softness, smoothness, graininess, or any other texture you find interesting — or a combination of several within one frame.
I look forward to your exploration of texture in your photos this week!