We've been doing some traveling to craft shows the past couple of months and one of my favorite things to check out are the area's farmer's markets.
If you're ever in Saratoga, California, be sure to stop in at the farmer's market on Saturdays at West Valley College on Allendale Avenue.
We got there early, before the market opened, on our way to the craft show across the street.
They've got all kinds of good looking produce.
I loved seeing it on the bush--it reminds me of my grandmother growing edamame in her backyard.
I wrote a little about it in my Seasoned Edamame post.
There seemed to be a good assortment of Asian vegetables.
Since we were traveling, I didn't get to buy much.
They had lots of fresh okra.
My mom loves okra.
When my kids were little, Mom & the kids had a special saying they'd tease each other with,
"I love okra more than you!"
Made me have a craving for Fig and Arugula Lavash Pizza.
Did you know that chestnuts grew like this?
The farmer's market had flowers and plants too.
The cyclamen were beautiful.
So were the succulents.
And the orchids!
I think the orchid booth was the busiest.
There was also a fishmonger.
I'm not sure but...are these sardines?
I learned how to eat sardines when I worked at the Whittier Farmer's Market for Taguchi Farms.
My friend Bonnie Taguchi's dad, Mr. Ige, would buy fish from the fishmonger there and sometimes he would get some for me, too.
He said sardines are good for you, grill them and eat the tiny bones for a lot of calcium.
He said the fish at the bottom of the food chain are healthiest.
Sometimes at the market, Mr. Ige would buy a tamale from a street vendor.
He would keep it in his front shirt pocket and take a bite when Mrs. Ige was looking the other way.
He loved them but wasn't supposed to eat them because he had health issues.
When he'd take a bite, he'd look at me, smile, and say,
"Shhhhh! Don't tell The Warden."
Years later, after Mr. Ige had passed, Mrs. Ige told me she always knew when he was sneaking food.
Mr. Ige had a lot of stories to tell of Japan, the War and growing up in Hawaii working the sugar cane fields.
Some stories were sad, most were funny, and I feel fortunate to have spent time with him listening.
One of the stories I'll always remember is about the time he went to visit his elderly mother in Japan.
She may have been in her 90's, and Mr. Ige in his late 60's or 70's.
He said the first thing his mother would do when she saw him after a long time between visits is give him a scolding for not visiting sooner.
His words of wisdom were, 'It just goes to show you, you're never too old to get chewed out by your mother.'