by Borderstan.com May 17, 2013 at 11:30 am 0

"Strawberries"

Strawberries are coming and Alejandra has recipes galore. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Alejandra Owens. You can find her at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Follow her on Twitter at @frijolita and email her at alejandra[AT]borderstan.com

Last year, the most awful thing happened to me. I was at the grocery store, just weeks after the local strawberry season had ended and I was lamenting the lack of those little red jewels in my life. I was sad. I missed them!

So I bought a pint of the little buggers from The Teet.

Wow, was that a mistake. They were watery, tasteless and mealy. I mean, I didn’t really even understand what mealy felt like in my mouth until that moment. What the heck!? I had been eating grocery store strawberries my whole life (with the rare exception of cartons bought on the side of the road from Mexicans, who crossed the boarder to set up mini market stands — I grew up about 40 minutes from the U.S.-Mexico border) and in that moment, I felt screwed. Had they always tasted like that? Had I elevated myself to the next level of strawberry consciousness with my farmers market shopping ways?

I’m hoping I just landed a bad batch, ’cause as much as I try to shop local and seasonal, there are just moments, there are desserts, that call for strawberries when they’re not in season in like, you know,Pennsylvania!!!

This week’s FreshFarm Markets‘ newsletter mentioned that they would have strawberries from Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania this Saturday and I got tres excited. We can throw a strawberry party now, just so we’re ready.

Here are some strawberry recipes to get you started:

What’s on your market list for this weekend? Don’t forget, if you have questions about the market, just tweet me!

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by Borderstan.com May 18, 2012 at 10:30 am 0

"Strawberries and asparagus" "Borderstan"

Look for strawberries and asparagus at the markets. (Luis Gomez Photos and Alejandra Owens)

From Alejandra Owens. You can find her at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Follow her on Twitter at @frijolita and email her at alejandra[AT]borderstan.com.

I never thought I’d say produce could be a bully, but asparagus and strawberries continue to completely dominate the markets! Not that you won’t see other things out there, but strawberries and asparagus are kinda the stars of the show right now. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to remind you of a couple great recipe round ups we already did AND share a cool tip.

First, we shared six irresistible strawberry recipes – including a cocktail from Todd Thrasher!

Then we gave you five recipes that showcased asparagus in all its green glory.

And now for the tip, which had not even crossed my mind. Today’s tip comes from Robin Schuster, our fearless leader over at the 14th & U Street farmers market:

“… today I want to remind you: never throw away the ends of the asparagus because they make great soup.  In fact, every single asparagus stalk you buy is a two fer.  And the less tender third or half of the stalk makes very flavorful soup.”

Well, duh! How could I have not thought of that! Truth be told, asparagus is prone to creating plenty of waste…and I always have a little memorial for it in my head when I toss it out. No mas! Thanks, Robin, for making me less wasteful but also giving me an excuse to eat even more asparagus while it’s in season!

Do you have a question for me about the markets? Some odd produce? Or maybe a cooking question? Just email me at alejandra[AT]borderstan.com and I’ll answer them in next week’s column! (Oh! And share your best cooking tips too!)

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by Borderstan.com May 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,275 0

From Alejandra Owens. You can find her at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Follow her on Twitter at @frijolita and email her at alejandra[AT]borderstan.com

Featured image: Cherry tomatoes by Alejandra Owens.

Yeah, I said it. I’ll throw down the gauntlet on this one, too. I know, I know. Some are wedded to Eastern Market, while others have a passionate love affair with Dupont, but I think the best farmers market in the whole city is at 14th & U Streets NW. And it’s back up and running this weekend into November; hours are Saturdays 9 am to 1 pm. (Find the market on Facebook for updates about upcoming offerings each Saturday.)

"Borderstan""14th & U Streets Market"

The 14 & U Streets Market reopens May 5. It's a great place to run into friends and neighbors. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Why? Pretty simple: damn good produce, meats and products, friendly vendors, convenient (for me) location and a charismatic leader (that would be Robin, say hi if you see her, and ask questions!) that brings everything at the market to life.

In all seriousness, some of the most amazing produce and eggs I have ever purchased have come from this market. Granted, some of the vendors sell at other markets, including Dupont or Penn Quarter (where I shop the rest of the year), but the point is the critical mass of amazingness at 14th & U. Oh, and did I mention Whisked! is at this market?! I mean, now we can get strawberries, eggs, meats, cheeses AND a pie (or cookies, or brownies, whatever strikes your fancy)!

BONUS ACTIVITY: If you’re a gardening geek, this Saturday’s market will host DC State Fair Seedling Swap! Anyone can attend and learn about growing produce and more!

So this Saturday, from 9 am to 1 pm, the market opens back up for the first time this season. I had already planned a trip to Rehoboth Beach for a little getaway, so when I realized I’d be missing the first weekend of the market I actually got sad. Like, sad sad… for real real. I tried to make myself feel a little better by grabbing strawberries from Garner’s Produce, which is one of the very fine vendors featured at 14 & U, on the way out of the city today but it’s just not the same. So will you stop by for me? Grab a hand pie from Whisked!, buy some Garner’s strawberries and grab a bag of spinach!

Have a wonderful weekend y’all! Tell me what you buy and what you’ll be making with it! I’ll be watching Twitter, even from the beach.

Related Posts

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by Borderstan.com April 13, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,688 0

"Borderstan""Straberries"

Strawberries are coming and Alejandra has recipes galore.  (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Alejandra Owens. You can find her at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Follow her on Twitter at @frijolita and email her at alejandra[AT]borderstan.com

Last year, the most awful thing happened to me. I was at the grocery store, just weeks after the local strawberry season had ended and I was lamenting the lack of those little red jewels in my life. I was sad. I missed them!

So I bought a pint of the little buggers from The Teet.

Wow, was that a mistake. They were watery, tasteless and mealy. I mean, I didn’t really even understand what mealy felt like in my mouth until that moment. What the heck!? I had been eating grocery store strawberries my whole life (with the rare exception of cartons bought on the side of the road from Mexicans, who crossed the boarder to set up mini market stands — I grew up about 40 minutes from the U.S.-Mexico border) and in that moment, I felt screwed. Had they always tasted like that? Had I elevated myself to the next level of strawberry consciousness with my farmers market shopping ways?

I’m hoping I just landed a bad batch, ’cause as much as I try to shop local and seasonal, there are just moments, there are desserts, that call for strawberries when they’re not in season in like, you know, Pennsylvania!!!

This week’s FreshFarm Markets‘ newsletter mentioned that Garner’s Produce would have strawberries at the Penn Quarter market and I got tres excited. I’m not sure if they’ll be at Dupont Circle this Sunday, but you know what, we can throw a strawberry party now, just so we’re ready.

Here are some strawberry recipes to get you started:

What’s on your market list for this weekend? Don’t forget, if you have questions about the market, just tweet me!

Like reading Borderstan’s Food & Drink stories? Get an RSS Feed for the F&E Section, or an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories.

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