Friday, July 17, 2015

Farmers Market Friday - Meridian Township Farmers Market

Welcome to Farmers Market Friday!  

On this sunny Saturday morning, my daughter had a conference at Michigan State University which gave my little buddy and I an excuse to visit the nearby Meridian Township Farmers Market (right behind the Meridian Mall in Okemos, MI) after we dropped her off. 

Both of my kids love to take photos and actually have a good eye for visual interest (according to their mom anyways…) so I handed over the smartphone and let my son take the pictures.  

So enjoy the perspectives of a 6-year-old boy and please excuse the height of the photos and the occasional finger in the corner...these are his un-edited pictures.  

At least until he ditched the camera in favor of the breakfast burrito, cider slushie and sugar which time my arms were too full of bags to attempt taking more pictures.  

This market is a good-sized one for a weekend market and really just about everything you could think of was represented – Amish goods, goat milk soaps, canned goods, dried herbs, seasonal produce, fresh Michigan lake fish, lamb, tamales…  

 It all looked good!

I always like to let the kids learn from this experience and help make part of the choices of our purchases.  

This gives them the chance to learn about money handling, budgeting, practice their math skills, meal planning, seasonal produce, where their food really comes from (and the people behind it) and practice their manners.  They also are much more likely to try eating new things when they see it looking fresh and appealing and they get to choose it.  

My son, in particular, has never been a big veggie fan unless its potatoes.  But he enjoys salad and even eats the purple cabbage in it so this is an opportunity for him to choose some options for adding to our salads that eventually expand his tastes.  

Just recently he chose some beautiful colored peppers and I diced them over our salad one night.  He was a little leery until I reminded him that those were the peppers he chose.  He started eating them and then added the comment "These are really good, Mom.  They add a little more flavor to my salad!"  I've been slowly working them into other things like fajitas and its been much easier to get buy-in.  

So how did we make out?  Pretty well I'd say!

$9 for:
1 pint Michigan sweet cherries
1 pint blueberries
2 cucumbers

$18 for:
1 lb chorizo
1 package sausage links
2 lbs chicken legs

$18 for:
small container pico de gallo
quart baggie fresh tortilla chips
6 shredded pork tamales
1 bacon breakfast burrito

$9 for:
1 quart fresh peas
4 zucchini (mixed variety)
1 bunch carrots

$4 for:
4 on-the-vine tomatoes

$5 for:
1 bunch turnips
1 bunch green leaf lettuce

$4 for:
cider slushie
sugar cookie  

Total: $67

Add to that the handful of snap peas, handful of raspberries, salad bowl of loose leaf lettuce, 2 green onions, and handful of mild banana peppers we harvested out of the pallet garden that evening - a nice summer's bounty!

So how did that translate to meals for the week?  Well, the breakfast burrito we shared on our walk-through.  The slushie and sugar cookie were treats on the way home.  

Meal #1 - The tamales, chips and pico de gallo were lunch the next day.  
Meal #2 - The blueberries became blueberry syrup and blueberry pancakes.  
Meal #3 - The check thighs were stewed with some of the carrots and the onion all day and then served over rice for dinner.
Meal #4 - The breakfast sausage, store-bought frozen shredded hashbrowns ($2), and eggs I already had were turned into breakfast-for-dinner one night.
Meal #5 - The turnips and rest of the carrots were diced and sauteed with diced potatoes I already had and 1 lb of lean ground beef from the store ($6), topped with shredded taco cheese ($1) and a fried egg.
Meal #6 - The chorizo was cooked, then combined with jar spaghetti sauce ($1.50) and a can of diced tomatoes with basil ($.80), then added to cooked, drained penne pasta ($1).
Meal #7 - The peas will be combined with small shell pasta ($1), canned tuna fish ($2), chives from my garden, and sour cream I already have on hand, along with seasonings from my stash for a tuna pasta salad (this basic recipe with canned tuna added) for dinner.
Dessert #1 - The cherries were mixed into cheesecake mix ($2) for dessert.  

The lettuce, tomato, cucumber have been used as side salads with several meals but I still have some left so that will be served with grilled sliced chicken breast for chicken Caesar salad.  Most of these meals made enough for at least one person to have for lunch the next day.  Pretty awesome eating for a week!

No comments: