World-class(being of the highest caliber) food for sale. . .on the street corner, in Clinton, Minnesota, population-under 400. Surprised? Don’t be! The summer ‘fresh food’ season has arrived and I’m betting nearly every little town in the midwest has someone who is growing something amazing. . .that they would be willing to share!
I got lucky! Little Drew and I jumped in the car to put something in the mail and decided to drive into nearby Clinton. She was thinking she needed a little time at one of her ‘spots’; the Clinton Depot Park. We spied the tent of one lone vendor, Heidi, making up the Farmer’s Market. Thinking about my own gardening experience, June feels a little early to have real, home-grown food for sale. A friendly chat and a much appreciated lesson about the heritage and growth of each item on her table was to be our afternoon pleasure. Do we want a few young onions? We sure do! “The heirloom beets are so tender and wonderful, sliced on a fresh salad. Want some?”, asked Heidi. Yup, we did! “Lettuce? I have 4 varieties. Want a little of each for a salad?”, asked Heidi. One ” you-betcha” later, and we have a bag of gourmet salad in our hand. Mmmmmm, saving the best for last now, are we? Heidi points, I nod and a small bag of fresh snow peas is added to our world-class salad in the making.
It’s late in the day, things to finish, meeting to get ready for, dinner to make. . .can’t get my mind off the vegetables laying on my kitchen counter. The whole experience wants to replay and linger; the seed, the nurturing, Heidi’s work in picking, cleaning and setting up as a vendor,the beauty and art in the color of these fresh items, savoring the fact that destiny brought each plant or root into MY kitchen. . . . wishing I could pass it around the world.
A bed of lettuce, a few small beet greens added in, one sliced red beet, one sliced small white onion, 4 snow peas(all picked the same day they are eaten-so cool) and a tablespoon of raspberry vinaigrette from the fridge door shelf. . . . world-class dining.