Tag Archives: avocados

Waiting for Jessica at Yoder’s Fresh Market

I was all excited that Jessica’s Organic Farm reopened for the season last Friday, but then I didn’t go!  What’s wrong with me???  The stand is only open Fridays and Saturdays.  I worked both days but could have made it before they closed on Saturday.  I went to OfficeMax instead because it was closer, I was feeling lazy and the Siesta Key Farmers Market is held on Sundays.  Well, that just didn’t work out for me.  The Siesta Key market was rainy and bare.  There was only one produce stand open, but nothing was organic.  And for being chemically enhanced and covered in wax, the produce still didn’t look that good.

But my point is not to bash the stand or the market, it’s to share this quote from the Suncoast Locally Grown Online Farmers Market newsletter, “According to Kathy and Susan of My Mothers Garden, this time of year the definition of locally grown is anything south of the Mason Dixie Line!”  So I went looking for and found some Georgia peaches at Yoder’s Fresh Market that can tide me over until Saturday.

Although after visiting Jessica’s crop schedule, which doesn’t even list the months of August and September, I’m counting more on organic than local.  This far into the summer, I’d be ecstatic over regional.

It was nice to visit Yoder’s for a change.  They may not carry organics, but they’re another good source for local produce in season.  Last December they expanded into the building next door.  I only noticed it recently; today was my first visit.

Both buildings carry Amish jams, cheeses and cookies, but I only saw the pies in the newer, yellow building.  If you’re a Sarasota local, it’s most likely you know someone who has a favorite pie from Yoder’s.  John’s is banana cream. Yoder’s started with the restaurant; all three buildings are side-by-side on Bahia Vista Street.  I vaguely remember eating at the restaurant once, but the taste of their pies are clear in my mind.  They remind me of holidays, and the market has miniature versions!

But since they didn’t have banana cream, I came home with fresh-made granola and wheat bread instead.  Bread may not seem as exciting as pie, but squeeze it before judging.  The market carries some other staple items too-pasta and flour-but mostly it’s a nice Amish deli.  I’ll go back to try lunch; they offer fresh-made soups, salads and sandwiches.

…and it just dawned on me that peaches are on the Dirty Dozen list.  I pulled it up and not only are they on the list, peaches are ranked Number Four for containing some of the most pesticides among all produce.  Imagine me shrugging my shoulders here, “What can you do?”  This peach didn’t kill me, I’m guessing the four I bought today won’t either.

And since they’ve been a recent topic, avocados rank Number Four on the Clean Fifteen list of produce containing the least pesticides.

Avocados, Make Me Beautiful

I love Toby’s gift; I just don’t like avocados.  John-I love him too.  This was our dinner conversation over Creamy Avocado Pasta:

Me: “I don’t like this.”
John: “But it doesn’t taste like avocado; that’s a huge success.”

If no one else is laughing, I was.  I’m usually the one laughing loudest at his jokes anyway.  He’s funny, supportive and always optimistic; it’s nice to be around that sort of person.  So à la John, I took my lemons avocados and made lemonade beauty products. All day I whipped, blended and pampered.  I started with this…

And ended with this…

With avocados on hand, I didn’t have to leave the house for a thing.  All the ingredients were ready to go in the refrigerator and cabinets – milk, eggs, lemons, oatmeal, and cornmeal.  That covered not just my face, but my hands, feet and legs too.  I made a face mask, facial cleanser, foot scrub, and hand treatment.  Plus I set aside slices of avocado to use under my eyes and a couple of peels to moisturize.  It was time to relax…

And relaxing it was…the house was cool and quiet, not even a murmur of a TV or the chirp of a phone.  The boys were out all afternoon being loud at someone else’s house.  It was a very good day, and I’ll absolutely make these products again.  I loved all of them, especially the face mask.  It dried like any store-bought mask but was easier to wash off.  The ingredients are 1 egg white, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1/2 avocado mashed.

After 15 minutes or so, I used a warm washcloth to remove the mask and used the deep cleanser next.  The blender came in handy for this recipe.  Whisk an egg yolk until it’s frothy and add it to the blender with 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 avocado mashed.  Anything applied with a cotton ball is preferable without chunks, so I strained to be safe.  And this is one I’ll be using tomorrow too.  The cleanser can be stored in the refrigerator for 48 hours.

After rinsing off the cleanser, I used the avocado peel as a moisturizer.  The peels contain humectant, which is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a substance that promotes retention of moisture.”  Although it left me looking a bit like Fiona from Shrek, it felt like rubbing my face in a drape of slick velor.  I kept circling it back over my lips like it was a tube of glossy lip balm.

Next up: feet and hands.  I preferred the foot scrub to the hand treatment.  It left my skin smoother, most likely due to the cornmeal.  The original recipe called for 2-3 tablespoons of cornmeal mixed with 2 tablespoons of mashed avocado, but the avocado I was using wasn’t as ripe as some of the others.  Having nearly no experience with avocado, it was lost on me how much this mattered until my spoon slid into a truly ripe one.  To improvise with the not quite ripe, I added a little olive oil and lemon juice to moisten and smooth out the texture.  It worked out so well that the leftovers ended up on my legs.  I’m now soft, smooth and completely relaxed.  Yes, it was a very good day.

Homemade Avocado Beauty Recipes

The Latest Doorstep Delivery

We have great neighbors.  They don’t throw wild parties or leave old cars out to rust on their front lawns.  They smile as they pass by, and they share their fruit.  Toby from next door gets the shout-out today for sharing her avocados.  By the time I reached the door, she was already across the street making her rounds with plastic bags full of them.  She yelled, “If you need more, I’ve got ‘em.”  And she does…the view from our fence:

Avocados aren’t my favorite, but I found some recipes to try and an all-natural facial is now on my weekend to-do list.

I have high hopes for both pasta dishes because I really want to like avocados.  According to the California Avocado Commission, “Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid.” But here’s something I didn’t know, they’re also known as alligator pears.

Phillippi Farmers Market

No more waiting until the weekend for fresh local produce – the Phillippi Farmhouse market is now open Wednesdays from noon until dusk.  It was supposed to open in November, but the county-sponsored market violated a county law – oops!  The county changed the law, and the market opened last Wednesday.  Oops again, I forgot!  I remembered today as did half the city.  It was packed – there had to be seventy-five cars in the parking lot with a constant stream of traffic coming and going.  Here are a few of the reasons why locals were slowing traffic on US 41 today:

My Sarasota strawberries are soaking in balsamic vinegar and brown sugar as we speak…mmm…vinegar and berries…weird and delicious!  I bought them from Bayside Farm – a family owned and operated Sarasota farm.  They were also selling sweet corn, bell peppers, green onions, and cabbage.  The tomatoes and avocados are from Brown’s Grove.  Although these aren’t them, Brown’s grows and sells heirloom tomatoes.  Look for those around May.  I went a different route with my tomato and lettuce buying today and bought some seedlings from Vision Horticulture.

The recent cold snap lightened their inventory, but they were able to save the Roma and grape tomatoes, romaine lettuce and collard greens.  Here are my two picks – romaine lettuce and grape tomatoes.

The seedlings were probably the deal of the day – 3 for $1.  But maybe not…my bag was pretty full for having only spent $10.

If you can get over there, definitely check this market out.  If you can’t, there’s always Saturday’s market downtown and Sunday’s market in Siesta Key Village.  For more information on the downtown farmers market, check out my latest article in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.