We had loads of pre-holiday shopping to do. Nancy bought an organic, free range, Christmas ham. It came from a happy pig that spent its days romping in a pasture and getting its ears scratched by the farmer that ultimately slaughtered said piggy. [Oh yes! Sure, you judge us! Thinking we are heartless bastards, buying an innocent young pig; cut down in the tasty, hickory smoked, honey glazed prime of life.] Humanely raised critters - if you can get them, is wonderful for both your karma and your carnivorous needs. That I can get such meat now makes me wildly happy. I don't have a problem with eating animals, I just want to know they got a fair shake before I salt, pepper and devour them.
My own first stop was the fish market area where I intended to buy a nice mackerel or a pompano, which sort of looks like the butterfish that was my childhood favorite.
On my first visit to the Farmer's Market I thought the fish market was awesome. However, only today, when planning on actually walking off with a fish did I suddenly become a bit - squeamish. Here, check out the fishies, up for purchase.
Nancy pointed out that the fish - all the fish offered at the market, were flash frozen as caught - guts intact! Not a clean fish in the place; every scale and intestine intact, all arrayed atop tubs of ice, pretty as you please.
I couldn't do it. The thought of cleaning a fish that had been caught God knows where or when, was too much for me. Thus the little fishes stayed right where they were. Oh well. There's always Trader Joe's frozen fish fillets.
No bother. What I did not spend on fish, I spent on some lovely grass fed, pasture-reared beef and the usual assortment of veggies; chard, diakon radish, yams and shitake and oyster mushrooms. As my ingredients reveal to the trained eye, I'm learning to cook Japanese style.
The biggest discovery of the day was DUCK EGGS for sale! Ages ago when I lived in Riverside I routinely got free duck and goose eggs - and avocados & oranges in season. The eggs were all humongous, fresh and delicious. So today I couldn't resist buying a half dozen duckie eggs, which are equal to a dozen chicken eggs. I wish I could raise ducks for their eggs, as I do chickens, but ducks, bless 'em are a complete noisy messes of feathers. They require at the very least a wading pond, which amounts to a pond of poo and feathers. Ugh! Anyway, I hope the duck egg seller is a regular at the Market.
Our shopping bags full up, I took Nancy back to her place. Before I left, she and Rick were kind enough to give me some of their own home-grown produce - fresh persimmons, lemons and oranges, right off their trees. Produce doesn't get any fresher than that.
I found a recipe for persimmon pudding - which, based on the recipe photo, looks like an old fashioned Christmas pudding. I think I am going to make one and set it ablaze with hot brandy and perhaps a sprig of holly.