Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fava Bean Tragedy at Napa Farmer's Market

The Farmer’s market season has begun in Napa Valley. This means that from now until the end of October, you will find the Tea Drinker at Drink the Leaf’s booth each Tuesday and Saturday. Typically, in the beginning of the season, the market starts off slow both in foot traffic and vendors, and then ramps up(no pun, intended!) by mid-June. Yesterday, it was great to visit with the other vendors and our customers. We gabbed about the winter, complimented each other’s new hairstyles, and praised the good weather. At Drink the Leaf, we started this year’s market off by sampling our delightful Ceylon Black, and had fourteen teas available for sale. No surprise, the teas were a hit.

The Farmer’s Market this year is located in the parking lot of the now defunct Copia, which is next door to the Oxbow Public Market. We prefer this new location to last year, however, there is quite a bit of road construction going on nearby. Plan ahead, as you have to zigzag your way around the back streets to get to the market. The good news is that you will pass by GOTT’s Roadside 'Tray Gourmet', and if you are exhausted, cranky or famished you can always stop in for a mint chip milkshake, Ahi tuna burger, and an order of sweet potato fries, to quell your anxiety. It works for me every time.

While the Tea Drinker was chatting with customers and inquiring about their tea drinking habits, I was out and about sampling the goods. I tried an addictive garlic and Parmesan spread from the Glop. This new vendor at the market was very popular; the interesting name and cool packaging brought people over, and they hovered for samples, and plopped down money for purchases. Glop hit the mark, and I was off. I ambled over to Humble Beginnings and Annie the Baker(her real name is Annie Baker-no joshing). These two great vendors offer up tasty jams, jellies and homemade cookies. Last year, we were situated between them; I suspect we must have been too rowdy, since they split us up this time around. As always, Annie the Baker sold out of her delicious dough-like cookies. It’s not uncommon to walk by her booth, and hear someone pleading, “But, I need me some of those Toffee Milk Chocolate Chip cookies!!”. Oh, wait, that was me. But, seriously, do not be surprised when you find yourself pleading with her, too.

By the time I got to the produce section, it was slim pickings. Darn it, because I was craving fava beans, and they were sold out. The nice lady told me that they had a huge pile of them at opening, the crowd got unruly, people were grabbing and pushing, and the beans were gone within minutes. Fava beans tend to bring out crazy behavior in people, every time. I cruised back to check on the Tea Drinker and he was trading Jasmine Pearl and Blood Orange black for roasted garlic hummus dip and pita chips from, The Hummus Guy. That’s why I love my husband, always thinking about our next meal.

Speaking of food, my stomach was growling as the market came to a close. So, being the great wife that I am, I offered to run over to the Oxbow and pick us up lunch from Pica Pica Maize Kitchen. We packed up the truck and headed home and enjoyed our classic Venezuelan meal on the patio. While snacking on a sweet corn pancake filled with shredded chicken and cheddar cheese, I proceed to tell my husband my strategy for the next market. I will be damned if I let someone else snag those fava beans again. He nodded and listened patiently, and then reminded me that my duties as a wife of a tea drinker included not causing waves at the market. Yes, dear.

Stop by the farmer’s market this week, the Tea Drinker will be on hand with great gift ideas for Mother’s day. Check out our fancy new gift tins of loose leaf tea paired with Botanical Bakery “Ginger Squared” shortbread cookies. Treat your Mom right.

1 comment:

Alexa Bond said...

I am craving a farmers' market! 3 more weeks to wait...