“The art of simplicity is a puzzle of complexity.” -Douglas Horton
I’ve been rediscovering my love of the farmers market. Once upon a time, when I was in the midst of looking for a job and would get random, glorious weekdays off, I would attempt to orient those days around one of the many farmers markets dotting the Los Angeles cityscape. I eventually stopped going, because “life happened.” (See below for details.)
Working a classic 9:00 -5:00 is exhausting, but the one thing I can’t fault about my new position is the consistency. I know exactly when and where I’m available. Per always, it’s not often – that hasn’t changed much since I was a teenager. When I call my parents, it’s usually from the car, and one of their first questions when they pick up the phone is, “So where are you driving to now?”
If it’s a Saturday morning, I am headed to the farmers market. It is the one place I go without a shopping list. I don’t even take one of my notebooks with me. When I go to the farmers market, it is to get out of my own head and into my visceral instincts as an eater: What looks good? What sounds good? It allows me to cook both in and of the moment. Try it.
The summer growing season still seems to be at a peak, though fall is attempting to work its way in edgewise. Saying goodbye to perfect tomatoes, corn, and stone fruit makes me shudder slightly, but as F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in The Great Gatsby, “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” (Also, to the dudes selling pomegranates this early last Saturday, thanks for simultaneously getting me excited and killing my soul. I wasn’t quite ready for life to start all over just yet.) The farmers market forces me to simplify, and it’s not only because I going in with a limited amount of cash and no shopping list.
I know the concept is difficult to grasp sometimes. I am definitely guilty (as we all are) of over-thinking and over-complicating things. My goal this week is to streamline my ingredient lists and simplify what my palate is experiencing. It started with the photo below:
Indigo Rose Tomatoes, Burrata (which I would still love to figure out how to make), Membrillo, Olive Oil, Fig Balsamic, and Salt
Subtract the obvious. Add the meaningful.