The Memphis Farmers Market opened Saturday, and the day couldn't have been more perfect. Tony and I didn't make it downtown until after 11 a.m., but there was still plenty of produce left, along with gorgeous flowers for Easter.
First things first. I finally met Jill and Keith Forrester's new baby, Fox. Can a baby be any cuter than this little guy? He was hiding out in the Whitton Farms truck with Jill, probably because the music was so loud. Suggestion: Move the band. It's hard to know your farmers when you can't hear a word they are saying.
Next, I discovered a new vendor called Earth Sprung Grain. Drum roll please: We now have locally sourced jasmine rice from Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, a state that grows more rice than any state in country. Jennifer Wells and her business partner Lance Schmidt are rice veterans (Wells in seed, Schmidt in machinery). Now they are growing rice from seed that joins the traits of jasmine with traits suited for Arkansas farming. I bought the white jasmine (it's also available in brown), and it was exellent. When I got home and opened the bag, the fragrance was lovely. Once the rice started cooking, the aroma filled the entire house.
We also toted home a pint of oysters from Paradise Seafood. We ate half the oysters raw with Tony's homemade cocktail sauce and lots of fresh lemon. Heaven! Then Tony cooked the rest of the oysters in a grill pan with seasoning and lots of onions over a hot charcoal fire. The combination of smokey oysters and jasmine rice made me want to give a big hug to the arrival of spring.
If you want to pick up on some seasonal love, check out the local farmer's markets that are opening over the next few weeks. For a complete list, click here to see the post on Hungry Memphis.