We drove up to Baltimore last weekend, to attend an event sponsored by the Slow Food Baltimore group, but (of course) we first swung by a farmers market. And then we visited another market, new to us but strangely familiar.
The 32nd Street Farmers Market in Charles Village stays open year-round, on Saturday mornings. It starts at the ungodly (but not un-farmerly) hour of 7 a.m. We got there at around 10 a.m. Fortunately, there was still plenty to see and buy. And pet.
Also entertainment, on a less formal basis than some markets.
The neighborhood, which is very close to Johns Hopkins, is full of old row houses with Baltimore bays. Their occupants range from hipsters to students to old original residents. They all turn out for the market.
There are little touches of artiness, from a butterfly on a stop sign to very esthetic trash cans.
We then proceeded uptown to the Hunt Valley Agricultural Center, where Kerry Dunnington was signing her cookbook, Planet Kitchen Table. She brought along several dishes to tempt noshers and potential book purchasers: Horseradish Dip with homemade pita chips, Gingered Coconut Carrot Soup, Tarragon Basil Chicken Salad on homemade focaccia, Shortbread with apricot jam baked in, and my two favorites: Cheese Curry Pate with Plum Sauce, and Mango and Cardamom Coffee Cake. If all the recipes in the book make food this good, it’s a fine investment!
The Hunt Valley area has become a very interesting food destination. Years ago, the McCormick Spice Company relocated there from the Inner Harbor. As I stepped out of the car at the Ag Center, I fancied that I could smell the spices, just as one once could when the wind was right in downtown Baltimore.
Talking to the Slow Foodies, I learned that there is an Amish Market just down York Road. We made an unscheduled stop, and found a market full of specialized food stalls not unlike those in Laurel and Germantown.
There are meat counters (both barbeque and deli), dry goods, cheese, dairy, fruit and vegetables, candy, bakery, a restaurant, and a large furniture salesroom. The candy stall has a scary chocolate bunny – it’s three feet tall, weighs 20 pounds, and can be yours for only $95.00. The chocolate-covered bacon in the foreground proves that the Amish can be as trendy as anyone.
Outside the market, there was a display of lawn ornaments. This cast-iron turkey caught my eye.
Now why would anyone fancy a fake turkey on their lawn? A decoy? To dress up for holidays (like some folks dress geese)? I myself am partial to flamingos, but it would be hard to keep a cast-iron flamingo upright!