When it comes to writing, I have it in spades. I generally have more ideas than time to write them. But getting inspired about certain facets of my “other job” – as mom and wife – isn’t always so easy. We don’t eat out often and avoid processed foods, so that means cooking something from scratch, almost every night of the year. Daunting, right?

Luckily, my husband is a great cook, and on the weekends, it’s all on him. Since he’s gone nearly twelve hours every day between his job and commuting, I get to figure out what we’re having the other five nights…and then I get to make it. This time of year, it’s not so hard, thanks to the summertime weekly farmer’s market.

I love heading out on Saturday morning with my big African market basket and $20-$30 in the pocket of my jeans. Other than finding tomatoes (always on the list until my garden kicks into high gear), I generally don’t have an agenda. I visit a couple of my favorite sellers, the ones I’ve been buying from for years, then I wander from stall to stall, seeing what’s available, what looks ripe and fresh.

Seeking inspiration.

Like when I spotted the big bin of my favorite tomatoes – the Russian heirloom “Black Krim” – right next to silver bucket full of brilliant green basil, I imagined this on my table:

And when I spied this basket of squash:

I thought of the thyme and garlic chives bursting their pots on my patio and decided that tossing them together in some melted organic butter and sautéing them to the perfect, al dente texture might just get my kids to gobble their veggies – and I was right!

In my kitchen, as in writing, I need to feel inspired, need to express my creative soul. A beautiful palette of produce, a nice glass of wine and some good tunes on the wee Bose in the corner help keep the nightly procurement of dinner from becoming sheer drudgery. For me, the farmer’s market is the perfect inspiration. Too bad it doesn’t go year round!



12 responses to “Inspiration

  1. Too bad, indeed! And aren’t the colors tomatoes come in, aside from the traditional red, becoming interesting: green, yellow, orange and purple?

    I’m the cook in my household and I love the task. My wife doesn’t understand, but I find cooking and shopping for groceries relaxing—a way to decompress after a hard day’s work.

    Nice post, Lisa.

    • I love the colors of fruits and veggies. Sometimes, I unload my basket onto the kitchen table and feel like I’m looking at a still life painting. 🙂

      My husband finds Zen in the kitchen, too. When we’re on vacation, he always does all the cooking – and I never, ever complain.


  2. *pouts* These posts always make me want to live closer to you. 😀 I’d be at your house for dinner every night. (so…you’re probably glad I don’t! *hee*)


  3. I’m hungry just looking at these pictures! Great food is always inspiring to me too.


  4. I’m lucky because my farmer’s market – Granville Island – does go all year round. But because my partner works five nights a week, I don’t get to use the inspiration as often as you. But fresh fruit (right now, lovely black Mission figs from California are my addiction) and vegetables (always tomatoes and yep, fresh basil) are on my shopping list.


    • Yum, figs! I always get a basket of them at the market, and since my family doesn’t like them, I get to eat them all! Missions are great, but just lately I’m addicted to Calimyrna figs. They’re this lovely golden green on the outside, and a deep blushing rose at the center. Sooo good.

      Dang. I just ate the last one yesterday. :/

    • I don’t get figs, but my wife, Toni, does. When I do eat them, I split them and use my teeth to pull away the flesh. Toni bites them off from the stem and eats everything.

  5. We in Seattle are lucky, we have some farmers markets that stay open year-round and of course there is the Pike Place Public Market. I loved shopping there when I lived down town and could cruse the stalls for goodies to cook. Both Belva and I love to cook.

    I’ve a recipe to share that you and your family might enjoy, sautéed asparagus and strawberries.

    You need some young spears of asparagus — about the size of your ring-finger in circumference and you can cut them about the length of your ring finger, too.

    Next you need some big red strawberries, cut them into 1/2 inch thick slices.

    And about 1 or 2 teaspoons of butter and a 1/4 cup of virgin olive oil.

    Melt the butter in a good fry pan, add the olive oil.

    When the butter/olive oil mixture is hot, add the asparagus, stir until they are coated and getting hot.

    Add the straw berry slices and stir until they get hot – they will start to melt and loose some color.

    Serve immediately.

    This dish goes well with fish (especially halibut or king crab) or pork.


    PS: Now I’m Hungry. Wonder what Belva has in the fridge?

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