Saturday, September 15, 2007

And...we're back!

This morning I stood at the bus stop in front of the Glen Park BART station with an 80-something-year-old Chinese woman with an empty plaid suitcase. I had my big empty bag. The monitor for Monterey route, to Alemany Market, reported that the bus was coming in 7 minutes. Then 9. Then 34.

The Chinese woman looked at me and raised her eyebrows. I mirrored her gesture. We had enough of this particular brand of shenanigans. Some time between 9 and 34 minutes the bus arrived, and the crowd of market-goers climbed aboard.

Most of the people on the Monterey bus at this time are Asian women with empty vegetable receptacles: suitcases, metal carts, milk crates lashed to wheels. Some are chatty, others are silent during the ten minute ride.

The market is already much different than my last visit three weeks ago. At last sight, the first Asian pears were out. This time I saw four or five varieties. Pumpkin greens are out, and the summer stone fruit is still available, but not at its prime.

For the first time I noticed jujubes at the K+K Farm stand, out of Orange Cove, CA.

Actually, for the first time in my life I noticed jujubes, also called a red or Chinese date. The fruit is sweet, somewhat similar in texture to an apple and can be used, when dried, in soups or teas. I bought a pound and decided to make jujube butter, like apple butter. The jujube is certainly drier than an apple, so I may pair it with another fruit. See the results tomorrow.

Inspired by Sean Timberlake, I also bought plenty of figs to make fig jam. And I ran into my favorite market-goers, including a delightful saleswoman who introduced me to some husked yellow tomatoes.

Details and recipes tomorrow.