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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Winter Park Farmers' Market

One of the many favorite spots we enjoy visiting just about every Saturday is the Winter Park Farmers' Market.  A gold mine of produce can be found there, as well as, many vendors selling a multitude of plants, honey, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dog treats, cupcakes, kettle corn, cheeses, pies, dried fruit, and even the best vanilla extract. Vendors and shoppers are always friendly and so are their pets!

The market is located at the old train depot several streets from the main drag in Winter Park.  I could say that this market is one of the best around and definitely draws a ton of people every week.  Rennie and I shop there for our produce as much as possible.  My problem is determining what to purchase, because everything looks so good - I want it all, especially since we are eating more fruit and vegetables than anything else these days.

 The credit for my love of veggies goes to my Grandmother Parks.  Every year she would plow and plant a marvelous array of vegetables.  Once they were harvested, I would help prepare them so she could can them or freeze them.  We had the best vegetables all year around.  For the first nine years of my life I never had a store bought vegetables or canned vegetables, and all the fruit I ate came right off the tree or plant.  Apples, peaches, wild plums, grapes, and strawberries were always available in her yard.  Life was grand!

I would love to have a garden one day.  This spring, I will attempt (notice the word attempt...)to have a bedded garden.  There is much more research to do.  I want to make sure that I have growth and not kill everything I plant, especially since I have a brown thumb!

In the meantime, I am looking for the perfect vegetable soup.  My grandmother made the best veggie soup I have ever tasted.  I called her one time and asked her for her recipe.  She laughed and told me that she didn't have a recipe and that her soup was made up of all veggie leftovers from several days or weeks that she would stick in the freezer.  Once she had enough for a pot of soup, she'd pull the frozen leftovers out, defrost them, and make soup.  I have never had anything like her soup in over 40 years.  So what is your favorite vegetable soup recipe?  I am anxious to know!

Until next time... ~Pamela


  1. I am just like your grandmother. I make soup weekly now that I am in a colder climate. One thing I do is save the stock from one of our crockvpot dinners and use it in the soup. I sautee' whatever veggies I have - usually onions, celery, carrots but sometimes I throw in some other things like mushrooms and potatoes. Then I add the stock and more water, salt and garlic and let it simmer. Lately, I have been adding whole grains - like brown rice or barley. The barley I let soak overnight so it gets soft while it is cooking in the soup. I usually freeze a batch and then eat the rest for a couple of days. I LOVE soup!

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