For all the frustrations that can come with raising a child in New York City, there are also those small joys of living here that I don’t take for granted—like the fact that the best farmers’ market in the city is a short walk from our apartment.
If I am low on some produce for dinner on any given Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, you can be sure Miles and I are walking through the Union Square Greenmarket. It beats schlepping through the crowded Whole Foods on 14th Street (restless child in one hand, heavy plastic cart in the other), or waiting in line for over an hour at Trader Joe’s just for broccoli and apples. I just have to remember to bring cash.
It’s so much more fun for him (and me) to shop this way. Every time we go, he discovers something new.
Some of his recent discoveries:
Brussels sprouts grow on a stem! (That blew his mind.)
Haricots verts come in a dark purple (almost black) hue. And they turn green when you cook them. (“It’s magic!” my son exclaimed, wide-eyed, when he saw them change color in the frying pan at home.)
Mini versions of vegetables are “really cute!” and very appealing. Needless to say, we came home with a collection of baby eggplant, baby squash in all shapes and sizes, tiny cipollini onions, and thumbnail-sized mini cherry tomatoes. (It was only right to buy a big carton of them, seeing as my son misunderstood the “Taste one!” sign to read something like “Taste them all!”)
Even apples can surprise you. We brought home a pink-a-boo variety (green on the outside, tie-dye pink on the inside), and when I sliced into it, Miles’s mind was blown—again.
Husk cherries are just like candy. We paid fifty cents for a half carton of them. My son unwrapped each one and popped them into his mouth with a big mischievous smile, as if I was letting him get away with eating bubble gum.
Plums come in so many colors! Yellow, sunset, bright red, maroon, dark purple. When in doubt, buy one of each. Four dollars a pound, pick ‘n’ mix style. Eat as many as you can on the way home.
Samples are “super awesome.” Miles seeks out free slices of nectarines, peaches, and apples with the same fervor of grandmas sniffing out samples at Costco.
And a discovery for me? The best part of grocery shopping at the farmers’ market with my son is that he can ask for whatever fruit or vegetable he sees and I never have to say no. Everything is good.