Published on: September 8th, 2011
You bet there is, and it’s the best market to get in, get some ridiculous deals on locally produced groceries, and get home in time to prep for that awesome barbecue/dinner you’re having.
Armed with some gifted “market bucks” (accepted at all vendors participating in the Erie, Lafayette and Niwot Farmers’ Markets), I visited the Erie Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning and was more than pleasantly surprised at the goodies that I came away with. In less than fifteen minutes, I managed to find nearly all of the ingredients that I needed to throw a killer dinner party.
With only a small sea of white tents visible from my parking spot, my first impression of this local grocery store wasn’t fantastic– but once I made my way into the center of the white tents, I was more than excited with my Farmers’ Market finds. With the sounds of an acoustic guitar serenading my shopping trip, I mentally planned out my dinner menu for the night, and what I came up with, was Food Network worthy.
First stop– was the main market booth, where I picked up a free eco-friendly bag to carry my finds in. Second stop was the delicious smelling bread booth where I purchased a loaf of jalapeno bread for under $5. Next booth was occupied by Miller Farms where I filled up ”half-a-bag” with potatoes, snap peas, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, green peppers and plenty of other fresh garden vegetables for– $5. Yes. I said $5.00. And if I would have opted to fill a full bag, I would have paid a mere $10 for a bag filled to the brim of locally grown produce. The next booth smelled like a delicious steak joint and handed out samples of freshly grilled (and home-grown), steak burgers and hot dogs. I’m not gonna lie… I’m not a huge fan of red meat, but the sample of the steak burger that I tried from the Snow Creek Ranchbooth melted in my mouth and warranted several “oohs” and “ahhs” from me and other members of the crowd. So I was sold. $9.00 got me a pound of steak burgers and a clear vision as to where my dinner party menu was going. After purchasing some edamame and honey at another booth, I had exactly $3 left out of my $25.oo in market bucks to buy a beautiful bouquet of flowers and bid farewell to the market with a giant bag full of food and the confidence to cook a pretty killer meal.
What did I end up making, you ask? Magic. I made magic in the form of a delicious, gourmet meal. I added some salt and pepper and a little garlic and soy sauce to the steak burgers (that were hands down the best burgers that I’ve ever had), and placed the grilled patties between two pieces of fresh, toasted jalapeno bread– topped with fresh-from-the-farm organic lettuce and tomatoes– a few slices of cheddar cheese and tiny bit of avocado.
Side dishes included homemade, baked french fries made out of the giant pototoes harvested at the Market, along with fresh snap peas sauteed in a little salt, pepper and butter. So delicious. My chef-worthy Farmers’ Market dinner pretty much launched my popularity points in the dinner party department. Dessert consisted of a quick trip toPiece, Love and Chocolate on the Pearl St. Mall in Boulder, where I snagged a few delicious white chocolate truffles and a salted-carmel chocolate cake that I’m told was pretty much to-die-for.
So the moral of this story is: pack up the family, take the back roads, and visit the Erie Farmers’ Market.
Make a meal out of it! And trust me, you’ll be far from disappointed!
The Erie Farmers’ Market is owned and operated by Nature’s Markets and is held every Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm (through October 22nd) at 515 Briggs St., in Erie, CO.