Posted by: Erin | September 19, 2008

Avast, Me Hearties!

Okay, so the title of this post has nothing to do with anything, but it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day, and I have yet to say anything pirate-y… so there you go. 🙂

I managed to get to the Copley Farmer’s Market today after work. I made a beeline for the vendor I knew had big bunches of basil last time (all the way to the left of the booths set up facing Boylston Street, if you’re in the area – didn’t catch their name). Sadly, their basil was rather unhappy looking. It wasn’t terrible, but I could get better looking basil (though less of it) at the supermarket. They did, however have a few nice bunches of dill left, as well as shallots.

My pretty green bunch of fresh dill

My pretty green bunch of fresh dill

I could get dill at the supermarket, too, but I’m sure this is fresher and I think it’s a bigger bunch for the same amount of money. I grabbed a bunch of dill and a small shallot. (Weirdly enough, shallots are hard to find at Shaw’s.) I have no idea what shallots taste like, but I’ve been wanting to try out Greg’s pan-seared tilapia with shallots and bacon recipe, so I needed a shallot. (The only thing is, Greg’s recipe calls for 4 shallots – I’m assuming one per tilapia fillet, meaning one per serving – but I don’t know what size an average shallot is.)

On a whim, I decided to wander up to Haymarket to see if the market there was still open. (As I was reminded today, Haymarket isn’t an actual farmer’s market, it’s just vendors trying to get rid of extra produce.) I thought they closed at 6pm, but most of the vendors still had a lot of stuff out, so I did a lap around to check it out. A surprising number of vendors had dill (when I was there last, only one person had some, and after my lap around to check things out, I couldn’t find that vendor again – I’d gone at closing time then, too, so they’d probably packed up). A lot also had fresh cilantro and parsley, which wasn’t exactly surprising, but more vendors had it than I remembered. One also had nice bunches of mint, so for $1.50, one came home with me:

Why doesn't my mint plant have leaves like this!?

Why doesn't my mint plant have leaves like these?!

I do have peppermint in my garden (the chocolate mint died awhile back), but while it’s grown quite a bit, the leaves are still tiny and the newer shoots seem to have a magenta-ish/brown tint to them, which concerns me. I’ve never had mint in the garden before, so I don’t know if this is normal (other parts of the plant don’t have this tint, which is what confuses me), and it’s making me a bit reluctant to use the peppermint for cooking purposes.

Close-up of my peppermint plant

Close-up of my peppermint plant

In addition to the mint, I managed to pick up five and a half pounds of red potatoes for either $1 or $2 (can’t remember what the guy said, but he basically gave me all he had left – the sign said 2lb for $1, so either way, I still got more than I should have by that pricing). I also noticed on my return lap that someone was selling pomegranates. I’m not sure how big they’re supposed to be, but I thought they were bigger – these are about the size of a small apple. So in my mind they’re baby pomegranates. I hadn’t seen them around before, so I bought 3 for $2. I was quite pleased with this find, though on my way out of the market, I saw a vendor with 2 for $1 that looked slightly happier than mine (two other vendors had them as 3 for $2 also, so I didn’t feel too shafted). I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them, but I seem to have an unexplained interest in them lately, so I’m sure I’ll find something. (I’ve got to have at least one bookmarked recipe that calls for an actual pomegranate rather than just the juice.) Long ago, I also bookmarked an incredibly useful page detailing how to properly deal with pomegranates – I’m excited I’ll finally get to use it.

Methinks this all means that there will be some form of salmon in my weekend meal planning (because of the fresh dill) and some garlic mashed red potatoes (because I have a ridiculous amount of red potatoes now, in addition to the obscene amount of garlic I bought last weekend at Haymarket).

Two mesh sleeves of garlic and the aforementioned shallot

Two mesh sleeves of garlic and the aforementioned shallot

There will also be some more herb ice cube making (which is why I bought the dill and mint in the first place – figured I could freeze it). I want to attempt freezing some of the leaves from my lavender plant as well, and harvest a bit more from my happy rosemary plant. (More on my adventures in freezing herbs later.) I’m not sure how the lavender will fare, but I imagine if I can freeze other stuff, I should be able to freeze that as well. So, in addition to trying to catch up on some previous experiments/product reviews, I should have some new experiments to share next week.


  1. It doesn’t look sick in your picture. I would guess that the mint is turning darker because the temps are dropping.

  2. I wondered if that might be it, but it’s been sorta pink-ish for a while. It’s been inside for a week or so (ever since there was the first frost warning), and it does seem a little greener, but only in parts of it – the new growth still has the pink tinge. So I’m not really sure what to do with it: I don’t want to use it for culinary stuff if it’s got problems, but I’m not sure how to know that.

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