Saturday, September 16, 2006

Visiting St. Joseph's Farmers' Market

Yes, that's right folks--they sell yak meat in central Minnesota! Friday late afternoon I accompanied two of my colleagues: Mary, who teaches New Testament at the Mennonite Seminary in Elkhart, IN, and Carmel, who is a Roman Catholic Liturgical Theologian from Sydney, Australia, to St. Joe's own Farmers' Market.

As usual, I went straight to the baked goods. This morning with my freshly ground coffee I had a chocolate croissant (eat your hearts out!) and last night I bit into a wondrous loaf of sourdough wheat bread. You know, the kind that is nice and crunchy on the outside and soft and tender on the outside? (Okay, I know I sometimes start waxing somewhat erotic when it comes to describing bread.) But that wasn't all. Last week, I had bought some homemade snickerdoodles (after all, a guy's got to keep his sugar intake up, right!) and Luann Otto had sold me some of her scrumptious home-made strawberry-blueberry jam. But, this time I found (drum roll, please) a quart of melt-in-your mouth red raspberries from a farm couple's berry patch.

We were entertained by a band that knew about a dozen different songs about vegetables. I knew I was clearly in "Prairie Home Companion" land. In fact, Garrison Keillor is purported to have gotten his big start in radio here in Collegeville at the Minnesota Public Radio station. One of my colleagues told me that his three-hour morning program used to have everyone rolling in the aisles. Rumor has it that we may even be able to visit one of his own restaurants nearby for a meal yet this fall. Minnesota is turning out to be awfully nice this time of year . . . especially if, like me, you like home grown fruits and vegetables and home made breads and sweets.