Today the plan is to hit a farmers markets via the MAX. Yeah, there’s not much to do in the area, and the best way to fluff my mental health is to indulge my epicurean kitchen side.
Immediately upon stepping outside, I’m greeted by one of the scurry of squirrels that own the trees around the Elmonica Apartments. They’re fearless, friendly, and very curious. This one has been giving me the eye most times I walk outside.
Don’t you believe me? Here’s another squirrel stare, this time from the bottom of my steps.
Looking up, I see a sun dog (parhelion). It’s big, bright, and bisected by the contrail (condensation trail) left by a passing jet. It’s very pretty; an auspicious start to the day.
I get but a few steps before I hear the happy sounds of the resident children playing soccer in the parking area, cheered on by their parents. Most of the families are southeast Asian; the smells while dinners are cooked by my neighbors is just tantalizing.
On my way I feel a strong gust of wind. Looking around I see a menacing cloud front bearing down on us. We’re going to get rained on before long.
Strolling by the Elmonica rail yards, I hear the clanging bells and grinding sounds of train cars being moved around the maintenance crews.
I get to the Elmonica MAX Station and wait. Then I wait some more. I must just have missed the last trolley.
Finally the MAX arrives, this one wrapped in brightly-colored ads. It’s pretty empty on a weekend morning.
Remember my comment about my neighbors being southeast Asian? Almost every time I pass the Beaverton Creek MAX Station I see their fathers playing cricket.
Beaverton Farmers Market / 12375 SW 5th St, Beaverton, OR 97005 / (503) 643-5345
The Beaverton Farmers Market has been recommended to me several times, but this is the first time I’ve had a chance to visit. It’s right by the library, my ultimate destination. My first glimpse of the market isn’t very impressive, but intriguing.
The next view is much, much more encouraging.
The first row of stands are ready-to-eat providers. There’s a big crowd and line around the Gringo Burrito stand.
One stand down is a huge meat smoker and the delicious smells of barbeque beef.
Next to that, continuing the theme of interesting portable cooking devices are the crew from the downtown pizza place with their pizza oven. More delightful smells. Ugh, the rain starts. You can see the raindrops against the black awning in this picture.
Turning into the aisles in the main market, I see candies, sauces, sweets, and the start of the cooking ingredients section. I’m shown strawberries and pale and regular raspberries.
The Daughters of the American Revolution have their own booth, festooned with red, white, and blue bunting of all designs. They’re giving away American flags. The lady seated in the red jacket has a sunhat with bunting of its own.
This stand has salumi and chorizo. I’m happy to be seeing some low-carb items. I didn’t take a photo of the cheese stand; sorry.
I found morcella (morel) mushrooms, which are delightful when quickly cooked in browned butter. I’m very, very happy with this find.
This is the park between the farmers market and the library.
Heading back to the MAX, I spot an elderly gentleman heading to downtown Portland Rose Festival arade. I’ve heard that it traditionally rains on the parade (literally) and I love that his hat is wrapped in plastic against the rain.
Second Sundays Farmer’s Market / Orenco MAX Station, Hillsboro, OR 97124
Everything I know about the Portland – Beaverton – Hillsboro area I’ve experienced from the MAX or on foot. Zipping by the Orenco station, on my way to another library, I see a gathering unlike what I’ve seen here.
It turns out to be the Second Sunday Market, it’s first occurrence during this summer. What luck, even in the rain :-)
Paella! The stop would have been worthwhile just to smell the paella, one of my favorite (carb-full) foods. The cook and I swap tales about paellas we’ve enjoyed around the world. He hasn’t been to San Francisco, but it’s on his list, so I recommend that he try the Arros Negre (squid, green peas, peppers, clams, squid ink, mortar allioli) at the B44 Catalan Bistro (44 Belden Place, San Francisco, CA / 415-986-6287); it’s amazing.
Library books and ingredients weighing down my backpack I head back home to unload and start cooking. It’s been a good day, and a good number of steps.