The white peaks of the first few tents rose in the parking lot at Abbott Square when I drove by Sunday morning. New signs installed declare the space “Home of the Bangor Farmers’ Market” along with the hours, days and other pertinent information. A new addition to the market, a food truck — dubbed the YumBus by its owner — was already in place, waiting to serve crepes to the crowds.
It’s like a cleansing breath to have the outdoor farmers market operating again. It means that the coldest days are behind us, and warmer weather is coming. Sometimes, on some lucky days, it’s already here. And it means that we can make fewer trips to the grocery store, as the veggies and meats available increase and increase.
By the time my daughter and I returned later on Sunday, more vendors had arrived, creating a grid of fresh veggies, locally raised and humanely treated meats and more. We restocked our frozen blueberry supply and picked up the meats and eggs we need for the week. Veggies too. Always veggies.
I don’t know about you, but I am happy to see the summer Bangor Farmers’ Market back, a little earlier than usual. In the stalls, parsnips, spinach, potatoes, arugula, dried herbs and leeks beckoned to us.
It’s a harbinger of warmer days, a promise of weekly farmers market trips. My market basket, a deep woven basket that can carry a week’s worth of produce for our family, is ready. So am I.
On Sunday we had chicken hand pies with dinner, from one of the vendors. A little spicy, which I love, my son and I liked them best. On Monday, garlicky sauteed fresh spinach was served alongside our chicken, rice, roasted broccoli and Herbed Roasted Mushrooms. What about tonight? Perhaps some parsnip fries with our tacos?
We’re a family that believes in eating lots and lots of veggies — and my kids’ doctor encourages that. So along with the lovely fresh produce, we also supplement from fresh and frozen foods at the grocery store. Like these mushrooms, which made a tasty side dish that my kids dug eagerly into — even if they weren’t from the farmers market.
And they’re so easy too.
Left whole, the mushrooms are spread out on a baking sheet and drizzled lightly with olive oil. A sprinkle of dried thyme and rosemary along with salt and pepper bring out the flavor as it all roasts together — about 35 minutes in the oven.
And then devour.
These mushrooms are a side dish, best served alongside other veggies and chicken or steak. The recipe serves about four, in small portions. That’s all you need to get the rich, meaty flavor of roasted mushrooms and the delicate hints of herbs.
- 6 oz package cremini mushrooms (button mushrooms)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- dried thyme
- dried rosemary
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Wipe mushrooms with a damp paper towel to remove dirt. Spread on a nonstick baking sheet.
- Drizzle mushrooms with olive oil. Sprinkle with thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Stir well. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Stir again, and bake for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown all over. Remove from the oven and enjoy.