From the farmer’s market.
October 01, 2010

After hitting up the farmer’s market, Charlotte and I walked to a nearby park and shared a pomegranate.  This is our ‘tradition’ - we always pick up something at the farmer’s market that we can split together at the park afterwards.  At first, it was just a way to stop her from fussing when we headed toward the car - if she’s properly tuckered out by a trip to the park, then she doesn’t mind a car-ride home - but it’s turned into a really fun way to involve her in the farmer’s market experience.  I pick the fruit we’ll share first and let her carry it around while I select the rest of our produce.  After the park, we go home and she helps me unpack our loot, which is another seemingly inconsequential farmer’s market event that she really enjoys.

By the way, I have no idea how to eat cacti of any form.  So if you happen to have any advice or recipes or horror stories or WHATEVER, um, please share.

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  1. By Jessika on October 01, 2010

    The flat pieces are good peeled then cut into inch-wide or so strips and sautéed in whatever you wish. You may want the sautee to be a bit on the stronger side since it’s a bit of a new taste… just google “Nopales” to get a bunch of recipes!

    The cactus pears: I’ve heard that boiling takes the skin off like it does on tomatoes, but this is unconfirmed. we always ate them after peeling (but usually got stuck in the process). They’re good in a similar way to say, rhubarb. You wouldn’t necessarily eat rhubarb straight from the yard, but IN something: Oh delicious. The pears are sweeter than rhubarb, so no need to add the sugar. I’ve heard they make a great jam.

    How fun!

  2. By erin on October 01, 2010

    I have no idea how to use the nopales or the cactus pears, but I think I saw something in Joy of Cooking about using nopales.  (Joy of Cooking is like my Bible.)

    Somewhat related but random: our neighbor has a prickly pear growing in the corner of his yard near ours, and now Brian wants one.  If we had one we would so be eating nopales and cactus pears. (Do they come from the same plant?  I don’t even know.  I’ve never had one.  And I grew up in So Cal.  How sad is that?)  I don’t know if Brian knows they are edible.  He would sure be in for a surprise if we planted one.  Hah!

  3. By erin on October 01, 2010

    PS, I’m glad you bought that chayote squash.  I’ve also never had one (not sure why?) but I love how goofy they look.  They make me smile.

  4. By beyond on October 01, 2010

    i’ve heard of cactus pears being used for jellies and candies… let us know what you do with them.

  5. By Sarah Christensen on October 01, 2010

    Erin - The first time I bought a chayote squash, it was just because it looked ridiculous.

    Now I buy them because Charlotte loves them.  You should give it a go sometime!

    Also, I have no idea if nopales and cactus pears come from the same plant, but our neighbor has some cactus pears too and it sort of looks like they could.  Who knows?  I thought about growing cacti here, but then I realized that I might already be in over my head without adding prickles lol.

  6. By Ellen on October 02, 2010

    I’m getting ready to send my husband off to the farmers market right now to sell our products (I’m 8.5 months pregnant so I got out of going for today :))
    Yay for supporting local farmers!

    I really love how you are incorporating something so important and neat into Charlottes life and making it a fun experience for her.  As a side note, if you really like figs, with everything that grows in your yard, you could probably grow one heck of a fig bush if you wanted to.  We have a tiny one (in TX) and I am amazed at how much it produces.  I have a ton in the freezer right now waiting for me to make preserves.

    Good luck on the nopales and cactus pears, prickly pears grow great here (not on our farm thank goodness) and I was just telling my husband last week that I would love to pick some and make jelly.  He looked at me like I was crazy “uh, you know they have thorns, right honey?“





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