Several hours of mostly uninterrupted searching the Internets reveals there's not a farmers' market to be found on Mondays in the seven bay area counties. What's a woman on a mission to do? Our heroine finds her answer less than a mile down the road from the local mega-mart: the charming family-run Windmill Farms.
Reminiscent of the farmstands that pepper many northern California highways and backroads, Windmill Farms beckons potential customers with colorful roadside signs announcing what's fresh and on sale. While the highlight of market is an abundance of mostly local produce, they've also dedicated small sections to grocery & dairy staples like milk, bread and pantry staples, eclectic wines and snacks for the weary traveler. They are the local source for fresh spring strawberries & asparagus, late summer Brentwood corn and all of the bounty in between. In October, their mostly open-air establishment transforms into a pumpkin patch. In December, the freshest holiday trees short of cut-your-own.
For those concerned about where and how their produce is grown, each display carries another colorfully penned old-world sign announcing the town, the farm, and whether the product was grown conventionally, organically, with or without chemicals. Got more questions? Just ask. The staff is friendly and eager to answer your questions. Good luck finding this kind of service up the road or around the corner.
After snapping some photographs to provide the four of you who read this a visual appreciation of the shopping experience, I grabbed a couple of avocados and a package of sweet 100 cherry tomatoes and headed for home to prepare my contribution to movie night in: guacamole.
My version of guacamole owes its inspiration to one of my father's dear friends. Maria believed that in most things culinary, less really is more.
Diced red onion.
Chipotle, if it's handy.
Under no circumstances whatsoever do mayonnaise, sour cream or other relatively bland white ingredients enter the equation.
So I sliced my avocado and mashed it with a fork until I had the right creamy-to-chunky ratio. Gently stirred in some halved sweet 100's, a small handful of diced red onion. Sprinkled a pinch of salt and a liberal couple of shakes of ground chipotle powder. Served with grilled tortillas, a couple of Coronas and some Coke for the kids.
Old-world snack food, courtesy of Maria and the Smith family at Windmill Farms...
Windmill Farms Produce
2255 San Ramon Valley Blvd, San Ramon, CA 94583
Technorati Tags: Food | Fruits & Vegetables | Eating Locally