Sleep can’t rival good farmers’ market

Not being a morning person, I rarely intentionally climb out of bed any earlier than I have to. Sure, if there is something going on or I need to be someplace, I can capitulate to the alarm clock like most anyone else. This makes the fact I have gotten up early, intentionally, the past two Saturdays somewhat remarkable.

I hate to admit I was so excited about the opening of the Harrisonville Farmer’s Market, I got up early May 30, only to find out I was a week early. Last Saturday, I was again poised to pounce on the market: to be one of the first to dive into the freshly cultivated local treats.

But it was not just any particular produce that required my attention, it was to find the elusive gooseberry. As I have confessed before I have a fondness for the sour fruit and I was determined to not be deprived of at least one pie this spring.

Fellow gooseberry aficionado, John Foster, and I had struck a partnership that I would go grab some of the berries and he would ask his wife, Miss Wanda, to bake them into pies. The market opened at 8 a.m. and I will proudly state I was out of bed almost by shortening the morning routine, I was able to be on the square by 8:20 a.m.

Only one vendor featured my favored little green fruit and it was while speaking with her I faced the first mental challenge of the morning.

First, I could buy three cups of “stemmed” gooseberries or four cups of gooseberries with stems remaining for $12. I have to admit I really didn’t know what to do, after all, four cups is better than three cups, but you have to take the time to pull the little stems so I really wasn’t sure if the efforts required to make the berries cooking ready was worth the extra cup.

I wandered aimlessly by the different booths, letting each of the local vendors tell me about their wares. And while I listened, my mind was whizzing as I contemplated the major decision I would need to make. I knew that if I went with the au natural variety, it would be my chore to stem the things, but on the other hand, another cup is another cup.

Finally, I returned to the vendor and with all the bravado I could muster, I announced I would indeed take two of the three-cup packages of stemmed gooseberries and be on my way. But then I noticed directly next to the gooseberries was one very pretty, already baked, gooseberry pie. For a mere $18, there would be no muss, no fuss and no baking and I would be able to feed my sour-fruited habit.

Again, my mind was blown and again I had to ponder my options, On one hand, John Foster was counting on me to bring home the berries. We did have a deal. But on the other hand, even with recipe in hand, could I possibly bake a pie as beautiful and surely delicious as the one on the shelf in front of me?

After deliberation, I convinced myself that it would be greedy to take the pie. John was counting on me and I couldn’t let him down. So, I purchased my two bags of fruit and sat them down on the sidewalk while I took the time to do my job and talk to some of the vendors and shoppers. I was very pleased. My decision had been made and all that would be left would be to get the berries to John and wait for the pie in return.

After doing my interviews, I returned to the first table at the market and chatted with folks as they came in to shop. By this time, I had spent about 90 minutes at the local market, that’s about 90 minutes that would normally be reserved for extra rack time. But all-in-all, it was good. I had arrived, I had found and I had purchased gooseberries.

As I was leaving, I proudly proclaimed I had to get my gooseberries to John Foster and wait for the forthcoming pie. At that point, I learned a piece of information which had heretofore been unknown to me. John had been at the market and stocked up on gooseberries and was gone long before my arrival.

I have been snacking on the pre-made pie all week.