Friday was one of those incredible autumn days, when friends, fun, and food converged in a perfect storm. It all started with the Community Harvest Farmers' Market, a large market held right on the Syracuse University campus. This was an experimental one-time event, coming out of the series of talks, symposia, and meetings on campus about the need for the local farmers, providers, and eaters of Syracuse to come together. The turnout was magnificent, and I hope this becomes a regular occurrence - and not just because I'm selfish and want a wonderful market within walking distance of my house! A community benefits greatly when its food providers and consumers work closely to ensure that the quality of food stays high, the impact on the environment stays good, and the availability stays wide.
Here is a photo essay of Friday...
I met up with Trac (with carrots) and Bridget (with apple fritters) to check out the market. We had such fun, and it felt good to speak with so many local food producers, everything from farms to the Syracuse Food Co-op was represented.
So much squash! I learned about several new varieties that I had never encountered before. There was one kind called the "Long Island Cheese Squash." "Does it taste like cheese?" I asked the farmer hopefully. "No, it's just called that because it looks like a flat wheel of cheese," he replied. D'oh- another vegan cheese possibility squashed! (pun intended!)
We saw this cute dog voraciously eating an apple- something I hadn't seen before!
We ran into Jennifer, the wonderful blogger behind Cookin' in the 'Cuse, who was running a table featuring lots of books about thoughtful eating: organics, local, justice, health, you know, all the good stuff!
I just want to take a moment to give a shout-out to Jennifer- her blog is so informative, and represents what it means to eat locally and mindfully. When Daiku and I moved to Syracuse, and were wondering about whether it is possible to eat locally in Syracuse in the winter (yes, it totally is!) her blog was one of the first and finest resources we found to help us. It has been so nice to meet Jennifer on a couple of occasions, and find such a knowledgeable force for good right here in town.
I set down my pumpkin on her table, creating a telling juxtaposition - slow food, fast food, how do we find balance between the two in American culture...?
In addition to food, the market also had tons of seasonal flowers on display, like the wonderful ones you can see above. We also found crafts, soaps, drinks, and prepared foods and restaurants.
After the market, we walked over to Oishi Sushi for lunch. It was a chilly day and the food, like the miso soup Trac is having above, really hit the spot. (Am I the only one who finds Japanese food to be the ultimate comfort food?)
Here is my salad with a carrot/ginger dressing.
Bridget's teriyake vegetable bento. The restaurant was really flexible about veganizing everything for us- in their bentos, they replaced the california rolls with veggie rolls, and the meat gyoza with veggie-filled ones.
Here's Trac's tempura veggie bento, including tempura squash- yum!
And my plate, a minimalist composition with avocado and asparagus maki.
After lunch, Bridget had to return to work, but Trac and I decided to meet Daiku for a coffee at a new Syracuse spot, Sugar Pearl Espresso Bar and Lounge. I don't know why we waited so long to check this place out! It is a beautiful space, filled with books, games, and modern decor. Everything on the menu is vegan (although they do offer milk for coffee and espresso drinks), and we salivated over the pumpkin cake, the brownies, the freshly baked cookies, and the extensive drink menu.
Finally, we decided. Above you can see my hot chocolate, made with soy milk and Scharffen Berger chocolate (back), foamed together into a decadent concoction. Trac ordered the pumpkin latté (front), with an aroma even more wonderful than its appearance.
Daiku, ever the caffeine fiend, ordered this quadruple (yes, quadruple!) espresso, which was a truly high quality tonic, with a bitter flavor and a woodsy roasted aroma. We loved Sugar Pearl and will be going back for sure.
Stay tuned! I picked up some provisions at the market for the Halloween party that we threw the next day...
(they'll veganize stuff for you, c'mon!)
713 south crouse ave.
Sugar Pearl Espresso Bar & Lounge
(vegan, caffeine, sugar, community, feminism, what more could you want?)
600 Burnet Ave
Syracuse, NY 13203