potatoes and radishes

New potatoes at the Fair Food Farm Stand

I spent most of the afternoon tucked away in a corner of the market, watching the bakers at Flying Monkey frost cupcakes with small, offset spatulas (I need to get one of those) and listening to the guys at the Shoe Doctor joke and laugh. Around 3:30 I was getting tired of sitting in one place, packed up my stuff and wandered through the Market.

My feet took me to the Fair Food Farmstand and I found myself standing in front of the display of Rainier cherries (they are the ones that are striated with streaks of yellow and red). I bought a pint for $4.75, because they remind me of my early teen years, when we lived in a house that had a Rainier cherry tree. The birds liked those cherries as much as we did and most years made off with more than half the fruit. Luckily for us, the tree hung over a second-story deck, which made the top branches accessible.  That cherry tree was, hands down, the best part of that house.

I collected a few other things and made my way up to the counter to pay.  I was given a friendly greeting and introduced to Emily, who told me that the new potatoes are in.  She said that the reason they are called new potatoes is because they are picked when the plants are still small and green, which is why the potatoes are thin-skinned and small.  She held out a small yukon gold for me to look at.  It was luminous and tender and made me fantasize about roasting them with whole cloves of garlic, kosher salt and several glugs of olive oil.

When I asked her what she had in mind for the box of baby reds she was buying, she told me that she was going to make a very simple vegan potato salad that Patience, the mother of a friend, had invented.  You quarter and boil the potatoes and then toss them with mashed avocado, chopped shallots, salt and pepper.  The avocado acts as a binding agent in place of mayonnaise or other dressing.  I think it sounds wonderful (although if you werent going to be able to eat it right away, you might want to give it a squeeze of lemon juice, to keep the avocado from browning too rapidly).