Out and About: Clinton Square Farmer’s Market

As part of our ongoing effort to get to know the city of Syracuse a little better, Aidan and I finally made it down to the farmer’s market in Clinton Square, which runs every Tuesday during the summer from 7-4. The downtown area (and Clinton Square in particular) is about a 15 minute walk from our apartment and is on the way to the building where Aidan works, so we walked down and checked it out before he headed off to earn us some cash. It was a particularly nice walk today since the heat and humidity we’ve been experiencing finally broke and the weather has so far been cool and breezy today.

I thought it was a really nice farmer’s market. It wasn’t too big (I think I may have been traumatized as a child by the circus that is the Madison farmer’s market), but there were plenty of sellers who were all well-stocked, a nice variety of produce, great prices, and a number of specialty booths selling all kinds of treats, local wines, crafts, clothes, and flowers. (There were also a couple of people wearing sandwich boards with really charming things on them like “Your life is smeared with the blood of Jesus” or something like that–one of the special joys of these kinds of open public gatherings.) We got there around 1:00, so there was a decent crowd of people who looked like they were stopping by on their lunch breaks, but it didn’t feel overly crowded. There was one stand where they were making fresh cake doughnuts, which I didn’t try but I feel like the scent is still trapped in my nose, taunting me with its deliciousness.

I did, however, buy some peanut butter fudge from a guy who told me that he made it “just like you would make it at home.” And when he told me what was in it, it was indeed exactly how I would make it at home, minus the perfected technique that comes from making it all the time. As someone who has sampled more than her share of holiday cookie plates, I know that a good piece of fudge is hard to come by. Fudge has a tendency to be either overly dry and crumbly or overly sweet so that it cuts the strong chocolate (or in this case, peanut butter) flavor. But this peanut butter fudge has the kind of soft, slightly oily (because of the peanut butter) texture that sounds really kind of gross when you describe it but that melts in your mouth. It is, quite frankly, the fudge of my dreams. Anyway . . .

Farmers Market haul

Our first Clinton Square farmers market haul.

I was thinking about yesterday’s post and was reminded of a documentary I caught on PBS a week or so ago called The Roots of Health. The gist of the film is pretty much captured by a California public health worker interviewed in the film who argues that public health concerned itself primarily with quantifying public health issues when what the field really needs to do is shift its focus towards understanding the power dynamics underlying issues of public health. The film focuses on three different international sites–London, Oakland, and Ahmedabad, India–and explores the intersections of class, caste, race, gender, capitalism, and geographic location in terms of the way they impact public health issues for particular groups and communities. But what I think is particularly great about this film is that it’s primary focus is dedicated to the work being done by local activists, community organizers, and grass-roots organizations to address all of these complicated, intersecting factors in an effort to achieve a better quality of life, better opportunities, greater economic stability and improved health for community members. It is a smart and inspiring film that I would highly recommend. The only trouble is that it doesn’t appear to be easily accessible (unless you have a whopping $275 to dish out directly to the film company). The best I could find was a press release with a more detailed synopsis of the film than I’ve given. If you’re a PBS fan, it’s definitely worth keeping an eye out for when you check your local listings.

I have bread dough rising in the kitchen that I must attend to. Stay tuned for more on my bread making efforts in the next day or so . . .

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