Endless Wonder: The Santa Monica Farmer’s Market.

I hate to come over here and bitch. Dirty life and its stresses and things. Boo. Nay. Well, be gone stress, before I cut you. All I will say is that I moved really fast and unexpectedly (always a good time) and that there were all kinds of things happening, but I think things are going to be calm now. Yes, yes, I’d like some calm. I’d like some Frankie says “relax”. But enough of that. Enough words. Here are some updates before and post move of what I’ve had time to make in the kitch.

First up, Lemon-Olallieberry Chess Pie. Veganized from Eat The Love.

I spent several Wednesdays in a row going to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. It’s pretty far from where I lived and now even farther from my current place. The morning traffic on the 10 is horrendous, but at the same time, all of that bs is balanced by how glorious the market is. I have been hearing and reading about it for years. It’s one of the best farmer’s markets in the country and had heard over and over again that it is always and ever a source of the obscure, the hard-to-find, the heirloom varieties of everything, home base of the best and most delicious produce ever. The rumors could not be more true. I feel such a sense of joy and wonder while I’m there, it’s a miracle that I ever make it home. I could be there for hours, looking at all of the magical, colorful, produce. Tasting samples of the sweetest, juiciest, in-season fruits. Talking to the farmers about a specific variety of eggplant or orange….I want to go to there. On one of my visits, I was in a berry mood. I visited all of the berries. ALL of them. I stumbled upon a farmer who had some offerings that I don’t see very often. She had black raspberries, golden raspberries (these are more common), mulberries (lots of these trees around LA), boysenberries (SO SOUR) and olallieberries. Since small time farmers are awesome, they will let you taste anything. I tasted everything. I decided on black and golden raspberries and the olallieberries. The olallieberry is a hybrid blackberry, bred from two other hybrid blackberries.

I thought the olallieberries were particularly delicious and I thought for a long time on whether or not I ought to just eat them as is, or turn them into a dessert. Since Eat the Love is of endless inspiration I browsed around and decided on Irvin’s award winning chess pie. Feeling lazy, I did not make a proper grid to make my pie a nice chess board, as seen above. I still think it turned out okay. I had some major crust shrinkage issues, I don’t even know what went wrong there, but the pie was still pretty dang good. I wish I had a proper recipe for you, but I threw together the olallieberry curd on a whim and the lemon filling was a bastard version of the tofu based lemon bars from The Joy of Vegan Baking.

Smothered in Organic Honey Jumbleberry Sauce.

Since I never get tired of baking pies, I also decided to do a version of Irvin’s Apricot, Sweet Cherry & Plum Vanilla Spiced Pie. I wish my version of this pie had come out a little juicier, but it was still delish. I used Brittany Gold apricots from the far mar, the last of my precious Bings and some plums (forgot the variety!).


I also happened upon some young green garlic while perusing the market. I had thought of green garlic as being strictly a spring thing, but you know, this is California and the farmers have skillz. I decided on another Eat the Love recipe, which was orginally gluten free. I’m still not that great at veganizing gluten free recipes. So, I decided to make my version with gluten. Lots of gluten. I used the basic scone recipe from Vegan Brunch, then added tempeh bacon, green garlic, and thyme. The white pepper-maple glaze is amazing and if you are to ever make these, don’t skip the glaze! These scones were a true breakfast treat. I really loved them. šŸ™‚

Once you let the glaze dry and harden, it gives a wonderful textural balance between it and the soft scone.

Sometimes in life you need a tray of roasted vegetables. These rainbow carrots were brushed with Earthy B, salt, pepper and springs of fresh time from the garden. They were like butter in my mouth. Honest to goodness mouthgasm.

This Tomatillo Grilled Cheese is like the latin version of this grilled cheese. Daiya Jack cheese, tomatillos, tempeh bacon….nom..


Roasted Blueberry Frozen Yogurt from Oh, Ladycakes. I needed a frozen treat and my last ice cream endeavor was soooo decadent that it was nice to have something a little bit healthier.

Last food update is this pork style seitan burger. It’s my version of this recipe from Giada. I made a batch of pork chop style seitan, made some tofu pancetta and added everything else accordingly. In the future I’d like to figure out how to make these patties a little sturdier. Perhaps I should have added a grain like brown rice or quinoa. I needed something to make them a bit stickier and I didn’t want to add a bunch of potato starch or egg replacer as I thought that would effect the taste too much. I’ll have to work on them and post a recipe at some point. For those of you who have access to Match Meat products, this recipe would come together in a snap with Match. My local vendor has been out of it for a while.


Okay, a real post and some recipes coming soon. I also found some gorgeous Moro blood oranges at the market which turned into cookies, and there is sweet green tomato pie, plus what became of the raspberries mentioned above! šŸ™‚






5 Comments on “Endless Wonder: The Santa Monica Farmer’s Market.

  1. Every single one of those pictures made me drool…you are such a whiz at pairing flavors!

    As for “Relax”, I always think of the brainwashing scene in Zoolander!

  2. I was lucky enough to enjoy the Chesspie and Jumbleberry sauce in person! Of course it was delish!

  3. Olallieberries! Could the name get any more precious?! Seriously though, you are a master of all things pie. I can’t wait to show my friend Liz your creations (she’s the pie version of the Cookie Monster). I’m also totally drooling over those perfect scones. At first look I thought they were gravy-covered biscuits. Holy cow.

    adrienne at http://CrackthePlates.com

    • Such a cute name. And they’re delicious too, although I love all things berry. Pies are my favorite thing to make (if you couldn’t already tell) šŸ˜‰ I love baking the classics but also LOVE being inspired to make something a little different and new. You should try the scones! The add-ins can probably work with any scone batter that isn’t too sweet. They sorta taste like biscuits and gravy. The glaze really makes them. They are Irvin’s invention (of Eat The Love–AMAZING blog, but not vegan)–but I want to say the recipe for the glaze is vegan or really easy to make vegan. The white pepper and maple is perfect together. Lots of flavors, but they all work! Wow, I could talk about treats allllll day.

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