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Farmers Market

Rutiz Family Farms Visit


I wanted to share some photos of my visit to Rutiz Family Farms. They're a 30 yr old family farm located in Arroyo Grande that grows pesticide free and organically fertilized, vegetables, berries and flowers. And their farm stand is filled with gorgeous produce!










As you can see their produce selection is stellar. Fresh, homegrown, and harvested at their peak. Click here for the farm stand hours and directions! You can also visit them at the Santa Monica Farmers Market on Wednesdays and rub elbows with celebrity chefs. 😉


Rutiz Family Farms also has a weekly Harvest Box that is overflowing with an assortment of their best selling varieties. Here's a sampling of one of their boxes….


And they have armfulls of fresh cut flowers….


Up next, I'll show you their amazing baked goods and confections! Don't worry, it will be calorie-free for you! 



Raspberry Picking & Jam Recipe


Recently, I took a few days off to head out on a solo road trip up the coast. One reason was to visit my friend Carol and the lovely farm she tends because it’s raspberry season! Here’s a peek into our day and a recipe for really delicious Lower Sugar Raspberry Jam at the end of the post!









Low Sugar Raspberry Jam

8 cups raspberries
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp butter
3 Tbs Ball Real Fruit Low or No-Sugar Pectin*
3 cups granulated sugar

Combine raspberries and lemon juice in large saucepan. Stir in pectin. Add 1/4 teaspoon butter to reduce foaming. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down using medium high heat and stirring constantly. Add sugar and return to full rolling boil while stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam.

Ladle hot jam into canning jars that have been sterilized and are still hot. Leave 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims and center lids on jars. Apply bands until fingertip tight. Place filled jars in canner filled with boiling water making sure jars are covered by 1-2 inches of water. Put lid on canner and process for 10 minutes. Remove jars and allow to cool completely. You will hear a popping sound as the jars seal. After jars cool, check lids for seal. Sealed jars can be stored in the pantry, unsealed jars should be stored in the refrigerator and used quickly.

* I like using the no-sugar pectin because I can adjust the amount of sugar I add. Traditional pectin requires adding 6 or more cups of sugar. With this pectin you can add any amount of sugar you desire (or none at all) according to your own preferences.

Recipe Courtesy of Carol Smithback


Paris ~ Farmers Markets

Thanks for your sweet comments on the Paris posts. You've motivated me to carry on and I hope you continue to enjoy the adventure via the comfort of your home or even better, that it might possibly encourage you to make plans to travel to the far away places of your dreams.

Today I'm going to share two of our favorite farmers markets. They have a few similarities but are also very different. The first is the Sunday market on Rue Cler. This charming cobblestone pedestrian street is lined with adorable shops, boulangeries, cafes, markets and food purveyors of all sorts of delicacies.
To sum it up…come hungry.




This is where I met a lovely elderly woman (probably in her 70's) dressed in her Sunday finest including a pristine mink coat. She was directing me as to where to get a delicious brunch speaking only French. It played out like a scene from a movie…only it was real. I wish I had taken her photo because she was BEAUTIFUL.
We stopped at the place she recommended, Cafe Du Marche and had delicious omelets and croissants followed by large cups of cafe creme. Yum.
Afterwards, we shopped the markets, picked up a few pastries for later and watched all the lovely French families doing the exact same thing.


Our other favorite was the Raspail Organic Marketlocated between rue de Cherche Midi and rue de Rennes. This is more of an authentic farmers market with the vendors set up under tents lining the street. The Barefoot Contessa shops this market although we didn't bump into her. You can find the best organic produce here. Amazing pears, apples, plums, figs, carrots…such luscious fruits and veggies!




Here is where I fell victim to peer pressure from an adorable French farmer and tried the goose pate…definitely NOT my thing. But the duck was very good and I brought a jar home for The Man. I also bought a set of 12 horn spoons and a few serving pieces from another vendor and I was tempted by the wonderful market baskets in every color in the rainbow.



Looking back through my photos I can see how I was easily enamoured with so many ordinary and utilitarian things like the fruit crates all piled up. I thought they were kind of pretty with their French words and colorful graphics. And I was even charmed by the waxed paper produce bags because it's no secret that I'm such a sucker for cute packaging.  As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Or in my case, the camera lens.