The Easiest Satisfactions

by dellspause / Aug 19, 2009 / 2 comments

Rich lips magenta, bridal day white, fire fire orange, baby breath pink, easter candy yellow. Gladiolas.  $1.00 per stem.  What exactly is it about farmers' markets that just brings about a certain happiness?  It's the same dizzying smug happiness I felt when I danced out of the grocery store the first time I brought three canvas bags instead of using fifteen plastic ones.  It's easy to walk around smiling when you feel so good about doing something.  Canvas bags. Farmers' Markets. Recycling. (Put down those cell phones and really connect with someone sitting next to you in that coffee house, that produce section, that middle school basketball game!)

I wonder if, in the midst of this Slow Food Nation movement, the Farmers' Market Idea is growing.  It seems to be.  Here in the Dells, where they cancelled the downtown market a couple years ago, this market has seen a tremendous rebirth at a new location, the Thunder Valley Inn Bed & Breakfast off of Highway 13, just north of town.

The snug little white house has Scandinavian roots.  When I was a child, we used to head there for a traditional Scandinavian Christmas dinner, and my younger brother and I would attempt to pick out all of the traditional Christmas gnomes hidden in the rafters.  The inn does well with their brunches, the stewed rhubarb topping in the crock pot at the end of the buffet was always my favorite, and the place is packed on Mother's and Father's Day.  The easy lawn chairs set around the lawn are in nice little clusters, and you can just imagine strangers bonding over cups of coffee set out in a covered picnic area among baskets of Amish toys each morning.

Strangers bonding. Slow Food Movement. Gladiolas.  It's these old ideas.  They are coming back, aren't they?  It seems so possible, as each time I hit the market during its Sunday 9:00am-1:00pm hours, I see local after local.  We stop.  We greet.  We share a smile.  There is some sort of pride in buying those best-tasting-carrots and those perfectly-ripened-tomatoes and that heavy-for-its-weight-watermelon.

Last Sunday, my roommate and I bought a supply of tomatoes, which are infinitely better than the, and we sat and chopped.  We chopped cucumbers, we chopped celery, we chopped parsley, we chopped the guts of the tomatoes, and we found that this raw recipe is one of our new favorites.  

Tomato Cups

6 tomatoes

1 cucumber, finely chopped 

2 sticks of celery, finely chopped 

2 spring onions, finely chopped 

1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped 

1 garlic clove, minced 

1/2 cup sunflower seeds 

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

sea salt to taste

Cut the tomatoes in half (on their vertical plane) and scoop out the insides; chop the insides if needed.  Add all ingredients together and fill tomato cups.  

This is a great recipe for experimenting.  For the next couple rounds with this recipe, we are going to add fresh corn kernels, cilantro and sprouts and try spices galore from cumin to simple ground pepper.  Endless possibilities.  They are just about the most refreshing thing I've eaten all summer, especially when they are taken out after a night in the fridge.


For more information on the Slow Food Movement, see

For more information on Thunder Valley Inn Bed & Breakfast, see


Bianca Richards is the Organic Food Editor for Wandering Educators. 


Comments (2)

  • Dr. Jessie Voigts

    14 years 11 months ago

    bianca - your recipes are SOOO incredible. i, too, love supporting our local (organic) farmers. i am glad the tide is turning, culturally, so that this can happen so easily. thanks for the great article!


    Jessie Voigts, PhD


  • monacake

    14 years 11 months ago

    great article and recipe.

    i am lucky to live in rural upstate new york where farmer's markets and organic food have been in existence my whole life. and now that i have my own house and a yard, i can grow some of my own food - so satisfying!

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