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Saturday is usually market day for us, which means heading out to Peter Rubi.  It is a bit of a drive from us; a trip that takes us out through farmland and by the Dupage River.  Despite the drive, the trip is always worth it, enough for us to make it weekly.  And by picking up our produce first, it makes planning meals for the week easier.  It also assures that I’m planning meals that use up all the produce so we don’t have sad, ruined veggies sitting in the fridge at the end of the month.

This time around we spent a total of $17 on a bunch of spinach and romaine lettuce, lemons, limes, two pineapples, a package of raspberries and blackberries, a pomegranate, two 8-lb bags of potatoes (for $1 each), garlic, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, and oranges for Charlotte’s lunch.  Factor in what we spent on gas and that’s about $25 for a week plus of food.

We make a lot of crock pot soups and stews, which is where most of the potatoes and carrots will go.  The berries, pomegranate and pineapple will go into fruit salads for breakfast or desert.  My goal is also to have salad with every dinner this week, which will use up the bulk of romaine, spinach and cucumbers.  And Stephan has offered to make potato pancakes.

Peter Rubi’s focus is on locally grown produce, which is probably why the food on their shelves always seems better than what I come across at my local grocery stores.  I would love to see more of these types of grocers open up, especially in areas that are underserved by the larger grocery store chains.  Shops like FARM:shop that bring urban farming into a grocery setting, and selling “ugly” produce like in France could help to get more vegetables and fruits to people who don’t have as many options. That would certainly be a more productive move than chastising people for “poor food choices” and trying to ban them from buying soda with food stamps.

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