S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen

Birthday celebration/farmer's market

Happy birthday to my mother! I was delighted to be able to be home for her birthday this birthday - and for the accompanying party. Twenty-someodd people came over, old family friends, and a few new ones courtesy of the most recent Veneto-Iowa sister state bike riding group who were over for RAGBRAI. Three different groups of people whom I saw tonight I'm likely to see again over the next year in London. In fact, one of them is moving over next month to within a two hour drive of us.*

Food came from a variety of local sources. Flying Mango, a relatively new catering service (new to me anyways), provided some tasty barbecue pork ribs with a spicy sauce, a traditional potato salad, complete with celery and hard-boiled egg, and some soft, friendly corn bread. A decadently rich flourless chocolate espresso cake came from the Belwood Bakery, while the Key Lime pie was from Baker's Square. Truffles were from Stam, and my mother made the cole slaw. The tomatoes were from yesterday's farmer's market, bread from Basil Prosperi, and the prosciutto was hand-delivered by our friends who run a fabulous local prosciutto business, La Quercia.

The main city farmer's market has grown tremendously. It sprawls down all the side streets off of Court Avenue, extending into parking lots. One good development is that now most of the stalls face the street instead of the sidewalk, giving lots more room to browse and wander. Happily, the expansion has kept the balance between gifty things and farm-fresh produce the same, with the fruit, veg, honey, elk, cheese, and other products dominant. There's also still a healthy international element to it all: several stalls of cooked Indian or Mexican foods, and a number of stalls with southeast Asian cooking ingredients. Long stalks of fresh lemongrass for a dollar apiece would be a steal in London. My mother breakfasted on a fresh croissant, and we shared a smooth rice pudding, but I turned down my frequent default of French breakfast pastries for something far more American: freshly deep-fried mini-doughnuts, with a strawberry smoothie to round things off.

* Yes, drive. Our car arrived this week! C. took it out for a trial spin to the seaside on Saturday.
Tags: eating in des moines

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