Downtown Market Adventure

I love feeding my family quality, fresh food.  I mean, LOVE.  Some people feel this way about clothes shopping, running, scuba diving… I mean, it’s right up there with walking into the library and finding out they’re having their annual used book sale AND you happen to have a $20 tucked away in your wallet.  That’s a post for another day.

You can just imagine my excitement at visiting the Market in downtown Naples last week.  I mean, giddy really fits the bill here.  It wasn’t just me either!  Don was totally that kid in the candy shop!

Before we left, I carefully folded some Euro into my front pocket, calculating eating cost for lunch, maybe a treat for the kids, etc. All thoughts of our budget for the day completely vanished that morning when we turned a corner and walked into the Market.  The sun was breaking through the dripping clouds with the first light after the thunderstorm, it’s warm rays casting a glow of happiness over crates of beautiful fresh produce.

Oh my.  We walked slowly, examining each bin carefully, making our price and unit conversions and getting super excited about the very low cost of very fresh fruit and veggies!  Of course, our Italian is limited to a few numbers, colors, and niceties, so we did a lot of pointing and tried to listen carefully.  If only Italian were a slower language!  As CL says, “Not. A. Clue.” 2016-05-14

Despite the language barrier, we managed to request “1 Kilo”here and “1 Kilo” there until we thought we had about as much as we could carry.  Cherries, carrots, oranges, peppers, peas, and almonds all hanging off the stroller handles or cradled in the small under carriage basket.  We were walking away from the market, when I’m requested to “go into the deli and see about some cheese.”  Yes, dear.  So, I walk in and started wondering how one even asked for cheese in Italian!  As I walked to the back of the teeny, tiny shop crowded with bags of breads, shelved goods, and salamis, I mentally flipped my brain out of English.  And wouldn’t you know, it jumped right into German?  Not helpful.  Befuddled and trying to leave the land of the Germans, I asked, “Mozzarella?” Receiving a nod, my mouth shot out, “1 Kilo?”  The poor man’s eyes about popped out of his face!  1 Kilo fresh mozzarella!  Now I really did look like a crazy American!  We settled for two fresh balls, which were carefully moved to their own bag of whey and then tied up in another bag for transport. Feeling a sense of accomplishment and embarrassment, I paid and hurried out of the store with a bag of floating mozzarella. We carried around our two mozzarella’s like prize goldfish from the fair the rest of the day.

Considering we needed to fold up the stroller for transit, I was starting to be a little concerned about how to get our market haul home! Not to fear, my friends, we are Ackers!  Little things like logistics are not a problem for us!  The lightly packed diaper bag became quite full, but we only ended up carrying back one small bag.  Way to go, Master-Packer Don!

The day after our excursion, I was in “the zone”.  I roasted those fresh red peppers, picked basil and oregano from our planter, shelled that kilo of peas and sliced that fresh mozzarella.  Pinterest did not fail me with ideas for our produce, so here’s what I tried,

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Meet the Roasted Red Pepper, Mozzarella, and Basil Chicken.  So my photography skills are lacking, but look at all that color! Red, green, white! Delicious!! The fresh peas, steamed and served with butter were delectable. Everything was bright and fresh and wonderful.

(Find the recipe at:

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Part of our motivation for moving back to the Farm is to feed our family quality, fresh food.  Food that is full of all its natural flavor and full of wholesome goodness.  If we can’t be at the Farm, then it’s truly a great feeling to be able to feed my family colorful, flavorful meals that not only taste good, but that are really good for us.

So some people get that warm happy feeling from programming or water ballet, shoe shopping, or dusting their shelves.  But I just love seeing bright, healthy food on the table.  Perhaps it’s to make up for the night’s like tonight when we all sat at the table and shared a big box of Cheerios for supper.


4 Responses

  1. Renee says:

    How fun and exciting to find the fresh foods at the market! I will be watching for more delicious recipe ideas and try some out on my kids, even though there may be some picky, I mean reluctant, eaters. 🙂

  2. Karen Palmesano says:

    Italy has great fresh produce! I loved our visit there. I will enjoy reading about your adventures!

  3. Sylvia Meyers says:

    Will be most certainly excited to follow your blog! Enjoyed this so much!!

  4. Loved this! Looking forward to many more!!

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