Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 43: Rediscovering Pike Place Market

Today my cousin and I attempted to attend the Picasso exhibit in Seattle. There were a few motivating factors for going on a Thursday--more specifically, the First Thursday of the month--as admission dropped by half and we assumed a mid-week day would be less crowded than other days. 

When we arrived, the line was insane...snaking in and out of those guidance ropes about three lanes deep. Think airport security with a dash of DMV. As we both live in Seattle, we knew we could come back, so we decided to skip the exhibit all together and instead head to Pike Place Market. 

It was rumored by a tipster (thanks, Paula!) that there were local Hazelnuts to be had, and once I checked out the link, I discovered they have a year-round booth at Pike Place.

Now, I've logged my hours at Pike Place.  My grandmother, who is 91, used to shop there and my mom has memories of shopping there throughout her life. When I lived in Pioneer Square and SoDo Areas, I did a good bulk of my grocery shopping there. When my husband and I lived in Capitol Hill, we'd come down regularly for fresh produce, and there is nothing more convenient than buying freshly made pasta noodles from the Italian Market "DeLaurenti's".

Despite my knowledge of the in's and out's of this market, I still manage to tune out many vendors. Jams, nuts, honey...they all look nice, but knowing that I can find them cheaper somewhere else usually deterred me from really stopping at one of these booths.

Today I had a fresh perspective, though, suddenly aware that the all of those "expensive" products are actually locally grown and locally made. Our first stop yielded something that has been eluding Dan and I since the start: Oats.

I can probably count on one hand the number of times Dan and I have had oat bars, but since the start of this project, he has talked of nothing else. "I want to make Oat Bars!" "How will we live without Oat Bars!" "If only I can find oats to make Oat Bars!" When I find him researching local companies, usually in his Google search has something to do with "Oats - Seattle - Locally Grown" or something to that effect.

And so when I stumbled on a local booth that I've passed probably 100 times before and saw right there, right on the table, was a bag of rolled oats, I nearly fainted. Turns out, they are technically "Rolled Spelt Flakes", but I knew they would be a good substitute for Rolled Oats. Dan, you are welcome. 

Next stop, we thought, would be the nut place, until we passed a large table full of pickles. Local Pickles. Spicy Local Pickles. At this point, it didn't even matter the price, I bought them without a second thought.

Once we finally found Holmquist Hazelnuts, I'll admit, I went a little crazy. Local nuts are hard to find, and getting down to Pike Place is sometimes a challenge.  I bought a bag of roasted Hazelnuts, a bag of Lemon Honey, and of course, Hazelnut Butter. 

Hooray for Pike Place Market, an ancient local source I had completely forgotten about.


  1. Yay! Score! I LOVE those hazelnuts!

    I'm curious, how are your monthly expenses comparing to your pre-local-challenge expenses? I try to keep our monthly consumables budget at $800 (for 2 adults and 2 teen boys) but it's been more like $900/mo. since school is back in session, which means I'm working 2 jobs (Manna and as a preschool teacher) and buying more convenience foods to take along to work and school.

  2. You know, our weekly grocery expenses have gone down considerably. We used to spend $130+ weekly, and weeks we were entertaining it might even get up to $200. Now on weeks we entertain (big dinner for 8-10 people), our weekly expense goes up to what our low was before (week 5, for example). But I think that only time will tell, because with the start up costs for this (beans, meat, fruit for drying and canning), right now our weekly average is probably pretty high. I think by the end of the year it'll be lower.

    What I'm finding is that it is possible to make convenience foods on the local and on the just takes a fair amount of planning ahead.