Market Memory Makers

This past Friday was the beginning of a new season for our Springfield Farmers’ Market and I was one among many caught in a blur of anticipation and excitement.  Early apprehensions over the new shift to an afternoon/evening venue were soon forgotten amidst a steady stream of enthusiastic supporters.

From my perspective, it was all good.  There was a sense of relaxed, casual enjoyment and folks were happy to linger longer and fully enjoy all that the market had to offer. 

As the sun shifted to the west the market hummed with activities for the kids, plentiful exchanges of food and drink, baked goods, fresh produce as well as a seasonal assortment of tiny starts and plants for the home gardeners.  Plus, it was a chance to follow the latest market buzz and chat up the hard working farmers, growers, and producers – even place pre-orders with a local fishmonger promising fresh salmon next week.

One highlight was my first fresh horchata this side of Mexico. It was a treat to sip this cool, refreshing drink and mingle with friends while foot-tapping music floated above the market. It reminded me of similar sweet occasions at bustling mercardos and tiendas in Mexico.

Horchata is typically made with rice pressed or blended into a milky form with water. It is flavored with cinnamon, vanilla, and sweetened with sugar – milk, fresh fruit, or nuts are sometimes included.  

Horchata
1 stick cinnamon (or about 1/2 tsp. powdered)
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups long grained white rice, uncooked
5 cups water
1 teaspoons vanilla

In a blender, break up cinnamon and pulverize it with sugar. Add the rice and blend until a fine powder.

Slowly add about 3 cups of water to blender and puree; add vanilla, remaining water and combine well.

Pour into a storage container and refrigerate for at least 5 hours, or overnight.  The following day, strain into pitcher. Adjust flavors, add milk if desired. Serve over ice. Serves 4 ~~

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