Friday Eye Candy: Farmers' Market, Strawberries, and a Peek at My Beach Path

Friday Eye Candy Farmers' Market Strawberries
Organic strawberries make gluten-free luscious and beautiful.

I have been sitting here in my chair, as bone quiet still as a nun in a pew at midnight, with nary a poetic turn of phrase in sight. I am trying to conjure words for strawberries. And summer. And the newly minted sensation of actually, finally, living by the sea. I keep thinking about breathing- because the ionized ocean air is so sexy gorgeous you could eat it with a spoon. And because for the first time in a long, long time I can feel myself uncoil a bit and allow a long, soft exhale to trail into the stream of salty wind that whistles through the crack of an open window above my bed as I blink awake to the whoop of a sunrise surfer ripping his way down a foamy curl. His joy is infectious. And I smile. And yawn.

The word gratitude comes to mind.

Not to mention, abundance. This week's farmers market was indeed abundant, tumbling wild with the jewels of summer. Boxes and boxes of fragrant strawberries. Buckets of cherries. Crates of plums. Potted herbs and June blooms- peonies and Japanese iris. So I offer you eye candy today. The gift of color. And ten gluten-free strawberry recipes to inspire your weekend and get you in the mood to whoop.

It's summer. Live a little. Get juicy.

Ten gluten-free recipes bursting with strawberries:

Eye candy from Redondo Beach farmers market...

Fresh market summer plums
Plums at the farmers market here in Redondo Beach. Eye candy, indeed.

I love the blue frosted sheen on fresh plums. It makes me want to dig out my paintbrushes and rustle up some toothy primed canvas. Although I usually paint abstracts, I am tempted by such voluptuous summer produce to paint bowls and bunches of berries and stone fruit, and the lively greens of tender garden herbs.

 Redondo Beach strawberries and flowers at the farmers market
Strawberries, iris, and a peek at my daily walking path on Redondo Beach.

The red of California strawberries is astonishing. Ruby shoes red, and sassy. You can almost taste the juicy sweetness just by looking at them.

Blue iris have been a favorite perennial for all of my adult life. From newlywed naïveté, through motherhood, and a second marriage, I have planted iris in every garden I have dug and tilled.

Now I find myself without a garden.

But I do have a camera.

The shot of Redondo Beach shows you my daily walking path (the strand to the right). One morning the sky was almost black to the east, and snaking clouds tumbled toward the water, casting long blue shadows. I took this with my iPhone.

Farmers market cherries
Ripe cherries at the Redondo Beach farmers market.

I am so tempted by these buckets of cherries to try making a gluten-free clafouti. Perhaps next week. Have any of you made a g-free clafouti?

Polish artist Danuta Rothschild shopping at  farmers market and sweet peppers
Sweet baby peppers, my beautiful friend Danuta, and potted herbs.

And last, but never least, three pics I took while shopping the market with my talented gal pal, Denuta. She is an amazing artist from Poland, and I hope to share with you some of her work, soon. Lovely, lovely stuff.

In the upper left, a glimpse into a bag of baby sweet peppers that Danuta bought. We thought they were hot peppers when we first walked by the table, but learned quickly that they were tiny bell peppers, as sweet as could be.

To the right is- you guessed it- my friend Danuta, choosing some organic apples (for a lunchtime salad). Below are flats of herbs for only $1.50 a pot, making me wish I had a garden bed to plant. For now, bags of fresh snipped herbs will have to suffice. Although I am pondering pots. Big clay pots.

Though I need to investigate the salt wind factor. Our apartment balcony faces the water, and it sometimes gets windy. I mean, blow your socks off windy. I learned this the hard way. The first night here, I left chair cushions on the two Ikea chairs perched on the balcony. An aggressive gust of wind sent a cushion airborne, spinning down the street like a kite on Ecstasy. Lucky for me our neighbor below spotted the runaway flying past her window, and retrieved it from the street.

I'll have to bring her some strawberry muffins.


Nicolette @ Momnivore's Dilemma said...

Just delightful. My trip to Southern California 2 year back to visit a close friend brought me to a farmer's market. I never smelled orange blossoms living here in Chicago, and that alone, makes me want to pack up and go west.

Thanks for sharing all those recipes. I do have a strawberry patch in the yard, and will reference those recipes soon!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE strawberries!! I'm definately going to try a recipe! Karina, I was just wondering if you use a metric or US cup measure? Also since I only have metric cups and grams scale I was wondering if you know of any easy way to convert american measurement recipes to metric?

Karina Allrich said...

Anon- I use US cup measurements: dry nested cups by volume for dry ingredients; and a glass liquid measuring cup for wet ingredients. I have link to conversion charts in my left side bar above. Cheers! Karina

alexis rose said...

have you seen this: you could adapt! :)

Audre2 said...

so jealous! I want to live at the beach!

Kalyn said...

Wonderful photos. It looks like a perfect place to hang out.

ckcpurple said...

The fruit is gorgeous and all; however, I must know what font you use on the copyright for the pictures!!!!

moonwatcher said...

Dear Karina,

Beautiful. Beautiful words, and views. Thank you. The beach photo brings back such wonderful memories of walks and even early morning bike rides when the surfers are out, and the smell of water and sand is exquisite. I vote for some HEAVY clay pots. ."science experiment" is what I call those kind of things. . .I have tons of Italian parsley in my Spring garden right now. . and mint. . .and oregano. . .and tiny dill and cilantro. . .and chives. . I just bought a thyme and a rosemary at our market. Salt wind or snow,garden or market, we must have our fresh greens. . .all wonderful. . .and I've enjoyed my own versions of a few of these strawberry recipes. . here's a whoop for summer!!



miss jane said...

Ah summer. It's winter here in Australia and we're eating sweet potato and casseroles! I moved to the beach a few years ago after always living inland and now I can't leave. Ever. Beautiful pics as always.

The Painting Queen said...

Ohhh those plums and cherries! Going to our farmers market tomorrow, and I don't think they will have any plums though. Maybe strawberries!

Stella said...

Thanks for the wonderful post today! Yesterday was so gloomy here your photos and my quart of strawberries for breakfast were perfect!
SALT is not a problem for many plants! I've read some studies on the improvements in salty soil with tomatoes and it keeps away a lot of bugs naturally - although facing west might cut back on your sun time a bit. I would never survive without a couple pots of something on the balcony! A couple shallow herb pots - basil, parsley, cilantro, chives. 4 - 12" pots with tomatoes and peppers.

Laura said...

Karina, the photos are so beautiful! I used to live in Santa Monica and I so miss the bike path where I used to roller blade ever Sunday.

I am not trying to advertise my blog but I recently published a cherry almond cake recipe that I made GF and it is delicious. I hope you try it.

thekeenkitchen said...

Wow, sun-warmed strawberries and morning beach walks? You live in paradise!

judie said...

Your balcony faces the BEACH!!!!!!!!!!! What more could you ask for? That is my idea of HEAVEN!

The InTolerant Chef said...

What gorgeous produce, and how lucky are you! I made a gfree cherry clafouti in our last summer and it was fantastic- Actually the cherries themselves were fantastic which meant I had very little work to do!

Erin Farrell Speer said...

Up until two months ago, my husband and I lived exactly two blocks from where you took that photo, and were fortunate enough to have a garden. :) Enjoy the beach, and I hope that your g-free clafouti comes true!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you live by the ocean finally Karina! Every time I come to your site my girls ask me how you are doing, they were worried when you landed in the hospital. (They are 5 years old btw.) We make banana donuts from your mini banana gems recipe whenever we get enough blackish fruit. Thanks so much for all you do and the lovely writing. You frequently make me glad. : ) Have a fabulous day lovely lady.

~Jenn in Forest Grove

Marsha said...

Pure poetry Karina! You conjure up "word candy".
Thank you!


Carrie said...

your writing, pictures... lovely, and always inspiring! thank you! :-) ((((hugs!)))) -- from your fellow introvert! :-)

Karina Allrich said...

Thank you all for your lovely comments. You made my day! xox Karina

Ali said...

Lovely photos, you are so lucky to have all of the fruit abundance already! Last summer I made a few gluten-free plum clafoutis using Bob's almond meal flour and some sweet rice flour; a little honey to sweeten it. I tried it with coconut milk and heavy cream just to see the difference and there definitely is a difference! The cream has more protein so the structure was very different. Coconut milk was still delish though! Hope this helps! :)

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