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.