This morning, my friend Kat and I decided we would go up the road to the Little Rock River Market and check things out. There are indoor shops, food vendors, and restaurants in the neat little downtown area. On Tuesdays and Saturdays during this time of year, they have the Farmers' Market.
Sweet Pea and I loaded up into Kat's car and off we went. Our intent was to leave and get up there early and beat the heat, as the last week or so has given us temperatures in the 90s with heat indexes of 100 degrees or so (for non-Southerners, Temp + Humidity = Heat Index, or how it "really" feels outside).
Although the Farmer's Market isn't the biggest one you'll ever see, it has grown over the years and now includes quite a few other things besides fresh fruits and veggies. We saw a dude selling wooden flutes, several people selling jewelry, and even one booth with crocheted items (though why anyone would want a cuddly crochet hat in the middle of the summer heat is beyond me). We wandered through and looked at all of the produce first to see what all was out, and then grabbed some lunch inside the River Market. Kat had gumbo from a Cajun stand, Sweet Pea had cheese pizza, and I enjoyed some sushi and a peach smoothie with "bubbles" or boba - also known as black tapioca pearls (yeh me - the weird eater - imagine!).
Refreshed after our travel-around-the-world lunch, we ventured back outside and dropped a couple of dimes on produce. I got orange bell peppers (my fave!), purple potatoes (more on them later), summer squash, a nice ripe-feeling canteloupe, and a loaf of wheat bread with sunflower seeds. Oh yes, and a potted mint plant as well as a potted basil plant. Mmmm.
After we got home - and after I took a nap because the heat had completely SAPPED me - I got to thinking how much I wanted to cut into that canteloupe. I'm typically not big on melon, and didn't realize until several years ago that canteloupe was actually GOOD. But it has to be ripe, and the melon you get in most stores and restaurants is rarely - if ever - ripe. However, I had a good feeling about this canteloupe I got and, while getting supper ready, I had an idea of a potentially yummy fruit salad that I just had to make. So here you go:
2 c. fresh strawberries, chopped
2 c. fresh cantaloupe, chopped
1 fresh lime, zest and juice
Fresh mint, minced
1/2 to 1 Tbsp. sugar (optional)
Toss to mix ingredients thoroughly. Chill thoroughly, stir well, and serve. Top with whipped cream if desired.
I think I've mentioned this before, but outside of baking I am SO the Approximate Cooker. So adjust the quantities to suit yourself - equal amounts of the berries and the melon, enough lime juice and mint to blend throughout the mixture, and a little sugar if you wish (I added just a bit so to soften the taste of the lime). Had I had any fresh ginger on hand, I think that a little bit would be good in there as well. Next time....
This is an easy One-Bowler and is an awesomely light and cool dessert during the hot season - not to mention it is healthy! YAY on all counts!