the most wonderful time of the year

by kellybakes in

I'll be honest. I was never a fan of spring growing up. It's not that I had terrible allergies or hated all the beautiful buds on the trees. I think spring was always eclipsed by school. As a child, all that mattered was April vacation and beyond that, my brain was too busy counting down the days til June to notice the flowers outside. In college, I began to appreciate spring a little more only because it meant not having to freeze on the way to class, but I was often so busy writing papers by the time the weather got lovely that I couldn't enjoy all that the season had to offer. I began to really take notice once I was working in a cubicle after undergrad and springtime meant walks on my lunchbreak and outdoor patios at restaurants after work. Now, springtime means reading books (academic or pleasure) in the park, green grass sprinkled with pale pink petals fallen from trees and, best of all, the re-opening of outdoor farmer's market.

I'm a little bit spoiled given that I live in between two year-round indoor farmer's markets, but nothing beats the outdoor Bryn Mawr Farmers Market. People bring their kids and their dogs. They walk around nibbling on their purchases, whether it be a breakfast sandwich from the Renaissance Sausage truck or a whoopie pie from the Herbal Springs Farmstead. There's always a new food to try or beautiful flowers to smell. Best of all, you can talk to any of the growers/vendors and they're so knowledgeable about whatever it is they're selling. It's my favorite way to start my weekend.

Today I didn't buy much, given that I had gone to Reading Terminal Market yesterday (more on that in a later post). I walked by one of the new stands, Market Day Canele, and couldn't resist buying some. Lately I've been thinking about making caneles, but haven't been in my apartment long enough to bake them. Anyway, the texture was spot-on: crisp and carmelized exterior with a moist, custardy interior. The flavor was surprising, as they were made with orange in addition to the traditional vanilla bean and rum.

Bryn Mawr farmers market

On my way out, I stopped to peruse the organic produce. Amidst a stand of leafy greens, stood a box of vibrant, ruby-toned rhubarb. I've never once made anything with rhubarb, but it was too beautiful to pass up.

I left with three stalks and my brain whirring with all of the incredible concoctions I could make.