Day 5: (Backlog) Farmers, Blogs and Surprises

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** Longer read **

As soon as I woke up this Saturday, I knew it was going to be a very special day. Anthony had previously mentioned he had a few surprises up his sleeve to celebrate my birthday and as soon as I woke up he treated me to beautiful flowers and a sweet balloon. More on my obsession with helium balloons later. Then as usual, I got ready for the Historic Lafayette Farmers’ Market. I think anyone in the area should visit early in the morning before it gets too full of children screaming for more sugar. At 7:30am the market is peaceful, vendors are full of patience and the coffee is steaming. 

At the market, our first stop was local bakery for a cranberry nut muffin for me and biscuits and gravy for Anthony. I wish I could remember the name of the bakery. I get things from them every Saturday for breakfast and every Wednesday at the West Lafayette Farmers’ Market to enjoy with some afternoon coffee. Ill update the post on Wednesday with the name. The point is that their stuff is awesome! 

Up next was trying to find the “517 Coffee Co” guys. This is my Saturday morning adventure. I think they didn’t get a seasonal spot at the market, so they have to move around every weekend. We finally found them by the live music and decided to try their featured #NitroColdBrew. Its basically cold brew coffee poured from a tap and it somehow involves liquid nitrogen. No cream, no extra ice, no sugar. It was divine. Somehow it was a little foamy and cold, but not your usual watery cold because there is no ice involved. I’m looking forward to next Saturday, hopefully they won’t have a spot behind a tree. 

We found a bench in the sun (its been cool in the Midwest in case you have not been keeping up with the “polar invasion”) and enjoyed our goodies. Things were going pretty well, and they were just going to get better. 

After we were done with breakfast, we moseyed over to the Sheepdog Farms stand. Every Saturday for the past month I have gotten a whole chicken from them and have done something different with it. Last week’s purchase was grilled whole over wood charcoal and it was magnificent. We stopped by and mentioned how wonderful the chicken was. The conversation got interesting when I began to explain how I had cut the backbone from the whole chicken and then laid it flat on the grill, but since I didn’t have a brick I used a cast iron pot to weight it down. At this point, the owner of the farm and a pretty legit farmer (he had a farmer beard and was wearing denim overalls) seem impressed that a city girl like me knew her way around the grill. Then, I mentioned how I had cooked some beans inside the cast iron to use some of the residual heat. At that moment, they both looked at each other and the farmer said: “That is genius! It should be on a blog somewhere!” I cannot begin to explain all the things I felt at that moment. I felt completely validated, super country, inspired to write this entry, smart and very proud of myself. 

This older farmer was impressed by something I had done! Something I came up with on my own! Something I didn’t think was all that great but apparently was awesome and gave me some sweet market cred! I felt like I was at the top of the world. So, I blushed, told them I was going to write about it on my blog and ordered a turkey for Thanksgiving. I was trying to keep it cool.

And so the morning at the market came to an end and we headed down on I-65 to Indianapolis to pick up Anthony’s sister Emily from New York. Of course, it couldn’t be a birthday without being lied to for months under the disguise of a surprise. I had been fooled by everyone around me for months and we weren’t getting Emily, our good friends from DC had come to visit! 

The day just kept getting better….

After a delicious moules-frites lunch at Brugge, pottery painting back in West Lafayette (check the Instagram feed for pictures), sushi dinner at Maru, and a friendly but very high-stress game of Ticket to Ride at home, I felt as tired as I did when I was a small kid on the night of my birthday. The excitement of all the days activities finally caught up to me and like those days back home with my mom and siblings, I slept like a rock with a huge smile on my face and a very happy heart.

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