Farmers bring hint of summer to market

I can’t wait for Saturday to get here. Not only is it my birthday – No. 44, thank you very much – but it’s also the day the Tupelo Farmers’ Market opens.

Jim High, assistant director of the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association, has been e-mailing me for the past two weeks with updates on this year’s market. So far 12 vendors have reserved 16 stalls in advance, which leaves a good 24 spots for vendors who want to come sell their goods on a daily basis.

One of the growers, Benton Brewer, has told Jim he’ll have English peas, onions, lettuce, greens, spinach, broccoli, new potatoes and cabbage on Saturday. I plan to be first in line, so you’ll have to beat me there if you want a shot of his vegetables.

The market, located on South Spring Street near Clark Street, opens at 7 a.m. and will be open every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday through the summer and early fall from 7 a.m. until about noon, or until the vendors sell out and go home. The market will close Nov. 17.

In anticipation of the bounty the summer will bring at the Tupelo Farmers’ Market, I called Rob Lesley at Romie’s Grocery and begged him for the restaurant’s corn salad recipe. He gladly shared it with me and told me he got it from his mother, Beverly. Miss Pearl, who cooks in Romie’s kitchen, has modified it a bit for the restaurant’s purposes.

I made it one night last week and served it with BLTs – using turkey bacon, of course – and it was perfect. Both of my kids tried it and said it had too much of a “grown-up” taste to it. Maybe when they get to be 44, they’ll appreciate it.

Romie’s Corn Salad

1 can shoepeg corn, drained

1 can yellow corn, drained

3 tomatoes, chopped

1 to 2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped

6 to 8 green onions, chopped

4 tablespoons mayonnaise

Salt and pepper to taste

Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning to taste

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate.

Serves 8 to 10.

Note: Rob Lesley said you can add chopped bell pepper to this recipe if you’d like, but Romie’s corn salad doesn’t have bell peppers in it.

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.

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