Don't overcook the scallops! Farmers Market is outdoors on April 13th!!! 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

dear shoppers, Years ago, when I was living in San Francisco, some new friends invited my then beau and me over for dinner. The beau worked in a restaurant kitchen and I was a food columnist and when they called in the invite they admitted to being a little nervous about feeding us. I did my best to reassure them that we were tickled to be invited and what we were really looking forward to was breaking bread with new friends – not any culinary high jinks.

On the said day, we showed up about five minutes late – to give the hostess a little bit of time "to breathe and sweep" as my mother always taught me. When the hostess opened the door she was fennel-white and her brow was furrowed and she was clutching her purse and car keys in one hand. Had we made a mistake? Was it the wrong day, we asked? “No! I overcooked the scalIops,” she cried. “I have to go buy more!” We insisted that was not necessary, but there was no convincing her. It was obvious that the couple had argued about the costly mistake. I spied the spongy scallops in the sink.  The second batch of scallops was absolutely PERFECT – unlike the dinner party which was fraught. We didn’t see the couple again after that. I heard they broke up a few months later. Were the rubbery scallops the last straw I often wondered.

To this day, I still think about that night EVERY TIME I cook scallops. Thank goodness they weren’t Pura Vida scallops. Now that would have been really tragic. To be safe, a chef once told me, you really should sear scallops in a very hot pan  for only a minute or two – tops -- on each side so that when you slice into them they should have a barely-blue hue at their center.  If they are white inside, they’re overcooked.  Still tasty,  but far from milk-tender and sweet.

If you buy scallops this week why not flash sear them and top them with some arugula pesto from the Pure Food Sisters who will be visiting us from the Chappaqua Farmers Market: Two sisters who decided later in life that what they REALLY wanted to do was make delicious soups, stews, pesto sauces and dips that were healthy and made with local ingredients.  Or you can try the recipe below from

Also visiting this week: Maria Munoz del Castillo - who will be preparing tacos all day and breakfast tortilla espanola.

Station Cafe will NOT be at the market this week...So get your caffeine kicks in before you head to the LIBRARY LOT. (YES WE ARE OUTDOORS TOMORROW)

As an alternative to coffee, you might want to try one of True Food's  Goji Berry “truffles” – think energy bars shaped like a ping pong ball.  In addition to the Chinese berries - which are packed with anti-oxidants, the  truffles include dates, almonds, Taza (vegan) chocolate, maca, cacao and cinnamon. Pop one in your mouth before you shop the market for some extra bounce. And pop another before you hit all those tag sales in the Village tomorrow...

Don't forget your pruning shears for sharpening and extra cash: the new rosy red Hastings Farmers Market t-shirts are in!

See you at the market!