Expect the unexpected at the farmers market/ don't forget apple pie contest next week!

The other day, I was thoroughly enjoying my lox and cucumber sandwich on a rye roll at the Farmers Market when one of our market committee members who had been looking longingly at my sandwich asked me where I'd gotten it.Not only had she never tried one of Station Cafe's fantastic lox sandwiches - but she didn't even know Avi Schwartz sold sandwiches. And she's there almost every Saturday! Truth is, it's easy for things to get lost in the fray of great food and friends at the market. Plus, we're all a bit like trail horses, aren't we -- loping toward the familiar. If you're used to going to Avi's stand for coffee, it's easy to overlook the sandwiches (especially if, God forbid, it's your first cup of the day). I thought I'd put together a list of "items you might not expect to find at the stall where you find yourself." It's also a list of plain good finds at the market.

If you send me some of your personal faves, I'll pass them on in a future blog!

1.  Tierra Farms. Yes, their nuts are crazy addictive - but did you know they sell fantastic locally roasted coffee as well as granola, too? 2.  Kontoulis Olive Oil (at the market tomorrow - yippeee!) sells tapenade and jars of plump kalamatas in addition to the oil we all know and love. Put a bowl of those olives out for guests and watch them vanish! 3. True Foods - many of you make a beeline for the burritos but have you tried the chickpea kale salad? Yum. 3. Everyone melts before the chocolate tart at Dutch Desserts. The pumpkin deserves some respect. 4. Panzarella: crab cakes and mozzarella are their bread and butter - but have you tried their delicate bella cakes? (a slice with a cup of tea is the perfect pick-me-up on a gray afternoon) 5.  Amazing Real Live Food Co. For a long time this summer I was hooked on their Chaource log - a cow's milk cheese parading as goat, but now their queso blancos have gotten under my skin. Also: many of you may not know that they also sell Ronnybrook milk! If you place an order for other Ronnybrook products (I'm thinking creme fraiche) they'll bring it the following week. 6. Bread Alone...most of you have your tried and true loaves. But have you tried their Tuscan dark or miche? They are so big you can buy one with a couple of friends and divide it up. It also freezes remarkably well. 7. Red Jacket sells juices and fruit...but did you know they also sell jams and apple sauce and now fruit bars???? 8.  Lasagna Preziosa makes luscious lasagna. But there's a reason his foccaccia usually sells out by 10 a.m. He's back from vacation, btw. 9.  Hummingbird Ranch - (they're also here tomorrow) Yes, their raw honey rocks and so does their maple syrup. But guess what? They make honey facial masks, too! Sticky upon application but your cheeks feel delicious afterward. 10. Clean Ridge Soap. Co. I've raved ad nauseum about their lavender lotion. But their air diffusers will make your house smell like joy.

See you at the market!