Who needs a garden? Bring on farmers markets

Opinion: Kosey Corner

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By Joanne Kosey

Columnist

And how does your garden grow? Well ours isn't, since we didn't plant even a tomato this year, although there is some sage that has taken over – but how much sage can use or dry? Must tend to that. Instead, we like to rely during the summer season on farmers markets, which include more than just fruit and produce.

Locally we are fortunate to have two markets nearby -- in Riverside on Wednesday and Brookfield on Saturday. Taking a field trip to either of the markets has given me some other-than-fruit-and-produce finds that are on my market list. 

Going to Riverside (in Centennial Park at Longcommon and Forest), Rose's Catering can make my dinner anytime. Rose and her daughters are familiar to people who attend the VFW fish fry. Her smoked sausage and sauerkraut is my kind of comfort food. 

Next to her booth was Heavenly Pies and, yes, they are. They are small, individual pies, which is good because you won't want to share them. I got the cherry pie for me and blueberry for Husband Joe. I also discovered some cookies. I don't remember the name of the booth, but you'll see them. These are a few of the family favorites. Grab some of Liz Carey's popcorn to munch on as you walk around.

Going west to Brookfield on Saturday mornings (in the parking lot of the village hall at 8820 Brookfield Ave.), July means it's time for Mirai corn, so sweet and good you don't even have to cook it. They have a large selection of fruit and vegetables, good cheeses, breads. My latest find, which had me going back, was Mario's Marinara. The sauce, and yes it is sauce, is made by Mario Manfredini of Berwyn, who calls his creations "recipes from the firehouse." 

I have seen Mario and remembered him from the Italian Feast in Berwyn where he made baked clams. He has held many positions in Berwyn, but this is the best. I have had the vodka sauce, and it is not too heavy on the garlic; that's good. 

Mario started putting his sauce in jars after cooking for charitable dinners and getting requests for his sauce. He has a large selection of jarred items available that I have yet to try. His sauce is also available at Riverside Foods, so you don't have to wait until Saturday morning and means it will be available year round.

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