JShu on the Journey

A Kansan takes on Missouri

Archive for February 2012

Farmers’ Markets Galore

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One thing that I absolutely love about living where I am now is that it’s close to both Clermont and Winter Garden. Both have weekend farmers’ markets. Up in Lady Lake, my options for markets were Lady Lake (on Tuesdays) and Leesburg (on Saturdays). I’m sure Leesburg has a lovely one, but I never felt motivated to drive out the 20 minutes to get there, and I was never able to go to Lady Lakes’s because of work.

On Saturday and Sunday, I hit up the farmers markets in Winter Garden and Clermont, respectively. I’d been to Winter Garden’s before — I actually went on my birthday last year. It was interesting going during the “high season” — aka, snowbird season — because it was bursting with people, vendors, and overall, just life. Clermont’s was low-key, but offered quite a few vendors in its own right.

Here are some shots from Winter Garden.

Everyone's shopping for fruits and veggies!

I was impressed by the sheer size and prices of this market — a lot of items were reasonable, and the produce looked pretty good. I walked out with some avocados for CHEAP (I’m an avocado addict so anything that is not $1.50/apiece, like Publix, is good), some hefty Beefsteak tomatoes and a pint of blackberries, all for $6. Not bad.

While I was checking out, I saw this cheese stand, which had several types of cheeses available.

Love the drunken goat option — next time I'll have to try some samples.

A lot of folks brought their their pooches along too. This one lady brought these guys, and everyone was stopping to say hi and snap photos — myself included. They are two miniature pinschers and a chihuahua.

These guys stole the show!

There was a big variety of vendors on-hand — from free-range eggs and local meat to a guy selling plantain chips. And this booth.

Oooh.

There were a few plant/flower vendors, too. These were some pretty flowers.

I was kind of blown away by all the food options here beyond produce. They had a few food trucks/stands on-hand, including a guy who was making banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches), a crepe stand, and even this guy, who was selling British treats like fish and chips and beef pasties.

Fish and chips, anyone?

While that was tempting, I headed up Plant Street a bit into downtown Winter Garden and went for BBQ at a place I’d passed by a few times but have never ventured in.

Lunch nearby @ Harry & Larry's BBQ

That was a pork sandwich with the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had. Highly recommend it!

Sunday, I ventured over to Clermont’s, and didn’t take too many photos, but I did see a few repeat vendors from Saturday. Like this local pasta stand. Had to snap a photo of these unique varieties. I may have to be adventurous and go for some of this stuff.

Interesting!

I think I need to start hitting up these markets more often for my weekly produce! It’s nice to have a few so close by.

Written by Jessica

February 6, 2012 at 12:20 am

Posted in Florida Living

Weekend adventures

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It’s hard to believe this weekend marks the third week in my new digs. Work has been busy, busy, busy and my weekends so far have been much more mellow in comparison. My latest way to keep myself busy has been to do some exploring.

Last week, I headed to downtown Clermont, which is less than 10 minutes from my house. Geographically speaking, downtown is set a few blocks inland off of Lake Minneola, and has a recreational trail that wraps around part of the lake. I went late on a Sunday afternoon, and it was perfect — 70 degrees, sunny, light breeze. There were families, people walking their dogs, and really just people of ALL ages enjoying the gorgeous day and the nice setting.

Pretty lake, nice public fishing dock

Love the little old couple with their picnic

I have officially fallen in love with Lake Minneola, which is funny — I don’t consider myself much of a lake enthusiast.

After a quick jog that was more walking than jogging, I explored downtown. Unfortunately, I found that practically all of downtown shuts down at 6 p.m. Saturday, which is sad. I hear that downtown’s neighbors like it that way — it’s quiet. But certainly you could have a lively commercial district without the negatives — a coffeehouse that’s open late is totally different than a row of bars/nightclubs.

Anyway, here’s what downtown looks like.

First of all, I have to include this guy who built a series of signs of protest against the city of Clermont. A few of them are amusing. Apparently he sued the city a few years back because they tried to get him to take them down…he fought back, saying his First Amendment rights were being denied.

Yeah, sane people just don't make signs like this.

Huh?

BURN. (This is also right across the street from police HQ)

Ice Cream Shop? Yum!

Not a bad combo.

Oooh. This place looks cute.

Yesterday, I also stopped by a local institution in Minneola (the city I live in) — Donut King.

It’s right off U.S. 27 and I’ve passed it a million times, and I’ve heard good things about it, but have never actually been.

Don't let the unassuming exterior fool you.

Once you walk in, it’s like walking into doughnut heaven. They have A MILLION varieties. In the gigantic case behind the counter, I spotted a special Mardi Gras one (with green, yellow and purple), strawberry and apple cake varieties and plenty of jelly-filled varieties. I picked up a red velvet cake one and a cinnamon-sugar one.

Additionally, they had doughnut holes, sticky rolls, turnovers, and GIANT DOUGHNUTS. (Like, plate-sized ones).

A dieter's worst nightmare.

Two interesting things to note: This place is open 24-7 (!) and they also have a full menu, including slider-style made-to-order burgers and soups. Definitely worth the visit if you are on your way to Clermont.

I waited until I got home to eat my doughnuts, and they were fantastic. I’m sure Bella wanted one, but she is not allowed to eat people food.

Sorry, Bella.

Written by Jessica

February 5, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Posted in Florida Living