Sunday, October 24, 2004

Been a busy few days...
Spent the afternoon at Eastern Market (2934 N. Russell St. Detroit, 313-833-1560) in Detroit with the family. It wasn't as hectic as I remember it. The amount of beautiful fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers was unbelievable. We bought a pound of yummy, sweet strawberries for a dollar, three 1/2 pints of raspberries for four dollars, an enormous head of broccoli for another dollar. A vendor even gave my 2 year old son, Noah, a pumpkin. This place makes me want to erase Kroger's from my brain.

On the fringe area of the Market are many specialty shops. Since all time revolves around said 2 year old, we only had time to stop at three stores before sugar inspired/lack of nap attitude began to set in. First was R Hirt Jr. and Co. (2468 Market St. Detroit-313-567-1173).
The building is ancient brick, with thick, well worn wood floors, spaning 3 stories. The first floor has all the cheese (over 400 varieties) and meats. People crowd the counter like cattle at the feed trough. The employees are well versed in herding their way through the masses, and seem to efficiently assist all who are waiting without major incident. Away from the counter is the gourmet herbs, and kitchen gadgets, sauces, ect. The second floor has the sale items, and the third floor has all the baskets, cool kid toys, candles and other smelly things, and opalessent wrapping paper that my pal Ron was quite fond of ($27.00 for a roll of 30x100).

The second store was the Rafal Spice Co. (2521 Russell, Detroit 313-259-6373). Ron and I found many new types of Zantarains Rice and Pasta (yes, pasta) mixes and numerous herbs, teas, and flavored coffee (who out there still drinks this stuff?!?). The place was mobbed, but like the Hirt employees, the Rafal employees never blinked an eye at the constant ebb and flow of people swelling the store. The store smells good, too.

The final store was Rocky Peanut Co. (www.rockypeanut.com). Wow! Nuts! Candy! Dried Fruit! We found not only Madagascar Vanilla there, in liquid form, but also in powder and in paste form. I used to be a pastry baker, and I have never come across vanilla in any other form other than in beans or liquid. It's pricey, so I refrained from buying any at the time. I didn't spend as much time as I would have liked there, so I'm sure I missed much...

Over all, it was a splendid fall day. Worth getting lost and everything (Mark sends a shout out to the crack ho who's directions would of sent us straight to the morgue).

back to the "Virgin Suicides" (in book form) for me...

see ya,
Cami

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