Wander down to the South Pearl Street Farmers Market any Sunday from May- November and it’s easy to see why Coloradans consistently rank as most fit population in the entire U.S. Our family of five headed down to the market one Sunday, armed with our reusable grocery bag and 10 year old boxer- trying to fit in with the ever growing crowd of young hipsters that regularly eat vegetables I am still googling. Platt Park was our first neighborhood as a young married couple in Denver and while it’s been ten years since we moved, it’s still a favorite spot. It helps that the Old South Pearl Street has maintained amazing restaurants thanks in a large part to the sushi empire I need not name (but love and will write about another time).
On this Sunday, it’s a beautiful day and quite warm. We are welcomed with a sign stating the pavement may be too hot for paws and best to leave our furry friends at home. Major hipster fail here, but at least I am not holding a Starbucks (already finished it). We take turns walking our boxer in the shade of the storefronts and hanging by the water bowl (even this display is cool!) which is fine since the main street is……packed.
The South Pearl Street Farmers Market has been running for almost 20 years and has grown considerably. Added to the mix of fresh produce are a handful of food trucks, booths with sauces and soaps, booths with healing tinctures and CBD products, and plenty of fresh baked goods. Much though is the same and we head to our favorites like the fresh peaches and the everlasting fill-a-bag for $10 stand. The face painter and balloon lady are still set up by the live music, but sadly our crowd has outgrown them. After our produce haul, we wander over to The Honey People. We ask for more information on the varieties of honey, but apparently, they are best tasted and little explanation is offered. I can’t tell a huge difference, but my son picks his favorite- Orange Clover.
Even with the heat and the crowds, usually a recipe for disaster with kids, the experience is surprisingly pleasant. Free samples help and our kids each piece together a full cookie through freebies. Seeing this, we make one final purchase of baked goods out of shame for our disproportionate amount of samples. These of course are the first of our purchases to disappear when we get home….still have plenty of beets though.
Two years ago Seth and I made the decision to leave our Denver neighborhood and head south in search of more space, specifically greenspace, for our three boys. Moving in the summer, we immediately loved the yard and the boys used more sunscreen that summer than in almost all the years past. Of course, we quickly realized living on almost an acre had its drawbacks too (you actually have to water all of it!), one of which was feeling a bit isolated. While we could have held hands with our old neighbor while grilling outside (I blame poor placement of patios for this one), we could now go weeks without seeing a neighbor. We went on a two-week vacation and NO ONE noticed- confirming my suspicion that the five of us could perish in our sleep one night and no one in the proximity would know. Before we instilled welfare checks and made the dog watch Lassie, we decided to renew our newspaper subscription and regularly invite some friends over for dinner. I never was a big entertainer- mainly because I don’t love cooking for large groups. I enjoy wine and cheese while chatting before dinner, not worrying about if I timed the courses right and trying to maintain conversation while not overcooking the chicken. But with the space almost wasted on the five of us, I started to perfect the role of a lazy hostess with a few simple recipes including this grilled salmon that I could seriously eat 3 nights a week or more.
Now, I did not grow up loving fish and only in recent years have become a fan of salmon. But this grilled salmon recipe is so easy and delicious, it makes a perfect meal for a summer bbq with or without friends. We have purchased the salmon filets at a variety of places from Costco to upscale meat markets, and all have been good thanks to the spice rub.
Salmon Spice Rub:
1/8 c. garlic powder
1/8 c. kosher salt
1/4 c. dried parsley
1/4 c. dried minced onion
1/4 c. dried basil
I rub the salmon with a little bit of olive oil, generously spread the spice rub (you will definitely have a fair amount left for a future meal), and let sit for a bit before grilling. We grill skin down to a desired doneness (exact time varies on size of salmon) and serve immediately. Even my kids will eat this (still working on table manners but at least they eat right?)