a whole new experience…

I went to my farmers’ market…the same farmers’ market I’ve been going to for twenty years.  It was a whole new experience.

The normal opening of the Collingswood (NJ) Farmers’ Market is quite exciting.  Balloons.  Music.  People.  Strawberries.  Asparagus.  Coffee.  Donuts.  Fun!

This year we are “flattening the curve” of the global pandemic caused by the virus COVID-19.  We cannot gather in groups.  We must wear masks.  We do not touch.  No welcoming handshakes at the market.

In an effort to allow farmers to sell their fresh fruits and vegetables to those of us who need and love those same fruits and vegetables, the powers that be who run this best of all markets have come up with a plan.  I don’t know how they did it.  Zoom meetings….distanced meetings…many phone calls perhaps.  Maybe all of the above.  But they did it!IMG_1132

There is a new location not far from the actual Collingswood Farmers Market.  And there are rules.  Lots of rules.  But good rules…well thought out, well planned, and necessary rules.

There are four days on which four to five different farmers space themselves across a large parking lot and we shoppers drive through a labyrinth and stop at our farmers, trunks open, to collect our Jersey Fresh gems.IMG_1131

The first thing I had to do was go to the market’s website and follow the links to the calendar and shopping.  I chose my farmers, placed and paid for my choices online, and waited for Saturday morning (other markets are Wednesday morning, Friday morning, and Saturday afternoon…different farmers, different days).
When we arrived at the market we were asked our name and given a sign for our windshield.  The sign is prominently displayed so the farmers can see who is next and can prepare the delivery.  We used our truck so our purchased were placed in the bed.  If you don’t have a truck your purchases are placed in your open car trunk.  That’s it.  No contact.IMG_1151

Easy peasy…with a little effort.

I was going to blog about the first strawberries of the year.  I was going to give you a recipe for Strawberry Muffins.  And I am.  But I didn’t make them.  You can if you want to.

I never thought in early March when I stopped leaving my house because I was committed to not being exposed to the virus, to not getting the virus, to “flattening the curve” that I wold still be home in the middle of May.  I did not think the Farmers’ Market would not open as it normally did.

There are new ways of doing things.  I wait longer for things.  I plan weeks in advance.  And I wait.  I’ve cooked every meal for months.  But I’ve rediscovered the books, music, and movies that are in my house.  And I’ve rediscovered the joy of staying home.

So, after picking up my orders from the market, I decided not to do anything to my perfect strawberries but eat them. I know that this bizarre time will come to an end eventually.  Things will be different, absolutely.  But fresh, new strawberries will still and always smell and taste the same.  Happy and delicious.


“Life is not shrinking me; it’s morphing into a whole new world of possibilities”.
–Peyton Manning




Strawberry Muffins

Makes 12 large



2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

6 teaspoons sugar

1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries

2 eggs

1/2 – 1 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract



  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 cup of the sugar in a medium bowl.
  3. Toss in strawberries, set aside.
  4. Beat together eggs, butter, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl.
  5. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; stir until just combined.
  6. Spoon batter into muffin tins lined with paper.
  7. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of sugar on top of each muffin.
  8. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean.