One of my absolute favorite things about Charlottesville is the food.
There are so many amazing restaurants and cafes that serve delicious food, all with their own unique flavor.
I also can’t wait until next year, when I can take advantage of Charlottesville’s flourishing wine scene.
But, for those days you’re not eating out, this town always has plenty of grocery stores, health food shops, a Whole Foods and the best Saturday Farmer’s Market.
I only wish that the market was available seven days a week, because the variety of local, organic and sustainable products are really great to see.
There’s everything from produce, baked goods, poultry and meats, to flowers, jewelry and stands selling empanadas and popsicles.
On this week’s trip, I left with two bell peppers, a red onion, a giant bunch of kale, two tomatoes (one heirloom), and a cucumber.
I also grabbed a jar of fig+lime jam from Charlottesville native, Jam According to Daniel. I loved this unique flavor combination and the generous chunks of fruit.
The best part, the whole trip only cost me $13!
With the produce, I created a snack plate of raw veggies.
And because everything was so fresh, I only needed to sprinkle some salt and black pepper for seasoning.
It was my first time tasting an heirloom tomato, after admiring how beautiful they looked in pictures, and wow were they delicious!
I was so glad that my first heirloom tomato was local and organic, because it was pretty much like juicy candy. No exaggeration.
I also made some pita sandwiches, using (non-local) boneless chicken thighs and market peppers cooked on the skillet, and fresh basil leaves, with pita and feta cheese from local producers.
So much flavor packed in a portable little pouch.
And with the kale, I made kale chips!
Torn into bite-sized pieces, baked at 350* and sprinkled with just a little salt and pepper, they’re crunchy and satisfying. For me, they’re even more addicting than chips!
I also grabbed my go-to spicy red pepper hummus with sliced cucumbers.
And with the fig+lime jam? Nothing better than as a topper for my cinnamon raisin bagel.
Now that I’ve had a great week of eats and exploration, I’m all packed and set for HLS.
I’m so excited to attend my first blogging conference, and I can’t wait to meet all the people whose blogs I’ve been following for years.
But, I’m also a little nervous since I have no idea what to expect! Overwhelming, to say the least.
The saddest part is saying goodbye to Wesley.
We’ve been able to see each other pretty much every day for the last nine months, and going back to long distance will be rough.
But what happens will happen, and I’m completely up for the ride.
And Charlottesville, I’ll be back before you know it!