As I say in every post, I’m BUSY. I rarely take time to just sit, be IN a moment without thinking about my next step. Every day is busy with planned out events… or I’m sleeping. Today, however, I took the time to change it up. I was a little impractical and the result was beautiful. Bug and I hopped in the car first thing this morning and drove 35 minutes to Bentonville, to the heart at the downtown Farmer’s Market.
I didn’t go to Bentonville very often before I started to work up here. My office is near the square so it’s been amazing to discover the secret, thriving foodie culture and the partnership between many downtown restaurants and their nationally top-ranked farmer’s market. It is the only farmer’s market in the state you can get fresh cheese from a nearby dairy, who named their cows and will tell you what cheese came from which cow- and I was blown away! Fresh mozzarellas, fetas and goat cheeses… foodie heaven!
Basil was an in-season scent in the air and my eyes were tantalized by artistically arranged baskets of fresh produce on tables all around. There was even pasture raised, local meat! Pork, beef and chicken- I couldn’t believe all the options here. A man made balloon animals for excited children. Local musicians delighted us throughout the walk around the square.
There is so much to say here so I decided to do a list, in no particular order, of my 5 favorite things about today:
1. The Produce- I know I’ve already mentioned it but the colors were beautiful. The vendors smiled, chatted and more than one drew me in with a story. One booth had ginseng root for sale and I had never seen that before! I am a very visual person so it was hard not to just grab everything in sight.
2. Yarnells- A local company is back in business and sponsored an event today. There was free ice cream on every corner with lines forming no matter how fast they served it up! I saw kids and adults participating in an ice cream eating contest and the laughter all around was contagious. A kid ran up to me and gave me an ice cream bar and then ran off. The weather was cooler and everyone seemed alive and happy, relishing and drinking in the day. Welcome back Yarnells!
3. Crepes Paulette- I could write a whole post on just this. I waited over an hour for 1 sweet and 1 savory crepe and the anticipation made them taste even better. No one around minded waiting for these gourmet delicacies, even Bug remained calm and did a happy dance when I told him ours were coming up. He shrieked with joy and the weary line behind us smiled. They have a gluten free option and Bug and I devoured ours. If you are ever near the Bentonville Square you must eat there… They have a food truck near the Splash Park. Follow them @crepespaulette.com
4. The Music- One group in particular pulled me and Bug into the shade to sit on the cool grass and listen to their cover of several of my favorite bands. Bug danced, the sun filtered through the trees like a kaleidoscope and I breathed deeply, letting the ground hold me. We were probably only there for a half hour yet when I stood up I felt like I’d been on vacation for a week, my shoulders were in their right place and even Bug was unusually mellow. I held him tight when he wasn’t dancing, my cheek pressed to his head.
5. The Eats- Eating simple is easy when you purchase the best. I deeply inhaled my bunch of basil like a woman would a dozen roses. I sliced Roma tomatoes and fresh mozzarella with care. Food like this needs to be shared and I called my mother and brother to come over to enjoy it with me… requesting only that they contributed a bottle of wine to the cause. Today is a celebration. I sit outside on the surprisingly cool August afternoon and drink it thirstily in.
As we left we looked at the artwork on the wall. Bug loved touching all the pictures. Have you been to Bentonville or the Farmer’s Market? What is your favorite thing about Bentonville?