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The joy of buying food in paper packaging

One day I was standing in Fleet Farm, looking for my husband, when suddenly reality transformed into the flip side of retail, the one that urges us to endlessly buy more. All of the products in the aisles surrounding me were not only encased in plastic, but headed for the landfill after maybe one use.

Contrast that feeling to the absolute joy I experience at the Maplewood Bachman's winter farmer's market every other Sunday. I can buy local honey in a glass jar from the couple who make it on their farm, the freshest and most delicious kombucha, a delicious loaf of bread, some pieroghi. And I can buy mushrooms from R&R Cultivation, super fresh, varieties I can't get in the store, they taste like wild. They are packaged in a paper bag, no plastic. They stay fresh for at least a week if I keep them in a cloth produce bag in the fridge.

The mushrooms in the photo above are enoki and lion's mane varieties. We made Lydia's Spaghetti with Mushrooms, Garlic and Parsley, a recipe that can be done in half an hour if you have a pot that heats up water really fast. Previously, we made Betty Crocker's Classic Beef Stroganoff out of a small flank steak we bought on a whim. We try to avoid beef, but enjoy it occasionally.

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