To Market with Kendra Aronson
Our wonderful employee Ashlynn lights up the register with her bright smile, is full of ideas to keep things on the improve here at the store, and has the coolest habit of leaving quirky notes for the rest of us to find when we open the store the next morning. She also has a great eye, and last month she was raving about the print of local farmers’ markets that she bought at a festival in the park. “We should really bring these in,” she said, and she was totally right.
They were designed by Kendra Aronson, another woman with a sparkly smile and infectious enthusiasm. Kendra is an expert, having written the SLO Farmer’s Market Cookbook, and her letterpress map highlights the 20 weekly farmers’ markets in San Luis Obispo County. The market information—locations, dates, and times—is displayed below the halftone map in chronological order with a corresponding red pin. They are beautifully simple, and now are available at General Store Paso Robles! (You cannot say no to Ashlynn.) You can also find Kendra’s wonderful book alongside local favorite Brigit Binns, plus an ever changing selection of cookbooks, new and classic alike.
We asked Kendra some questions about how she makes the end of summer special.
What’s your favorite summer find at the August farmer’s markets?
Stone fruit! Peaches, plums, nectarines, apricot, and all the fun hybrids like pluots and peacotums. You know it’s summer when you take a bite into ripe stone fruit and the juice runs down your elbow—it’s the best. My favorite thing is how versatile stone fruit can be for just about any application or meal: grilled alongside charred meats; roasted or baked into crumbles, pies, crostatas; tossed into savory salads or sweet fruit salads; consumed raw for simple snacking, elevating a cheese board, or adding slices to your morning yogurt bowl.
Do you have a recipe with just a few ingredients that calls for summer produce?
Yes, page 25 of The San Luis Obispo Farmers’ Market Cookbook, my recipe for Crostini with Sungolds, Zucchini, Brebis, and Spicy Pesto. This dish was inspired by a summertime Saturday morning market run—freshly baked bread, eye-popping sungold tomatoes, spicy padrón peppers, bright green zucchini, creamy farmstead cheeses, and crunchy pistachios. A perfect appetizer for a late afternoon gathering.
Grilling in the backyard. what are you guys listening to?
Albums on heavy rotation: Leon Bridges’ Coming Home, Elizabeth Cotten’s When I’m Gone, Broadcast’s Tender Buttons, and anything on Spotify’s Lowrider Oldies playlist.
We are a bit fanatical about our playlists at the store, and man, Kendra was right on the money with her oldies playlist. Just try to grill up some pork chops and nectarines without singing along. You can’t.
As summer wraps up, remember we have lunch boxes and S’well bottles to arm your kiddos with sustenance. Be sure to throw in some of those fresh plums from the farmers’ market. (And maybe some Paso Almonds, if you’re feeling really nice.)
Happy end of summer, neighbors!
— The General Store Team