Hibiscus Buds

What better way to spend the first day of Fall than strolling through the Carrboro Farmer’s Market. Celebrating its 40th season this year, there are over 40 members supporting the market’s goals of supporting local farmers and artisans while allowing the Triangle community to reap the rewards of their harvests and creations. All goods are produced within 50 miles, making it one of our area’s freshest spots to shop for weekly groceries.

Kirsten walked over from Weaver Street Market while Samantha and Asa drove in from outside of Carrboro on a day that certainly felt hotter than Fall should. Choosing their finds carefully, Kirsten managed to find beautiful hibiscus buds while Asa sampled donuts and honey. Gathering food as well as flowers, the two realtors shared what they’d be making with their farm fresh goodies.

Asa scores his first pumpkin of the season

SAMANTHA’s SWEET POTATO PIE RECIPE (with the permission of Brendan Greaves):


  • 4 large potatoes

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon molasses

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

  • 1 stick of butter

  • A pinch of cinnamon

  • A pinch of nutmeg

  • A pinch of cardamom

  • A pinch of allspice

  • 1/2 cup of milk

  • 1/4 tablespoon of vanilla

  • 1/4 tablespoon of coconut extract

    Boil the potatoes until tender. When you stick a fork in them it should go in easy but you don’t want them to fall apart. Allow them to cool & then peel them.

    Put the potatoes in a large mixing bowl and mash them thoroughly with a potato masher. Melt the butter and pour it and the other ingredients into the bowl of potatoes. Stir until well mixed.

    Whether you use a ready-made pie crust or just cookies, pour the potato mixture into the crust.

    Put into an oven preheated to 375 degrees and cook for approximately 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.

    PS: the Greaves family likes to eat while hot!

Fall colors & flavors abound

KIRSTEN’s RATATOUILLE RECIPE (Note: she doctors these ingredients a bit & won’t tell us alllll her secrets):

  • 1 large (1.25 lb) eggplant, cut into 1/3-inch cubes

  • Salt

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

  • 2 medium zucchini (about 1 lb), cut into 1/3-inch cubes

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • 5 large cloves garlic, chopped

  • 5 large vine-ripened tomatoes (1.75 lb), cut into 1/3-inch cubes, with their juices

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme, plus more for serving

  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the eggplant and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and starting to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan (no need to clean it). Add the zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until tender-crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and transfer to a plate; set aside.

Add two more tablespoons of oil to the pan and add the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for about 3 minutes more. Do not brown. Add the tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste, thyme, sugar, crushed red pepper flakes (if using) and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are broken down into a sauce, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the cooked eggplant to the pan; bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the eggplant is soft. Add the zucchini and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, or until just warmed through. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Sprinkle with fresh basil and thyme, drizzle with a little olive oil if desired, and serve warm or chilled. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Open Saturdays year round from 7 to noon (arrive early if you want eggs) as well as Wednesdays seasonally, the market is located at 301 W. Main Street in Carrboro.

The Assemblage Studio