By Carleton Varney Special to The Palm Beach daily News
Saturdays in season are always filled with adventures. There are so many places to visit and dine and enjoy in the Palm Beaches — and one that I love is the Oceanside Farmers Market on South Ocean Boulevard at the eastern foot of the bridge from Lake Worth. It’s in a narrow parking lot adjacent to the Fairfield Inn.
Open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., the market is filled with booths offering plants, cheeses, veggies and fresh-cut flowers, as well as jewelry and fashions from India – oh, and baked goods worthy of a crown prince. If you love paella, a gentleman at the market offers free samples, as well as containers for sale so that you can enjoy it as your dinner with a glass of sangria.
At the market, friends and I always breakfast on shrimp and grits at the Country Gourmet, an elaborate country-store booth that seems right out of Norman Rockwell painting with its red-checkered tablecloths and napkins. With tables set up for dining, it’s a popular place for any adventuring Palm Beacher.
Shirlann Sanders and her husband, Scott, have been operating their country store for a number of seasons. During the week, Scott is busy with his job as supervisor of facilities for Lake Worth. He’s been married for 24 years to Shirlann, who’s from Knoxville, Tenn. She spends some of her time each week making 30 varieties of jams and jellies, including apple butter and ginger marmalade, to sell at the market. Shirlann also is a personal chef who is available to cater events in the area.
Each Saturday in season, they arrive at the green market early in the morning to assemble their country store and kitchen. Wooden walls with shuttered windows are topped by canteen-style curtain valances. This is decorating Americana style.
Shirlann bakes five-dozen biscuits each Friday for the early arrivals on Saturday. The Hungry Man sandwich (with sausage, bacon, egg, cheese, lettuce, pickles and red onion) is a specialty, along with aforementioned — and tasty — shrimp and grits. She also makes a super chicken noodle soup, a dish I enjoyed the last time I visited the market. You can get details about the Sanderses and their business by calling 307-0834 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not only did I find the breakfast delightful as always, but some of the new booths also offered a variety of decorative items for the home. The tablecloths from Coastal Design Boutique featured watermelon images of reds and green on a white linen background — perfectly delightful and priced at $120. The booth also offers other patterns that would be perfect for almost any South Florida kitchen.