Yes, we still have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables at your Ballard Farmers Market today, even in February, but let’s take a moment to revel in all the other kinds of local deliciousness to be found here. Like these amazing farmstead sausages from Sea Breeze Farm. They raise the animals. They butcher them. They make the sausage. All right on Vashon Island. It’s some gosh-darned yummy sausage, too, if you ask me. And apparently, Sea Breeze has hidden a “golden ticket” in one of their packages of sausage this week. Some lucky soul will not only get to enjoy these tasty links, but they will also get a $100 gift certificate, too!
You will find farm-fresh eggs from a number of farms at your Ballard Farmers Market, including these beauties from Growing Things Farm. And we’re not just blowing smoke here, like so many who claim their eggs are “farm fresh”. I mean, you ever get a tilted dog-head look from a server when you ask them, “So, this ‘farm egg’ on the menu — exactly what farm did it come from?” And I think my favorite current “farm-washing” campaign comes from a big soup company that brags that their vegetables are “farm-picked”. Um, yeah? As opposed to what? But I can attest, when you see any eggs at your Ballard Farmers Market, they have come directly from the farm, it is the farm actually selling those eggs to you, and once you taste them, you will never tolerate eggs from a Big Box store again. Heck, why do you think the Market sells out of eggs before 1:30 p.m. every week?
Kombucha is all the rage around these health conscious, tofu and sprouts eating parts these days. But don’t hold that against it! It actually is quite refreshing, is a living, healthful beverage, and will make you feel good, even if you aren’t singing songs around a campfire on a full moon at Golden Gardens. And if you want to feel even less self-conscious, how about this? In order to get some of CommuniTea’s outstanding, fresh, local… and uncompromising kombucha, you have to be 21! Seriously. That’s because the natural fermentation process that makes it so good, and good for you, generates just enough alcohol as a byproduct that the US Treasury Department actually regulates it. Ah, see? Now, you are beginning to soften to it, aren’t you? Because it has a naughty side!
Pasta doesn’t get much better than that from Ballard’s own Pasteria Lucchese. Sara & Sam handcraft their artisan pastas the old-world way every week, and most weeks, you have to get to the Market pretty early if you want your choice of what they make, as it sells out fast. And just like they would do in Italy, they make their pastas using as many ingredients from right here at your Ballard Farmers Market as possible. Indeed, this saffron tagliatelle is made with saffron grown by Phocas Farms in Port Angeles — you know, that succulents guy, Jim. Just try to find that anywhere else around here!
Artisan, heirloom jams? Okay, now, it’s just gone too far! Humbug, I say. For these jams deserve these titles and more. Deluxe Foods’s Rebecca Staffel creates these jams with local ingredients, time-tested recipes and love, and the result is the best friggin’ toast you’ve ever tasted! I mean, just take a gander at the labels on the two jars in the front. Hel-low! Old Bachelor’s Jam and Quince Jelly! These are the jams of the gods and the ages, people. Can I get an amen? And if this isn’t enough over which to be joyous, today Deluxe Foods introduces an amazing line of, wait for it, cocktail syrups. Woohoo! Yes, Seattle’s cocktail revival lands at your Ballard Farmers Market. So get out there and get a bottle of local gin or vodka before the Big Box stores drive them all out of business this summer, and mix yourself a refreshing beverage this evening. You can thank me (and Rebecca) later!
Schmaltz. The cooking fat of Jewish mothers everywhere. This schmaltz, or chicken fat, is from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm in Olympia. And when schmaltz comes from a farm like Stokesberry that feeds is chickens a healthy diet and treats them well, it is actually a healthy fat to use. Generations of Jews can attest to that! I mean, really, it is chicken butter, right? Only less saturated. It is delicious. It is perfect for pan-roasting a chicken leg or breast, for seasoning beans and more.
“Blessed are the cheese makers.” Thank you, Monty Python, for that. And while you may know Silver Springs Creamery for their amazing, farm-direct milk and yogurt, they make some amazing cheeses, too. They’ve got aged and fresh cheeses, cow and goat. When you stop by for a bottle of milk or a tub of their award-winning yogurt today, treat yourself to some of their cheese, too. After all, it is the oldest form of food preservation.
With all that sausage, cheese, jam, pasta and schmaltz, you will need some superb artisan bread from Tall Grass Bakery. Tall Grass got its start with us when your Ballard Farmers Market was still part of the Fremont Sunday Market back in the 1990s. Back then, they only sold at that one market, and they borrowed the bakeries of others to make their bread. Today, they have a storefront just blocks from the Market, and can be found in fine grocers and restaurants all over Seattle. But their tasty, chewy, crusty breads, like the hominy and oat & honey loaves above, just seem to taste better and fresher here at their home market. So grab a loaf or three, and a pastry for the road, to go along with all the other diversity of deliciousness you have gathered up today at your Ballard Farmers Market, and thank you for supporting local farmers, fishers, ranchers and food artisans.
Hey, there is plenty of local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.