Hey kids! Yes, it is that time of year when a whole lot of us ask the simple question, “What was Ben Franklin thinking, and why are we still following his advice over 200 years later?!?” That rights, folks. This is the week we set our clocks forward one hour at 2 a.m., Sunday night, in the name of productivity, all the while dooming ourselves to a week second to only the week between Christmas and New Year’s for it’s lack of productivity, because our body clocks are suffering through the most confusing kind of jet lag, and our brains are telling us it’s one time whilst our clocks tell us it’s another. For those who think Daylight Savings Time helps farmers… um… it’s not like dairy cows will get up an hour earlier tomorrow expecting to be milked. And with the advent of, well, electricity, we can easily light our factories and schools whenever we want. But my whinging aside, set our clocks forward one hour we must. And THAT means if you show up at 3:30 p.m. today wondering why your Ballard Farmers Market is already closed, we will likely snicker at you. And if you show up at 11 a.m., thinking you’ll be the first in line for eggs, blame no one but yourself. Consider yourself warned! (And on behalf of our firefighters, change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Oh, and my locksmith tells me we should WD40 our locks today, too.)
Green things. We need green things to lift our spirits and help us overcome the constant desire to nap this week. Lucky for us, green things is what Colinwood Farm does best this time of year! They are cranking out gorgeous braising mix, spinach, salad mix and more from their greenhouses right now. And rumor has it, they might even have some baby squash soon, too!
Lyall Farms is still rocking the Beauregard sweet potatoes, friends. You ever just cut them up with some parsnips and toss them with oil, salt and pepper, and roast them in a hot oven for about 25-30 minutes? I love that! Simple, sweet deliciousness. Or try cubing them, steaming them, and then mashing them with some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and a little maple syrup. Boy, howdy!
You’ll still find lots of apples and pears from the 2013 fall harvest at Martin Family Orchards. And while you’re at it, why not grab a cup of cider on the go, and a jug of it to take home with you? So many ways to keep the doctor away!
Are you thinking what I’m thinking? (Okay, I grant you, you probably aren’t, and that’s just as well…) This is great pasta weather! Steam up the kitchen with pastaliciousness. The handmade, artisan pastas from Ballard’s own Pasteria Lucchese are about as good as pasta gets in this town, and they will either hook you up with an appropriate sauce for your choice of pasta, or they’ll give you a great idea for dressing it. This saffron tagliatelle is made with local saffron from our own Phocas Farms, and it is quite seafood friendly.
Of course, you’ll need some amazing artisan bread from Tall Grass Bakery to go with your pasta, or whatever else you’ll dine upon. Just look at this selection! From left to right, we’ve got sourdough rye, Baker Street sourdough, pain au levain, Avery’s pumpernickel, wheat & honey, and compagnon, and that’s just for starters!
You know, St. Paddy’s Day is just over a week from now. Last week, your mission was to get brisket to brine for 10 days in preparation for it. This week, why not get one step ahead of the herd and stock up on red potatoes from Olsen Farms, like these red lasoda potatoes, or perhaps some nice desiree potatoes.
Two weeks ago, Seattle Chefs Collaborative held is 8th annual Farmer-Fisher-Chef Connection which brings together chefs and food producers from all over the region to do business with each other, strengthening our local food system. And among those products creating a buzz this year was this camelina oil from Ole World Oils in Ritzville. It was used in half of the 10 entrees on the event’s epic lunch buffet, resulting in chefs playing, “What is that unique flavor we’re noticing running through so many dishes today?” This is your local cooking oil, suited well to being produced in Eastern Washington. It is fresh, healthy, versatile and full of character and flavor. I, personally, have found that I have begun using it instead of other oils, like olive and canola, in at least half of my cooking over just the past two months. It is priced right, too, so give it a try today!
Finally, how about some live-cultured yogurt to help make your mouth and your tummy very happy right now? This jersey cow’s milk plain yogurt and Greek yogurt from Samish Bay Cheese is full of body and flavor, and considering you are getting it straight from the farm, you will be amazed at how its price compares to lesser yogurts considered “high end” at the Big Box store.
There is plenty more 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.
Please remember bring your own bags every Sunday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, please take note of our new green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Ballard Farmers Market, and please make an effort to use them correctly. Each container has what’s okay to put in it pictured right on the lid. Please do not put the wrong materials in, because that drives up the cost of recycling and composting, and it can result in the entire container being sent instead to a landfill. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.