Posts Tagged ‘lamb’

Sunday, May 23rd: Head Cheese, Strawberries, Sea Beans & Maybe A Duck.

May 23, 2010

Head cheese from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I often rave about porkolicious, lambrific, beeftastic meat from Sea Breeze Farm, those crazy kids over on Vashon Island who drag their refer cases to Ballard every Sunday with all sorts of tasty animal parts in it. But these guys also rock the charcuterie, too. Each week, you will find any number of terrines, pates and other offal concoctions ready to slather on a nice slice of Tall Grass baguette with some mustard. Last week, Sea Breeze offered up this particularly lovely head cheese experiment from their kitchen. I ask you, why would anyone waste the perfectly good head of a pig when you can make some spectabulous dish like this out of it. In fact, while most Americans are turning their little puritanical noses up at the pig’s head, the guys working in the kitchen can’t wait to get their hands, and forks, on it. Oh, how much we entitled gringos with our steakhouse cuts of meat miss out on in this country.

A grain rolling mill in action at Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash’s has been doing a little equipment testing at your Ballard Farmers Market lately — grain rolling mills. These gadgets, like the one above, will roll out whatever whole grain you’ve got into flat, round pieces, like the rolled oats you get as oatmeal, or at least that’s the plan. Stop by and see what you think, though honestly, the one that Sequim Prairie Star let me play with when I visited their farm, just down the road a piece from Nash’s, worked much better than either of the two Nash’s tested last week. So if you must have one, ask the folks at Sequim Prairie today what kind theirs is. Then grab some grain from Nash’s or Bluebird and have some fun with it.

Dozens of empty milk bottles behind Golden Glen's table. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I love the fact that Golden Glen Creamery packages its milk and cream in reusable glass bottles. Besides the obvious environmental benefit, packing milk in glass protects its flavor as well. See, plastic milk bottles impart a slight plastic flavor into your milk. So if you haven’t tried milk out of glass, give it a shot this week. Once you go glass, you’ll never go back to plastic.

This first strawberries of 2010, from Tiny's. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, I’ve made you wait long enough. Yep, there are strawberries in the Market! Tiny’s is growing them in East Wenatchee, and lucky for them, they didn’t all get frozen out recently. Well, lucky for us, too. I did some quality control work on your behalf in a steady downpour on Wednesday at the Wallingford Farmers Market, and I can assure you, these are some sweet, delicious berries. But there aren’t many of them, and no one else has them yet, so they will go fast. Get ‘em first thing. The eggs can wait! Oh, and grab a pint of cream from Golden Glen to drizzle over them.

Duck eggs from Quilceda Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of eggs, have you ever tried duck eggs? They are just a little richer than chicken eggs — and a little bigger with a deeply yellow, almost orange yolk that stands up firmly in your skillet. I love duck eggs. And you can get yourself some of them from Quilceda Farm, along with some goat sausage, for one yummy breakfast.

Fresh ducks from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And speaking of ducks, Stokesberry had these magnificent, whole, fresh ducks last week at your Ballard Farmers Market. And if we’re lucky, they will have a few more today. But if you miss out, they will have more in a month or so. Stop by and reserve one, and pick up some chicken while you’re there. Oh, and Stokesberry will be featured at Ray’s Boat House on Thursday, June 3rd, from 6-8 p.m., as part of Ray’s Year of Sustainable Stories dinner series. Check Ray’s or Stokesberry’s websites for more details.

Fresh mint from Mee Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s horse racing season, and you will be needing plenty of mint for your juleps. Lucky for you, Mee Gardens has it. This stuff is beautiful and fragrant, and waiting to be muddled. Enjoy!

Actually, I believe it is some of Children’s Garden’s mint that Tom uses in his mint-chocolate chip ice cream at Empire Ice Cream, and Theo chocolate. I know what you’re thinking. How come I don’t have a photo of some delicious choc-mint, as the Brits would call it? Simple. I ate it all. I mean, honestly, I hate mint-chocolate chip ice cream most of the time, because they all use mint oil. All, except Empire Ice Cream, that is. They use fresh mint leaves, and that makes all the difference in the world. But I am not gonna stand around taking pictures of it while it melts in front of me.

Sea beans from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sea bean season has begun. Sea beans grow, well, in the sea, ergo the name “sea bean.” These salty little rascals lend a wonderful flavor to many dishes, from salads to fish and meat, and more. Stop by Foraged & Found Edibles and pick some up, along with some preparation suggestions.

Clockwise, from left, is red king salmon, rockfish, marbled king salmon and halibut, from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

At Wilson Fish, they say that if their fish was any fresher, it would be from the future. In fact, most Sundays, the fish they are selling at Ballard Farmers Market was still swimming on Saturday. That means the freshest, truly local — as in from Washington — king salmon, halibut, rockfish, ling cod and true cod you are likely ever to taste, and because they handle it so carefully, it is always in beautiful condition. It also means these guys don’t sleep a lot from May through September, which may explain why they surround themselves with bad humor-covered fluorescent signs.

Original and chocolate Josephines from Hot Cakes. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Autumn Martin’s Josephines at Hot Cakes are about as rich and decadent as any hedonist could hope for. Loaded with plenty of eggs and butter and Bluebird Grain Farms flour, these little cakes are amazing, but they’re not diet food. And amen to that! Now, Hot Cakes offers a chocolate version of its Josephine to accompany its original. These things are to die for, as long as they don’t kill you. But if you need the number for my cardiologist, just inquire at the Market Info Desk.

Beautiful bok choy from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, I thought I’d better finish off with some ruffage. Some gosh-darned delicious ruffage, that is. And gorgeous, too. Just check out this bok choy from Colinwood Farms. I had some of this alongside an incredible piece of Wilson’s king salmon last week, and boy-howdy, was that good. A little garlic, a little oyster sauce. Oh, yeah. That’s what I’m talkin’ about, baby.

And remember, your Ballard Farmers Market is chock full of all sorts of goodness for  your kitchen, from meat, seafood, poultry, cheese, to all sorts of fruits and veggies, baked goods, sauces, confections, fresh-cut flowers and fresh milled flours, plants for the garden, wild mushrooms, and on and on. For a fuller accounting of what you’ll find at the Market today, go to “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner.

Sunday, April 18th: Oxbow, Ayala & Red Barn Farms Returns!

April 17, 2010

Oxbow Farm's Luke Woodward proudly showing off his prized carrots. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm is just one of the several farms returning to your Ballard Farmers Market today for the 2010 season. Given the sassy tone of his recent emails, it sounds like Luke is chomping at the bit to be back at the Market today. Luke says he will have purple sprouting broccoli, some baby carrots, cauliflower rapini, tomato plants, and some other things they manage to liberate from the farm.

Ramon Ayala examines blossoms and young fruit on one of his cherry trees in Sunnyside. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ayala Farms is back at Ballard Farmers Market today with asparagus. Ramon Ayala has 120 acres of asparagus near Sunnyside, Washington, as well as fruit trees, like the cherry tree he is tending above, and he grows a wide variety of vegetables and melons, too.

Julie from Red Barn Farm examining some of her vegetable starts. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Back with gorgeous vegetable starts today is Red Barn Farm from Enumclaw. Red Barn is located in the shadow of Mt. Rainier on damp, fertile volcanic soil that produces spectacular food for our tables. In fact, I do believe the finest rutabagas I have ever eaten came from Red Barn.

A smoked ham hock and some lovely cheese from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Every week brings new deliciousness from Sea Breeze Farm. From fresh meat and poultry to charcuterie to milk, wine, eggs and cheese, Sea Breeze does it old school out of their refer cases. I like just checking out their cases every Sunday to see what surprises they hold, and then building a meal around them.

Ravishing radishes from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spring means some much rebirth and goodness at the Market, but perhaps above all else, spring means radishes, like these from Full Circle Farm. Radishes are beautiful, colorful, spicy, sweet, round, cylindrical, and just plain delicious. And unlike other root crops, they don’t like the cold, making them a true arbiter of spring, and as good a reason as any to soldier through any winter.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A holdover from fall, these sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms won’t be around for much longer. Lyall Farms was the first farm ever to bring Washington sweet potatoes to Ballard Farmers Market this past fall. And they are wonderful. I had some for dinner last night. Deeply sweet, they roast up beautifully in the oven, or you can cube and steam them , then mash them with canned chipotles in adobo sauce and a touch maple syrup for a peppy side to a steak.

Goat milk soap from Harmonys Way Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Harmonys Way Farm, on the Olympic Peninsula, makes goat milk soap from the milk of its own goats. Goat milk soap is very mild — perfect for people who have skin sensitive to stronger soaps. It is creamy and delicate. If you have been looking for a mild soap, treat yourself to some goat milk soap from Harmonys Way today.

Red cabbage starts from Sunseed Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunseed Farm returned to Ballard Farmers Market recently with a fantastic selection of vegetable, herb and flower starts for your garden. Just imagine these red cabbage starts coming to maturity this summer, making a great cole slaw for that summer picnic. Take a look at all they have to offer today, and plant your own little Victory Garden.

Wild wood sorrel from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Our local forests continue to offer up more and more spring delicacies, like this wood sorrel. Find it, and other wild foods, from Foraged & Found Edibles.

Molasses ginger caramels from Jonboy Caramels. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for some sweets for the sweet? How about some Jonboy Caramels. They make them from local cream and butter, and they rock. Stop by for a sample. And since my dentist told me I had to choose between my cap and J0nboy’s caramels, I ask you to enjoy as many of these lovelies as you can, so that I might still enjoy them, if only vicariously through you.

German, Italian and andouille sausages from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Olsen Farms has beef brisket on sale this week for $7/pound, and lamb loin chops for $19/pound. Oh, and they have a whole lot of sausages just waiting for you to enjoy, too. They even have some seed potatoes, if you want to grow some of your own. Got Soup? has the following soup offerings this week: Broccoli Cheese; Cioppino; Corn & Shiitake; and Orange & Cumin Sweet Potato.

And remember, your Ballard Farmers Market is chock full of all sorts of goodness for  your kitchen, from meat, seafood, poultry, cheese, to all sorts of fruits and veggies, baked goods, sauces, confections, fresh-cut flowers and fresh milled flours, plants for the garden, wild mushrooms, and on and on. For a fuller accounting of what you’ll find at the Market today, go to “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner.

Sunday, April 4th: Head Lettuce, No Foolin’! And Other Ramblings On Farmers Market Deliciousness This Week.

April 4, 2010

New York-style cheesecake from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I don’t know about you, but I am a charter member of Dessert First! As such, I begin this week’s epistle with cheesecake. But I must issue a disclaimer before I continue. I grew up in New York, and as such, I am a cheesecake snob. When it comes to cheesecake, I am a purist. No berries. No lemon. No nothing but straight-up cheesecake. Heck, I have sent cheesecakes back to the kitchen in fancy-schmancy restaurant when it has been sent out to me with an unadvertised drizzle of berry syrup. So it was with more than a large dose of skepticism that I approached Pasteria Lucchese’s new cheesecake.

Sara Lucchese can attest — I grilled her. I read the label. I asked if it tasted of lemon. Mind you, I wasn’t going to trash talk their cheesecake if it didn’t meet my unreasonable standards. I was simply assessing whether I would want anything to do with it personally. Sara assured me that what little lemon juice their cheesecake contained was at worst subtle. She watched my eyebrows furrow with distrust. So she said. “How about you take one home and try it and let me know what you think?”

Honestly, I hadn’t been angling for a freebie this time, as I genuinely assumed in my snobbery that a freebie would be wasted on me. But I accepted Sara’s offer as a kindly challenge, and that she really wanted to know what my biased palate thought. So take one home I did, and guess what? Pasteria Lucchese’s cheesecake rocks! Lemon? What lemon? Now, I should note that, in the photo above, their cheesecake is resting atop the lid of a small plastic container, and when you see it in person, you are going to think, “That is really small.” Fear not. It is at least two servings. But now that I have let the cat out of the bag, I advise you to beeline it to them to get yours today, as they will undoubtedly run out early.

Knotweed from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Foraged & Found Edibles brought wild knotweed to your Ballard Farmers Market last week. The young shoots of knotweed are edible and taste of rhubarb and asparagus.

Cape Cleare Fishery smoking samples of its sample at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, how cool is this? Cape Cleare Fishery — you know, the folks from Port Townsend who ride their bicycles pulling trailers filled with coolers of fish to Ballard Farmers Market every Sunday — now has this awesome little pellet smoker attached to one of their trailers. The result? They are able to cook up some of their beautiful, flash-frozen at sea salmon for you to sample so that you can truly experience why their fish is so good. So stop by and try out their salmon this week, eh? Just leave some for me.

Green garlic on a bed of chickweed from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A-friggin-men is all I can say about the arrival of green garlic season. Green garlic looks a lot like green onions, and it can be used similarly, except as, well, garlic. Just clean it carefully (dirt hides inside its green shoot leaves, like with leeks), and cut it up to toss in with sauteed greens or oven-roasted morels and asparagus or whatever. Cooked, it is sweeter than mature garlic cloves, and it has a slightly grassy quality. I just love this stuff. To me, it is a true treat of spring.

Rhubarb from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rhubarb season is now in full swing, too. You will find it throughout the market. Above is some from Alm Hill Gardens. Pickup your flour from Nash’s and your butter and whipping cream from Golden Glen to make the perfect rhubarb crisp.

Rack of lamb, saddle of lamb and standing beef rib roasts from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Olsen Farms continues is sale of its delicious rack of lamb, saddle of lamb and standing beef rib roasts this week. Aren’t these babies gorgeous? This past week, I made a lamb and pappardelle dish with Olsen’s lamb. It is amazing stuff — tender and full of deliciousness.

Goat yogurt from Port Madison. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Maybe you will need a little tsatsiki for that lamb? Make it with some of that green garlic and this fresh goat yogurt from Port Madison. Of course, you can also just inhale this yogurt straight out of the cup, too.

Cal-White potatoes from Colinwood Farms dwarf their other spuds. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Some rosemary potatoes will go well with that lamb, too. But use the cute, little guys for that. These mammoth Cal-White potatoes from Colinwood Farms will work better if your goal is mashed potatoes, or maybe a creamy potato soup.

Lovely leeks from The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Maybe some creamy potato leek soup, eh? How about these lovely leeks from The Old Farmer. You will find them kitty-corner from Wilson Fish with these leeks, and lots of beautiful flowers to brighten your home.

Spelt bread from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you tried Tall Grass Bakery’s spelt bread? Spelt is an ancient grain that is an early ancestor of wheat. It is higher in protein and other nutrients and lower in gluten. This bread is a hearty, whole-grain bread. And the spelt is grown right here in Washington, too.

Brilliant red radishes from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I heart radishes. And we are radish rich right now. Just look at these magnificent red radishes from Full Circle Farm. I love that radishes come in a broad spectrum of flavors and heat levels. I like to get a few different kinds and mix them up in my salads.

Pea starts from Growing Things. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Remember, despite our recent return to wintery weather, it is still a great time to plant many heartier vegetables in your garden. Check out these pea starts from Growing Things. Just imagine yourself harvesting delicious peas from your own yard come Memorial Day.

Baby cauliflower from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cauliflower is back at your Ballard Farmers Market. Nash’s Organic Produce has it, but it went fast last week. Get there early!

Fuji apples from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful, crisp and sweet Fuji apples from Collins Family Orchards. Spring break is over. Stock up and send the kiddies to school with some.

Goose eggs from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One goose egg is enough to feed one, maybe even two, people. These puppies from Sea Breeze Farm are huge. I tell you, there is just something satisfying about making a big omelette with just one egg!

Fresh head lettuce from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I promised you lettuce. Well, here it is. Red leaf, butter, romaine. Lots of beautiful young lettuces from Children’s Garden… while they last, of course.

And remember, your Ballard Farmers Market is chock full of all sorts of goodness for  your kitchen, from meat, seafood, poultry, cheese, to all sorts of fruits and veggies, baked goods, sauces, confections, fresh-cut flowers and fresh milled flours, plants for the garden, wild mushrooms, and on and on. For a fuller accounting of what you’ll find at the Market today, go to “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner.

Sunday, March 28th: A Holiday Ham, A Market Family Addition, Rhubarb (so much for the rhythm of this title) & A Small Amount Of (wait for it) Asparagus!

March 28, 2010

A holiday ham from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget to pickup a lovely ham for Passover, err, I mean Easter, coming up this week. This beauty is from Skagit River Ranch. Honestly, their hams are among the best I’ve ever had. Seriously. Also seriously, Olsen Farms has plenty of briskets still for Passover, which starts sundown tomorrow. And for Easter, they have lamb saddle roasts and rack of lamb today for $18/pound and standing rib roasts for $14/pound.

By the way, Skagit River Ranch will be featured during a special dinner at Ray’s Boathouse on Thursday, April 1st as part of Ray’s farmers market and sustainability dinner series. Make your reservations now!

Laurel Batho, new daughter of Julianna Batho. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ballard Farmers Market added a new member to its family on March 10, 2010 at 9:54 a.m., when Julianna Batho of Ascents Candles gave birth at home to daughter Laurel, who joined us at a healthy 8.5 pounds. Julianna may be back selling her candles as early as today, so do stop by and congratulate her, and say hi to baby Laurel.

Fresh mint from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It was just two years ago that Seattle Chefs Collaborative held a “Seasonal Ingredients” Meet & Greet on March 31st, for which there were mostly just roots and some braising greens available for the menu. Wow, is this year different! Yes, that is fresh mint you see above, and yes, this is a recent photo. Children’s Garden already has mint for you at Ballard Farmers Market, so why not muddle a julep or three for, um, well, spring. Yeah, that sounds like a good enough excuse.

Rhubarb from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And rhubarb. Yes, it is also now in season. Doesn’t a little rhubarb crisp sound pretty good right about now? Stop by Stoney Plains to pick some up today, but do it early, lest it sell out. And remember, you can get the flour for your crisp from Nash’s, and the butter and whipping cream from Golden Glen Creamery.

Wheat-free Oat Bread from Pacific Coast Bakery. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pacific Coast Bakery took a little break from your Ballard Farmers Market during the dead of winter this year to upgrade its bakery. They’re back now with an expanded line, including this Wheat-Free Oat Bread. Yes, this stuff is made with oat flour, so if you are avoiding wheat, and missing bread, pick up a loaf of this stuff today.

Sunflower sprouts from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These sunflower sprouts from Alm Hill Gardens have a deliciously nutty sunflower seed flavor (okay, maybe that should be “seedy” instead of “nutty”, but who wants to eat some seedy, right?), and they are one of the most nutrient dense foods around. Oh, and rumor has it that Alm Hill may have a little of the year’s first asparagus today, but get there early if you want some.

Canned albacore tuna from Cape Cleare. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“Line caught & handled with care” is what it says on the labels for Cape Cleare Fishery’s cans of albacore tuna. And besides the fact that their tuna is delicious, the labels on their cans are beautiful works of art.

Chives, green garlic and red mustard greens from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And talk about the happy days of spring, how about this shot. Chives, green garlic and red mustard greens from Colinwood Farms. Oh, happy days indeed!

Smoked salmon wings from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here is a true delicacy — smoked salmon wings from Wilson Fish. These are the fins that are trimmed from the fish when it is being filleted, and because the fins are near the fattest part of the belly, they are incredible rich with fish oils. In other words, these suckers are like buddah.

And remember, your Ballard Farmers Market is chock full of all sorts of goodness for  your kitchen, from meat, seafood, poultry, cheese, to all sorts of fruits and veggies, baked goods, sauces, confections, fresh-cut flowers and fresh milled flours, plants for the garden, wild mushrooms, and on and on. For a fuller accounting of what you’ll find at the Market today, go to “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner.


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