Hey kids! It’s time for Chanukgiving, or Thanksnukah, or whatever you call it in the extremely rare instance when Chanukah and Thanksgiving happen simultaneously. But whatever you choose to call it, one thing is certain, it is time to eat local, and eat lots of it! Woohoo!!! Of course, your Ballard Farmers Market has you covered from every angle, with the possible exception of fresh turkeys. (Let’s face it. If you still haven’t arranged for your pasture-raised, local turkey, you have no one to blame but the turkey looking back at you in the mirror. But I digress.) We do have everything else you’ll need, and I do mean everything. We even have cooking oil, butter and salt! (That’s right, boys and girls. This week, we’ve added San Juan Island Sea Salt to our vendor lineup, with local salt!) And today, we’ve even got an Eat Local For Thanksgiving cooking demonstration at noon with Chef Jason Stoneburner of Bastille and Stoneburner to give you great ideas for holiday side dishes. Jason’s menus are built around what he can get from the vendors at your Ballard Farmers Market. Indeed, each Sunday, you can watch dolly after dolly of localiciousness being transferred from our vendors to his kitchens. So he knows a little bit about eating local. Come get a tip or two from him today. (Last week, for instance, Chef Dustin Ronspies from Art of the Table taught us that that a pinch of sugar enhances the savory flavors in savory dishes, and a pinch of salt enhances the sweet flavors in sweet dishes.)
Okay, let’s get down to seriously delicious business here. There are over 20 photos this week, so I am going to make my descriptions briefer than usual, but really, the photos speak for themselves. They say, “we are stocked to the gills with great, local ingredients to make your holiday table complete, and render a visit to a Big Box story unnecessary.” Like these local sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Oh, and Lyall has apples and onions, too!
Make your own cranberry sauce this year with fresh cranberries from Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm. Last Sunday, Chef Dustin made some in less than an hour, under a tent in the middle of Ballard Ave, with a strong, cold wind at his side, so you can do it at home. He cooked down the cranberries, then added some apple, a little sugar, some orange zest and orange juice, and a pinch of salt. Simple. Delicious.
How’s about some winter squash from Growing Things Farm? Yeah, baby. Of course, I am also having one of their pasture-raised chickens for my holiday feast. Because no law requires me to have a turkey. (Something to think about, if you haven’t gotten a turkey yet, and you don’t need to feed an army.)
You’ll need spuds, and few potatoes are better for making perfect mashed potatoes than these Viking Purple potatoes from Olsen Farms. They are bright white inside, and they have an amazing texture that takes well to mashing. Pick up butter from Golden Glen Creamery (see below) and some milk from Twin Oaks Creamery or Sea Breeze Farm to round out your mashers, or add some parsnip and celery root for something really spectacular.
These beauties are Purple Goddess pears from Jerzy Boyz Farm from Chelan. And who doesn’t need a beautiful pear, anytime of year?
Garlic. You will need it for stuffing, for seasoning your bird, for adding to your greens, for lots of stuff. Jarvis Family Garlic Farm has you covered with this Korean red garlic, and several other varieties that vary in flavor and intensity.
I, for one, enjoys me some oyster stuffing, and Hama Hama Oyster Company makes it easy with their freshly-shucked oysters in a variety of sizes. And if you are looking for great appetizers, try their pickled and smoked oysters, too!
If you aren’t a lover of Brussels sprouts from Nash’s Organic Produce, I can only assume you haven’t ever had them prepared properly. Try sautéing them with Alvarez shallots and Sea Breeze bacon. First, you brown the bacon whilst rendering out its fat, and you caramelize the shallots, and then you toss in the sprouts, cut in halves, or in quarters for the bigger ones, and cook them until they get bright green and just a bit tender. Then deglaze the pan with a nice white wine, cooking off the alcohol while the wine combines with the bacon and shallot bits in the pan, and then the sprouts absorb all that deliciousness as they get tender. Boom. You now love Brussels sprouts.
These are wild black truffles from Washington, brought to you by Foraged & Found Edibles. Add some to your mashed potatoes, or toss them with some Pasteria Lucchese pappardelle and Golden Glen butter for a nice side dish! They also have yellowfoot chanterelle mushrooms and hedgehog mushrooms, which are a great addition to stuffing!
Speaking of stuffing, if you get here early enough, you might get some of these seasoned croutons from Grateful Bread Baking. They make for amazing stuffing. Just add some Sea Breeze stock, onions, garlic, celery, and whatever else suits your fancy, and bake. If you miss out on these croutons, you can easily make your own with one of their wonderful loaves of bread.
And here is that aforementioned farmstead butter from Golden Glen Creamery in Bow. You can get it salted and unsalted, or with any of a number of sweet and savory flavorings. And let’s face it. You will need lots of butter. Why not make it local, too?!
Sure, One Leaf Farm has lots of deliciousness right now, from parsnips to kale to cauliflower to winter squash, and even a little parsley root. But they also have these gorgeous onions, and you know you will need some onions this week!
And speaking of wine, Lopez Island Vineyards has a great selection of award-winning whites and reds, with one perfect for you. Best of all, they will be sampling their wines today, so you can try it before you buy it, and find the ones you like best!
How about cooking up a nice mix of braising greens from Colinwood Farm? All you need to do is add oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and you are good to go! Talk about making life easier on Thursday.
This is the last week for Booth Canyon Orchard for 2013 at your Ballard Farmers Market. So grab yourself a box of these D’Anjou pears, store them in a nice, cool, dark place, and you can enjoy them for weeks to come.
And for Chanukah, perhaps you’d like a nice beef brisket. Well, I don’t have a photo of Skagit River Ranch‘s brisket, but I guess, if you look real close, you can see the brisket on their cattle above, enjoying the good life on Skagit River Ranch’s lush pastures up in Sedro-Woolley. Oh, and that is Farmer George in the background, moooving the herd.
Did I not say we even have cooking oil for you? This is camelina oil from Ole World Oils of Ritzville. Camelina is an ancient member of the mustard family, and its seeds make for great oil. It holds up to high heat, it is non-GMO, and it is high in beneficial omega-fatty acids! So now, you can say your cooking oil is farm fresh, too.
Looking for something sweet to finish off your meal, or perhaps something to start your day? Stop by Little Prague European Bakery, say hi to Marie, and pick up some of her delicious pastries. Thinking you want them on Thursday morning to enjoy while you watch the parade, but think they won’t keep? Ask Marie about how to properly store them until them, and how to refresh them when you are ready to eat them. Then, the only worry you’ll have is keeping yourself from eating them all before Thursday morning. Hmm. On second thought, you’d better buy extras!
These red sunchokes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm were introduced to the earliest European colonists by East Coast Indians. A member of the sunflower family, they are native to North America, and a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving, as we remember that those Indians welcomed and fed those colonists, in spite of what they ultimately represented. Sunchokes are great roasted, you can make soup with them, you can mash them like potatoes, and one of my favorite ways to enjoy them is by steaming 1/4″ to 1/2″ chunks until just fork tender, then browning them in butter and seasoning them with salt and pepper, and perhaps a little thyme, like good home fries.
You’ve got enough to do to prepare for the big feast this week. Why not leave the pie baking to Deborah’s Homemade Pies? She has these amazing pumpkin pies, as well as a great selection of apple, berry and even pecan pies, and let’s face it… most of us cannot bake a pie like Deborah can, so why not cut ourselves a break and have better pie this year?
Soda Jerk Sodas has new flavors for the season, like Cranberry-Tangerine (left) and Apple Pie (right). Why not pick up a growler or two for this week? And while you’re at it, if you loves you so fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Sodas, consider supporting their Kickstarter campaign today. It ends Monday (tomorrow), and they just have a little ways left to go to meet their goal, so click over now and contribute to the cause of their Mobile Soda Truck.
And last, but most assuredly not least, now is a great time to get your knives sharpened, so that dull carving knife doesn’t bounce off of your turkey on Thursday, resulting in either humiliation or serious injury, or both! Remember, sharp knives save fingers. Well, Andrew, Your Knife Sharpening Guy, will be here all day, sharpening your dullest slicing equipment, so bring your knives down, drop them off before you start shopping, and pick them up when you’re done! Or, if you’re in a rush, leave them with Andrew, and pick them up from him in Green Lake during the week, or arrange for delivery.
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.