Happy Fathers’ Day, folks! I like to scratch around a bit on holidays to share a little bit of their background with you, and in so doing this time, I discovered that the woman credited with founding Fathers’ Day in 1910, Sonora Dodd, originally spelled it with the apostrophe after the ‘s’, and I am honoring her by spelling it that way, too. And did you know that Fathers’ Day was founding in Spokane? Yup. While its intent was to honor fathers much like mothers had been honored, it appears it lacked the same anti-war sentiment that Mother’s Day was founded upon. Interestingly, though the holiday was first observed in 1910, it was not until 1966 that President Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring the holiday, and not until 1972 that President Nixon signed it into law as a permanent national holiday.
While not meant to be a purely commercial holiday, commercialism was used to promote it initially, though now it simply capitalizes on the holiday, and we will be no different in today’s blog post. To that end, let us let the guilt-inducing barrage of suggestions for honoring dad with goodies from your Ballard Farmers Market begin. After all, if you’re going to treat dad, why not do it with something meaningful, local and delicious, right? Like sausages from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm, for instance. These gorgeous links are made for Stokesberry by Wallingford’s Link Lab using Stokesberry’s pork. From left to right, above, you see Shiitake & Sage, Fremont Beer Bratwurst and Chipotle Tequila pork sausages. And because I care, I have tried them all, and I can report that they are all fantastic! Don’t worry that they are frozen. They will thaw quickly, so dad can grill them tonight… over fire… cuz that’s what dads do.
Dads love oysters. In fact, dads love to grill oysters. It allows them to combine eating a foraged food with cooking it over fire, much like his caveman ancestors with whom he identifies so closely, when he can get away with it. And today is his day, so let him regress a little, eh? Of course, if he’s more the whip out a shucking knife type, that’ll work, too. So stop by Hama Hama Oyster Company for a bag of their finest.
Oh, and by the way, Hama Hama has a new product just in time for dad to use on those grilled oysters: chipotle bourbon butter. Once your oysters pop open on the grill, remove the top shell and spoon on a dollop of this stuff, let it melt all over your oyster, and then pop the whole thing in your mouth. Yeah, baby! And just to do a little bragging of our own here, this blog for your Ballard Farmers Market enjoyed its 500,000th all-time visitor Saturday! Woohoo!
Dads love hot sauce. Even if they don’t. They want to believe they can down a one-ounce shot of this Three Brothers Sauce from Zane & Zack’s World Famous Honey Company without even wincing. As if. This stuff contains four of the hottest chiles on earth, each represented in the photo above by a pepper plant from their farm that later this year will produce, from left to right, Ghost, Scorpion, 7 Pot and Scotch Bonnet chiles for next year’s sauce. So get dad a bottle. Encourage him to display his manhood. Keep a bottle of milk nearby. And try not to laugh too hard.
Dads love strawberries, preferably atop a nice piece of shortcake, and covered in freshly whipped cream. And these certified organic strawberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm taste as good as they look. They actually grow these under row covers, which keeps the berries cleaner while also keeping the soil warmer, helping the berries flourish and sweeten up. And did you know that 2013 is a banner year for strawberries — one of the best in many years? They are bigger and sweeter. Enjoy!
Now, here’s a cool gift for dad: a single serving colander from Daily Bird Pottery. I swear, these guys are like Revere Ware in the 1950s. Back then, they made a kitchen gadget for any and every conceivable kitchen need. Well, check this one out. You fill it up with a serving of berries — these are from Jessie’s Berries — and then you just hold it under the kitchen faucet, or the nearest drinking fountain, and rinse the berries off. The water runs right out the bottom, along with any dirt that was on the berries. How cool is that! What will they think of next?
Dads love English shelling peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. I mean, you don’t even need to rinse these off. Just pop them open and eat the peas. Talk about the perfect veggie for dad to eat while he’s grilling dead animal parts on the Weber in the backyard, or at the park or beach. They’re sweet, crunchy and self-contained, and their packaging is easily compostable — simplicity at its best.
Dads love messy fruit that they can devour whole, and that is likely to ruin their shirt. In this case, organic apriums from ACMA Mission Orchards. Apriums were developed in the 1980s as an hybrid of apricots and plums. They are about 75% apricot and 25% plum, and as such, they are much more like apricots, not just in appearance, but it flavor and seasonality. If dad has been missing your sloppy, juicy, wipe-your-chin-with-your-sleevy local, tree-ripened stone fruitliciousness, it is time to him to rejoice!
Dads like bright, colorful things that burn a bit. Like these Shunkyo radishes from One Leaf Farm. Native to Northern China, these stunning roots have a nice bite to them this time of year, and for my money, they are the king of radishes available around here. I am known to our farmers for asking when these jewels will arrive each spring. (Okay, I’m known for a few other things, too.) If you’ve never tried these, you should give them a test drive today. You can thank me later.
Dads like other dads who remind them it is okay to be goofy and to eat sweets. For that, we have Pete Brogi, and his Pete’s Perfect Toffee. He’s got toffee, fudge and some other goodies for dad, in a variety of flavors. And he’s always got a sense of humor, even when he’s cranky. Stop by for a sample or three, and then load dad up with a little sugar. After all, it’s Fathers’ Day. He can go back on his diet tomorrow!
Dads love things that are named after them, like Daddy’s Muesli. Made in Port Townsend from a wonderful collection of ingredients, this old-world cereal recipe will make dad’s breakfast more fun, and, truth be told, it will keep him regular, too!
Dads love cole slaw with their picnics, and you can’t have the slaw without some of this lovely green cabbage from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. They just started harvesting this new crop of cabbage this past week. Bring a head home, break out the old RonCo food slicer, and get your slaw on!
Finally, dads love sharp stuff. And from a safety standpoint, sharper is better, so if dad is accident prone, sharpen his knives for Fathers’ Day. See, besides the fact that when you do cut yourself with a very sharp knife, the wound is cleaner, easier to repair, and will heal better… dull knives are much more likely to cause injury, because they will slip, slide and bounce off things that a sharp knife will cut cleanly through. And when they slip, slide and bounce, they tend to end up in dad’s hand. Ouch! So bring dad’s knives, as well as his tools, to Your Knife Sharpening Guy and get a fresh edge put on them all — for dad’s safety!
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.