Posts Tagged ‘spot prawns’

Sunday, July 15th: Spot Prawns, Bag O’ Fish, Nectarines, Kombucha, Rice Pudding & Vikings!

July 14, 2012

Courtesy Ballard Seafood Festival.

‘Tis the pillaging hour, and the Vikings are descending upon Ballard for the annual Ballard Seafood Festival this weekend, celebrating our community’s proud Scandinavian and fishing industry heritage. Of course, this does present a few challenges for you Ballard Farmers Market faithful, and here are a few tips for managing your trip to your favorite farmers market (which you should vote for right now by clicking this link):

  1. Parking will be tight all day. Carpool, bike, walk, take a cab or bus, and your stress level will be much lower.
  2. If you plan to attend Seafood Fest, bring a good cooler with you with plenty of ice. That way, you can get your groceries first, put them in your cooler, and then hit the Beer Garden for a frosty pint, some salmon and some accordion music.
  3. If you just want to get groceries and then flee, we recommend you try to get here before noon or 1 p.m., as that’s when the main party cranks up at Seafood Fest.
  4. If you just plan to attend Seafood Fest, and you stumbled onto this page courtesy of Google, come a little early and check out the best farmers market in Washington, and one of the best in the U.S.!
  5. Remember to bring your Viking helmet and your accordion!

Your Ballard Farmers Market is food only during Seafood Fest. Don’t forget to bring your bags with you. And if you are in the vicinity of the Market between 3-5 p.m., please mind the farmers’ trucks flowing in and out. We want to you survive so you can come back next week, too!

Fresh Hood Canal Spot Prawns from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo courtesy Hama Hama Oyster Company.

Spot prawns. If these words mean anything to you, you will be standing in front of Hama Hama Oyster Company’s table at 10 a.m. this morning! That’s because there was another opening for spot prawns on the Hood Canal this past week, and Hama Hama has assured us that they will make sure there are some for the good people of Ballard this time, after that bit of painful teasing they did last time. Still, “some” is a relative term, and I predict they will be gone before, if not long before, 11 a.m.!

Edible flowers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sometimes, you just need to stop and eat the flowers. And Colinwood Farms grows a whole bunch of delicious edible flowers just for that purpose. If you’ve eaten flowers before, you won’t need more convincing, but if you haven’t, stop by Colinwood and try them. They are a perfect, colorful and delicious garnish to any salad!

Green cabbage and radicchio from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether you like your round balls of greens sweet and cabbagy or bitter and red faced, Stoney Plains Organic Farm has got you covered! They’ve got beautiful, solid heads of green cabbage now, ready for slaws and krauts of all kinds. And they’ve got radicchio now, too, great in salads, sauteed with a little bacon and even grilled.

Whole coho salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s back! The world-famous Bag O’ Fish from Wilson Fish. That’s right, kids, coho salmon season has opened on the Washington coast, and Wilson Fish has it for you today, super fresh and whole, ready to fill with some herbs, lemon and olive oil or butter and flop on the grill! All for one low price. So get here early today. Supplies are limited, and the early bird gets the big fish… for the same price everyone else will be paying for the rest of them!

Arctic star nectarines from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Get that hanky ready, cuz you are gonna need it to wipe the juice off of your chin once you bite into one of these juicy, super-sweet arctic star nectarines from Tiny’s Organic Produce. You know, I do love this time of year, when I get to add three or four kinds of fruit to the fresh list every week. Like pluots, for instance. Yup, Tiny’s has flavorosa pluots now, too! This cross between plums and apricots is deeply sweet and plenty juicy, yet firm enough to travel well with you on a hike or picnic.

Pete’s Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you’ve never tried the aptly named Pete’s Perfect Toffee, I’d say Seafood Fest weekend is the perfect time to do it. Pete’s toffee and fudge are simply amazing, adding a decadent dose of sweetness to even the biggest grumpy puss. Stop by Pete’s for a sample or two to find the flavor that most pleases you!

Cauliflower from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now, that’s some spectabulous cauliflower from Oxbow Farm. It’s their first harvest of the season, and it is super dense and firm and delish! Roast it. Grill it. Salad it. Dip it. Devour it!

Golden raspberries from Billy’s Gardens. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Golden raspberries from Billy’s Gardens. You know, we usually have so few of these over the course of the summer that it just doesn’t seem necessary for me to go and wax all poetic about them. I mean, just look at them! But get here early to buy them, since now everyone will want some.

Fresh kombucha from CommuniTea. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These 250 ml. bottles of kombucha from CommuniTea are the perfect single-serving size of this effervescent, fermented, green tea pick-me-up! Just keep in mind that technically, this is an alcoholic beverage. It doesn’t have much alcohol, but it does have a little as a natural byproduct of the fermentation process, and that means you have to be 21 to buy it. I kid you not! Oh, and open container laws apply, too, I suppose. Just your luck, you’ll be slurping one of these down, and the one Seattle cop who’s into holistic living will cross your path and actually recognize what you’re drinking. Doh!

Vanilla rice pudding from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Vanilla rice pudding from Pasteria Lucchese sounds like a tasty treat you can eat while you walk through Seafood Fest, doesn’t it? Better get two, though, because it is so good, you are going to want another when you get home. Oh, and remember to bring a spoon with you today, too!

BYOB = Bring Your Own Bag!

Finally, another reminder to please bring your own bags today, and 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.

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.

Sunday, April 29th: Spot Prawns, Cauliflower, Squash Blossoms, Rhubarb & We Kindly Welcome One Leaf Farm!

April 28, 2012

Fresh Hood Canal Spot Prawns from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo courtesy Hama Hama Oyster Company.

These Spot Prawns, caught on Friday by Hama Hama Oyster Company in Hood Canal, are, for my money, the sweetest, most delicious shrimp on earth! Huh? Wait! Are they shrimp or are they prawns? Well, they are shrimp, folks, despite their name. And there is a biological difference. That said, for our purposes, who really cares, am I right? These beauties are spectacular! And that red color is the color they are when they are alive. Seriously. Most shrimp are grey or brown and turn a brilliant pink or red when they are cooked. Spots start out that way. In fact, it is this red color in Northern Pacific shrimp that gives salmon its red colored flesh when they eat it. White king salmon is just normal king salmon with a genetic mutation that prevents it from metabolizing this pigment from the shrimp into their bodies.

Yeah, yeah… aren’t I just a wealth of information, you are thinking, but tell us more about these shrimp. Okie-dokie. Spot prawns are very sweet because they come from the frigid waters of the North Pacific — in this case, Hood Canal. They are also very delicate, so be very careful not to overcook them. If adding them to a dish, add them last, and only when everything else in the meal is ready to go. They take just a few minutes to cook, and they should have just barely lost their translucence when they’re fully cooked. They’ll be very tender, without a hint of chewiness, melting in divine sweetness on your tongue. The local spot prawn fishery is very carefully regulated, and these are from a rare one-day opening on Hood Canal. Who knows when the next opening will happen? So take advantage of this opportunity for super-fresh, local spot prawns direct from the source while you can, cuz the fact is, this is the first time in the 12-year history of your Ballard Farmers Market that we’ve ever had fresh spot prawns. Seriously.

Over-Wintered Cauliflower in the field in Sequim from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Over-wintered crops tend to be incredibly sweet and flavorful, having built up sugars and nutrients to help them survive the harsh cold, dark, wet months. This over-wintered cauliflower from Nash’s Organic Produce is dense and delicious, and it will absolutely blow you away. And hey, it’s been a few months since we’ve had fresh cauliflower at your Ballard Farmers Market, right? Enjoy it while it lasts, as this harvest will be short, and then we wait another month or two for the summer crop.

Red Dandelion Greens from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These red rib dandelion greens are stunning, aren’t they? Then again, everything grown by One Leaf Farm from Carnation tends to be stunning. Entering their second year, One Leaf kinda burst out of the gates last year at our Madrona Farmers Market, blowing us all away with the beauty and quality of their crops right from the git-go. Today, we welcome One Leaf to your Ballard Farmers Market for a few weeks in spring as we await the return of other farms, and they await the return of the Madrona market on May 18th. One Leaf will have lots of other beautiful stuff today, including pink beauty radisheskale and collard raabs, fresh sage and  parsleylettuce and much more. Stop by today and give them a big ol’ Ballard welcome!

Squash blossoms & baby squash from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

What?!? Squash blossoms? Now, we’re just screwing with you, you’re thinking. Nope! These beauties are fresh out of the greenhouses of Colinwood Farms in Port Townsend. They’ll have quite a few today, and maybe even a few baby zukes, if we’re lucky. Can’t you just taste them now, filled with local goat cheese and lightly battered and fried? Oh, yeah, baby! That’s livin’!

Asparagus from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ah, beautiful, young asparagus from Magana Farms in Sunnyside. This first asparagus of the season, in April, is the sweetest, most tender of the year. And now Magana, and four other farms have it in abundance, weeks earlier than last year, at your Ballard Farmers Market. Roast some in your oven tonight with some spring onions, and some morels, if you can find them!

Rhubarb from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how about some ruby red rhubarb to thoroughly demonstrate that spring is here to stay! Stoney Plains Organic Farm has lots of it right now, just waiting for you to make, well, all sorts of deliciousness with it. Pies and crisps, sure, but how about sauces, soups, pickles and more? Get creative with it! This is one of Washington’s premier crops, you know. We produce more than any other state.

Organic Red Onions from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We welcomed Alvarez Organic Farms back to your Ballard Farmers Market last week with lots and lots of organic asparagus. Well, they’ve got lots of other stuff, too, right now, like shallotsdried beans and chiles, and these gorgeous red onions. Stop by, say ‘hi’, and grab yourself some Yakima Valley goodness!

Fresh goat yogurt from Silver Springs Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Silver Springs Creamery is in full swing with the new year’s goat yogurt, now that the kidding season is over, and the girls are back to working hard. You know, I love visiting Silver Springs, up north of Bellingham, just miles from the Canadian border. The spring after which the farm is named is the purest in Whatcom County and runs right through the middle of the farm. And the pasture is so green and beautiful. I love how, at milking time, the goats walk themselves into the milking parlor and hop right up on their little stands to be milked. Farmer Eric Sundstrom and his two children just need to be there to milk them. Try some of their goat milk, yogurt or cheese today. You’ll taste healthy pastures and happy goats, and you’ll be healthy and happy, too!

Over-Wintered Beets from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish off this week’s epistle with some over-wintered beets from Alm Hill Gardens, just down the road a piece from Silver Springs in Whatcom County. You can tell these tasty roots are over-wintered just by looking at them. The roots are big, while the leaves are little. That’s because the leaves froze off a couple of times over the winter, and they’ve only just grown back a little. That makes the roots oh, so sweet, and the leaves oh, so tender! You know, Sarah Palin may be able to see Russian from her back door, but from Alm Hill, they can see Canada! So cruise on by for some of these yummy beets, maybe some tulips, and all their other goodies that come from so far north that, if they were any farther north, they’d need a passport to come to your Ballard Farmers Market!

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.


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