Posts Tagged ‘books’

Sunday, December 7th: Ballard-Made Cookware, Seattle’s Oldest Winery, Beautifully Bound Journals, The Best Canned Tuna Ever & Crepes!

December 6, 2014
Forged iron cookware from BluSkillet at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Forged iron cookware from BluSkillet at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

What do local food, local art and your Ballard Farmers Market all have in common with this photo? Only the best gift ever for the cook in your life! These hand-forged iron skillets made by Blu Skillet Ironware are beautiful, cook foods perfectly, can go from stovetop to oven to grill to campfire, and are made right here in Ballard! And while they will go toe-to-toe with the finest cookware available anywhere, and they are so special that they were recently featured in the Wall Street Journal, they are made for you, the good people of Ballard, because that’s just how they roll. I’ve used one of these every day for over a year, and I love it. And so will you and yours!

Refillable bottles (left) from Wilridge Winery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Refillable bottles (left) from Wilridge Winery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

How do you keep the good times rolling this holiday season while minding your impact on the environment, saving money, and supporting the oldest winery in Seattle? Why, with these refillable 1.5 liter bottles of wine from Wilridge Winery, that’s how! Available in three different varietals, these are good, sturdy table wines that will keep you and your guests happy, and you can get them right here today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

As colorful as any holiday lights, these cans of albacore tuna from Fishing Vessel St. Jude are quite simply the best canned tuna you will ever taste. They come in many different flavors, but more importantly, they contain the young, North Pacific albacore caught by St. Jude — low in heavy metals and high is beneficial omega-fatty acids. Don’t pour off the liquid in the can, like you do with that corporate canned tuna from the Big Box stores. St. Jude doesn’t add any water. That liquid is the natural juices of the tuna itself, or in other words, it’s pure flavor. Oh, and canned tuna from St. Jude makes for great stocking stuffers!

A savory breakfast crepe from La Crespella at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy La Crespella.

A savory breakfast crepe from La Crespella at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy La Crespella.

Our buddies Samuele & Sara Lucchese, the culinary geniuses behind Pasteria Lucchese, are branching out! Starting today, they will be offering fresh sweet and savory crepes at your Ballard Farmers Market. Look for La Crespella for fresh, delicious, creative crepes made with Market-fresh ingredients!

Handmade leather bound journals from No Boundaries at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Handmade leather bound journals from No Boundaries at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

These beautiful, handmade, leather-bound journals from No Boundaries Books are each unique. They are made in Seattle, feature hand-stitched domestic leathers and 100 sheets of recycled cotton paper sourced from India. The leathers, their colors, and the paper itself varies from book to book, so no two are the same. Some come with gorgeous stone clasps, and they are available in a variety of sizes. They will allow you and yours to preserve memories in a wonderfully memorable package!

Ozette potatoes from Alvarez Organic Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Ozette potatoes from Alvarez Organic Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This could be the last week for our friends from Alvarez Organic Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market until the asparagus starts popping out of the ground next spring. So load up on onionsgarlicdried peppers and beanspepper wreaths and these Ozette potatoes today, while you can. And remember, garlic, onions and potatoes make great stocking stuffers, too!

Seasonal gluten-free deliciousness from nuflours at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Seasonal gluten-free deliciousness from nuflours at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

‘Tis the season for gluten-free holiday treats from nuflours gluten-free bakery. Flavors from peppermint to cranberries, to delightful cookies and festive cakes and brownies, nuflours will make your holidays that much more bright, especially if your diet requires you to avoid wheat products.

Reishi mushroom concentrate from Ascended Grounds at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Reishi mushroom concentrate from Ascended Grounds at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Ascended Grounds makes a lovely variety of concoctions out of medicinal mushrooms, from teas to coffee infusions to chocolates, and more. They will boost your immune system during the cold, dark, wet months. And what better gift can you give than the gift of good health?

One-ounce recycled gold coin from Itali Lambertini at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Itali Lambertini.

One-ounce recycled gold coin from Itali Lambertini at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Itali Lambertini.

Itali Lambertini makes stunning gold jewelry in Port Townsend using recycled gold. That means no war, no corrupt mining rights and no sooner-or-later environmental catastrophe is necessary. But maybe you are just looking for a gift for a youngster that they can hold onto as an investment or an heirloom. Consider one of these one-ounce recycled gold coins. They are individually minted by Itali Lambertini, and they are pure gold without any government bank involved. Save the salmon in Bristol Bay. Save your drinking water. Save a mountain in North Central Washington. And invest in the future of our youth, both in coin form and by treading lightly on the planet they will also inherit from us.

Growlers and growler coolers from Soda Jerk Fresh Soda at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Growlers and growler coolers from Soda Jerk Fresh Soda at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget to make provisions for the designated drivers and the kiddos attending your holiday parties. Pick up a couple of growlers of fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Soda right here at your Ballard Farmers Market! And right now, when you purchase a growler, they will throw in an insulated shoulder bag for a special price! These bags allow you to carry your growler in comfort, keeping your hands free for additional shopping and to carry other bags. And don’t forget their soda syrups! Both the syrups and the sodas make for great mixers!

Carolina models a beautiful garlic braid from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Carolina models a beautiful garlic braid from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful and delicious. Well, I was talking about the garlic braids, but I guess that statement covers Kirsop Farm’s Carolina, too! But back to the braids… they make for a nice, natural decoration for your home from which you will be able to harvest heads of garlic for months to come. And, as if it really needs saying… they make a great gift!

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.

August 30th: Yes We Can!

August 30, 2009
Jars packed with vegetables, ready for pickling. Photo copyright 2005 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jars packed with vegetables, ready for pickling. Photo copyright 2005 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yes, I can. Well, pickle, actually. Above is an image of my pickling prep from 2005. Every year, I pickle between 70-100 jars of vegetables, from cukes to cherry peppers to okra, and more. I trade them, I gift them, I am always ready for potlucks, and I just plain eat them. I share this with you to remind you that right now, during the most abundant season of the year at Ballard Farmers Market, is the best time for you to be thinking about January. I know you don’t want to, but when January comes, and you realize you no longer have access to summer’s bounty, you will wish you had been thinking about January in summer.

This weekend – August 29 & 30 — marks an inaugural nationwide event called Can Across America. The idea is to encourage Americans to preserve food for their families now, with ingredients they know and trust, so they can enjoy them all winter. The event will have local activities, including workshops to teach the public the science and technique behind safe and easy canning. Check their blog for more information.

Fresh okra from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh okra from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I love pickled okra, though it’s great fried, in gumbo, stir-fried with shrimp and in stews. Okra is becoming more and more available here these days. At Ballard Farmers Market, you can find it from Ayala Farms and Alvarez Organic Farms (pictured above).

Red and green Kalle pears from ACMA. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red and green Kalle pears from ACMA. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Food preservation is not all about canning, though. Sure, you can can these pears from ACMA, but you can also dry them, sauce them, and some pear varieties also store well, if you do it right. Learn about pear varieties from the farmers at the Ballard Farmers Market, or look up info online. Find out which store well, dry well, sauce well, etc., and learn the best methods for doing these. Me, I get Macintosh apples from a farmer friend each fall and make apple sauce which I freeze, though you can always can it for shelf storage, and I dry pears and Italian prunes.

Shelling beans from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shelling beans from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Remember that while Ballard Farmers Market runs year round, peak season does not, so we encourage you to preserve foods now. Stocking up on storage crops, and preserving foods now will help you enjoy the Market’s peak season goodness well through the dark, wet months. For instance, these shelling beans from Alm Hill Gardens, above, are great fresh right now, but you can also shell them, wash them and freeze them for use in the winter. While I have been told to blanch them before freezing, I didn’t last year, and they kept just fine. I froze them in one-pint freezer bags, and then put several pint bags inside a gallon freezer bag for extra protection. A pint of beans is a standard portion you’d find in a grocery store in a can or bag. Then, when I am ready to use them, I drop them in boiling water, let them return to boiling, and then turn the heat down to let them simmer for another 15-20 minutes, or until desired tenderness.

Sweet corn from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet corn from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet corn, like this corn from Stoney Plains, can also be preserved easily through freezing. As soon as you get it home, husk and de-hair the corn, and then cut the kernels from the cob over a large, preferably rimmed, cutting board, holding the cob point-end down, and put the kernels into one-pint freezer bags. Usually two ears will fill one pint bag. Then place several pints into a one gallon bag. Later, cook like you would any frozen sweet corn, only this will taste better, will save you money, and you will know where it came from.

Desiree potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Desiree potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Many crops store well, like these Desiree potatoes from Olsen Farms. However, if you plan to store a lot of them, you may wish to place a special order with the farm, and ask them to deliver them “dirty”. Leaving some dirt on the potatoes can help to preserve them better. Of course, you can store crops like potatoes, onions, shallots, garlic, etc., in a cool, dark, dry place for months. However, it is important again to be sure you are picking long-storage varieties. Many fingerling potato varieties, and all sweet onions, have short storage lives, and hard-neck garlic tends to store for two months, while soft-neck varieties can last four or five months. Again, ask your farmer, or the interweb. Become a knowledgeable eater.

Detroit and chiogga beets from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Detroit and chiogga beets from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Root crops, like carrotsturnipsrutabagas, and these beets from Boistfort Valley Farm, store very well, too. Sure, you can can and pickle them, and they keep well in the fridge, but you can also store them in a root cellar or similar very cool, dark, mostly, but not completely dry place for months.

Farmer George from Skagit River Ranch talks through his cuts of meat. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Farmer George from Skagit River Ranch talks through his cuts of meat. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget the animal protein. Meat from Skagit River Ranch comes to Market frozen, meaning you can simply take it home and pop it back in the freezer for use days, weeks or months from now, whenever you are in the mood for it. Skagit River Ranch freezes its meat immediately after butchering, to preserve its freshness, so you know you won’t get better quality elsewhere. And while you may not think it stew or roast season now, it will be in short order. Other farms with frozen meats include Quilceda, Olsen, Stokesberry, and Samish Bay.

Freshly harvested and flash-frozen chickens from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Freshly harvested and flash-frozen chickens from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things has frozen fresh chickens, too. These are incredible tasting birds that will make you wonder why you ever bought a grocery store chicken in the first place, and will keep you from doing so again. Buy a few now, so you have them for winter.

I do recommend that, with any frozen meat, seafood or poultry, you put another freezer bag around them to maximize protection in the freezer, and make sure your freezer is working properly. If you have a sick, old freezer, maybe now is the time to retire it and avail yourself of the President’s new “cash for clunkers” appliance campaign. A new, energy efficient fridge or freezer will not only save you a pant-load of money on electricity and reduce greenhouse gasses, it will also preserve your food much better, saving you even more money by preventing premature spoilage. When I got my new fridge, it was amazing to watch my City Light bill go down dramatically. If your fridge or freezer was built before 2001, get a new one. You will thank me.

Pancetta from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pancetta from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You can always leave the preservation to the farmers themselves, like with this pancetta from Sea Breeze Farm. This beautiful, dry-aged and salt-cured pancetta will keep for weeks, and will make many dishes that much more delicious.

Freshly-smoked Alaskan king salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Freshly-smoked Alaskan king salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Or how about some smoked salmon from Loki Fish (pictured above) or Wilson Fish. Vacuum-packed, it will keep in the fridge from a several weeks if unopened, or you can toss it in the freezer, and it will keep even longer.

Slinging veggie quesadillas at Patty Pan Grill. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Slinging veggie quesadillas at Patty Pan Grill. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

But it you just have to have it now, might I suggest you grab a snack from Dev at Patty Pan Grill. She uses ingredients mostly from Market farmers, you know. And she even has a couple of books she wrote for sale.

Two books by Patty's Pan's Devra Gartenstein. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Two books by Patty's Pan's Devra Gartenstein. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For a full accounting of what you will find at your Ballard Farmers Market today, to preserve or eat tonight, check the “What’s Fresh Now!” listings in the upper right-hand corner.