Posts Tagged ‘charcuterie’

Sunday, December 30th: Everything You Need For A Perfect New Year’s Eve Par-tay!

December 30, 2012
Wines from Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wines from Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy New Year, good people of Ballard! 2013. Can you believe it? We weren’t even supposed to be here now. Good thing the Mayans are smarter than us. Well, tomorrow night, we’re gonna party like it’s 1999. Um, well, never mind. If I recall, that was about the lamest New Year’s Eve party in Seattle — maybe anywhere — ever. It was a month after WTO, some guy had just tried to smuggle explosives in from Canada on a ferry to Port Angeles, and then Mayor Paul Schell, scaredie pants that he was (not to mention his inability to manage public safety in this town), cancelled Seattle’s millennium celebration. We were the laughing stock of the world. After Seattle’s finest kicked us out of Seattle Center at 6:30 p.m., we were, err, “treated” to three minutes of fireworks “magic” from the Space Needle that amounted to one enormous pffft, and people by the thousands were heard chanting disparaging things against the mayor all over the city, followed by the mayor failing to even make it through the primary in September — the first since the 1930s. I can still remember the Tonight Show making fun of Seattle, showing big parties all over the world, and then Seattle, with three old guys sitting around in an otherwise dark, empty room in their boxers, blowing on noise makers. Then, there was the January 2nd banner headline on the front of the Sunday Seattle Times that read, “Schell: ‘I’m Not A Wuss’.” Oy. (BTW, these are lovely wines from Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery.)

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

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

Of course, back then, we also expected the world to come to an end. Our electric grid would screech to a halt come the turning of the calendar to the year 2000, and all of our computers would burst into flames. We all filled our bathtubs with water before going out to party that night, and we all had plenty of ready-to-eat canned food, bottled drinking water, first aid kits and gas masks. Mind you, I think most of us got the gas masks more in response to the WTO being in town than the threat of Y2K meltdowns, but in any case, we all woke up the next morning with throbbing heads, tubs full of tepid water, and plenty of regularly scheduled bowl games on perfectly functioning televisions. We all felt more than a little silly, because unlike this year’s Mayan calendar mania, in 1999, a lot of us really expected the new year to greet us with calamity. Humans is such stupid animals. (Mmm. Tasty head cheese from Sea Breeze Farm.)

Bloody Mary Mix from Zane & Zack's World Famous Honey Co. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bloody Mary Mix from Zane & Zack’s World Famous Honey Co. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know, your Ballard Farmers Market was born in the year 2000. It was that summer that the farmers left the Fremont Sunday Market, back when Fremont was being completely redeveloped, and set up shop in the parking lot of the U.S. Bank at 56th & 22nd, now, the location of the Ballard branch of the Seattle Public Library. And this time 12 years ago, we were in the midst of a grand experiment — the city’s first year-round neighborhood farmers market. The winter of 2000-2001 was miserable, wet and cold, and many Sundays saw just our Market Master, Judy, and Anselmos Farm out there, sticking it out for a very loyal core of Ballard customers. (Bloody Mary mix and pho sauce from Zane & Zack’s World Famous Honey Co.)

Pickled salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickled salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hard to believe that what we see every Sunday on Ballard Ave now had such humble beginnings, but there it is. So perhaps we should wish you into the new year with this thought: start small, but dream big, because you can make it happen. A handful of people dreamed of a great market in Ballard, and today, Ballard Farmers Market is the highest sales volume market in the state, world renowned, and one of Seattle’s top tourist destinations. In 1998, the Ballard Chamber of Commerce said it wanted a Sunday farmers market, because the neighborhood was empty on Sundays. Ballard Ave was loaded with empty storefronts. While the rest of Seattle boomed, it seemed Ballard had gone bust. Today, it is challenging to find parking in Ballard on Sunday, Ballard Ave has blossomed with dozens of new businesses, many of which were lured to the neighborhood by the success of Ballard Farmers Market. The neighborhood is perhaps the strongest in the city, and Seattle’s finest chefs fight for locations near Seattle’s finest farmers market. And your Ballard Farmers Market could not be more proud. (Pickled keta salmon from Loki Fish.)

Fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Soda. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Soda. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

So we’ve got plenty to celebrate. Let’s party like we’re happy, folks, not like we’re expecting the end of days. Your Ballard Farmers Market has everything you need to make for a great party… well, except for fireworks. But for that, you still have the Space Needle. I know you’ve been riveted by every word I’ve written here so far, but please take the time to notice all the delicious photos above and below of all sorts of wonderful, local goodness that’ll help you ring in the new year in style, while supporting good, local, living-wage jobs, and in so doing, will help continue to build Ballard’s robust economy. Like these fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Soda Company. And did you know that these fresh sodas, made with great, local ingredients, are available for you to take home in half-gallon growlers, for you to serve to the designated drivers and minors at your whoopdeedoo, or, if you desire, for you to mix with an adult beverage of your choice.

Delicious handmade caramels from Jonboy Caramels. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Delicious handmade caramels from Jonboy Caramels. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Of course, we’ve got local wine (up top), superb charcuteriemixerspickled salmon and sweets! Like these irresistible caramels from Jonboy Caramels. Made right here in Ballard from local ingredients, these are some of the finest caramels you will find anywhere, and they will make your guests very happy.

Raw & vegan snacks from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Raw & vegan snacks from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll need crackery and snacky things for munching, crunching and dipping, and why not make them raw and vegan while your at it, so none of your more high maintenance guests will complain. Visit our own House of the Sun, also born right here in Ballard, for these amazing crackers and kale chips, as well as some great hummus, too. They please any palate, vegan or not!

Eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eggs? What do eggs have to do with a New Year’s Eve party, you ask? Simple. Two words: deviled eggs. Yeah, baby. I mean, I suppose they could symbolize fertility — the birth of a new year ripe with new opportunities — but seriously… deviled eggs are like garlic — there is no such thing as too much. Am I right? That said, you may also want to have eggs for breakfast the next afternoon, too. Stop by Stokesberry Sustainable Farm for some of these beautiful, pastured eggs from happy chickens down in Olympia. (If those chickens only new what else happens down there, they might not be so happy.)

Pickled Golden Beets from Gaia's Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickled Golden Beets from Gaia’s Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is hard to have too many pickles, either. They make every gathering more delicious. Have you checked out the newly expanded selection of pickliciousness from Gaia’s Natural Goods lately? They are making pickles, like these pickled golden beets, from produce they grow on their own farm! Not only tasty, they are good for you, too, but don’t let that discourage you from enjoying them on New Year’s Eve.

A variety of soups by Got Soup? Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A variety of soups by Got Soup? Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether you want to impress your guests with an elegant Crab Bisque, or settle in for a day of watching football in your jammies on New Year’s Day with some Curried Cauliflower, Got Soup? makes it easy. They’ve got a great lineup of locally-produced gourmet soups made with ingredients from Market vendors, conveniently packaged in frozen quart containers. All you do is take ’em home, heat ’em up, and lie to everyone else about how long you spent slaving over a hot stove recreating it from your grandmother’s long lost recipe.

Oysters on the half-shell, on the beach at Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo courtesy Hama Hama Oyster Company.

Oysters on the half-shell, on the beach at Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo courtesy Hama Hama Oyster Company.

Nothing makes a party a party like fresh oysters on the half shell from Hama Hama Oyster Company, the oyster company so nice they named it twice. They’re delicious. They’re an aphrodisiac. Heck, they’re even loaded with zinc, to help you ward off, or fight off, that nasty cold that’s been going around. And they’ve got pickled and smoked oysters, too, plus shucked jar oysters.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll need crusty, artisan breads to soak up the party juice tomorrow night. Plus, it makes a great foundation for cheese, smoked salmon, hummus, what have you. Check in with Ballard’s own Tall Grass Bakery for breads like their Pain au Levain (left), Baker Street Sourdough, and Avery’s Pumpernickel. And did you know that Tall Grass got its start with us over in Fremont in the late 1990s, using other bakeries’ kitchens at first, before growing in the storefront you see today on 24th Ave?

Peanut brittle from Pete's Perfect Butter Toffee. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

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

Speaking of sweets, nobody makes them better than Pete’s Perfect Toffee. Stop by for a sample, then load up on toffeefudge or some of this peanut butter brittle. Just make sure you get enough for everyone at your party, so no fights break out. Heck, just stash it in your closest and eat it all yourself on New Year’s Day!

Smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ooh. Smoked salmon. Local smoked salmon from Wilson Fish, in fact. They catch their fish off the coast of Washington. And you’d be hard-pressed to find better smoked salmon anywhere. Just get here early to get yours, because last week, they were sold out before noon! It’s that good!

Honey Crisp Apple Cider from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Honey Crisp Apple Cider from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rockridge Orchards bottles a variety of sweet apple ciders, great anytime, but also perfect as a mixer, or for your designated drivers and minors, at your New Year’s Eve party. Of course, keep in mind that they have plenty of the high-octane stuff, too — hard ciders and berry wines — to please you and your guests!

Samish Bay Cheese makes a variety of delicious farmstead cheeses. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Samish Bay Cheese makes a variety of delicious farmstead cheeses. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Blessed are the cheese makers. And you will need cheese tomorrow night. If you haven’t tried the incredible selection of artisan, farmstead cheeses made by Samish Bay Cheese, you are missing something special. Several are award winners from the American Cheese Society, and they are quite unique styles of cheese here in the Northwest. Stop by and sample some today, even if you think you remember them from before. Because they’re not making gouda anymore, folks. This stuff is in an entirely different league!

Please be safe out there tomorrow night, have a great time, and please don’t drink and drive. We want to see you back here again next Sunday.

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.

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, 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, January 31st: Fungi, Soapy, Fishy, Fruity, Leafy, Smoky & Spicy Goodness

January 31, 2010

Yellow foot chanterelle mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This has been the warmest January ever recorded in Seattle, and that means, among other things, that this has been a rockin’ year for local wild mushrooms from the good folks at Foraged & Found Edibles. Check out these gorgeous yellow foot chanterelle mushrooms. They’ve also had a healthy supply of black trumpet and hedgehog mushrooms lately, too.

Braised greens from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Full Circle Farm’s availability of various greens keeps getting better every week. Above, you can see bags of braising greens from red chard (upper left), to green chard (upper center & right), to red kale (lower center), tomixed braising greens that include red & green chard and red & green kale.  They also still have baby bok choyrapini greens, and much more.

Fresh Washington true cod from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been able to enjoy fresh true cod from the Washington coast from Wilson Fish. Another one of the many benefits of El Nino we are enjoying this January seems to be that the waters off the coast of Washington have been much calmer than usual, meaning Wilson Fish can actually get out to catch some of the other wonderful fish other than salmon and halibut out there, like true cod, rockfish, sablefish, etc. This true cod is moist and mildly flavorful, just waiting for you to apply a nice spicy coating of breading for a lovely pan fry.

Just a sampling of the many varieties of paprika from Some Like It Hott! Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of adding some spice, how about some paprika from Some Like It Hott! Above, you will see just five of the many varieties of paprikas they have to offer. They grow, dry and smoke their chili peppers on their farm in Port Townsend, and you can purchase them by vintage — yes, the peppers vary from year-to-year. I enjoyed some of the alder smoked pimiento desplelete paprika mixed in with the breading of the true cod from Wilson Fish I fried this past week. Yum!

Handmade soups from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Michaele Blakely of Growing Things Farm is first and foremost a farmer. So some may wonder why she has soap on her tables at Ballard Farmers Market. The simple answer is that her handmade soaps are themselves a farm product. Indeed, soap making is a time-honored farmstead craft. Blakely makes her soaps from the rendered beef tallow and lard of animals she raises herself. She is one of those renaissance farmers who does it all, from raising livestock and egg-laying hens to growing row crops to making jams and soap. You shop at Ballard Farmers Market to know where your food comes from, right? Why not include your soap in that equation?

This tough little beauties come to us from Phocas Farm, in Port Angeles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Warmer and dryer, or not, it is a great time to plant succulents. And lucky for us, Phocas Farms, from Port Angeles, returns to the Market today with its many dozens of varieties of these lovely, colorful and draught tolerant plants. Plant them now, when at least it is raining regularly, if not a lot, and they’ll be all set for a long summer of your neglecting them.

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

Still lots of great fruit available at your Ballard Farmers Market, like these honey crisp apples from Collins Family Orchards. Collins still has several varieties of apples and pears for you to enjoy.

A beautiful case of meat and charcuterie from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now that is a gorgeous display of meat, isn’t it? From fresh pork and lamb to sausages, pâtés, rillettes, porchetta, pancetta and more, Sea Breeze Farm offers up some of the finest meat you’ll find around here. See that pork shoulder steak on the left? I enjoyed that simply grilled over natural charcoal with olive oil, Celtic sea salt and fresh ground pepper this past week.  Need I say more?

Remember, your Ballard Farmers Market is chock full of all sorts of goodness for your kitchen and beyond. 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, November 8th: Brussels Sprouts, Cool Mushrooms, Lovely Pasta & Some Fine Meat

November 8, 2009

Fresh Brussels sprouts from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When it comes to Brussels sprouts, I’m with Ciscoe Morris. I love ’em! Just look at these beauties from Sidhu Farms. Boistfort Valley and Nash’s have them now, too. My favorite way to prepare them is to sauté them with some Sea Breeze pancetta and some shallots from any number of Ballard Farmers Market vendors until they get bright green and begin to soften. Then I hit the pan with some white wine to deglaze all the yummy porkaliciousness, and to give the sprouts a quick steam and a lot of extra flavor.

So add that to your Eat Local For Thanksgiving recipe list, eh? And if you have a recipe to share, just use the comment form to send it our way, and we’ll post it, credited to you, in our recipe section.

Lomo (left), pancetta and shoulder bacon from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of pancetta, how about all this magnificent pigrificness from Sea Breeze. The aforementioned pancetta is in the middle, flanked by some lomo and a bit of shoulder bacon that we Irish would simply call rashers. Do you realize that there are still people who shop at, gasp, grocery stores? Poor saps.

Gorgeous shallots from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And here are some of those aforementioned shallots — these from Children’s Garden. Shallots are as pretty to look at as they are delicious to cook with, don’t you think?

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

Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms are spuds fit for our Ballardite ancestors’ fiercest warriors. These beauties steam up perfectly, then mash delicately. Their flesh is snow white, providing the perfect canvas for some of that naturally yellow butter from Golden Glen. (Sorry. I just noticed I was drooling on the keyboard.)

Saffron milkcap mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Under the heading of wicked-cool looking ‘shrooms are these wild saffron milkcap mushrooms, brought to us by the fine folks at Foraged & Found Edibles. Don’t know how long they’ll have them, but I must get a recipe for them. Christina?

Some serious daikon radishes from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When many other farms are winding down their harvests, Nash’s Organic Produce is usually just hitting its stride. Check out these daikon radishes they just began to harvest. They’re huge and, well, perfect.

Handmade pasta from Ballard's own Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you tried some of the pasta from Pasteria Lucchese? I love this stuff. It is handmade and frozen fresh. Straight from freezer to boiling water, it takes just a couple of minutes to cook. Then toss it with whatever moves you. It is toothsome and delicious with magical elasticity. I love tossing the squid ink tagliatelle (lower right, above) with shrimp, maybe some peas, garlic and red pepper flakes, and a little olive oil and freshly grated parm. Yeah, baby.

Live geoduck from Taylor Shellfish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I heart geoduck from Taylor Shellfish. Plus, it makes people blush.

Herbal pet goodies from Moosedreams Lavender Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

As you begin the process of scouring the Market for great gift ideas for the holidays, don’t forget your furry friends. Moosedreams Lavender Farm has all sorts of herbal pet goodness for that special Felix or Fido in your life.

Handcrafted wreathes from Essence From My Garden. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Linda Bones of Essence From My Garden, from Edgewood, handcrafts these beautiful wreathes from what grows in her back 40. Just imagine how one of these will brighten up your home with some old world charm for the holidays.

Four Seasons Gourmet. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, welcome Four Seasons Gourmet, with its raspberry-infused vinegar, to Ballard Farmers Market. Rest assured: the raspberries are local.

Don’t forget, we have cooking demonstrations coming up on Nov. 15th and 22nd. Check the schedule in the upper right-hand corner for details. And you’ll also find the “What’s Fresh Now!” menu there, which will give you a full accounting of what’s at the Ballard Farmers Market today.