Posts Tagged ‘cookies’

Everything in Ballard Farmers Market is Wonderful

March 28, 2015
BFM 2015 Bergen Place Park

Opening Day for Bergen Place – Ballard Farmers Market 2015

 Ballard Farmers Market grows into Bergen Place Park.    

We are glad to have a little more space to keep more of our fine foods and craft vendors longer through the summer as the farms begin to rush into the Ballard Farmers Market with their larger harvests.  You may have noticed over the years, the market experiences a gradual loss of some of our favorite food makers and handmade crafts as we have more and bigger farm presence.  A shout-out goes to the City Department of Parks and Recreation for approving our use permit of Bergen Place.  Now we can keep more of our fine vendors working in Ballard.  You’ll see a rotating variety of vendors over the coming months, like:  Veraci Pizza!  Their famous pizza oven cooking pizzas with many locally sourced toppings, was scheduled to move into Bergen Place at Ballard Farmers Market this Sunday, but they brought the wrong size truck and can’t make it work.  I apologize to those readers who saw this False alarm last night and the earlier post this morning.  We will try to work it out for next week.

Loading pizza in the mobile oven at Veraci Pizza at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Loading pizza into the mobile oven at Veraci Pizza at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

IT’S SPRING TONIC TIME

Spring Greens from Stoney Plains Farm

and Foraged and Found 

Once upon a time, in the far distant past, mothers and crones and medicine women were the keepers of the villagers’ health.  It was from them that the secret of the Spring Tonic was imposed into the family diets and for treating illnesses in the community.  The medicine women had learned, what much later would be named by modern science as Micro-Nutrients and Vitamin C, were effective at helping people fight off the ravages of the winter weather and effects of less food for the people during the dark months.  They knew the secrets of recovery that were held within the bright green shoots emerging in the forests around them.

 MINERS LETTUCE

Fresh, tasty miner's lettuce from Stoney Plains Farm Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, tasty miner’s lettuce from Stoney Plains Farm Copyright Zachary D. Lyons

Miners Lettuce, saved many miners’  lives during the mid-1800s. Many men were taken in by the myths of “gold in them thar hills” that came out of the California Gold Rush.  These guys were gullible. They thought that within a few weeks, they could just walk around the mountains, picking up huge gold nuggets, and return home with their fortunes before their families missed them.  Consequently, many opted not to bring food supplies with them and, of course, many soon began to starve.  Luckily, the mountain ranges of the West Coast had a native plant, Claytonia profoliata, growing everywhere in the forests.  This beautiful and delicious green was packed with vitamins, most especially  “C”, and its common name, of Miners Lettuce is a testament to how many miners’ lives it was responsible for saving and how many of those silly men made it back from the wilds of the Northern California Sierras alive, if poorer.  Excellent in salads, as a beautiful garnish on any food, and used on sandwiches in place of lettuce.  The flavor is almost tart, but mild, and children love eating it fresh picked.
Both Nettles and Chickweed, endemic to fields and forest, paths and hedgerows, have also provided natural remedies for eons.  One is scary and the other is stepped on wherever you go.

 CHICKWEED

Chickweed, or Satin Flower as it was called in the early days of civilization.  From Stoney Plains Farm

Chickweed, or Satin Flower as it was called in the early days of civilization. From Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Chickweed is delicate and if soaked in cold water for an hour or four, will leach many of their healthful nutrients into the water and provide a refreshing drink to those who may have to re-hydrate from congestion or a cough from a cold.  Then use the greens in a fresh salad, on sandwiches, or as a garnish, much like you would parsley or cilantro sprigs.

STINGING NETTLES

Wild stinging nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild stinging nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The Nettles, with their prickly leaves, should be placed in a bowl of water, rinsed and drained. Best if you use a pair of tongs or a spoon so as not to touch them with your hands. Then throw them into a saute pan with mushrooms, onions and/or garlic, and eaten like any great vegetable.  Their sting disappears with the cooking, and may be responsible for a big part of the nutrition they provide.

AND THERE IS MORE !

Stop by to Welcome One Leaf Farm

Oxbow Alice. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Alice. Photo copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Our amazing weather has caused bumper crops that are popping out of the fields of our area farms like magic.  One Leaf Farm is one of those.  I got a call from Alice, formerly the beauty who was always seen behind the tables of Oxbow Farm in the past years.  Now she works with Rand Rasheed.

Rand Rasheed, Owner & Operator of One Leaf Farm from Carnation

Rand Rasheed, Owner & Operator of One Leaf Farm from Snohomish. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It seems these two powerhouse women farmers had more greens than the restaurants they normally supply could use this week.  So when they asked if they could bring One Leaf Farm greens this week, I jumped at the chance to bring them to Ballard Farmers Market.

YES!  WE HAVE EGGS!

Fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And that’s not the only treat we have this Spring. The hens love the balmy weather too.  Just about all of our egg farmers are having great egg production right now.  And they are the best, freshest, and often hugest eggs you can find without having a coop in your back yard. Perfect for Easter egg hunts and deviled egg plates on the dinner table. Don’t worry, the market has all the eggs you could ever want this year. If you have an Egg dying project coming up, be assured that you can dye the brown ones too. Not surprisingly, the colors come out more vibrant and intense than when using white eggs.  I found a fun website a few years ago with ideas for brown egg decorating.  I thought it had creative ideas.  Check it out here: http://roscommonacres.com/2012/04/how-to-decorate-brown-eggs-for-easter/

LOPEZ ISLAND WINERY’S LAST WEEK

Award winning wines from Lopez Island Vineyards. Photo copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Award winning wines from Lopez Island Vineyards. Photo copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

A consistent winner of prizes for Best-of-Category, Lopez Island Vineyards will be taking a hiatus from the Ballard Farmers Market in order to catch up with the many Spring chores that a vineyard has. Again, because of this amazing weather, the vines are requiring a lot of attention.  As so many of our farms, Brent Charnley and Maggie Nilan, are working the vineyards and running the winery almost entirely by themselves. You’re encouraged to come to market this Sunday, stock up on their very special wines and say goodbye.  If you have the time, volunteer to help out at LIV, and you could find yourself with an interesting job while you enjoy one of the most beautiful islands in the world.  Be sure to pick up enough bottles to last until they return.  Luckily wine keeps in a cool pantry or basement excellently, actually getting better.  It’s a feeling of security to have a stock of great wines, ready for that special occasion when only the best local taste will meet the standard of what you want to sip.  Try taking home their most recent winner, Malbec, their lovely Gold Winning Madeline Angevine, it won a Platinum Award, and the Siegerrebe white wine, declared “top-quality” by Wine Press Northwest.

NEED SOMETHING NEW FOR THE SPRING?

Find a one of a kind skirt to brighten up these warmer days.  Children’s sizes are also available.

Marmalade Design You can find a unique and charming skirt for the Spring festivities

Marmalade Design You can find a unique and charming skirt for the Spring festivities

THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

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Midweek Update, Thursday, November 13th: San Juan Island Sea Salt & Pinckney Cookie Cafe Return! Crabapples! Dried Beans & Dried Chiles!

November 13, 2014
San Juan Island Sea Salt at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

San Juan Island Sea Salt at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

You use salt every day… probably multiple times a day. Wouldn’t it be nice to get that salt right here at your Ballard Farmers Market, too? Well, now you can! San Juan Island Sea Salt Company returns this Sunday with their wonderful pond evaporated sea salt made on San Juan Island with the waters of our own beloved Salish Sea. Why not season your food with a taste of home, eh? And this will not be the last time you’ll here me say this in the next several weeks: it makes a great gift!

Wickson crabapples from Booth Canyon Orchard Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Wickson crabapples from Booth Canyon Orchard Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t let this image fool you. These are tiny Wickson crabapples, not full-sized apples. It was developed by Albert Etter in Humboldt County, California by crossing two other crabapple varieties. Grown by Booth Canyon Orchard, they have a strong flavor suited well to making ciders. This Sunday is likely your last opportunity to get some of them this season.

Hurrerite (left), tiger, black & pinto beans, and hard red wheat, from Kirsop Farm Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hurrerite (left), tiger, black & pinto beans, and hard red wheat, from Kirsop Farm Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Kirsop Farm from Tumwater joined our vendor ranks two weeks ago. Kirsop is a certified organic farm that grows a great diversity of crops, much like Nash’s Organic Produce and Alm Hill Gardens. In addition to Kirsop’s gorgeous veggies, which currently include magnificent romanesco and Pink Beauty radishes, they also grow lots of legumes and grains. Right now, you can get four different kinds of dried beans: hurrerite, tiger, black & pinto, and well as hard red wheat. All are great for hearty fall soups, stews, salads and more!

Dried chipotle peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Dried chipotle peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

While our friends at Alvarez Organic Farms bring the last of this year’s fresh peppers to your Ballard Farmers Market this coming Sunday, they will also have many varieties of dried chile peppers, including these chipotle peppers. Their dried peppers will keep for months, if you don’t use them first, and they are great added to all kinds of recipes. Try some of the chipotles mashed with some Lyall sweet potatoes, some garlic and a little maple syrup. Nummers!

Double chocolate chip cookies from Pinckney Cookie Cafe Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Double chocolate chip cookies from Pinckney Cookie Cafe Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Michael Pinckney returns with his Pinckney Cookie Cafe this Sunday at your Ballard Farmers Market. Michael makes his cookies using local flour from Shepherd’s Grain, and, as he likes to put it, the number one ingredient in his cookies (except the oatmeal raisin, of course) is chocolate. As I like to put it, they’re like Cougar Mountain cookies, only really good!

Sunday, May 11th: Happy Mother’s Day! Say “I Love You, Mom!” With Localiciousness From Your Ballard Farmers Market!

May 10, 2014
KaYing, a.k.a., The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

KaYing, a.k.a., The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While most of us working at your Ballard Farmers Market think of our Market Master Judy Kirkhuff as our Market Mom, she thinks of KaYing from The Old Farmer that way. But heck, let’s just celebrate them both today, along with all the other moms in Ballard and beyond. It is interesting to note that Mothers Day has its origins in a holiday known as Mother’s Day For Peace that dates back to 1872, in response to mothers having to bury too many of their sons from endless wars. Frankly, I still like this idea. After all, can you imagine a better Mother’s Day gift than world peace?

Until that day, you can take care of your mom with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from KaYing, or one of our other flower farmers, today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Or better yet, you could give your mom, our Market moms, and a lot of moms of lesser means a huge gift by buying a ticket to the Farmers Market Dinner & Auction to Support Fresh Bucks coming up this Tuesday at Hotel Ballard. We’ll be on the rooftop in glorious sunshine, eating deliciousness from your Ballard Farmers Market, prepared by Chef Jason Stoneburner, THE Stoneburner behind Stoneburner Restaurant. A limited number of paper tickets to this event will be available for sale at the Market Information Desk during today’s market!

Fresh red king salmon from Wilson Fish.Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh red king salmon from Wilson Fish.Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You could take your mom out to dinner today and fight the masses all doing the same. But on such a spectacular Mother’s Day Sunday as this, why don’t you make her dinner? Dinner from your Ballard Farmers Market, with fresh, Washington troll-caught king salmon from Wilson Fish, no less! Few things say, “I love you, mom,” quite like cooking her an amazing dinner. In fact, we’ll be eating some of this salmon Tuesday night at the Farmers Market Dinner & Auction!

Brilliant tulips from Ia's Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brilliant tulips from Ia’s Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Of course, fresh flowers are right up there, too. These beautiful blooms are from Ia’s Garden, glowing in spring sun much like today’s. We have seven flower farms at your Ballard Farmers Market today, but lines will be long. Come early, pack some patience, and maybe work in teams. You know, one of you gets in line for flowers while the rest of you get your groceries, and maybe a quesadilla, some tacos or salmon sliders.

Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just in time for Mom’s Day, how about some of these beautiful Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. Rand and Paul can attest that I have been like an annoying little kid for the last few weeks, endlessly asking them, “are there going to be turnips this week?” over and over, again and again, in a repetitive and redundant fashion. And today, they are finally here! I love slicing the roots up and tossing them in salads like radishes, but they are also lovely sautéed whole or halved in a little butter, and then served atop a lovely bed of their wilted greens, which you had better eat, too, as they are awesome. It’s like getting two veggies for the price of one!

Cucumbers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cucumbers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how about this?!? These are Japanese cucumbers from Colinwood Farm, fresh out of their greenhouse over in Port Townsend, a.k.a., The Banana Belt! And not only cucumbers. They’ve got baby summer squash and squash blossomsspinach and carrots now, too, and a lot of other stuff!

Rhubarb from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rhubarb from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Get your rhubarb on, good people of Ballard! Yes, it is full-on rhubarb season, and our friends at Sidhu Farms have begun to harvest plenty of it from their fertile fields down in the Puyallup River Valley, the single most prolific rhubarb producing region in America! (“Alex, I’ll take Washington Agriculture Trivia for $800, please!”)

Organic asparagus from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic asparagus from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When I cook up spring king salmon from Wilson Fish, I love to serve it with some fresh organic asparagus, like this from Alm Hill Gardens, roasted in a 375 degree oven until just tender with some…

Wild morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edible. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edible. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. I like to slice them in rings about a half inch thick and then toss them in with the asparagus. Then, I like to add some…

Spring sweet onions from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spring sweet onions from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spring sweet onions from Alvarez Organic Farms. I cut the white part into rounds about a quarter to a half inch long, and the green part into one to two inch pieces. Add a little green garlic from Nash’s Organic Farm, prepared the same as the onions, and toss it all with some olive oil, for a nuttier, more local flavor, some camelina oil from our own Ole World Oils, some good, course sea salt and some freshly ground pepper, and roast it for 10-15 minute at 375 degrees, until just tender. That, and king salmon. Oh, how I love spring. And you will amaze mom with this meal, despite how simple it is. Trust me, I know. My mom is amazed every time I make it for her!

Heat-shaped Kombucha Mothers from CommuniTea Kombucha. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Heat-shaped Kombucha Mothers from CommuniTea Kombucha. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For Mother’s Day, why not give your mother a heart shaped kombucha mother from CommuniTea Kombucha? That way, she can make her own kombucha at home… and it’s just plain a really cool thing!

Awarding-winning sheep cheese from Glendale Shepherd. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Awarding-winning sheep cheese from Glendale Shepherd. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While mom is relaxing in the sun in the backyard while you cook her dinner, bring her a plate of award-winning sheep’s milk cheese from Glendale Shepherd. Sheep cheese is not very common around these parts, and we are so lucky to have it here. And this stuff is delish! Of course, you’ll need a separate plate for these…

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.

Fresh oysters on the half shell that you picked up from Hama Hama Oyster Company today at your Ballard Farmers Market! Hama Hama is the oyster company so nice, they named it twice! And their Blue Pools are gorgeous right now. So get you some, get shucking, and make mom feel like a queen!

Mothers Day Cookies from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mothers Day Cookies from Grateful Bread Baking. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Grab mom some artisan bread, a few bagels and some of these heart-shaped ‘mom’ cookies from Grateful Bread Baking, while you are at it.

Eaglemount Red Wine defies gravity! Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eaglemount Red Wine defies gravity! Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And don’t forget the wine! Like this gravity-defying Eaglemount Red Table Wine from Eaglemount Wine & Cider.

Red leaf lettuce from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red leaf lettuce from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Make mom a nice salad with some fresh red leaf lettuce from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Yes, head lettuce is back at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Mothers Day pies from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mothers Day pies from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And finish mom’s special dinner off with a Mother’s Day pie from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. Yes, I know… you’d think I would be telling you to make the pie yourself. But let’s be honest with each other. Deborah’s pies are so much better than anything you will make on the fly today. Mom will love you all the more for caring enough to admit when making pie has you licked, and just going ahead and getting one you know is going to be really, really good!

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.

Sunday, December 15th: Just 10 Days, or 2 Farmers Markets Until Christmas!

December 14, 2013
Smoked whole sides of white king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoked whole sides of white king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I’m listening to the classic Andy Williams Christmas Album as I write this holiday installment of your Ballard Farmers Market blog, getting myself in the spirit to get you in the spirit. Just think of all those hep bright, primary color sweaters and matching slacks Andy and his family used to wear during their annual TV specials, and how could you not get bitten by a festive mood? There’s just something about Andy singing, “hoopdeedoo, and dickery dock, and don’t forget to hang up your sock…” that makes it impossible not to smile, unless you have a Grinch-sized heart. And what person wouldn’t be happy at the sight of an entire side of smoked white king salmon from Wilson Fish, either? I’ve sure love to find one of these beauties under the tree with my name on it, or on the party buffet table. Well, Santa and your helpers, the good news is, Wilson’s elves (yes, David is an elf!) have prepared many of these for you… if you’ve been good, that is.

Non-toxic candles made with natural essential oils from Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Non-toxic candles made with natural essential oils from Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“They’re’ll be parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting and caroling out in the snow…” And you will need candles. Candles of every color and scent to set every mood, and even a few with no scent at all, so as not to interrupt the flavor of your food. Yes, Ascents Candles returns today, after a two-week hiatus, with their wonderful non-toxic candles made with all-natural ingredients and wonderful pure essential oils. Besides brightening your house, they make for great stocking stuffers!

Holiday wreath from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holiday wreath from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One of these wonderful holiday wreathes from Pa Garden is a must to complete the season’s decor of your home, and they come in sizes to fit any door, be it palatial or pedestrian. Made from greenery from around their farm in the Snoqualmie Valley, and some of their dried flowers, these are stunning!

Mediterranean-style dips and sauces from Uncle Eyals. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mediteranean-style dips and sauces from Uncle Eyals. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“From the top of the chimney to the top of the wall, dash away, dash away, dash away all…” And why not celebrate this holy season with sauces and dips from the Holy Land? Uncle Eyal’s joins us today with their amazing hummus, mint sauce, tahini and more. This is the food that brings Christians, Jews and Muslims together in peace around the dinner table, and as such, it is perfect for this season in which so much homage is paid to peace on earth.

Winter Luxury pumpkins from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter Luxury pumpkins from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I do hope One Leaf Farm has a last few of these aptly named Winter Luxury pumpkins today at your Ballard Farmers Market. They are the ultimate eating pumpkin, and they are really cool looking, too! And this is the last week for One Leaf until next spring, so avail yourself while you can!

Pink Lady apples from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Lady apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I swear, you add a little holiday music, and suddenly the festive nature of Pink Lady apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce just kinda smacks you upside the head. They’re red and green, and they make for so many yummy treats, or just a good, crunchy snack. My father made an amazing pie with them at Thanksgiving, and he proudly said, “and I didn’t even have to use any sugar!” Boom.

Produce pendants from Metal Wing Studio. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Produce pendants from MetalWing Studio. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s wearable art meets farmers market produce meets a beautiful gift that your someone special will love and never take off. Yup, these are veggie pendants from MetalWing Studios, made right here in Ballard! They, too, were on a brief hiatus for a holiday gift show, but they are back today with all manner of Northwest-inspired metal arts, from ornaments to pins to earrings and more! And with the recent deep freeze, that golden chard on the right might be all the chard you’ll see today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Absinthe & Black Salt caramels from Jonboy. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Absinthe & Black Salt caramels from Jonboy. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

How’s about some absinthe & black salt caramels from Jonboy Caramels to sweeten up the season? That, and Christmas with the Beach Boys. “Oooooh, Merry Christmas St. Nick (Christmas comes this time each year)…” Made with local cream and butter, they are sure to please. Just let them warm up a bit indoors before you chomp down on them!

Braising mix from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Braising mix from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll be doing lots of cooking over the next few weeks, so why not make things a little easier on yourself with this braising mix from Colinwood Farms in Port Townsend. It is ready to sauté or toss into a casserole, and nothing says “Happy Holidays” like kale!

Goat milk soaps from The Fay Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Goat milk soaps from The Fay Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The Fay Farm on Whidbey Island raises Nubian goats. They milk those goats and make these lovely soaps with that milk. They also grow a lot of the herbs used to scent the soaps. They offer them in bar and liquid forms, and they are very gentle on one’s skin. And needless to say, though I will anyway, they make great stocking stuffers. And let’s face it, soap is a gift you give to everyone in your household, and to yourself, when your household bathes.

Whole chickens from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole chickens from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Every good holiday feast requires a roast holiday beast, be it a ham or a Tofurky. Or perhaps a chicken, like these lovely beasts from Skagit River Ranch. They have a new harvest of chickens now, while they last, so get ’em while the gettin’s good. Of course, they also have some lovely roasts of other beasts, like beeflamb and pork, and maybe even a stray ham or two!

Pies and more from Simply Soulful. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pies and more from Simply Soulful. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Get your soulful holiday season on with undoubtedly the best sweet potato pie you have ever tasted, made from scratch, crust and all, using sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms and no added sugar, from Simply Soulful Pies & Catering. Of course, they’ve got other pies, too, and even some soul food sides, like collardsred beans & rice and more!

Winter squash from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash warms up your kitchen and your soul. It is sweet, colorful and delicious. It comes in many shapes, sizes, textures and varieties to appeal to any palate, or to be able to enjoy it every day of the week without repeating it. And it is versatile. Make soups or stews, roast it, sauté it, steam it, even stuff it. Make pasta or pie with it. And you’ll find a great selection of it in many festive colors at Alm Hill Gardens today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Nut Crunch from Pete's Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nut Crunch from Pete’s Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and everyone was gorging themselves of this spectabulous Nut Crunch, and all things toffeefudge and brittle from Pete’s Perfect Toffee. Why? Because we can, and because this is the best stuff around. Look, it’s cold outside. We need extra energy. And it’s the holidays, right? Let us get our sweet on! And you know, Pete’s little packages of deliciousness fit perfectly into any stocking, though let’s be honest with each other here… you are sooo going to eat it all while wrapping presents, and it will never makes its way into anyone’s sock. Hmm. Maybe you should buy twice as much, then!

Michael Pinckney from Pinckney Cookies. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Michael Pinckney from Pinckney Cookie Café. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“You’re going to love these cookies.” Hey, it says it on their website, and I believe everything I read on the intertube. But seriously, meet Michael Pinckney and Pinckney Cookie Café. Michael makes some seriously good cookies, and I can attest… you will, in fact, love these cookies. They come in four flavors: The Pinckney Original, Dark Chocolate Oatmeal, Bing Bling! and Classic Chocolate Chip. They are chewy and delicious, and they are made with local Shepherd’s Grain flour. What? You are gluten-intolerant? Never fear! All four flavors come in gluten-free versions, too! Happy Holidays, indeed.

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.