Posts Tagged ‘cookware’

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.

Sunday, May 25th: Stuff To Remember, Stuff To Grill, Localicious Stuff… and STRAWBERRIES & CHERRIES!

May 24, 2014
Fresh smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is Memorial Day Weekend, a time that is supposed to be set aside for reflection and remembrance, that we never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. But Memorial Day didn’t always have a Weekend. It didn’t used to be on a Monday, so that folks could easily go camping, and stores could easily offer weekend-long sales. No, Memorial Day used to be held on May 30th, regardless of the day of the week, as proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, to recognize all those lost during the Civil War. It was not until the passage by Congress of the National Holiday Act of 1971 that Memorial Day was moved to the last Monday in May. But for me, growing up, I always thought that the big parade down Main Street in New Paltz, New York every May 30th was to celebrate my mom’s birthday. And ever since the holiday was moved to a Monday, I have struggled to remember when my mother’s birthday is. I write this to remind us all why we get Monday off this week, and to remind myself to call my mom on Friday!

Oh, and Wilson Fish has tweaked their smoked king salmon recipe ever-so-slightly, meaning that now, the best smoked king salmon around is even better! Get some… to nibble on while you’re at the parade tomorrow, of course.

Strawberries from Hayton Berry Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Strawberries from Hayton Berry Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This just in: Hayton Berry Farms returns today for the 2014 season with their first harvest of strawberries! Woohoo!!! Finally, a crop that came on early this year!

Mariah Doty from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo courtesy Nash's Organic Produce.

Mariah Doty from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo courtesy Nash’s Organic Produce.

This is Mariah from Nash’s Organic Produce. She’s been selling for them at your Ballard Farmers Market for like a hundred years… or seven. One of those, anyway. Well, tomorrow is her last day. Stop by, bid her adieu, and grab some of their Spinach and some of their own freshly-milled Corn Meal, too!

Red Russian kale from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Russian kale from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One Leaf Farm has lots of lovely, tender spring greens coming on right now, from pac choi to broccolini raab, with a flavor akin to turnip greens, to this gorgeous red Russian kale that is great raw, or just barely wilted, maybe tossed with some sautéed green garlic. Mmm.

First-of-the-season Burlat cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

First-of-the-season Burlat cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

LATE BREAKING NEWS: Lyall Farms will have the first cherries of the season today at your Ballard Farmers Market! These early Burlat cherries are the first cherry to ripen, and Lyall’s orchards in Prosser are perfectly located to produce the first of these cherries each year!

Salad mix from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Salad mix from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Meet salad mix from Growing Things Farm. It is a lovely, delicate mix of a variety of greens, all harvested very young. It makes for a wonderful, and simple, salad for any day of the week.

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

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

Looking for some yummy sausages to grill up tomorrow? Skagit River Ranch has a great selection of them for you to enjoy, from bratwurst to hot dogs to hot Italian to a sweet Italian sausage link that will please any ex-pat New Yorker!

Green onions from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green onions from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mea culpa. I forgot to include Children’s Garden in last week’s tribute to the many Ballard Farmers Market vendors who contributed ingredients to our May 13th Fresh Bucks fundraiser. They provided their beautiful herbs, including cilantrochives and these gorgeous green onions, great for so many applications. Try grilling them, for instance!

Organic asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms is great grilled, too. Nuff said.

Red radishes from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red radishes from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm rejoined us earlier this month for the 2014 season. They’ve got lots of their great tomato plants right now, ready for your garden, as well as lovageoregano, these red radishes and much more!

Fresh sheep's milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Fresh sheep’s milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Some fresh sheep’s milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd is a nice compliment to some of those Hayton strawberries, incorporated into any number of recipes, or just on its own, as I like to enjoy it.

Hand-forged blue steele pans from Blu Skillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hand-forged blue steele pans from Blu Skillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One more vendor from your Ballard Farmers Market that contributed to our Fresh Bucks fundraiser is Blu Skillet Ironware, which donated one of their beautiful forged iron pans to the live auction… a pan won by Farmer George of Skagit River Ranch! You know, I use one of their 10″ skillets as my go-to pan. It is amazing, gorgeous, competitively priced for the quality that you get, and it is made in Ballard!

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 22nd: Happy Solstice, Good Yule & Merry Christmas! Find Unique, Meaning Gifts With A Story & Great Local Food For The Holidays Right Here!

December 21, 2013
Holiday decoration made from potatoes at Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holiday decoration made from potatoes at Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

‘Twas the day before the night before the night before Christmas, and all through Ballard, a festive spirit, delicious local foods and unique holiday gifts with a story and a face behind them could be found at your Ballard Farmers Market! (Thanks, Olsen Farms!)

Julianna from Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Julianna from Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Seems appropriate to be listening to Ella Fitzgerald cranking out some jazzed up holiday classics as I write this evening. It may have gotten dark at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, but the longest night of the year is now behind us. Still, it is time for the festival of lights, just about whatever your beliefs, and it will be dark for 17+ hours for the next few nights. You will need candles both for light and for fun. Why not make them non-toxic candles from Ascents Candles? After all, they last a long time, and they don’t pollute the air in your home while you burn them for hours with nary an open window. Plus, this just in: our dear friend, Julianna, of Ascents Candles, told us last Sunday that she is retiring from the Market as of this week! I don’t know about you, but I am trying to figure out why I should bother showing up next week without her, but I’ll find a way to soldier through. In the meantime, stock up on her candles today, and check her website for local retailers.

Festive holiday bottles of honey from Golden Harvest Bee Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Festive holiday bottles of honey from Golden Harvest Bee Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“It’s Christmas time pretty baby, and the snow is falling on the ground…” Yup, it’s Elvis time all up in here! And how’s about sweetening up someone special with some of this wonderful honey, from Golden Harvest Bee Ranch, in these lovely holiday bottles. They will fit perfectly into any stocking. Just make sure it is anchored well to the mantel!

Stölen holiday bread from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stölen holiday bread from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“May your days, may your days, may your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white…” It is time to get your stölen holiday sweet bread on at Grateful Bread Baking. This traditional Christmas bread filled with dried fruit and nuts and covered in sugar is as much fun to eat as it is to pronounce!

The "Pete" of Pete's Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The “Pete” of Pete’s Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“Santa, bring my baby back to me…” Or at least leave me a package of Pete’s Perfect Toffee in my stocking. “…a-hoob-a-hoob-a-hoob-a-hoob-a…”

Celery root from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Celery root from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We also bid adieu to Boistfort Valley Farm after today until next June, as they take their winter hiatus. So stock up on garlicrutabagasbeetscarrots and celery root today!
FreshBucks_Logo

If you have any Fresh Bucks coupons left, or if you receive Food Stamps benefits, this is a heads up that the Fresh Bucks Program expires on December 31st. Use your coupons now! And you can still get Fresh Bucks coupons this week and next when you use your SNAP/EBT card at your Ballard Farmers Market. Come to the Market Information Desk, and we’ll match the Food Stamps you use at the Market today dollar-for-dollar, up to $10. Fresh Bucks are good for fresh fruits and vegetables, so use them to stretch your holiday food dollars. Just remember to use them before the end of the month. (The program is intending to return next spring sometime, by the way.)

Brent Charnley, winemaker at Lopez Island Vineyards, hold the new release of his Wave Crest White table wine. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brent Charnley, winemaker at Lopez Island Vineyards, hold the new release of his Wave Crest White table wine. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“and the lion shall lay down by the lamb…” Thank you, Elvis. You just can’t deliver the holiday toonage like he did without truly believing in it. Brent Charnley, the winemaker at Lopez Island Vineyards, believes in making really great wines, and so, like Elvis, you can feel it in his products. Stop by for a sample taste today, and I have been assured that Brent will not start swinging his hips about like Sgt. Presley.

Winter squash from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s heat up that kitchen and fill the whole house with the smell of sweet deliciousness! Stock up on these beautiful winter squashes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm, and you will inevitably do just that. And while you are waiting to cook them, they also make great holiday decorations! (You can thank me later.)

Hemp clothing from Textures. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hemp clothing from Textures. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Add a little color and some elegance to the life of that someone special by sliding a box full of hemp fabric fashions from Textures Clothing under the tree!

Carrots in the field at Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Carrots in the field at Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“I love those j-i-n-g-l-e bells…” Yes, we’ve moved on to Frank Sinatra now. So get your bippity on. (I have no idea what that means.) I’ve spoken much of holiday sweets so far this week, but few things are as naturally sweet as these carrots from Oxbow Farm. Kissed by a healthy dose of freezing weather already here in Oxbow’s fields, they have sweetened up considerably. After all, sugar is nature’s own anti-freeze. But take notice: this is likely the last week for Oxbow at your Ballard Farmers Market until spring as well, too, so stock up!

Julie from Four Sisters Chili Sauce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Julie from Four Sisters Chili Sauce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spice up your holidays with some Vietnamese hot sauces from Four Sisters Chili Sauce! Made with peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms and recipes brought over on a boat and a prayer in the 1980s from Vietnam, this is some hot sauce that is not only packed with flavor, it is packed with an amazing story and love. Enjoy!

Aveen vintage necklace with labradorite from Wild Swan Designs. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Aveen vintage necklace with labradorite from Wild Swan Designs. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I bet someone you love will be very happy to receive this stunning Aveen vintage necklace with labradorite from Wild Swan Designs. It is just one of their gorgeous collection of hand-crafted jewelry.

Winter spinach from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter spinach from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

WHAT?!? Yes, that is spinach. It is winter spinach from Nash’s Organic Produce, and some of it made it through the freeze. But not very much. So get here early if you want some of it. Just remember the spirit of the holidays as you fight for that last bunch at 10:53 a.m.

Brenda and the Mt Townsend Creamery display. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brenda and the Mt Townsend Creamery display. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“The wind is blowing, and the snow is snowing, but I can weather the storm…” Dean Martin is in the house! And so is Mt. Townsend Creamery with their amazing artisan cheeses from Jefferson County. Your holidays will not be complete without some great local cheese.

Hand-turned pens from Vern Tater Woodturner. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hand-turned pens from Vern Tator Woodturner. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“But baby, it’s cold outside…” One of these spectacular, hand-turned pens from Vern Tator Woodturner will warm things up. Just imagine, every time that someone special pulls this particular stocking stuffer out during a meeting or class, and everyone else in the room turns to look at it, they will be thinking of you. Boom!

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Some more natural sweetness for you, perfect for the holidays, comes in the form of these lovely sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market.

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.

Sweet briny deliciousness, Batman! Make your holiday party or dinner just that much more perfect with some fresh oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company, the oyster farm so nice, they named it twice! Get your oysters live and in the shell, shucked, pickled or smoked.

Holiday pies from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holiday pies from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And pie! Get your holiday pies from Deborah’s Homemade Pies today, but get them early, as they will sell out fast. Pumpkin, pecan, apple and more, better than your mom ever made, but if she asks, tell her, “it’s almost as good as you used to make, mom.”

Delicious desserts from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Delicious desserts from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Or get your Italian desserts on at Pasteria Lucchese. Grab some rice pudding or a cheesecake, or get some cookie dough and bake them at home.

Paella and casserole pans from BluSkillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Paella and casserole pans from BluSkillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Do you have someone special in your world who never leaves the kitchen? Then you need to get them some of this magnificent forged iron cookware from BluSkillet Ironware, made right here in Ballard. They have a nice selection of skillets, one of which has become my go-to pan in my kitchen. But they also have these new paella and casserole pans. They hold their heat well, go from stove top to oven, are durable, and they clean up very easily.

Polish garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Polish garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This Polish garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm is wonderful stuff. It has a big flavor that will fill you with garlicky goodness. But whether you like your garlic mild or wild, they have an heirloom variety of garlic you will love. After all, there is no such thing as too much garlic.

Honey crisp apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Honey crisp apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I finish this holiday week epistle of the blog for your Ballard Farmers Market with perhaps the most popular stocking stuffer of them all: fruit! Why not make that fruit local. ACMA Mission Orchards has a dizzying variety of certified organic apples available today, so you can get a different kind of apple for each stocking hanging from your mantel.

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 1st: It’s Buy Direct From The Local Producer At Your Ballard Farmers Market Sunday!

November 30, 2013
Wreathe assembly at Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wreathe assembly at Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know when it starts snowing on the blog for your Ballard Farmers Market that we have arrived in the holiday season. We all experienced the once-in-a-lifetime convergence of Thanksgiving and Chanukah this past week, and now we look ahead to Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, Zappadan, Christmas, New Year’s, my buddy Jimmy’s birthday and anniversary, or whatever you might celebrate. It’s time to get festive all up in here, people. This year, let’s make it special. Let’s make it unique. Let’s make it beautiful and delicious. Let’s make it local. And let’s do it all right here at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Fresh holiday wreath from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh holiday wreath from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s get it started with one of these fresh, fragrant holiday wreathes from Alm Hill Gardens. Made from a variety of fresh cuttings of gorgeous plants right on the farm, they will last for months, even indoors, and they smell amazing. I got to visit Clayton and the gang on Wednesday up in Everson, and I witnessed the farm crew assembling these beauties (see top photo). They come in various sizes, so whether you live in an apodment with a tiny door, or in a McMansion, they’ve got a wreathe that is perfect for you. They also have garlands and such for dressing up your mantle and your dining room table. And while you are in the festive spirit, keep in mind that if you open a new checking account at HomeStreet Bank on Crown Hill (at 15th & 83rd) between now and December 7th, they will donate $50 to the Ballard Farmers Market Fresh Bucks program, but you have to remember to tell them that’s where you want that $50 to go. And thanks in advance!

Sesame loaf (left) and whole grain sandwich bread from d:floured gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sesame loaf (left) and whole grain sandwich bread from d:floured gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is getting darker and colder each day, as we march headlong into the Winter Solstice, and that means we all want to devour the nearest breads and cakes. That can be frustrating for folks who require a gluten-free diet. Lucky for you, though, nuflours gluten-free bakery makes some of the most incredible baked goods you’ll find anywhere — not just great gluten-free products, but stuff anyone would happily inhale. Just take a look at this bread. Have you ever seen gluten-free bread that looked that gorgeous? Stop by and try out their cookiescakessweet and savory breadspastries and more!

Sheets of salt at San Juan Island Sea Salt. Photo courtesy San Juan Island Sea Salt.

Sheets of salt at San Juan Island Sea Salt. Photo courtesy San Juan Island Sea Salt.

Yes, it is getting chilly outside, but this is not ice. This is salt from our own Salish Sea. What you are looking at is sheets of sea salt that have formed atop the solar-powered evaporation ponds in the greenhouses of San Juan Island Sea Salt. This salt is amazing. I cooked the best chicken of my life using it this past week. See, this salt tastes of where we live. Like the terroir of wine and cheese, and the merroir of oysters, sea salt tastes of the place from which it comes, and that means it makes everything taste just a little more special. So give some a try today. And it comes in some lovely packages that make for great gifts!

Herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist. Photo copyright 2013 by Ben Chandler.

Herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist. Photo copyright 2013 by Ben Chandler.

While your are treating yourself, or stuffing the stocking of someone special, you can’t go wrong with any one of the many flavors of herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist. They handcraft a tea for your every mood. Stop by and check them all out, give them a smell, and bring home some soul-warming deliciousness.

Shaving kit from Brown Butterfly. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shaving kit from Brown Butterfly. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

With all the bearded men around Ballard these days, one might think, “who needs a shaving kit?” Well, I do, for one. See, some of us still enjoy a clean shave. If the special guy in your life likes a clean, close shave and healthy skin, pick him up one of these wonderful shaving kits from Brown Butterfly Aromatherapy this holiday season. (Of course, you might pick one up for your bearded fellow, too, if it’s just plain time.)

Hand-forged blue steele pans from Blu Skillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hand-forged blue steele pans from Blu Skillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Carbon steel pans are great for searing and caramelizing – and they make fantastic over-easy eggs! They are similar to cast iron, but forged rather than cast. This makes the pans lighter and easier to handle, as well as less porous and quicker to season.  They can take high temperatures, and they can go from stove top, to oven, to table – where they make a beautiful addition!” Sometimes, it is just easier to quote the vendor’s website, you know? Especially when it is as well-written as is the site for Blu Skillet Ironware. Patrick Maher and Caryn Badgett make these gorgeous pans right here in Ballard.

When I got my first pan from them back in June, I wasn’t sure if it would pull me away from my beloved vintage Revere Ware stainless steel pans, but it has. I use it every day now. It browns and sears great. It cleans easily. And best of all, it is made right here in Ballard! Yup, one more thing you don’t need Corporate America to do for you anymore! Booyah!

A personal-sized still from Daily Bird Pottery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A personal-sized still from Daily Bird Pottery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Daily Bird Pottery makes lovely naked pottery, as in it is not glazed, that makes all your foods and beverages taste better. Seriously. See, there is a special chemical reaction that takes place between the clay and your food and drink that results in less bitterness and great flavor. They’ve got cups and shot glasses, tableware and ovenware, ornamentals, and even these cool, little personal stills, in case you know someone who would like to join the local craft distillery craze.

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

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

Gingerbread, anyone? This time each year, our friends at Ballard’s own Tall Grass Bakery start making various bready holiday treats, like this wonderful gingerbread. Enjoy it while you can, as it’ll only be around for a few short weeks!

Handmade beaded necklaces from Gypsy Beaded Creations. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Handmade beaded necklaces from Gypsy Beaded Creations. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These beautiful beaded necklaces are handmade by Gypsy Beaded Creations right here in the Market on many days. Corrine has a bunch of new designs for this season, and with a great selection, you’ll be sure to find one that you, or someone you love, will adore.

Beautiful, hand-turned wooden tableware from Vern Tater. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful, hand-turned wooden tableware from Vern Tater. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

What table would not benefit from one of these stunning turned wood creations from Vern Tater, Woodturner. Vern makes everything by hand, from salad bowls to bottle stoppers to salt & pepper mills, all using gorgeous pieces of local wood.

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.

Speaking of no longer needing Big Corporate America, did you know that Patty Pan Grill has ditched Big Ag cooking oils in favor of using Camelina Gold cooking oil from Ole World Oils. Available right here at your Ballard Farmers Market, this local cooking oil is high in anti-oxidents, is non-GMO, tastes incredible, can withstand very high heat — 475 degrees! — and is produced in Ritzville from camelina seed grown in Ritzville. Boom!

Berry cream confections from Jessie's Berries. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Berry cream confections from Jessie’s Berries. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These delicious little sweets are berry cream confections from our own Jessie’s Berries. Perfect for gifts and holiday parties, they make them with their own berries! Stop by and try some today! You can thank me later. (Please note that Fishing Vessel St. Jude, with their local albacore tuna, will not be here today, but will instead be hear next Sunday, December 8th.)

Judy & Gil receive recognition by the King County Council for Wallingford Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Councilman Larry Phillips office.

Judy & Gil receive recognition by the King County Council for Wallingford Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Councilman Larry Phillips office.

On November 18th, Wallingford Farmers Market, our sister market, was honored by the King County Council. It was just the latest recognition for what is easily the most beautiful market in the area, located in Meridian Park at N. 50th Street and Meridian Avenue N. Earlier this year, it was declared Washington State Farmers Market of the Year by the Washington State Farmers Market Association. It is open from the end of May through the end of September on Wednesday evenings. We hope you’ll join us there next summer!

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.