Posts Tagged ‘dog treats’

Sunday, January 17th: Herbs & Spices, Wild Mushrooms, Doggie Treats & Bacon

January 17, 2010

Beautiful bacon from the happy pigs of Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I have recently encountered  some food writers who are profoundly proclaiming the end of the “bacon trend.” Huh? Have they ever heard of the Chicago Exchange? They’ve got an entire market there for trading in pork belly futures, and it’s been there, reliably, for decades. Let’s face it. Even many Jews consider bacon to be a condiment or spice in order to justify including this porkalicious product in their diets, in spite of thousands of years of Holy Law. So who are these food writers kidding? Bacon cannot be a fading trend, when it wasn’t a trend in the first place. It is simply one of the most spectacular foods on earth, such that it had brought many a vegetarian back to the dark side. And the good news is, you can find some of the best bacon around (above) from Skagit River Ranch, right here at your Ballard Farmers Market. So celebrate bacon, and don’t feel the need to rush to unload your pork belly futures that grandma gave you. It ain’t like they’re bank stocks, after all.

Dried herbs and spices from Pipitone Farms in Cashmere, Washington. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I do hope you are not still spending ridiculous amounts of your hard-earned cash on those little jars of herbs and spices at the big box stores. I mean, who knows when those jars were packed, how their contents were grown, what they are preserved with, or even what country they are from, right? Instead, get your dried herbs and spices directly from a Washington farm — Pipitone Farms from Cashmere. They’ve got a great selection of herbs and spices, from oregano to crushed cayenne peppers to sage and more.

Wild Washington hedgehog mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild hedgehog mushrooms are another mushroom that is still available in the hills of Western Washington this time of year, and with snow levels as high as they have been, they are much easier for our friends at Foraged & Found Edibles to find this year, as compared to last year this time. Of course, mushrooms are a fickle lot, so I suggest you get to the Market early if you want some, and be prepared to be flexible and work with what they’ve got this week.

Baby turnips with greens from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Many crops knocked down by our early December freeze continue to recover, like these lovely baby white turnips from Full Circle Farm. If you miss radishes badly about now like me, try slicing they puppies up and tossing them on your salad, if you don’t just devour them all first. They are mildly spicy with a sweet, earthy turnipness, and the greens make for a slightly bitter and spicy salad or are delicious sauteed with a little garlic.

Delicata squash from Anselmo Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There is still plenty of gorgeous winter squash to be had at your Ballard Farmers Market, including these lovely, and delicious, delicata squash from Anselmo Farms. Delicata is one of my favorite squashes, and though I know there are many, many ways to prepare it, I still love just cutting in half, length-wise, slathering it thoroughly with olive oil, and placing it face-down in a glass baking dish in a 375-400 degree oven until it is tender. No water needed. Heck, water just dilutes its spectacular flavor. And don’t you dare toss out those little seeds. Clean the pulp from them, put them in a pie tin mixed with olive oil and sprinkled with some good salt, and roast them while your squash is baking. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn, and mix them up a bit midway through. They will come out tender and crunchy — a salty little pre-dinner snack.

Oat & honey bread from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tall Grass Bakery is back at your Ballard Farmers Market, after a couple of weeks hiatus while they remodeled their bakery over the holidaze. Oh, how so many of us missed their bread so. I think we were all suffering such withdrawal that they sold out of everything last Sunday long before the end of the Market. All I ask is that you don’t trample any children, little old ladies or pets on your mad scramble to get your loaf this week.

Lard from Samish Bay. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, I want to be the first writer to pronounce the end of the “lard trend.” Just kidding. Lard is still a staple, too. And remember, when it comes from happy, pasture-raised pigs like those of Samish Bay, it tends to be lower in bad cholesterol and higher in good. Ain’t it funny how when we treat our farm animals better, they end up treating us better, too?

Cripps Pink apples from Jerzey Boys. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you know that many of the names given to various tree fruit are protected as intellectual property, and that the farmers who grow those varieties of fruit have to pay royalties on the name? That’s why Jerzey Boyz sells Cripps Pink apples instead of Pink Lady apples, as the latter is a registered trademark. Ah, corporate agribusiness. Of course, what I am wondering is if Jerzey Boys is going to show up next with Bloods Red apples instead of Red Delicious apples? (If my joke eludes you, ask someone who lived in Seattle in the late 1980s to explain it to you.)

Rutabagas from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I love rutabagas, both as a vegetable and as a name for a vegetable. In my head, I hear myself saying, “ruta-(say it)-baga.” And you remember Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop saying, “It is not a tumor”? Well, when it comes to rutabagas, it is not a tuber. You know what they call rutabagas in Ireland? They call them turnips. Some people call them Swedes, or Swedish turnips. They are a proud Viking vegetable that the Vikings left behind in Ireland. I like them simply steamed and mashed with butter, or tossed in the pot with spuds and cabbage and corned beef. In any case, the adorable little rutabagas above are from Nash’s Organic Produce. Try some, and see if they make you a giddy as they seem to make me.

Aurelia's Peanut Butter & Carrot Kisses from Methow Dog. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget the pooch, especially when you have access to the delicious doggie treats of one of our newest vendors, Methow Dog, all the way from Winthrop. Methow Dog treats are made with only human-grade ingredients, many of which come from Methow Valley and other Northwestern farmers, and all are from the U.S. Their treats don’t have any fillers, additives or preservatives, either. Stop by with your canine cohort today and have your buddy do a little “quality control” on a sample treat or two.

Taylor Shellfish's Oyster Bill enjoys Buddha's Basket at Jhanjay Vegetarian Thai Cuisine. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Welcome to our newest neighbor, Jhanjay Vegetarian Thai Cuisine. We know them well from being neighbors of our Wallingford Farmers Market, and we are happy to have this marvelous restaurant join the family here on Ballard Avenue. They open at noon on Sundays, so stop by for some delicious Thai food before or after you do your Market shopping.

The beautiful new Jhanjay restaurant opened at the beginning of January. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

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, December 13th: Cranberry-Nut Butter Toffee, Holiday Wreaths, Great Gifts, Chocolates (By George!) & Lots of Good Eats

December 12, 2009

A sterling silver fairy necklace by Michael E. Marron. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons,

 

Michael E. Marron is a sculptor, jeweler and designer right here in Ballard. He likes to work with sterling, like with this lovely fairy necklace (above) to which my photography does not do justice. Look for Mike with the “Made in Ballard” sign.

Cranberry-Nut Butter Toffee from Pete's Perfect Butter Toffee. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

We all love Pete’s Perfect Butter Toffee already, right? I mean, it’s perfect, after all, so how could we not love it? But Pete rolled out the big guns for the holidays for us with his special holiday treat: Cranberry-Nut Toffee. This luscious stuff is made with cranberries, as well as cashews, walnuts and pecans. Make sure you get enough for stuffing the stockings, and for your own secret stash.

A beautiful holiday wreath from Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

You’ll find a nice selection of fresh holiday wreathes, like this one from Harmony Farm, throughout your Ballard Farmers Market. Check with Alm Hill and Growing Things, as well, and Alm Hill has these gorgeous fragrant mantle runners (below), too.

Fragrant mantle runners from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

Salmon lox from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

Every family has its unique holiday food traditions. Mine eats takeout Chinese on Christmas Eve, then lox and bagels for Christmas brunch after opening presents, and then a dinner built around some sort of roast beast or other. If your family shares my family’s bagel tradition, some of the best salmon lox around can be found at Loki Fish right here at Ballard Farmers Market. They make lox from sockeye, coho and keta salmon. While Northwesterners may favor the sockeye, folks used to a New York style of lox may want to try the coho or keta, which is similar in lightness and flavor to that nasty farm-raised stuff they use in New York, except Loki’s stuff is all wild and local!

Braeburn apples from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

Tiny’s Organic Produce now has many of our favorite winter apples in, like these Braeburns, above, as well as fuji and pink lady apples. They are good anytime, and they make a nutritious stocking stuffer. And I am sure many of you have great Chanukah recipes that call for some good apples, too. (Mmm, latkes with fresh apple sauce!)

Canvas holiday Ballard Farmers Market shopping bags at Venue and the Market info desk. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

Since you are likely to be getting too much stuff for your normal supply of bags this week, may we suggest picking up one of these limited edition Ballard Farmers Market holiday gnome bags, either at Venue, just around the corner from the Market on 22nd Avenue NW, where you’ll also find lots of great gifts made by local artists, or at the Market Info Desk.

Syrah chocolates from Chocolates By George! Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

George is back with his Chocolates By George! Check out these holiday treats he is making for us right now — chocolates infused with syrah. Two great tastes that taste great together!

Black Washington truffles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

Truffles don’t just come from Europe. They come from Washington, too. Foraged & Found Edibles has black (above) and white truffles from Washington right now. Ounce for ounce (as that’s how they’re priced), these beauties are a fraction of the cost of their imported cousins. And while the aficionado may notice a difference, I personally find them plenty enjoyable. Try them shaved with some of Pasteria Lucchese’s pappardelle and butter.

Goat shanks from Quilceda Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

How about braising some delicious goat shanks from Quilceda Farm for an intimate dinner over the holidays? I love this stuff. If you like lamb, or just want to try the most commonly eaten meat on earth (we Americans are such wusses), stop by Quilceda, ‘cuz he’s got your goat.

Apollo waits for a Wilson Fish treat. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

Don’t forget your furry ones. From Olsen Farms dog chews to Moosedreams’ pet products, the Market has you covered. And be sure to stop by Wilson Fish with your canine friend(s) for a little smoked salmon. Above, Apollo waits patiently for his treat. Below, Apollo leaps for salmon (and joy), after which Wilson’s David counted his fingers.

Apollo leaps for Wilson's smoked salmon. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

As always, there is plenty of other good stuff this week at your Ballard Farmers Market. For a fuller accounting of what you’ll find today, click on “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner. However, do keep an open mind today, as our current cold weather may have temporarily knocked out some of the crops currently on the list.