Posts Tagged ‘flour’

Sunday, August 5th: Nothing Says National Farmers Market Week Like Ripe, Juicy Melons!

August 5, 2012

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

Happy Sunday, dear citizens of the People’s Republic of Ballard! It’s National Farmers Market Week, it’s the hottest day in two years, and it’s August! Let’s have some fun with silly stuff, gorgeous still, visiting stuff, uncommon stuff and just plain delicious stuff. And let’s get this party started with the perfect summer treat for a hot day like this: melons! Yes, melons have arrived this week in abundance at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check out these lovely organic cantaloupe melons from Alvarez Organic Farms. They’re juicy, sweet, and they’ll even rehydrate you on a hot day! What’s not to love?

BTW, thank you for voting your Ballard Farmers Market “Best Farmers Market” for the umpteenth year in a row in Seattle Weekly’s annual “Best Of…” poll. Oh, hey, and in honor of National Farmers Market, we’d like to ask you to take a moment to show your appreciation for your Ballard Farmers Market by voting for us in the 2012 America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest. Click this. Then click “Ballard Farmers Market.” Answer a couple of questions, and you’re done!

Fava beans from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether or not Oxbow Farm actually brings any fava beans to Market today, you just gotta love this sign from last Sunday. And for those of you who don’t know the man behind the farm that is Oxbow, you might not get the full humor of this sign. You see, that man is Luke Woodward, and he grew these favas. Get it now? (Thanks, Siobhan, for that devastatingly charming wit of yours!)

Mountain magic tomatoes from Billy’s Gardens. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These little mountain magic tomatoes from Billy’s Gardens are richly flavored and nice and fleshy, making them an excellent cooking tomato. They will hold up just fine on the grill alongside of what have you. They have skins that don’t burst, and they hold their shape great, so you don’t just end up with a smoky blob of tomato mush. I gave them a test drive for you, and I can attest — these little guys rock. And I do loves me some grilled maters in the summertime.

Chinese spinach from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I continue to maintain that Chinese spinach is the most beautiful vegetable on earth. And it is coming into season right now at Children’s Gardens. I only know two farms around here that bring this delicacy of Asian cooking to Market around here. And it is plenty easy to prepare, too. A little garlic and a quick sauté is all it needs, though you are welcome to gussy it up however you see fit!

All blue potatoes from Nature’s Last Stand. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I just love the color of these particular all blue potatoes from Nature’s Last Stand. And first, let us clarify… there are no truly blue fruits or vegetables. Those that are called blue really are just very dark shades of purple. But what I love about these beauties is that they don’t even bother to hide their purpleness. It kinda just jumps right out at you.

Red Vein Sorrel from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

More cool looking food alert! Check out this red vein sorrel from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. At first glance, I’d say it is venturing to give Chinese spinach a run for its money, but really, I think it wins more in the coolness category than the straight up stunningly beautiful category. Either way, one thing you can’t say about your Ballard Farmers Market is that the tables of produce throughout it are boring or the same old same old, like at the Big Box stores.

Donut peaches from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now, here’s a peach that Homer Simpson can really wrap his mouth around! This is the coolest looking stone fruit — the donut peach from Collins Family Orchards. Donut peaches are great in so many ways. They are free-stone peaches, meaning the flesh comes cleanly off of the pit, or stone. The pit is tiny, meaning that pound-for-pound, you are getting more peach for your buck. And for flavor, they simply cannot be beaten. They are sweet, juicy and delicious, and I count them as my favorite peach.  Plus, because of their shape and size, they actually are the least messy peach to eat.

Emmer/farro pasta flour from Bluebird Grain Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is the flour from which Italians originally made pasta. Bluebird Grain Farms does a fine milling on their emmer farro pasta flour so that it is easier to work with for making pasta. Indeed, when you see emmer pastas at Pasteria Lucchese, they are making it with this flour. It is a whole grain flour with a rich, nutty flavor that makes for amazing pasta. Oh, and Bluebird is making its monthly visit to your Ballard Farmers Market today!

Gypsy peppers from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look! Pepper season has begun! And these gypsy peppers from Lyall Farms are a staple of my summer grilling diet. They are mild, with only the slightest hint of heat, and they grill beautifully, becoming soft and smoky. On hot days like this, I look to eat everything off of the grill, and keeping some of these fellows around fits that bill perfectly.

Gluten-free loaf bread from Dolce Lou. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you must eat a gluten-free diet, you probably have been waiting for a decent gluten-free loaf of bread to cross your path. You know, a loaf of bread that looks and tastes like, um, bread? Chewy. Moist. A loaf that, when you squeeze it, it regains its shape. And a loaf with great flavor! Well, your wait is over. Dolce Lou has succeeded where so many others have failed! Check out their 90% whole grain sandwich bread (left) and their olive loaf! Woohoo! So start enjoying bread again!

Canned albacore tune from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fishing Vessel St. Jude joins us today for their monthly visit to your Ballard Farmers Market, and Joyce tells me that they have a great new batch of honey-smoked albacore — “very delicious,” Joyce says. They also have some great sushi-grade loin cuts, as well as their famous canned albacore in many varieties.

Finally, another reminder to please bring your own bags today, and 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, July 1st: BYOB = Bring Your Own Bag! Celebrate Independence In Seattle From Plastic Handle Bags!!!

July 1, 2012

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

Happy Canada Day, eh? And to celebrate the myth of Canadian independence from Great Britain, Seattle is instituting its new ban on single-use plastic bags today. That means those pesky plastic handle bags, often called “t-shirt bags” (though most folks think they look more like a tank top, frankly), are no longer legal in Seattle. So please bring your own bag with you today to your Ballard Farmers Market. Yes, you may continue to see some of those plastic bags around for a little while longer as folks use up their inventories, but don’t count on them. And hey, while you are at it, please practice at the Market what you do at home — separate your waste. That’s right. Your Ballard Farmers Market now has three kinds of waste receptacles: blue for recyclable, green for compostable, and brown for “heading to a landfill in Oregon.” Please pay attention to what you are throwing into which container, because when you are lazy and put stuff in the wrong container, it can cause the whole lot to be landfilled instead of recycled or composted, and that costs extra money and is bad for the environment. Your thoughtful cooperation is greatly appreciated. And if you don’t know what goes where, please ask for assistance.

An explosion of carrots from Gaia’s Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

In honor of Independence Day, coming up this Wednesday, we give you this explosion of baby carrots from Gaia’s Natural Goods. It really does kinda look like a big firework bursting high above Lake Union, doesn’t it? You know, with the 4th just a few days away, today is a great day to stock up on local deliciousness for you holiday, whether you plan to stay home, grill and watch fireworks, go sailing or go camping. Farmers market produce is so fresh, it’ll hold up at least a week longer than stuff from the Big Box stores.

Early bing cherries from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Martin Family Orchards has the first of their fresh early bing cherries today from their orchards in Orondo, north of Wenatchee. One of the most northern of our cherry farms, they tend to come in latest in the season, but when they do, they come in strong! And they may even have a last few of their lovely d’anjou pears from last fall, too!

Jerry Stokesberry of Stokesberry Sustainable Farm holding one of their fresh chickens. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Meet Jerry Stokesberry of Stokesberry Sustainable Farm in Olympia. Jerry raises soem of the most delicious chickens and ducks you will find anywhere, and they’ve actually got them fresh in their little black fridge for you right at the Market. I’m thinking one of these birds would be great on the barbecue with a can of beer up its bum on the 4th, don’t you?

Alice holding huge heads of Jericho romaine lettuce from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids, it’s two faces in a row! How often does that happen on this blog? Today, the lovely Alice is modeling some of Oxbow Farm’s ginormous heads of Jericho romaine lettuce. These suckers are bigger than Alice’s head! And the big leaves are perfect for lettuce wraps, or chop it up for an awesome caesar salad, and you can even toss it in a little olive oil and grill it. Yummers!

Red, white and blue potatoes from Nature’s Last Stand. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nature’s Last Stand returns today to your Ballard Farmers Market for the 2012 season. Of course, since John’s got us all on pins and needles about just what he’s bringing to Market today, I get to play, “guess what the farmer will have today.” Okay, I know a lot of you are thinking, “isn’t that what you do every week?” Well, sorta, but in this case it is hard to even make an educated guess. That said, I have chosen this photo of red, white and blue potatoes from 2010. Why? Because John has always liked to have red, white and blue potatoes for July 4th. And even if he doesn’t this year, the idea is a good one, don’t you think?

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

Is this not some lovely salad mix from Growing Things Farm? I think so! It has taken a while for things to dry out over in the Snoqualmie River Valley at Growing Things, but now Michaele and her posse of interns are starting to crank out some serious veggies for us to enjoy. Of course, they’ve still got plenty of their famous eggs and chickens, too.

Fresh porchetta roast from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hopefully, Sea Breeze Farm will have more of these fresh porchetta roasts for us today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Sure, the ones they have already roasted that they will slice off a chunk of for you are plenty delish, but one of these puppies fresh out of the oven or off of the barbecue is simply to die for. Oh, the herbaceousness. Oh, the pork bellyliciouosness. However, if they were just teasing us with these last week, the good news is, they’ll still have plenty of other tasty hunks of dead animals today, ready for the grilling this coming week!

Paglia e Fieno fettuccine from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Paglia e Fieno fettuccine from Pasteria Lucchese is as much fun to eat and it is to pronounce! This best of both worlds pasta just begs for being tossed with summer’s bounty, fresh from the Market. And Sam can’t wait to give you any number of delicious, simple recipe ideas for working with it. Even if you already know what you are going to do with it, ask Sam for ideas, if only to listen to his charming Italian accent and watch him gesture his description of a “tear drop of cream.”

Cauliflower from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Summer Run Farm grows some of the most beautiful, perfect cauliflower you will find anywhere, and the good news is that you will find it here, at your Ballard Farmers Market, fresh out of the field and ready for munching. Roast it. Grill it. Make gorgeous salads with it. Or just dip it in freshly made cocktail sauce, like my mom loves to do!

Purslane from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

What up?! It’s purslane (not to be confused with Lois Lane) from Alm Hill Gardens. This crunchy, tangy green is the stuff of legendary salads and gorgeous garnishes. And it is pretty darned good for you, too! But it isn’t around for very long, so grab some today and enjoy! You can thank me later.

Apriums from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Apriums from Collins Family Orchards are sweet and juicy right now. Apriums are a hybrid between apricots and plums, favoring apricots in appearance and flavor. They are the earliest of the larger stone fruits with a limited season, so enjoy them while you can!

Patty pan summer squash from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yay! Summer squash is in the house! Yup, Alvarez Organic Farms has kicked summer into high gear with eight different kinds of summer squash already, and even more to come. This patty pan squash is awesome on the grill alongside your favorite hunk of meat or fish, and it is so simple to prepare, though you are perfectly welcome to take a more difficult route, if you so choose. Oh, hey, BTW, it is the first Sunday of the month, and that also means we get our monthly visits from Fishing Vessel St. Jude with local albacore tuna and Bluebird Grain Farms with emmer and emmer floursmixes, etc.

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, January 22nd: No Snow, We Promise! Instead, Find Collard Greens, Purple Top Turnips, Gala Apples, Beautiful Beef, Kimchi Brine, Buckwheat Flour, Crabapple Jelly & So Much More!

January 22, 2012

Just another gorgeous day at your Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Thought we could all use this warm, sunny image from last May. Ah, doesn’t that sunshine feel good? And just look at that blue sky! Well, the good news is that the muck, slop and slush are just about gone, and things are getting back to normal. The kiddies will be back in school tomorrow, finally, and you’ll be back at work. And you will need nourishment to get you through it. So many of you were scared off from attending your Ballard Farmers Market last week for fear of snow that I imagine many of you practically starved to death this past week. And that is a shame, since we didn’t have any snow at your Ballard Farmers Market last Sunday – none! We could see it falling on Queen Anne — where it belongs, frankly! — but here in the People’s Republic of Ballard, it was like a magic force field had been erected, and we remained snow-free, with a full compliment of vendors! And we’ll have close to a full house today, too.

Collard greens from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

So come on down support your local farmer, and get some delicious local food in your belly after that long last week. Like these spectacular collard greens from Colinwood Farms. They will absolutely recharge you. And Colinwood will have salad mix, braising mix, some righteous kale, parnips and more today, too!

Gala apples from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tiny’s Organic Produce will be in attendance today with lots of these gala apples, and a bunch of other organic apples, too. And given how many sniffles I heard while I was out and about on Saturday, you are gonna need some of these beauties in order to ensure that you keep the doctor away, right?

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

You know, being holed up in my house for a week, foraging out now and then for a brief walk in the frozen tundra of North Ballard, only to find almost every business, bank and library closed, I kinda started to develop a bit of a hankering for milder days, when I would fire up the barby on my deck to grill up a nice grass-finished beef steak from Skagit River Ranch. But this is Ballard, and a milder day simply means my Smokey Joe ain’t encased in ice. So grill I will tonight!

Purple top turnips from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I’m thinking a nice root roast, and some of those aforementioned collard greens, will side my steak nicely, eh? Full Circle Farm has these lovely purple top turnips now, ripe for the roasting, as well as some gorgeous celeriac, and plenty more.

Kimchi brine from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know what else those turnips would go well with? Some of this kimchi brine from Firefly Kitchens. You’ve had their outrageously good kimchi, right? Well, this is the juice left in the crock after the kimchi is fermented, then removed to be bottled. This stuff is incredible, and it’ll put some kick into all sorts of dishes. And like their various fermented foods, this stuff is alive with pro-biotics, and if I am anything, I am pro-biotic! Stop by and visit them for a sample taste. You will be going home with a bottle.

Gluten-free buckwheat flour from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Back in 1999, during my first year as Executive Director of the Washington State Farmers Market Association, we had our board retreat in the tiny little city of Waterville, perched high up above the Columbia River gorge on Highway 2, surrounded by wheat fields. We met there then because grain, one of Washington’s largest crops, was essentially unheard of at farmers markets, and we wanted to be reminded of that while we met. 13 years later, much like wine, meat and cheese, we cannot imagine our Ballard Farmers Market without local grain products direct from area farms, and lots of baked goods made with local flour. But what we still have not had, until now, has been gluten-free flour. That changes today! Welcome buckwheat flour from Nash’s Organic Produce. Yup. You heard right! Enjoy!

Lavender honey from Golden Harvest Bee Ranch. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Golden Harvest Bee Ranch was one of the few vendors unable to make it last Sunday due to weather. Seems Whidbey got the gift of snow on Saturday last week. Ah, the glories of the Convergence Zone. (I mean, do you ever find yourself talking to someone from outside the Puget Sound area, and you mention the Convergence Zone, and they have no idea what you are talking about? You can find it on weather maps, but not Google maps!) Well, they are back today, with their wide assortment of local honey flavors, like this lavender honey.

Kale, zucchini & collard chips from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I love these kale, zucchini & collard chips from House of the Sun. These guys make all sorts of great raw, vegan foods using local ingredients. But these chips baffle people. How do they make ’em with cooking ’em, folks wonder. Simple. They season them, and then they dehydrate them. Genius! Sure, we could do this at home, but it is so much simpler, and most likely tastier, to get some from House of the Sun at Ballard Farmers Market. And guess what? They no longer package them in plastic containers! That’s right. They’ve gone to fully compostable paper bags lined with natural cellophane!

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

“Blessed are the cheese makers.” Thank you, Monty Python, for that. And thank you, Samish Bay Cheese, for being one of those blessed cheese makers. Samish Bay makes quite a variety of cheeses these days, from mild to sharp, and seasoned with from chives to chocolate. This photos shows just six of them! Are you getting enough cheese?

Crabapple jelly from Deluxe Foods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rebecca tells me she found the crabapples for her Deluxe Foods crabapple jelly right here in the neighborhood, if I’m remembering the tale correctly. See, not a lot of crabapples are grown commercially around here, which is a shame. Cuz crabapples are seriously old school. You know, Deluxe Foods specializes in heirloom jam recipes like this, made with amazing local ingredients. Stop by for a taste today, and give your toast a little more class tomorrow morning!

Hey, there is plenty of 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, November 20th: Eat Local For Thanksgiving with Chef Dustin Ronspies of Art of the Table!

November 20, 2011

Chef Dustin Ronspies of Art of the Table performing a cooking demonstration at Wallingford Farmers Market this past June. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is where the rubber meets the road, folks. If there is any time to eat local, it’s Thanksgiving. After all, what’s the point of giving thanks for the bounty on our tables if we do not know who to actually give thanks to? Well, when you Eat Local For Thanksgiving, you’ll know the names of each of the farms that produced the ingredients that went into your Thanksgiving feast, and that means you can thank each and every one of them by name as you give thanks over your meal. How cool is that? And to help us with great ideas for Thanksgiving side dishes is Chef Dustin Ronspies of Art of the Table, who will be performing a cooking demonstration today at noon at your Ballard Farmers Market. Dustin has built his entire business around using what’s fresh and local at your Ballard Farmers Market every week as the basis for his weekly menus, so if anyone can talk Eat Local For Thanksgiving, it’s him!

Winter squash from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, it’s time to go down the Thanksgiving grocery check list. And you might as well bring that entire list to your Ballard Farmers Market today. I mean, if for some reason you can’t find it here, you’ll still have four days to get it at the coop or Ballard Market, right? Let’s start with an absolute staple: winter squash. Just look at these beauties from Growing Things Farm. You know, like with so many crops, 2011 was not a good year for winter squash harvests, but the ones our farmers did harvest are awesome, and the Market is flush with them today, so celebrate ’em while you can!

Fresh sausages from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you are looking at this photo thinking, “What the heck do sausages have to do with Thanksgiving dinner?”, then you need to broaden your horizons a bit! These beautiful, farmstead sausages from Sea Breeze Farm are perfect to mix in with your stuffing, or to toss in with your mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes. Their savory, spicy, fattiness adds complex flavors to all sorts of dishes. So don’t think of them as a main course. Think of them as a seasoning!

Brooke Lucy from Bluebird Grain Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for flour to bake with, or to thicken that gravy? Or maybe you’d like to add a nice pilaf as a side dish. I imagine you have all manner of uses for the whole grains, cracked grains, flours and mixes offered by Bluebird Grain Farms. Well, Brooke Lucy returns today with your direct connection to your local grain grower. Everything else on your holiday table will be local. Shouldn’t your grain products be local, too? Not to mention fresh and delicious!

Granny Smith apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Granny Smith apples from ACMA Mission Orchards make for great pies and sauces, and they’ve got a gorgeous fresh crop of them, and many other varieties of apples and pears, right now. And hey, don’t just think desserts and sauces. Think stuffing, or roasting with squash and more. Few meals are more wonderful than Thanksgiving dinner for  celebrating the bounty of this year’s local harvest of magnificent deliciousness. So pull out all the stops!

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beauregard sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms are another must for your Thanksgiving table. You can roast them whole, or cut them up. You can bake them in a casserole. You can mix them in with your mashed potatoes. You can even try them with a recipe I learned from some of the Mexican farmhands at Full Circle Farm years ago — cube them, steam them until just tender, and then mash them with some canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and a little maple syrup. Yeah, baby!

Fresh, local jersey cow milk from Silver Springs Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, just how many dishes will require fresh milk this week? You’ll need them for your mashed potatoes, of course. And for that chocolate cream pie. So let’s be thankful for Silver Springs Creamery for producing for us some of the most incredible, local jersey milk and goat milk you will find anywhere. Support your local dairy while enriching your meal.

Brussels sprouts from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ah, the mighty Brussels sprout from Boistfort Valley Farm. It is peak season for them now. If you love them, you don’t need me to sell you on them. But if you are one of those phobic types, then you clearly have never had them prepared properly. They are amazing oven roasted, but I love them sautéed with pancetta, shallots and a little white wine at the end to deglaze the pan and give them a little steam. You pork-phobic types can leave out the pancetta, I s’pose, if you must. Otherwise, sweat the chopped shallots while you render the fat out of the pancetta, and when they’re both going good, add your halved and quartered sprouts. When they start to get bright green and a bit tender, hit the pan with some white wine for a few minutes, until nicely tender. Just don’t overcook them. That’s why most folks don’t like them. They’ve always had them overcooked.

Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

As for those aforementioned mashed potatoes, Olsen Farms has an amazing selection of the finest potatoes you will ever want. For mashing, I am a particular fan of these Viking purple potatoes, with their creamy, white flash that is pretty much put on this earth as a vehicle for butter. But you might be a German butterball fan. Who am I to judge?

Sugar pie pumpkins from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pumpkin pie is a staple of many a Thanksgiving feast, but too many people use that nasty canned stuff. But why, when Stoney Plains has these gorgeous sugar pie pumpkins just waiting for you? These babies are bred specifically for your pie-making pleasure. Please, do not deny them their destiny!

Artisan breads from Grateful Bread Baking. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You might be thinking, “With all the food we’ll have on our table this Thursday, do we really need bread, too?” Uh… yes!!! I mean, you are gonna take it home tonight, cube it up or tear it apart, toss it with olive oil and herbs and spices and roast it in the oven at low heat to dry it out, and then, on Thursday, you are going to make the most amazing stuffing with it. Woohoo! So stop by Grateful Bread Baking for just the right loaf, or three.

Schmaltz, a.k.a., chicken fat, from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And the secret ingredient is schmaltz, or chicken fat. Use it in just about everything. From your mashed potatoes to your baked goods to a rub-down for your turkey, and on and on. Stokesberry Sustainable Farm produces this from their chickens. And they’ve also got plenty of turkey sausage right now. Work some of that into your stuffing, too, eh?

Quince jelly from Deluxe Foods. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll be needing some incredible, heirloom jams and jellies to accompanying many of your dishes, and for that, Deluxe Foods has you covered. Hopefully, they’ve have some of this quintessentially Thanksgiving-esque quince jelly today, though you might have to get here early to get any. But hey, if not, they’ve go many more great flavors.

Parsnips from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Parsnips from Nash’s Organic Produce are great added to a root roast, stew or soup, but for Thanksgiving, I recommend blending some in with your mashed potatoes. Oh, sweet, creamy deliciousness!

Rutabagas from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let us finish today’s Eat Local For Thanksgiving epistle with the mighty rutabaga from Colinwood Farm. These, too, can be mashed in with your potatoes, but me, I like ’em steamed and mashed with lotsa butter all on their own. For my money, it just ain’t Thanks For The Land Day without a healthy helping of bagas.

Hey, there is plenty of 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.