Posts Tagged ‘gingerbread’

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.

Sunday, December 2nd: ‘Tis The Holiday Season At Your Ballard Farmers Market!

December 2, 2012
Fresh holiday wreathes from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

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

Hey kids, it’s December! Allow me to be the 187th person to wish you Happy Holidays! We’re past Thanksgiving already, and the college football season is over. Heck, Chanukah begins next Saturday night at sundown. We are deep in it, folks. Look, it’s been some crazy times over the last year in our community, our nation, our planet. Yet, we’re still here. How’s about we take a step back, do some reflecting, and make this time of year a little extra special this year. I don’t mean go to the mall and buy your sweetie that jewelry or perfume you saw on TV that 1,263,982 other people are going to buy for their sweeties this year. I mean, how friggin’ special a gift is that? Besides, you’ve been carrying on about how Bain Capital or the Obama Administration have been killing American jobs for the last 12 months, right? Well, why don’t you do something about it, while at the same time getting your loved ones something special this year — something unique — which will, of course, make them feel special, too. It’s easy. Just head on down to your Ballard Farmers Market and visit any of our vendors. Everything you’ll find is unique, special, and locally produced by them. That means you’ll be directly supporting good American jobs while getting something special. Pretty cool, huh? Why not start with one of these lovely holiday wreathes from our friends at Alm Hill Gardens. They are made carefully, by hand, from things growing on the farm up in Everson. Good luck getting the guys at the Big Box store to tell you what farm their wreathes and trees came from. Here, you’re getting them directly from the farmers!

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

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

Nothing says the holidays like luscious holiday breads, right? Their smell, their appearance and their flavor accent the season like few other things. Sometimes, I think we’ve gotten so absorbed in our technology that we forget the power of our senses and our experiences. I look at this gorgeous loaf of gingerbread from Tall Grass Bakery, though, and I can just smell it… and my mind fills with memories and fond associations. That December it snowed so much. A party with friends, candles, a pot of warm glüg, and festive music on a cold, wet, blustery night. Ah. Work can wait until January.

Knitted scarves from Gypsy Beaded Creations. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Knitted scarves from Gypsy Beaded Creations. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Like I was saying before, what you will find at your Ballard Farmers Market is produced by the people selling it. Like these beautiful knitted scarves from Gypsy Beaded Creations. In fact, you’ll likely find Corrine knitting her next work of wearable art right at the Market. You won’t get much more unique a gift than this, and it’ll come with an actual, local face behind it — someone you know you supported with your holiday gift-giving dollars. And your loved ones will look fabulous and stay warm and cozy, too!

Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When I was editing photos for this week’s post, it pleased me to find this one. It is so colorful, isn’t it? Like a brilliant string of festive lights or old-fashioned glass ornaments. And yet, what it is is (I think I just had a Bill Clinton flashback) canned local albacore tuna in many flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Yup, it is time for their monthly visit to your Ballard Farmers Market today. And you’ll want plenty of their tunaliciousness around for the holidays. Not just the canned stuff, but frozen sashimi grade tuna loinstuna loxsmoked tuna and more! Mmm. I just had some for dinner. And remember, canned tuna makes a great stocking stuffer!

Goat milk soap from Harmony's Way. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Goat milk soap from Harmony’s Way. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Do you have sensitive skin? Does someone you love? Goat milk soap is incredible gentle on your skin — luxurious, I dare say. It is creamy and mild, and just plain lovely. Lucky us, we actually have a local goat dairy making us these beautiful bars of goat milk soap from the milk of their own goats right here at your Ballard Farmers Market. Harmony’s Way hails from over in Chimacum, on the Olympic Peninsula, just south of Port Townsend. They make their soaps in a variety of scents, shapes and sizes, and you can even get it plain, if you like. If yours is a family that already puts nice soaps in each others stockings, why not get some made locally, direct not only from the soap maker, but from the soap farmer!

Piñata apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Piñata apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know, some folks even put apples in each others stockings. Funny that. But hey, don’t you associate apples with the holidays? You bake them, sauce them, make pies and crisps with them. And why not? They are our dominant local fruit this time of year. Still, when it comes to festive, you really can’t ask for an apple that just sounds more like a party waiting to happen than these piñata apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Just don’t go hanging them from a low-hanging branch and swinging a big stick at them blindfolded. Instead of a shower of candy, you’re gonna get covered with little, moist bits of apple pulp.

Ornamental gourds from Boistfort Valley Farm.Decorative faceplates for your electrical outlets and switches from Dimensional  Colors. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ornamental gourds from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, ornamental gourds from Boistfort Valley Farm do not make good stocking stuffers, regardless of the fact that they will fit nicely into most stockings. Still, they do make for a lovely, decorative addition to your holiday decking of the halls. Just don’t try to eat them. Unlike their winter squash cousins, this gourds ain’t for eating, and you’ll probably break your knife or cut off a finger trying to cut them open anyway. Instead, surround some candles with them on your dinner table, add them to your mantle, or arrange them with some other fun decorations on an end or coffee table.

Seasoned salts from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Seasoned salts from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here’s a great stocking stuffer for the foodie in your life, and if you are shopping at your Ballard Farmers Market, you are bound to have a foodie or three in your life. These are seasoned salts from Rockridge Orchards. They’ve got them seasoned with all different sorts of things, from herbs and spices to local applewood smoke. Of course, we won’t tell anyone if you realize that the foodie in your life is actually you, and you just buy them for yourself. Heck, take them home, wrap them up and put them in your own stocking, and then watch how confused it will make the rest of the family!

Cirrus Wood from Coal-Free Washington. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cirrus Wood from Coal-Free Washington. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cirrus Wood from Coal-Free Washington created a photo essay at your Ballard Farmers Market last week of vendors against huge coal trains coming through Ballard and local farmlands carrying coal from Montana and Wyoming to coastal ports for shipping to China. You can see his photo essay, and learn more about the issue, on their Facebook page.

Please remember bring your own bags every Sunday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, please take note of our new green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Ballard Farmers Market, and please make an effort to use them correctly. Each container has what’s okay to put in it pictured right on the lid. Please do not put the wrong materials in, because that drives up the cost of recycling and composting, and it can result in the entire container being sent instead to a landfill. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.

There is plenty more local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.