Posts Tagged ‘holiday bread’

Sunday, December 21st: Happy Solstice! (And Chanukah, Christmas, Festivus, Kwanzaa, Yule, Zappadan & Any Other Holidays I Missed!)

December 20, 2014
Holiday wreath from Alm Hill Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Holiday wreath from Alm Hill Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

I’ve got the Andy Williams Christmas Album playing on the iTunes, and that can only mean it is time for our annual Winter Solstice, Chanukah, Festivus, Zappadan, Kwanzaa, Yule, and, of course, Christmas Ballard Farmers Market Blog Holiday Extravaganza! So deck the halls with one of these giant, natural wreaths from Alm Hill Gardens, and sing along with Andy, cuz it’s time to get our holidaze on, good people of Ballard!

Chef Jason Stoneburner of Bastille and Stoneburner during his 2013 Eat Local For The Holidays cooking demonstration at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Chef Jason Stoneburner of Bastille and Stoneburner during his 2013 Eat Local For The Holidays cooking demonstration at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

“So hoopdeedoo, and dickory dock, and don’t forget to hang up your suck, cuz just exactly at 12-o’clock, he’ll be coming down the chimney, down!” And to get you further in the holiday spirit, our buddy, Chef Jason Stoneburner from Stoneburner and Bastille will perform an Eat Local For The Holidays cooking demonstration today at noon!

Hams for the holidays from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hams for the holidays from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year (ding, dong, ding, dong).” And yule need a nice roast beast for your holiday table to help ring in the season. Perhaps one of these lovely, freshly smoked holiday hams from Olsen Farms will hit the spot. Or maybe a nice leg of lamb, or a beef rib roast, will do the job.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And if you set some of these gorgeous Beauregard sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms on your holiday table, you will hit a high note with your guests that could very well send the kind of chills up and down their spines that we all get when Andy Williams hits those high notes when he sings, O Holy Night.

Cipollini onions from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cipollini onions from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

“It’s Christmas time pretty baby, and the snow is falling down…” Sing it, Elvis! And what could be sweeter than listening to An Elvis Christmas while enjoying some caramelized cipollini onions from Colinwood Farm atop some of their delicata or blue hubbard winter squash, eh?

Kale from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Kale from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

“Uh-hubba-hubba, uh, here comes Santa Claus…” I think only Bruce Springsteen’s version of this song even comes close to Elvis’s. It’s that Delta Blues influence that makes it so much fun! And Santa will be quite please with you for setting out a nice plate of sautéed kale from Kirsop Farm with a nice glass of boozy eggnog. After all, we’re one of his last stops here in the Pacific Time Zone, and that means he’ll be all bound up on cookies and milk, and he’ll be ready for some fiber and a cocktail!

Pink Lady apples from Collins Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Lady apples from Collins Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

“And when those blue snowflakes start falling…” I think Elvis was missing his Pink Lady when he sang those words… his Pink Lady apples, that is, from Collins Family Orchards. And who wouldn’t? They’re at their peak right now, crisp and sweet. They are like candy, without the big bill from the dentist!

Organic cranberries from Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Giles Clement.

Organic cranberries from Starvation Alley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Giles Clement.

“Don’t fill my sock with candy… no bright and shiny toys…” Santa, bring Elvis’s baby back to him already. And throw in some of these wonderful organic cranberries from Starvation Alley Farm, too, please!

Stöllen from Snohomish Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Stöllen from Snohomish Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

“It doesn’t show signs of stopping, and I brought me some corn for popping…” Just something about the swagger with which Dean Martin signs these word. And let it snow right here on the blog for your Ballard Farmers Market! Oh, and to really crank up the spirit, grab a loaf of stöllen from Snohomish Bakery. This traditional German holiday loaf is as much fun to pronounce as it is to eat, and it comes with its own little coating of snow, in the form of lots of powdered sugar!

Drinking chocolate from Soulever Chocolates at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Drinking chocolate from Soulever Chocolates at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

“But baby, it’s cold outside…” Dean had better break out some of this drinking chocolate from Soulever Chocolates, and the discussion would be over in a heartbeat.

Raw pet foods from Porter's Pride at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Raw pet foods from Porter’s Pride at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

“The snow is snowing, and the wind is blowing, but I can weather the storm. What do I care how it may storm? I’ve got my love to keep me warm.” I think Dean was talking about his dog and his cat in this song. Heck, they come with their own fur coats, after all. So why not treat your best friends with some locally-made with local ingredients raw pet food from Porter’s Pride?

Salish sea salt and madrona smoked sea salt from San Juan Island Sea Salt Company at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Salish sea salt and madrona smoked sea salt from San Juan Island Sea Salt Company at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

“It’s the Little Saint Nick (oohoohoohooh)… Run, run, reindeer… (he don’t miss no one)…” Yes, the Beach Boys had it right. And you’ll have it right with this delicious stocking stuffer. These little sample bottles of sea salt and madrona-smoked sea salt from San Juan Island Sea Salt Company are just you need for those little extra gifts. Oh, and you can cook with it, too!

Rutabagas from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Rutabagas from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, like Santa, I’ve got a lot of ground to cover here, so I will spare you additional quotes from my Joan Stafford, Liberace and two Chimpmunks Christmas albums. (Although Liberace’s Twas The Night Before Christmas is an absolute classic!) For me, it just ain’t the holidays without steaming up some rutabagas from Boistfort Valley Farm and mashing them with some really good better. Yeah, baby!

Black trumpet wild mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild black trumpet mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This has been an epic fall for wild mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Treat yourself to some of these awesome black trumpet mushrooms, or maybe some yellowfoot chanterelles or hedgehog mushrooms during the holidays!

Polish hardness garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Polish hardness garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Not only is there no such thing as too much garlic, but you’ll need it for all sorts of holiday dishes. Plus, garlic makes a great stocking stuffer, too. Seriously! Garlic is known as the stinking rose, and who doesn’t like roses? Am I right, people? Think of the gourmand on your list for whom you need that little surprise gift. Then visit Jarvis Family Garlic Farm today at your Ballard Farmers Market, and let them introduce you to their wonderful selection of heirloom garlic varieties that will please you, and the recipient of your garlicky gift.

Bartlett pears from Martin Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Bartlett pears from Martin Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether you are poaching them, baking them, saucing them, adding them to salads, or just eating them right off the core, you can’t go wrong at the holidays with a bunch of these great Bartlett pears from Martin Family Orchards.

Chanukah pecan pie from Deborah's Homemade Pies at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Chanukah pecan pie from Deborah’s Homemade Pies at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Lest anyone think this post is too Christmas heavy (and really, it’s just Christmas music heavy!), check out these special Chanukah-themed pies from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. She’s got them in peachpecan and several other flavors, as well as some with snowmen on them, and others with reindeer! Save yourself some work in the kitchen this week, and bring home the best pies in town!

Spirited Apple Wine from Finnriver Cidery & Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Spirited Apple Wine from Finnriver Farm & Cidery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll really get in the holiday spirit with some of this Spirited Apple Wine from Finnriver Farm & Cidery. This is their cider taken in a wine cordial direction, then they add a bit of extra bunch that’ll make you smile. Just don’t plan on driving for a while. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the day!

Beautiful, unique necklaces from Gypsy Beaded Creations at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful, unique necklaces from Gypsy Beaded Creations at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s take one more crack at that holiday gift list of yours. Remember, you will find truly unique gift items, direct from the local artists who created them, right here at your Ballard Farmers Market. Like these stunning necklaces from Gypsy Beaded Creations. Heck, you can actually watch Corrine make some of her pieces right in front of you at the Market! So give a gift with a real person behind it.

Beautiful, hand-turned wooden tableware from Vern Tater at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful, hand-turned wooden tableware from Vern Tator at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And Vern Tator, Woodturner, joins us today for his only pre-holiday visit of the 2014 season. Vern makes these magnificent works of functional art using wood from his own property. He turns, sands and polishes them by hand. And you get to give someone very special a spectacular set of wooden salt and pepper mills, a fantastic wooden salad bowl, a gorgeous wooden rolling pin, heirloom-quality wooden pens, and more!

Shucked oysters from Hama Hama Oysters at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Shucked oysters from Hama Hama Oysters at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, we look a week ahead to New Year’s Eve. While your Ballard Farmers Market will be open next Sunday, December 28th, for you to stock up to celebrate the coming of a near year, Hama Hama Oysters will be absent. Why not stock up on shucked oysters today? They’ll have a freshness date that will carry through the changing of the calendar, and you’ll be all set for the big party!

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.

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Midweek Update for Thursday, December 11th: Holiday Brews, Breads, Chocolates & Decorations!

December 11, 2014
Fresh holiday wreaths from The Fay Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh holiday wreaths from The Fay Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s time to deck the halls for the holidays, and there is no better way to do it than with a fresh holiday wreath, made from local, native evergreens, holly and more. Your Ballard Farmers Market has lots of them now, including these beauties from The Fay Farm.

Prunus ale from Propolis Brewing at Ballard Farmers Market. Courtesy Propolis Brewing.

Prunus ale from Propolis Brewing at Ballard Farmers Market. Courtesy Propolis Brewing.

Propolis Brewing is offering some special releases of their wonderful ales just in time for the holidays, list their Prunus. “Handpicked from the wild ancient cherry trees of our childhood: Prunus~Malbec Barrel one-year aged wild cherry ale…only 22 cases…enjoy with care…” Also enjoy their Cedar Imperial Golden Saison, a 9.5% Imperial Saison aged for 4+ years, and bottled in November, as well as Grewit Barrel-Aged Old World Ale, their 7.5% (Reserve Ale) Wild Ale aged one year Malbec a Barrel.

Gingerbread from Tall Grass Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons..

Gingerbread from Tall Grass Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons..

Looking for a traditional ginger bread for the holidays? Look no further than Tall Grass Bakery! Every year, they craft these beautiful and delicious loves special for this season, using only the finest flours our region has to offer. Look also for their holiday stöllen bread available now!

Gift box of dairy-free truffles from Soulever Chocolates at Ballard Farmers Market. Courtesy Soulever Chocolate.

Gift box of dairy-free truffles from Soulever Chocolates at Ballard Farmers Market. Courtesy Soulever Chocolate.

Finally, for this midweek epistle, how about a nice box of dairy-free chocolates for that special someone on your list, even if that special someone is you! Made by Soulever Chocolates from West Seattle, they are made using many local, and always the best, ingredients!

 

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.