Posts Tagged ‘hot dogs’

Sunday, July 20th: Melons, More Corn, Heirloom Tomatoes, Nectarcots & More!

July 19, 2014
Yellow Doll watermelons from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yellow Doll watermelons from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just when you thought this summer couldn’t get any more amazing, Lyall Farms brings the first melons of the season to your Ballard Farmers Market! These are Yellow Doll watermelons, and this is the earliest we’ve ever seen them here, by more than two full weeks. Wow. They also have more traditional red watermelons, sweet, juicy and ripe, and ready for you to devour.

Tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Woohoo! The tomatoes from One Leaf Farm are coming in early, and with a vengeance! Four varieties so far, and more to come. Besides the sungold and heirloom cherries, above left, they’ve got Black Krim and Paul Robeson, above right. They are so ripe and juicy and delicious. While I’ve been devouring sungolds straight out of the container and in salads for a week now, last Thursday, I enjoyed some of the Black Krims simply with some salt and some mayo. Not highbrow, just classic.

Organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

More sweet corn has arrived this week. This is certified organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms, and because I care, I have already done some serious quality control testing on it, and I can assure you, it is awesome!

Here is a tip for chosing corn: instead of pulling open the top to see if it is filled out, simply run your thumb over the outside of the husk. You can easily feel the mature kernels inside. See, when you actually tear the corn open, you are actually ruining it either for yourself or the next person, because the minute you do that, all the delicious sugars in it that make it so sweet begin to turn to starch. So please, never tear open the husk to examine it before you buy it. If you need help choosing the best ears, just ask. Our farmers are more than happy to lend you a hand.

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

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

These are nectarcots, from Collins Family Orchards, and as the name suggests, they are a cross betwixt nectarines and apricots. And of all the various stone fruit hybrids, I’d say these guys might be the most difficult to pick out their genetic lineage without us telling you. They kinda look like a yellow-orange plum, and they taste super sweet and are super juicy. They don’t have the fuzzy exterior of the apricot, or its deep flavor, and they don’t have that texture that nectarines have. It is as if somehow, someone was able to cross them and get them to contribute their best flavor notes while giving them the texture of a plum and the sturdiness of a pluot. Bottom line is, they are amazing, but they’re only around for a few weeks, so don’t you dare miss them!

Baby summer squash from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Baby summer squash from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Every summer, Growing Things Farm brings the most beautiful summer squash to your Ballard Farmers Market. In fact, they size it for you, so that it is easy for you to pick out the perfect sized squash for your plans. Like these baby summer squash that are perfect for a quick sauté or grilling.

Spartans blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spartans blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We welcome the return of Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm from northern Snohomish County today. They grow some extraordinary organic blueberries, including these SpartansJerseys and Rubels, a close cousin to the wild mountain blueberries on Northern New England and Maritime Canada. Whitehorse Meadows is actually located several miles east of Oso, on the far side of the slide zone on SR 530, which recently reopened. We imagine they’ll be thrilled to be able to get out and see us again, so let’s give them a big welcome back today!

Sweet onions from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet onions from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It has been a bit of a tough year for sweet onions so far — kinda surprising given how good it’s been for just about everything else. But we finally have some seasoned sweet onions for you at your Ballard Farmers Market. These are from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. These sweet onions are from Walla Walla sweet onion seed, but we call them “sweet onions,” without adding “Walla Walla” in front, because the name, “Walla Walla sweet onion,” is protected by a federal USDA Marketing Order, only to be used for onions grown within a 50-mile radius around Walla Walla. Still, these are plenty sweet.

Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny's Organic. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny’s Organic. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here’s another of those cool hybrid stone fruits: Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny’s Organic. Remember, pluots are genetically 70% plum and 30% apricot, but they definitely favor plums in structure and appearance… well, except that pluots come in an extraordinary diversity of colors, flavors and sizes. For instance, Flavor Supremes have a greenish-red skin, but a deep red flesh (see above). And they are fantastic. Enjoy!

Pink turnips from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink turnips from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gorgeous pink turnips from Boistfort Valley Farm are a close cousin to some of the other Asian turnip varieties we see here at your Ballard Farmers Market, only these guys are just a bit more flamboyant. And they taste good, too!

All beef hot dogs from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

All beef hot dogs from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Do you have a hankering for a good all-beef hot dog, but you fear what’s in it, where it was made and how the animals used in it were treated? Well, be afraid no more! These uncured beef franks are from Skagit River Ranch. That means the cattle were grass-fed on lush pastures, treated well, raised organically, and processed with respect. It also means that they are delicious!

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

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

You may have heard me refer to Treviso radicchio as the second most beautiful vegetable on earth and wondered to yourself, “what is the most beautiful vegetable on earth, then?” This is! Meet Chinese spinach from Children’s Garden. It is only grown by two farms at your Ballard Farmers Market, both Hmong, and the last two summers have been kind of hostile to it, so we haven’t really seen much of it since 2011. It can be simply sautéed with some garlic. Or you can just invite your friends over to sit and look at it.

Cauliflower from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cauliflower from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Your Ballard Farmers Market is loaded with lots of heirloom and exotic crops grown by adventurous farmers. But what Summer Run Farm specializes in is growing lovely organic produce standards — the stuff you could find at the Big Box store, but that would pale by comparison to Summer Run’s. Like this cauliflower. Sweet and crunchy, and wonderful roasted, made into soup, dipped in hummus or cocktail sauce, or however you enjoy it best.

Slicing cucumbers from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Slicing cucumbers from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There’s nothing like a cucumber to cool you off during the hot days of summer, a phrase we don’t get to say too often. But this year is one for the record books, so let’s get our cucumber salads on, people. Let’s crank out some cucumber sandwiches. Let’s add it to our ice water and make cocktails and gazpacho out of it. They babies are from Alm Hill Gardens. Pick some up today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Bell peppers from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bell peppers from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These bell peppers from Colinwood Farm are so fragrant that they seem to steal the show for your olfactory glands as you examine the farm’s tables. Pep up your salads, stuff some, or throw them on the barby. This is going to be a phenomenal year for peppers!

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget to grab a loaf or two of artisan bread from Tall Grass Bakery today. They have a wonderful selection, from deep, dark pumpernickel, to chewy, moist Baker Street sourdough, to earthy, sweet oat and honey and challah that will complete your sabbath meal or make for amazing French toast on Saturday morning.

Spicy whole dill pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spicy whole dill pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish off this week’s epistle with this brand-spanking-new release of spicy whole dill pickles from Purdy Pickle. You can’t get these year-round from Purdy, because they are using local ingredients when they are at their peak of freshness. And that means, when they run out, they run out. Lucky for us, this is a very early year for local pickling cukes, so Purdy should be able to put up quite a few jar. But don’t let that cause you to hesitate. Get your pickle on now!

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, October 31st: BOO!!! How About Some Market Treats!

October 31, 2010

Dante Rivera, owner of Dante's Inferno Dogs, slinging dogs at your Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I spent Saturday afternoon partying with Dante Rivera, his staff and his friends, family and fans to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Dante’s Inferno Dogs. In fact, Dante’s is the same age as your Ballard Farmers Market. We both were born in the summer of 2000 here on the mean streets of Ballard. One could say we grew up together. In fact, Ballard Farmers Market has nurtured, or incubated, a number of businesses over the years. Indeed, it is one of its roles. Today, let’s take a look at our five prepared food vendors, four of which developed their businesses by vending at Ballard Farmers Market to the point where they now have storefronts. And vending at Ballard Farmers Market seems to give our vendors a unique sense of community that they carry with them as they grow, as evidenced by Dante’s support of other Market vendors in his business, and the party he threw today. Thanks, Dante!

Devra, owner of Patty Pan Grill, slinging fine veggies quesadillas at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Patty Pan Grill is another one of our bedrock vendors. You may be one of the throngs of people who enjoy one of their veggie quesadillas every Sunday, but you may not realize that Devra gets most of those veggies directly from our many farmers each week. You should just see her load up on boxes of veggies at the end of the Market each Sunday. And if you can’t wait to get your weekly fix, you’ll be excited to learn that Patty Pan Grill just opened, last week, a new storefront at 23rd & Madison in the Central District, just a short distance from our sister Madrona Farmers Market. The menu there will change daily and will be seasonally based, using ingredients from our Market farmers and other local farms.

Veraci Pizza co-owner Marshall Jett being interviewed by Food Network Canada. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Veraci Pizza is another Market vendor that now has a storefront — theirs at 5th & Market here in Ballard. From Veraci’s humble beginnings with its pizza oven wagons in our market system, Veraci Pizza has expanded to operating multiple wagons throughout the Seattle area on any given day, as well as doing so in Portland and Spokane, too. So great has the legend of Veraci grown that Food Network Canada interviewed owner Marshall Jett at Ballard Farmers Market earlier this year for a series they are doing on great street food in North America, due to air in the next year.

Fresh, hot mini donuts from Market Mini Donuts. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Market Mini Donuts is our most recent addition. It is a sibling business to Ballard Farmers Market’s founding farm, Anselmo’s. These little suckers are nothing short of addictive, and since they’re small, you don’t have to feel as guilty about polishing off a dozen of them! They actually were slinging their donuts at Dante’s party yesterday afternoon. Their chocolate coated donuts, if you ever get a chance to try them, are outrageously good. I finally forced myself to stop eating them when, well, they ran out.

A typical wall of humanity cued up for Anita's Crepes. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You may wonder why I don’t have a lovely, close up photo of Anita’s Crepes, our fifth prepared food vendor, that also now has a storefront of its own, on Leary Way across from Hales Brewery in Frelard. Well, the simple answer is that the line at Anita’s is always so long, it is hard for me to get close enough to get such a photo. You see that black canopy on the left in the photo above? That’s Anita’s. Now, you see that sea of humanity stacked up in cue for Anita’s Crepes — that wall of people? They wait patiently for a long time to get their crepes. I am not going to risk my life by trying to barge into that line, or get inside their booth and slow them down, lest that mob becomes unruly!

Whole grain emmer, rye and wheat from Bluebird Grain Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, there’s lots of other deliciousness to be had amongst the many tables of your Ballard Farmers Market. Bluebird Grain Farms is here today, but then they’ll be gone for a couple of weeks, so stock up on grains and flours now. Today will likely be the last for corn, peas, tomatoes and many other sensitive summer crops, so grab them while you can. Mind you, it is the last day of October. In a normal weather year, these crops would have come and gone weeks ago! Autumn Martin returns with her Hot Cakes! today. Yunmers! These little cakes that you take home and pop in your oven that come out all molten chocolate are to die for! And you’ll find lots of great fall crops, from apples and pears to winter squash, sunchokes and Brussels sprouts.

There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Just check the What’s Fresh Now! listings in the upper right-hand corner of this page for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now!

Ballard: Meet Snacks! (Brought to you by Dante’s Inferno Dogs)

January 29, 2010

Dante's Inferno hot dogs at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know Dante’s Inferno Dogs well. They set up their sausage carts every Sunday at Ballard Farmers Market to serve a steady stream of hungry Ballardites (and a few touristas), and you’ll find their carts set up all of the city outside clubs, at special events, basically wherever you’d find a hungry crowd. Now, the Dante behind Dante’s Inferno Dogs — Dante Rivera — has opened a storefront right here on Ballard Avenue to satisfy your sausage jones seven days a week, and to offer you access to all sorts of other goodies from around the neighborhood and throughout the Ballard Farmers Market.

Toby preps my dog in the background while lots of Ballard Farmers Market goodies are for sale in the foreground. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Snacks! Ballard Bodega will be celebrating is Grand Opening tomorrow, January 30, 2010, from noon-5 p.m., with an open house party. “Please stop by for complimentary Dante’s Inferno Dogs, Dirty Chips, and… BEER! Children’s activities, too! LIVE music by The Atlas String Band! Also… many of our local vendors will be onsite promoting their products hosted by Snacks!” says the Snacks! Facebook page.

Snacks Ballard Bodega, brought to us by Dante's Inferno Dogs, just down the street from the Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll find Snacks! Ballard Bodega tucked away in the little parking lot between King’s Hardware and Bop Street Records on Ballard Avenue.  The proper address is 5219 Ballard Avenue NW. Look down through the parking lot, toward the canal, and you will see the Snacks! sausage eating corral. (I realize that many of you are sniggering like Beavis and Butthead about now.)

Out front of Snacks! you'll find their sausage eating corral. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Snacks! sausage eating corral (I’m gonna keep saying it until you collapse from the giggles) comes with a view (sort of) of the ship canal, festive lights, and places to lounge with your dog, protected from the elements by umbrellas 365 days a year. Step through the portal and door a few steps, and you will find all sorts of deliciousness.

Just a sampling of the Ballard Farmers Market goods you'll find at Snacks all week long. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dante is a community oriented kinda guy, and he has committed a fair chunk of real estate in Snacks! to offering up myriad products from Ballard Farmers Market vendors and other neighborhood businesses. When he calls Snacks! a “Ballard Bodega,” he means it. So now, if you crave a bottle of Rockridge cider or Zane & Zack’s hot sauce, or maybe some of Pete’s Perfect Butter Toffee, in the middle of the week, Snacks! has got you covered.

Toby works the Cream Cheese Applicator of Love. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Of course, the real stars of the show at Snacks! will always be the dogs. And honestly, being an ex-pat New Yorker who found his way to Seattle by way of Philadelphia, I have to say that I was a bit skeptical about this Seattle tradition of applying cream cheese to one’s sausage (again, you start with the laughter). But Toby said, “Trust me.” So I okayed the addition of cream cheese, via the Cream Cheese Applicator of Love (which is not unlike a large calking gun, or maybe a cow ins… oh, never mind), to my jalapeno-cheese dog, then had him load it up with the works. He did not steer me wrong.

Enjoying my dog. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Needless to say, though I will say it anyway, it was one fine dog. Here I am, stuffing my pie hole with it, much to the delight of everyone else in the room, as it meant I was quiet for a few moments, save the odd “yum” and “boy-howdy, now that’s a dog” that slipped out of me.

So come join the party at Snacks! Ballard Bodega tomorrow (Saturday, January 30, 2010) from noon-5 p.m., and if you can’t make then, poke your nose in and check it out during your trip to Ballard Farmers Market on Sunday. It is a mere half-block away.

Food Network to Visit Ballard Farmers Market

November 20, 2009

The Ballard News Tribune reports that the Food Network will be filming at Ballard Farmers Market this coming Sunday, November 22nd. They are there to film Dante’s Inferno and Veraci Pizza. According to BNT, the crews will arrive at 12:30 p.m., and Dante Rivera, owner of Dante’s Inferno, is hoping for a large crowd to spice up their shots. Of course, this Sunday being the Sunday before Thanksgiving, I suspect Dante will easily get his wish.

In any case, do come out and show your support for two of our prepared food vendors this Sunday. And by the way, did you know that Ballard Farmers Market helped incubate all four of our prepared food vendors to the point that they all now have storefronts?