Posts Tagged ‘lard’

Sunday, November 4th: Meat, Seafood, Poultry, Dairy: Local, Sustainable & Humanely-Raised Animal Protein!

November 3, 2012

Fresh ducks from Stokesberry Organic Poultry. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This week, we pay tribute to the many farmers, fishers and ranchers at your Ballard Farmers Market who produce animal products. And we start with a farm that epitomizes why we all love to get our meat and poultry here: Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. See, they put it right in their name: sustainable. And it is important to note that sustainable is about more than just the environment. It is about how the animals are treated, what impact their meat will have on your health, how the farm and its animals impact the land they are on and the communities they are in, whether the business, and your support of it, are contributing positively to the local economy, and even the relationship one has with the farm… in this case, a direct one. It matters that the people who grow our food have real, actual faces. They are real, actual people. We come to know them over weeks and months and years, and we trust them like we would our doctor, lawyer or mechanic. All of this is part of sustainable. And part of your Ballard Farmers Market. Just some food for thought as you pick up a dozen eggs, a duck and some chicken fat today from Stokesberry.

Smoked holiday hams from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Olsen Farms travels farther than any other farm in the state to sell at farmers markets. They hail from the tiny town of Aladdin, so far up in the northeast corner of the state, it is almost in Alberta. Olsen may be best known for the 20+ varieties of potatoes they grow, but they also produce beef, pork and lamb. They’ll have these gorgeous holiday hams soon, and fall tends to be a good time to get sheep skins from them, too. And, of course, they make a nice selection of sausages, as well.

Tarantella, or belly tuna, from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fishing Vessel St. Jude, based at Ballard’s own Fishermen’s Terminal, catches adolescent albacore tuna off the coast of Washington as it swims south from the North Pacific, where it spends its first year of life. Because it is still young, and because those cold northern waters are a little cleaner, they are very low in heavy metals. And that cold water also means they are higher in fat content, and thus rich in beneficial omega fatty acids. And the fattiest part of the fish is its belly. That’s what this Tarantella comes from. Canned tuna doesn’t get much more amazing than this!

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

Mmm. Fresh sausages. Fresh from George and the gang out at Vashon Island’s Sea Breeze Farm. Sea Breeze raises cattle, pigs, lamb, veal calves, chickens, ducks, the odd goat, and other tasty animals. They sell their meat from their refrigerated cases at your Ballard Farmers Market, and lovely charcuterie made at their Vashon butcher shop, as well as the aforementioned sausages, bacon, ham, and even raw milk products, cheese and wine.

Lard from Samish Bay Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lard is making a comeback, especially when it comes to fresh lard straight from the farm from happy, healthy, pastured pigs. This ain’t 1970s lard. And with the holidays will come baking season, and for the fluffiest biscuits and the flakiest pie crust, you will need lard. Well, Samish Bay Farm, perhaps best known for its cheese, also raises pigs and cattle. That means they offer pork, beef, yogurt, and yes, lard. Now, go make the best apple pie ever!

Pickled salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For a real fall treat, try out some pickled keta salmon from Loki Fish. Loki is also based out of Fishermen’s Terminal, and the Knutsen’s fish for all five Pacific salmon species in Alaska by summer, and in the fall, they fish for keta and pink in Puget Sound. In fact, they have fresh Puget Sound keta salmon available right now! And they have the other species available flash frozen, smoked, canned, loxed, in burgers and sausages, and more! Oh, but the pickled keta. Yummers. Bring this to a holiday party, and you will be the hero of the day.

Fresh, local butter from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There is just something special about good butter, am I right? And this time of year, so many things just scream out for butter — from spuds to toast to hearty breads. Lucky for us, we’ve got really good butter — indeed, farmstead butter — right here at your Ballard Farmers Market from Golden Glen Creamery. They have it plain (salted and unsalted), as well as in a variety of fun flavors, from savory to sweet. Of course, they’ve also got plenty of great cheese still, too.

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

Sometimes, you just need a good steak. So how’s about one of these beauties from Skagit River Ranch? They’re grass-finished and raised on lush, natural pastures, and they never see grain in their diets nor the inside of a truck. Skagit River Ranch also raises pigs and chickens and turkeys and more… all on their happy ranch along the Skagit River in Sedro-Woolley. It is worth the trip up there to see it, if you can. In the meantime, enjoy the delicious products of their hard and passionate work right here at your Ballard Farmers Market! (And don’t forget to order your holiday turkeys and hams now!)

Smoked whole sides of white king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The season may be over for fresh Washington coastal, troll-caught king salmon from Wilson Fish, but they still have plenty of it smoked and frozen. And if you haven’t tried their smoked king salmon, you do yourself a disservice. It is so rich and delicious, and frankly, unsurpassed. Imagine your holiday party with a side of smoked king like this on a platter in the middle of the table. Your guests will think you a god. Oh, and Wilson will likely have other local fresh fish, like rockfish, ling cod, true cod and others on and off through the winter!

Seastack cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mt. Townsend Creamery, from Port Townsend, makes about a dozen different kinds of amazing cheeses. Just ask the American Cheese Society, with whom several of Mt. Townsend’s cheeses placed first, second or third in America in recent years. You can try them for yourself, right here, at your Ballard Farmers Market, because they will let you sample most of their cheeses. And you’re going to need lots of cheese over the next few months, right? Just don’t get here too late in the day, as many varieties will sell out before 3 p.m.

Oysters on the half-shell, on the beach at Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo courtesy Hama Hama Oyster Company.

Now is a great time of year for fresh oysters, be they raw on the half shell (above), jarred for frying or making oyster stew, smoked or pickled. And Hama Hama Oyster Company has you covered for all your oyster needs. Plus, they’ve got Manila clams, Dungeness crab, crab cakes and more!

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish our stroll through all things animalicious this week with one of the most delectable chickens you will ever taste. Heck, my family eats these instead of turkey for Thanksgiving! Seriously. If you are still buying factory farmed chickens at the Big Box stores because they’re cheap, and you didn’t know that “free range” just means they get a little more room to move around inside a cage in a building for their entire lives, then you owe it to yourself to spend a little extra money for a real chicken from Growing Things Farm. Trust me. There really is a huge difference, and once you try one, you will never buy a Big Box store chicken again!

Finally, another reminder to please 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.

Sunday, April 10th: Nothing Says Spring Like Garden Starts, Easter Hams, Baseball, Radishes & Lard!

April 9, 2011

Baseball cookies from Grateful Bread. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

So let’s root, root, root for spring to show up. If it doesn’t, it will be a shame. But hey, ignore the forecast, as it’s spring at your Ballard Farmers Market right now! And that means, among other things, baseball cookies from Grateful Bread. You’ve just gotta love the creativity of these folks. I mean, have you seen the alligator loaf?!

Vegetable starts from Sunseed Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rain or not, if you plan on having a garden, now’s as good a time as any to start planting you some veggies. Sunseed Farm returned to your Ballard Farmers Market last Sunday with all manner of organic veggie starts. So get out the slicker, boots and trowel, and get planting!

Easter hams from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, now that’s a proper photo of Olsen Farms’ holiday hams, just in time for Easter. Much better than last week’s photo of ham hocks, don’t you think? Skagit River Ranch has hams, too, and Olsen is offering up leg of lamb this week, as well. Or, get a chicken from Growing Things or Stokesberry Sustainable Farm — perfect for Passover.

Ravishing red radishes from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ravishing radishes just radiate spring. Just imagine dipping them in some butter and truffle salt, slicing them over a beautiful salad, or just eating them all before you even get home. These lovelies are from Full Circle Farm.

Spicy salad mix from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And speaking of salad, spicy salad mix has returned to the tables of Alm Hill Gardens. Woohoo! May your taste buds and colon rejoice!!! Get you a big ol’ bag, and a few bunches of them radishes, and just eat yourself silly!

Shucked, smoked & pickled oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you met our new shellfish farm yet? If not, meet Hama Hama Oyster Company. They’ve got a few varieties of oysters in the shell, as well as the above shucked, smoked and pickled oysters, and they’ve got some gorgeous manila clams, too. If you’ve been missing your oysters & clams, stop by for your fix. These sweet, briny bivalves will absolutely make your day!

Bluebird Grain Farms Orange Hazelnut Farro Salad. Photo courtesy Bluebird Grain Farms.

Bluebird Grain Farms returns today, with the plan of coming back now every week. So come on down and pick up some emmer, a little flour, and maybe a bag or two of biscuit mix. Oh, yeah.

Strawberry starts from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Strawberry starts from Stoney Plains Farm. Plant them now. Eat berries from them in June! ‘Nuff said.

Pork lard from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And finally this week, nothing says spring like, um, lard? Oh, what the heck. You are going to make pie for Easter, right? Then why not make it right, with the most incredibly flaky crust ever? Well, that will require some of this beautiful lard from Sea Breeze Farm, it will. (Um, not the best choice for that Passover pie, but then again, such a pie would like be made of matzoh meal and eggs anyway, right?)

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. But please note that due to our recent cold weather, some crops may not be available as anticipated.

Sunday, August 22nd: The Finest Local, Healthy, Sustainably-Produced Meat, Seafood & Poultry

August 22, 2010

Cans of albacore tuna from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Reason #34,872 why you should vote right now for your Ballard Farmers Market as America’s Favorite Farmers Market before the voting closes at midnight on August 31st: 11 different vendors selling meat, seafood and poultry they produce sustainably directly to you. You won’t get quality animal proteins like this anywhere else, unless you find it elsewhere from these very producers. But then, why would you do that? Why not give these good folks all the money, right? Cut out the middle man! And let’s start by saluting Fishing Vessel St. Jude and its superb Washington coastal albacore tuna. Did you know that albacore tuna spawn in the icy waters of the North Pacific? Yup. And St. Jude catches them as teenagers swimming south to tropical waters, which means the fish are still very low in mercury and very high in omega fatty acids, making this tuna, be it fresh loins, canned, smoked or jerkied, the best friggin’ tuna you’ve ever tasted, and tuna that ain’t gonna kill you, either.

Fresh ducks from Stokesberry Organic Poultry. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stokesberry Sustainable Farm raises organic chicken, duck and beef, and even the occasional rabbit I hear. What they produce is so good that you will find in on the menus of many of the most celebrated restaurants in Seattle. I love that they actually cut up their chickens into parts so I can just get a couple of legs or a bag of giblets without having to get the whole bird, though I can get the whole bird if I want to. (In fact, I think I saw Jerry Stokesberry giving me the bird once. Perhaps I said something inappropriate, or cut him off in traffic.)

Rib steaks from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Olsen Farms may be known for its extraordinary selection of heirloom varieties of potatoes, but they also produce some amazing beef, lamb and pork, too. And besides steaks, roasts and chops, they offer sausage, salami, bacon, ham, smoked hocks, and even the odd dog chew. And I hear their animals sometimes get to eat some of their potatoes, too. The cool thing about that is, when you cook their bacon, you don’t need hash browns. But you should probably have some anyway, made from Olsen potatoes, of course.

David of Wilson Fish is despondent while Pete of Pete's Perfect Butter Toffee sobs over the fact that the fish is sold out at 11:30 a.m. on May 24, 2009. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

At Wilson Fish, they like to say, “If our fish was any fresher, it would be from the future.” In most cases, the salmon, halibut, rockfish and true cod you pickup from them at your Ballard Farmers Market was swimming the day before. These guys are catching this fish on the Washington coast, bringing it back to Olympia the same day, filleting and bagging it, and bringing it to you the next day, and mind you, they are doing this usually after another farmers market the previous day. If you haven’t tried their fish, you are really missing out on something special. Just don’t get here too late!

A beautiful pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Years ago, I drove out to Growing Things Farm in Carnation to pickup one of their chickens for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. My family has not eaten a Thanksgiving turkey since. Honestly, it was the best chicken we’d ever tasted. Trust me, if you have never had a truly farm fresh, pastured chicken — if you are still eating chicken you buy at the Big Box Store, regardless of whether it is labeled “organic” or “free range” or whatever — you simply must try one. Once you do, you will never go back. Consider yourself warned!

Another beautiful case of fresh, local meat, straight from the farm, from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Who doesn’t love standing in front of the refrigerator case at Sea Breeze Farm, thoroughly examining each of this week’s offerings of beef, pork, lamb, veal, chicken, duck, sausage, pate, stock, bacon, and on and on. It is magnificent, is it not? It is also incredible. The meat is extraordinary. And the sausages are nothing short of masterful. (And, I have discovered, they are also addictive.)

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

Samish Bay is best know for its cheeses, which, by the way, you must stop by and try. But they also raise great grass-finished beef and pastured pork. And hey, if you are going to use lard in your recipes, don’t you really want to know where it comes from? I mean, the stuff in those cans at the Big Box Store… do you really trust it? And besides, the fat of pastured pigs ain’t gonna kill you quite so quickly, and it’ll make your pies taste better, too.

Fresh whole keta salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pete Knutsen, owner of Loki Fish, is one of the great rabble-rousing heroes of local fishers here in Seattle, battling the brain trust at the Port of Seattle for many years to protect our beloved Fishermen’s Terminal as something that is for working fishers, and not for the yachts of rich tourists and Microsoft millionaires (not that there’s anything wrong with rich tourists and Microsoft millionaires, but they can park their @#$%@#$!!!ing yachts in Shilshole Bay or on Lake Union, not at Fishermen’s Terminal, for the love of Mike!), and he has suffered the Port’s retribution for it. But without Pete, I am not sure we would still have Fishermen’s Terminal at all. So lift a pint to Pete tonight, and pickup for dinner some of the amazing salmon he and his family bring to your Ballard Farmers Market every week. They catch five different species of salmon in Alaska and Washington waters, and they handle it with tremendous care. Besides fresh and smoked salmon, they offer salmon lox, jerky, patties, sausage, roe, canned salmon and a bunch of other salmon goodness.

A Mother's Day 2009 visit to Ballard Farmers Market from the entire family Vojkovich of Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Writer Michael Pollan has made farmer Joel Salatin, who farms in Virginia, into this folk hero who as hit the speaking circuit now himself. And sure, Salatin deserves it, I suppose. But if I want to hear someone wax poetic, and scientific for that matter, about farming and animal husbandry, I would just as soon spend an afternoon with Farmer George (a.k.a., George Vojkovich) of Skagit River Ranch. Honestly, I have never met anyone more chock full of knowledge about raising livestock sustainably than George. Indeed, I spent a day with George on the ranch, and I learned all about how he cares for his animals to an almost obsessive degree, from caring for the soil out of which their forage grows, to tending that forage, to whistling and calling the herd from one pasture to the next all by himself — not even with a dog. I even got to see the mobile slaughter unit in action on the farm, a system of dispatching the animals right on the farm in a lower-stress environment that the USDA inspector onsite told me was the most humane method he has ever seen. So if you want healthy, guilt-free meat and poultry from animals that live happy lives, visit the Vojkovichs today at your Ballard Farmers Market for chicken, beef, pork, sausage, ham, bacon, and more.

A crown of goat from Quilceda Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Goat is the most commonly eaten meat on earth. It is just we Gringos that don’t eat it. Gee, could it be because we are uptight Americans? I mean, even the French and British eat goat. It is lean with a flavor a touch milder than lamb. I love the stuff. Quilceda Farms in Marysville produces delicious goat meat. They offer it in steaks, chops, roasts, shanks, sausages and more, and they conveniently provide a huge collection of recipes you can choose from to help break you in.

Shucked oysters from Taylor Shellfish make it easy to add fresh, local oysters to any recipe. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oyster Bill Whitbeck of Taylor Shellfish is one of truly large personalities at your Ballard Farmers Market — a genuine legend in his own time. He has played a key role in connecting us all to the wonders of Washington shellfish over many years of hard work. Each week, he brings to Market some of the best oysters, clams, mussels and geoduck one can expect to find anywhere on earth, and yet it comes from right here!

Indeed, it is somewhat of an embarrassment of riches we enjoy at our beloved Ballard Farmers Markets. Think about it. How often do you hear some tourist or visiting relative or friend wandering through the Market commenting that they don’t have markets like this in their state. Okay, maybe you haven’t been to farmers markets in other states, so you think this is the way it is everywhere. Heck, it is isn’t even this way at other markets in this city, let alone other states! 11 different vendors selling their meat, seafood and poultry — 12 in the winter, when we are joined by Cape Cleare Fishery. And then there’s the six cheese makers, two grain growers, the honey, the bakeries, the foragers, the flowers, the cider and wine makers and all that incredible produce. Not to mention all the camera crews from around the world we have to negotiate around. Honestly, are you telling me you still haven’t voted for Ballard Farmers Market as America’s Favorite Farmers Market? Please, vote now. We’ve only got nine more days!

And remember, there is plenty more for you to find today at your Ballard Farmers Market. But before you click on the What’s Fresh Now! pages to see what all else is in season right now, please do take a moment to vote for Ballard Farmers Market in American Farmland Trust’s America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest. And thank you!

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

January 17, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remember, your Ballard Farmers Market is chock full of all sorts of goodness for your kitchen and beyond. For a fuller accounting of what you’ll find at the Market today, go to “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner.