Posts Tagged ‘lox’

Sunday, December 19th: Delicious Local Fixins For Great Holiday Meals, Unique Gifts Hand-Crafted By Local Artists & Morris Dancers! Where Else But Your Ballard Farmers Market?!?

December 19, 2010

Whole emmer/farro from Bluebird Grain Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

(Note: Ballard Farmers Market will be open next Sunday, December 26th.)

I spent last week on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Okay, I hear you thinking, “lucky bastard,” but believe it or not, it was colder there on a few days than it was here, and just as stormy. With weather like that, if my parents didn’t live there, the place would hold no redeeming value for me at all. I bring this up to remind us all that we’re pretty friggin’ lucky to live here in the Pacific Northwet. Even when the weather is crappy, we’ve got plenty to keep us going. So I don’t wanna hear anymore whining about La Nina. Get on out to your Ballard Farmers Market today and get everything you need for a great holiday season direct from the local farmers, fishers, ranchers, food artisans and artists that help make this place the best place on earth to live, and visit all of our neighbors terrific shops, restaurants and watering holes. Invest in your local economy this holiday season instead of the Mall, and maybe by this time next year, we’ll all feel more comfortable. That said, Bluebird Grain Farms is here today with all of their magnificent organic heirloom grain products, from whole grain emmer/farro to cereal blends, flours, pilaf, mixes and more. Stock up today, as Bluebird likely won’t be back again for at least another month!

Various fish products from Cape Cleare Fishery. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cape Cleare Fishery is back today. They are the folks who peddle their bicycles all the way from Port Townsend to Ballard each week… except last week. Apparently riding face-first into a driving rain along flooded roads didn’t sound too attractive to them last week. Go figure. But they’re back today. So pickup some frozen-at-sea Alaskan salmon, maybe a nice package of lox, or perhaps some smoked salmon to impress your guests with this holiday season.

A display of FDA documents and U.S. Marshall postings from Estrella Family Creamery. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you are interested in learning more about the FDA seizure of Estrella Family Creamery, and efforts to help the Estrella family during this difficult time for them, a group of supporters and friends have set up a blog here on WordPress. It contains discussions of the situation and info on how you can help. There has also been setup a “Save the Estrella Family Creamery” Facebook page.

Pepper strands from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Today may be your last chance to get a pepper strand or wreath from Alvarez Organic Farms. These beautiful creations will liven up any home, and they make great gifts. And the best thing is, once they are dried, if you don’t want to leave them hanging, you can actually cook with the dried peppers. Of course, if you don’t want to break it up once it’s dried, why not pickup some dried peppers from Alvarez. They have several varieties of peppers dried this year. Stock up.

Winter squash from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things still has some lovely winter squash available this week, and of course, they also still have amazing pastured poultry, eggs, jams and soaps. Michaele makes an amazing variety of soaps, in fact, from spearmint — my favorite — to lemongrass to cinnamon. And she makes her soap from beef tallow and lard from her own animals, the old-world way.

Roasted Garlic & Rosemary Gluten-Free Bread from Platypus Breads. Photo courtesy Platypus Breads.

The bad news is, this is the last week for Platypus Breads at your Ballard Farmers Market. The good news is, Lindsay is here today with her amazing gluten-free breads for one last hoorah. Frankly, Platypus Breads is one of the most remarkable new vendors of 2010. Lindsay decided that people who must eat gluten-free products deserved to have just as good bread to eat as everyone else, and she set out to make it. And she succeeded. She proved that the terms moist, flavorful and gluten-free are not inherently mutually exclusive, if you just put some effort, thought and creativity into it. So thank you, Lindsay. You, and your bread, will be missed.

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

Shellfish. You need it. Lots of it. Especially during the holidaze. Think oyster stuffing or stew, baked oysters or oysters on the half-shell, sauteed mussels or clams, or even some geoduck ceviche. Whatever you decide to do with your shellfish, Taylor Shellfish has what you need. So visit Oyster Bill today for this week’s fix, and maybe put in a request for next week’s.

Holiday wreath from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alm Hill Gardens still has some of their beautiful holiday wreaths today. They handcraft these marvelous creations using foliage from their farm just for us. And they smell amazing! Oh, Alm Hill should have some saute mix, squash and other edibles today, too.

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

All the Northwet loves a tasty root roast this time of year, and what root roast is complete without parsnips, like these from Nash’s. Actually, you can also make soups, purees and mashes with parsnips, too, combined with celeriac and maybe potatoes. Parsnips are so wonderfully sweet and delicious, and they cook pretty quickly, so beware and don’t overcook them. Though they look like carrots, they are not nearly as dense as carrots. Enjoy!

Rutabagas from Boistfort Valley. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

On the other end of the root density spectrum, though equally loved by me, is the humble rutabaga, a.k.a., Swedes or Swedish turnips, like these from Boistfort Valley Farm, which will hopefully grace us one more time today with their presence. These giant-looking turnips are not really turnips at all. Their dense flesh has a deeply sweet, savory flavor that is great steamed and mashed with plenty of butter. Or toss them in the root roast, too. But remember, they will take the longest of any of your roots to cook, as they are the densest.

Family-sized cheesecake from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, I hope Sam & Sara of Pasteria Lucchese made some of their incredible cheesecakes this week. Have you tried one? Well, take it from this ex-pat New Yorker that they are the real deal, and you will want one, or three, on your holiday table. You can thank me later.

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, December 13th: Cranberry-Nut Butter Toffee, Holiday Wreaths, Great Gifts, Chocolates (By George!) & Lots of Good Eats

December 12, 2009

A sterling silver fairy necklace by Michael E. Marron. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons,


Michael E. Marron is a sculptor, jeweler and designer right here in Ballard. He likes to work with sterling, like with this lovely fairy necklace (above) to which my photography does not do justice. Look for Mike with the “Made in Ballard” sign.

Cranberry-Nut Butter Toffee from Pete's Perfect Butter Toffee. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.


We all love Pete’s Perfect Butter Toffee already, right? I mean, it’s perfect, after all, so how could we not love it? But Pete rolled out the big guns for the holidays for us with his special holiday treat: Cranberry-Nut Toffee. This luscious stuff is made with cranberries, as well as cashews, walnuts and pecans. Make sure you get enough for stuffing the stockings, and for your own secret stash.

A beautiful holiday wreath from Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.


You’ll find a nice selection of fresh holiday wreathes, like this one from Harmony Farm, throughout your Ballard Farmers Market. Check with Alm Hill and Growing Things, as well, and Alm Hill has these gorgeous fragrant mantle runners (below), too.

Fragrant mantle runners from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.


Salmon lox from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.


Every family has its unique holiday food traditions. Mine eats takeout Chinese on Christmas Eve, then lox and bagels for Christmas brunch after opening presents, and then a dinner built around some sort of roast beast or other. If your family shares my family’s bagel tradition, some of the best salmon lox around can be found at Loki Fish right here at Ballard Farmers Market. They make lox from sockeye, coho and keta salmon. While Northwesterners may favor the sockeye, folks used to a New York style of lox may want to try the coho or keta, which is similar in lightness and flavor to that nasty farm-raised stuff they use in New York, except Loki’s stuff is all wild and local!

Braeburn apples from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.


Tiny’s Organic Produce now has many of our favorite winter apples in, like these Braeburns, above, as well as fuji and pink lady apples. They are good anytime, and they make a nutritious stocking stuffer. And I am sure many of you have great Chanukah recipes that call for some good apples, too. (Mmm, latkes with fresh apple sauce!)

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


Since you are likely to be getting too much stuff for your normal supply of bags this week, may we suggest picking up one of these limited edition Ballard Farmers Market holiday gnome bags, either at Venue, just around the corner from the Market on 22nd Avenue NW, where you’ll also find lots of great gifts made by local artists, or at the Market Info Desk.

Syrah chocolates from Chocolates By George! Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.


George is back with his Chocolates By George! Check out these holiday treats he is making for us right now — chocolates infused with syrah. Two great tastes that taste great together!

Black Washington truffles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.


Truffles don’t just come from Europe. They come from Washington, too. Foraged & Found Edibles has black (above) and white truffles from Washington right now. Ounce for ounce (as that’s how they’re priced), these beauties are a fraction of the cost of their imported cousins. And while the aficionado may notice a difference, I personally find them plenty enjoyable. Try them shaved with some of Pasteria Lucchese’s pappardelle and butter.

Goat shanks from Quilceda Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.


How about braising some delicious goat shanks from Quilceda Farm for an intimate dinner over the holidays? I love this stuff. If you like lamb, or just want to try the most commonly eaten meat on earth (we Americans are such wusses), stop by Quilceda, ‘cuz he’s got your goat.

Apollo waits for a Wilson Fish treat. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.


Don’t forget your furry ones. From Olsen Farms dog chews to Moosedreams’ pet products, the Market has you covered. And be sure to stop by Wilson Fish with your canine friend(s) for a little smoked salmon. Above, Apollo waits patiently for his treat. Below, Apollo leaps for salmon (and joy), after which Wilson’s David counted his fingers.

Apollo leaps for Wilson's smoked salmon. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.


As always, there is plenty of other good stuff this week at your Ballard Farmers Market. For a fuller accounting of what you’ll find today, click on “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner. However, do keep an open mind today, as our current cold weather may have temporarily knocked out some of the crops currently on the list.