Posts Tagged ‘parsnips’

Sunday, November 23rd: Eat Local For Thanksgiving!

November 22, 2014
Brussels sprouts from Nash's Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Brussels sprouts from Nash’s Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s here, folks! The first really big holiday of the holiday season: Thanksgiving! Or as we call it in my family, “Thanks For The Land Day!” Whatever you and yours call it, this coming Thursday is a day to take a break, take stock, and express our thanks for what we have, and especially for the bounty that reaches our tables. For Thanksgiving, the first American holiday, ultimately commemorates when mighty, advanced indigenous peoples welcomed undocumented foreigners with open arms and saved them from starvation at Plimouth, so that they might make better lives for themselves in a new world.

We in the farmers market community encourage you to Eat Local For Thanksgiving this coming Thursday, and we have pretty much everything you’ll need to do so right here. We then ask you to give thanks for the many local farmers, fishers, ranchers and food artisans who bring you the best food on earth right here at your Ballard Farmers Market every Sunday, year round. This year, the best way you can do that is to make a public comment in opposition to unreasonably high permit fee increases on farmers markets and their vendors proposed for 2015 by Public Health – Seattle & King County. For a great discussion of the issues at hand, and what is at stake, check out this week’s Ballard News-Tribune article, and for more details on how to comment, please see this blog post from last week. And in return, we thank you!

Shallots from Alvarez Organic Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Shallots from Alvarez Organic Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

One of my favorite dishes for Thanksgiving is Brussels sprouts with bacon and shallots. There are plenty of Brussels in your Ballard Farmers Market right now, including those beauties up above from Nash’s Organic Produce. And several farms will have shallots, including this from Alvarez Organic Farms. I caramelize my shallots while browning and rendering out my chunked up bacon in a hot skillet. When the bacon begins to get browned, and the shallots caramelized, I drop in the Brussels, cut in half, and sauté them in the bacon grease until they get bright green and just beginning to get tender. At that point, I deglaze the pan with some white wine. The wine combines with the tasty browned pits, or fond, on the bottom of your skillet, reincorporating them back into the Brussels with delicious results. The Brussels finish cooking in this yummy wine sauce and the wine cooks down. The result is that your Brussels sprouts hating kin will ask for seconds!

And speaking of cooking tips, celebrated James Beard Award winning local chef, Ethan Stowell of Ethan Stowell Restaurants (including Ballard Ave’s Ballard Pizza Company, Chippy’s and Staple & Fancy) will preform an Eat Local For Thanksgiving cooking demonstration at 11 a.m. today.

Bacon from Skagit River Ranch at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Bacon from Skagit River Ranch at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll need some of this amazing bacon from Skagit River Ranch to complete your Brussels sprouts masterpiece this week, but get here early, as it’s sure to sell out. And speaking of things selling out, here are some shopping strategy tips for today’s Market:

  • Get here early, if you can.
  • Pack patience with you, as crowds will be big.
  • Maybe pack a cooler, too.
  • Purchase things like eggs, bacon, cranberries and other items likely to sell out early first.
  • If you don’t plan on watching any sporting matches today, you may prefer to shop after 1 p.m., when big games will thin out our crowds, though keep in mind that some prime items may be sold out by then.
  • If you do plan to watch either the Seahawks or Sounders games, do your shopping first, or during halftime, and watch the games on one of the many TV screens in bars and eateries up and down Ballard Avenue. It will likely be cool enough that, even without a cooler, your Market goodies will keep just fine in your trunk until after the big game!

Here is a list of where you may be able to watch the Sounders playoff game in the neighborhood at 2 p.m. today:

  • Bad Albert’s
  • Ballard Smoke Shop
  • Billy Beach Sushi & Bar
  • El Borracho (on Leary)
  • Kangaroo & Kiwi (on Market, soccer only)
  • Kickin’ Boot
  • Lock & Keel
  • Loft
  • Market Arms (on Market, soccer only)
  • Moshi Moshi
  • Patxi’s
  • The Gerald
  • The Noble Fir

Here is a list of where you will be able to watch the Seahawks, in addition to all of the places above:

  • Bastille (at the bar)
  • Bitterroot (in the bar)
  • Hattie’s Hat (at the bar)
  • Matador (at the bar)
  • Stoneburner (in the bar)

And that’s how you can have your game, and Eat Local For Thanksgiving, too!

Siegerrebe wine nestled in siegerrebe grapes at LIV (Lopez Island Vineyards). Photo courtesy LIV.

Siegerrebe wine nestled in siegerrebe grapes at LIV (Lopez Island Vineyards). Photo courtesy LIV.

Now, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that you use a bottle of Siegerrebe from LIV (Lopez Island Vineyards) to deglaze your pan whilst cooking up those Brussels, but it would be a nice accompaniment to your meal. It, or any of the many other award-winning wines from LIV. And try out their new raspberry dessert wine, too!

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

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

Another favorite of mine this week is steamed rutabagas mashed with lots of good butter. You’ll find these lovely little bagas at Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington), right at the bottom of the Market. Nummers!

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

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

Winter squash from Boistfort Valley Farm will help sweeten up your holiday feast. They have many different varieties from which to choose, in many flavors, textures, colors, shapes and sizes. Ask for cooking tips. Roast your seeds. And remember, you can eat the skins on many squash varieties!

Japanese turnips from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Japanese turnips from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking to add a little taste of spring to your fall feast? How about some of these beautiful Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm? They come complete with greens, meaning you get two dishes for the price of one! Or, better yet, cook them together! Cut the turnips in half, sauté them in butter or olive oil until tender and a bit browned. Then add the greens and some crushed garlic and toss together until the greens wilt. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Red Lasoda potatoes from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Lasoda potatoes from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And don’t forget the spuds! Olsen Farms has a couple dozen varieties of potatoes from which to choose, with one perfect for your needs. Some or white, others golden, and others red or blue. Some are waxy and others starchy. Some are better suited to baking, while others like roasting, and still others steaming or frying. Ask questions. Read tags. Have fun with your potatoes.

Parsnips from Oxbow Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Parsnips from Oxbow Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

One thing you can do with your potatoes is mash them with some celery root and parsnips from Oxbow Farm. Talk about an elegant mash! You’ll want equal amounts of all three. I also like to cut up my parsnips into small chunks and roast them in a hot oven with some sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms cut into similar-sized pieces. When they’re tender, they’re done… in about 15-20 minutes. Toss them once, midday.

Spicy salad mix from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Spicy salad mix from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

With all the meat, potatoes, sugary things, roots and such, you’ll want some roughage. Lucky for us, in spite of the recent cold weather, Colinwood Farm’s greenhouses are still cranking out some righteous spicy salad mix just for you! Slice up some of those turnips like radishes and add them to it.

Farmbox Greens' vertical farm in West Seattle. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Farmbox Greens’ vertical farm in West Seattle. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, and add some superfood to your salad, too! This week, we welcome Farmbox Greens to your Ballard Farmers Market with these Seattle-grown microgreens. In their seedling form, they are little nutrient bombs, and they are packed with flavor, too. Garnish your soups, mashes, meats and more with them.

Arkansas Black apples from Tiny's Organic at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Arkansas Black apples from Tiny’s Organic at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Apples are good for all sorts of dishes, from salads to sauces to pies, during the holidays. I chose this particular photo of Arkansas Black apples from Tiny’s Organic because I recently returned from a trip to Arkansas, and I am here to testify that this apple is, in fact, the apple of Arkansas!

Cirrus cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cirrus cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cirrus cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery is what they, and I, call a “Northwest camembert.” It is the perfect cheese for any occasion, great on a nice slice of local bread and topped with some ikura from Loki Fish. You’ll need some for your holiday festivities!

Kalamata olive bread from Snohomish Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Kalamata olive bread from Snohomish Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And here is a perfect local bread for that pairing: kalamata olive bread from Snohomish Bakery. It is all chewy and salty and delicious, and it keeps fairly well, so fear not picking it up today for later in the week. And if you are simply a worrier by nature, then pop it in the freezer today, then pop it in the oven around 300 degrees on Thursday for about 20-30 minutes. It’ll be like it just came out of the bakery’s oven!

Fresh Puget Sound Keta salmon fillets from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh Puget Sound Keta salmon fillets from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Loki Fish will have just a little bit more fresh Puget Sound Keta salmon today in fillet form before the Puget Sound season closes for 2014. They had one more brief opening on Thursday night, so this is super fresh. If you’re just not a turkey eater, or you are looking for something distinctly different for your other meals this week, here you go! But it will sell out early. However, they will have plenty of that aforementioned ikura, freshly cured and ready to pep up that cheese and bread, or your soup or salad.

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

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

Why spend the entire day in  your kitchen on Thursday? Give yourself a bit of a break and get one of these amazing pumpkin pies from Deborah’s Homemade Pies, or apple or pecan. Not only will it lower your stress level, it will likely be better than anything anyone you know can bake! And if you are attending a feast at someone else’s house, and you’re supposed to bring dessert… here you go! Just grab a pinch of AP flour out of the cupboard before you leave home and dust yourself a bit. Everyone will believe you baked it yourself.

Green Dragon hummus from House of the Sun at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Green Dragon hummus from House of the Sun at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, we’d like to give one last shout out to Adam and House of the Sun Raw & Vegan Foods. Adam is retiring his company as of today’s Market, and he is moving to Portland. Stop by, wish him well, and grab yourself one last container of his awesome Green Dragon hummus for old times’ sake. Thanks, Adam! We’ll miss you!

Don’t forget to check out this week’s midweek blog posts (Tuesday & Thursday) for more information on what you’ll find today at you Ballard Farmers Market. And 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.

Advertisements

Sunday, October 5th: A Fiesta Of Fall Flavors!

October 4, 2014
Concord grapes from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Concord grapes from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! In case you haven’t noticed, it really is fall now. Temps at night are getting into the 40s. The sun sets before 7 p.m. Sure, the sun is still out, and it’ll break 70 again today, but there is a distinct turn of the seasons in the air. And the crops at your Ballard Farmers Market show it. Like these gorgeous Concord grapes from Lyall Farms. These are the stuff of our childhood. These are the stuff of Welch’s grape jelly and juice. These are the stuff of wines served at bar mitvahs far and wide. They are sweet, juicy and have a big grape flavor.

And just a reminder that we have begun doing shorter posts twice a week to wet your appetite all week long, instead of the usual marathon post once a week. So do remember to read the previous post for more words of wisdom and deliciousness. It’s full of news for this week’s Market, too! And check in on Wednesdays.

Treviso radicchio from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Treviso radicchio from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

For my money, this is the second most beautiful vegetable on earth… second only to Chinese spinach, which graces the tables of Children’s Garden and Mee Garden each summer. This is Treviso radicchio from One Leaf Farm, and it is in the fall, when the nights get cold, that it really hits its prime. It is both bitter and sweet, but as a chicory, it is predominantly bitter. It is a great addition to a panzanella or bean salad, it is awesome simply grilled and finished with a nice artisan sea salt and some good balsamic vinegar, and I love it sautéed with bacon… and nothing else!

Fresh organic chickens from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh organic chickens from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nothing says fall like the smell of a chicken roasting in the oven. It permeates the entire structure, while it warms every room, and every soul. These beautiful organic birds are from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm in Olympia, and they offer them fresh and frozen right here at your Ballard Farmers Market. These are the chickens that the Seahawks and Sounders eat.

8 oz and 32 oz bottles of organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

8 oz and 32 oz bottles of organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Starvation Alley Farms is the first certified organic cranberry farm in Washington. They are located out on the Long Beach Peninsula, surrounded by one of the largest commercial cranberry growing regions in America. Not Maine. Not Massachusetts, Washington. They are getting ready for the 2014 harvest now, but they still have lots of their amazing organic cranberry juice available, and now they offer it in these nifty new 8 ounce bottles, in addition to their standard 32 ouncers.

Broccoli from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Broccoli from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

“Choppin’ broccoli… choppin’ brocolliiiii…” Okay, now that that little ditty is stuck in your head (and if it isn’t, look that up with Dana Carvey’s name attached in the Google), let’s talk broccoli from Stoney Plains Organic Farm in Tenino. They just started harvesting this planting, and it is just what the doctor ordered on a cool autumn night!

Parsnips from Pa Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Parsnips from Pa Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And we finish this weekend’s epistle with a stalwart vegetable of fall, the sweet and mighty parsnip. I love to roast these puppies with some sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms (coming soon, themselves). And no epic autumn root roast would be complete without them. They are deeply sweet with a hint of celery-ness to them. And speaking of celery, try mashing some spuds, some celery root and some parsnips together sometime. Yeah, baby! You’ll find these first parsnips of the season from Pa Garden today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

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, January 5th: A New Year Brings News & Returning Vendors!

January 4, 2014
Fresh-pressed organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Farms. Photo courtesy Starvation Alley Farms.

Fresh-pressed organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Farms. Photo courtesy Starvation Alley Farms.

Happy New Year, good people of Ballard! It is January, 2014, and while most farmers markets are deep in their winter slumber, your Ballard Farmers Market is actually adding farmers and food artisans. Booyah! We start with the introduction of a new organic cranberry farm, Starvation Alley Farms, an old-school wet bog harvest operation based out in Long Beach, Washington. While other farms out there in Washington’s cranberry belt have made their beds with anti-GMO labeling Ocean Spray, these folks went the other direction and got themselves certified organic just this past October. They offer flash-frozen cranberries, as well as cranberry juice that is freshly pressed and great as is or in your favorite cocktail.

Aged-sheep's milk cheese from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Aged-sheep’s milk cheese from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Oh, and this just makes me giddy! Glendale Shepherd, from up on Whidbey Island, makes… wait for it… farmstead sheep’s milk cheeses! Boom! These are beautiful, aged cheeses with amazing flavors… and that’s just this time of year. Once lambing season commences in a couple of months, they’ll also have fresh cheeses and sheep’s milk yogurt! Oh, and did I mention they’ll got wool, too? (Admit it. You’re a bit giddy now, too.)

Albacore tuna loin portion from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Albacore tuna loin portion from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fishing Vessel St. Jude makes its monthly visit to your Ballard Farmers Market today, and what better way is there to welcome the new year but with albacore tunaliciousness direct for the folks who caught it?

Braising mix from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Braising mix from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alm Hill Gardens returns today from its brief holiday break, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, which quite frankly is not entirely a look JT pulls off. But hey, at least he feeds us, right? And we’re all itching for some nice, tasty greens right about now, which means braising mix!

Saffron tagliatelle from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Saffron tagliatelle from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

On the other hand, Sam and Sara from Pasteria Lucchese spent their holiday hiatus nursing colds. Doh! But never fear. They are back today, and they’re nationwide. (That’s a ZZ Top reference, kids.) Just in time for you get some of this saffron tagliatelle to enjoy as your long-life New Year’s noodles. It is made with saffron grown by our buddy Jimmy from Phocas Farms, over in Port Angeles!

Winter squash from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Colinwood Farms also makes its post-holidaze comeback today. Look for these lovely winter squashbraising and salad mixesspudsonions and other deliciousness!

D'Anjou pears from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

D’Anjou pears from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Still lotsa apples and pears to be had from Martin Family Orchards at your Ballard Farmers Market, including these tasty D’anjou pears. And they’ve also got fresh apple cider, as well. Woohoo!

Local granola from Marge Granola. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Local granola from Marge Granola. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Welcome yet another new vendor for 2014 to your Ballard Farmers Market: Marge Granola. They make several varieties of freshly-blended granolas flavored with many local ingredients. It’s great for breakfast, on the trail, an afternoon snack, or over ice cream!

Dinosaur kale from Children's Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dinosaur kale from Children’s Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Children’s Gardens is back today, as well, with lots of tasty greens, like this dinosaur kale, as well as their gorgeous flower arrangements. So you’ve got no excuse not to eat your veggies this week, or to not bring Ma Kettle a nice bouquet.

Parsnips from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Parsnips from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

January is a great time of year to get your roots on, and Nash’s Organic Produce is ready to assist you in that pursuit. Besides these gorgeous parsnips, they are full-up with sunchokesbeetsturnipscarrotsspuds and more, as well as grains, flours and dried legumes, and even some more Brussels sprouts.

Farm-fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Farm-fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It may be January, but the girls out at Growing Things Farm are still laying amazing eggs. In fact, the jumbos (right) are even more jumbo than usual. These are eggs laid by happy chickens that get to run around the yard and hang out with roosters, which stand guard and show them where all the best food is. What gentlemen!

Red Sunchokes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Sunchokes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of sunchokes, Stoney Plains Organic Farm is swimming in them right now. These native-to-North America tubers are a member of the sunflower family. They make a great substitute for potatoes in soups, root roasts, home fries and more. Of course, they’ve got lots of other goodness fresh from the farm for you, too!

White wines from Lopez Island Vineyards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

White wines from Lopez Island Vineyards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And this just in late today from Brent Charnley of Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery: “We just learned that our Siegerrebe was awarded a Double Platinum in the ‘Best of the Best’ Wine Competition, held by Wine Press Northwest Magazine. We will taste this wine on Sunday at the Market!”

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, November 10th: Giant Heirloom Pears, Rovery Rutabagas, Terrific Turnips, Suh-weeh Potatoes & Purdy Pickles!

November 9, 2013
Concorde pears from Jerzy Boyz Farm. Photo courtesy Jerzy Boyz Farm.

Concorde pears from Jerzy Boyz Farm. Photo courtesy Jerzy Boyz Farm.

Wow. We’ve blown right past Halloween, Daylight Savings Time and one testy election and rolled right into the Holiday season. Yes, that’s right. It is time to start planning that Eat Local For Thanksgiving feast with which you will be impressing your loved ones come November 28th, or thereabouts. See, everything you need for the perfect feast is right here at your Ballard Farmers Market. Starting with these ginormous heirloom Concorde Pears from Jerzy Boyz Farm. Now, here’s a fun fact! An artist went to Jerzy Boyz Farm to look at their Concorde pears to get a model for a statue they wished to make for the pear’s namesake city of Concord, MA, and here is a photo of that statue!

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

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

I heart rutabagas. They seem foreign to many folks, but I grew up with them. Guess my Irish ancestors never forgot them, even after over 300 years in the New World. In Ireland, they call them “turnips” or “Swedes”. Viking Norseman may have brought them to the Emerald Isle over 1,000 years ago. I enjoy rutabagas anytime, but I must have them on two different holidays: St. Patrick’s Day (which needs no explanation now), and Thanksgiving, perhaps because my ancestors incorporated them into their tradition after coming over to Upstate New York in the  1690s. At Thanksgiving, I just to simply steam them and mash them with a good butter, like from Golden Glen Creamery. Oh, and these beautiful rutabagas are from Boistfort Valley Farm.

Hard ciders from Eaglemount Wine & Cider. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hard ciders from Eaglemount Wine & Cider. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is a tasting day for Eaglemount Wine & Cider, and today is a great day to identify your favorite hard cider, and then stock up for Thanksgiving. Eaglemount makes a wonderful variety of ciders from pears, apples, quince and more. Stop by their stall, sample their ciders, and find the flavor (or flavors) you enjoy most.

Red Delicious apples from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Delicious apples from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I talk a lot about heirloom apples with all kinds of funky names and intriguing stories, but there is one apple that is sort of iconic — the poster child, as it were, for apples, or at least it used to be. That is the Red Delicious apple. It dates back to 1880 in Iowa, and it has been commercially developed for looks and shelf life over the years, but you can still find some good ones out there. For starters, the good ones are a lighter red and more round, like these from Martin Family Orchards. See, some have been developed to the point of being almost black and very elongated. Avoid those at the Big Box stores. Instead, try one of these from Martin today. Reacquaint yourself with an old friend!

Japanese Wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Japanese Wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One Leaf Farm has a new harvest of these lovely Japanese Wax turnips this week at your Ballard Farmers Market. They have been even more amazing than usual lately, which a rich, sweet flavor and a nicely radishy bite. In fact, I like them best simply sliced like a radish and tossed into a nice salad. But you can also sauté them, again like a radish. Cut the greens off, cut the turnips in half, and then cook them in some butter. As they get tender and a little browned, you can even add the greens back into the pan with them just to wilt them, and then serve them together as a beautifully delicious side dish.

Fresh cranberries from Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm. Photo courtesy Bloom Creek.

Fresh cranberries from Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm. Photo courtesy Bloom Creek.

It is week three of the return of fresh cranberries from Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm, and that usually means that they are about done for the year. Don’t be that person who waits too long, and then ends up missing out on them altogether. Make this the year that you ditch that gelatinous canned “cranberry sauce” and make your own!

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another mainstay of any Thanksgiving feast is sweet potatoes, and there is only one place you will find locally-grown sweet potatoes around here — from Lyall Farms right here at your Ballard Farmers Market! They are amazing, and naturally sweet, so there is no need to candy them or smother them in marshmallows. They are perfect on their own, though I do like roasting them with some parsnips. Mmm.

Spicy pickled garlic and Northwest Country vinegar from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spicy pickled garlic and Northwest Country vinegar from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know, there is no such thing as too much garlic. And pickles make every holiday feast special. So spicy pickled garlic from Purdy Pickle would seem to be the ultimate, would it not? They also have some wonderful cider vinegar they call Northwest Country Vinegar that is made with local, organic apples. You can now add that, too, to your list of things you’ll be getting from now on at your Ballard Farmers Market, instead of the heavily refined stuff from who knows where at the Big Box stores.

Yellowfoot chanterelle mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yellowfoot chanterelle mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Few things feel more like fall than wild yellowfoot chanterelle mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Sure, they have many amazing varieties of wild mushrooms right now, but there is just something about these babies that is just so comforting, so soul-warming, so… so fall! Simply sauté them in butter, perhaps with a little garlic, and then serve them over a steak or tossed with pasta. Incorporate them into your favorite stuffing mix. Add them to a nice fall chowder or bisque. You really can’t go wrong with them.

Parsnips from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Parsnips from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ah, I did mention parsnips, didn’t I? Besides roasting them with sweet potatoes, or any other root roast for that matter, you can also puree them with celery root and potatoes for soup, or mash the three together for a delicious spin on mashed potatoes. Parsnips are wonderfully sweet, and they cook quickly, so be careful not to overcook them. If you are roasting other roots, like rutabagas, which are very dense and slow-cooking, either add the parsnips after cooking the others for a while or be sure to cut the bagas into smaller pieces than the parsnips, so the bagas will cook quicker, and the parsnips slower. These lovely parsnips are from Nash’s Organic Produce.

Artisan bread loaves from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Artisan bread loaves from Grateful Bread Baking. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish off this week’s epistle with some gorgeous loaves of artisan breads from Grateful Bread Baking from up in Wedgewood. These loaves are the perfect compliment to any holiday feast, and, of course, they also make many special holiday breads and cookies this time of year, too, as well as bags of croutons perfect for making stuffing.

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.