Posts Tagged ‘parsnips’

Sunday, October 13th: Parsnips, More Wine, Heirloom Apples, Beautiful Squash, Hot Chile Peppers & More!

October 12, 2013
These organic estate wines come from Wilridge Winery in Madrona. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These organic estate wines come from Wilridge Winery in Madrona. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We are thrilled to introduce our newest vendor, Wilridge Winery, from Madrona. Seattle’s original winery, it was founded in 1988 by husband and wife duo, Paul Beveridge and Lysle Wilhelmi. Wilridge Winery is the oldest continuously operated winery in Seattle. The three wines in the photo above are produced from certified organic grapes from their own vineyards in the Yakima Valley. Wilridge wines were a big hit this summer at Wallingford and Madrona Farmers Markets. And now, you can sample their wine before you buy, right here at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Baby parsnips from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Baby parsnips from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! It’s parsnip season at your Ballard Farmers Market! Oh, the sweet, rooty autumn deliciousness! Oh, the soups, the mashes, the purees, the root roasts. Oh, the soul-warming local foods of fall. These young beauties are from our buddies at Oxbow Farm over in Carnation, though Colinwood Farms has some already, too.

Heirloom Pittmaston Pineapple apples from Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Heirloom Pittmaston Pineapple apples from Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These heirloom Pittmaston Pineapple apples from Jerzy Boyz can trace their roots all the way back to England in 1785. That was before George Washington was first elected president! It belongs to a family of old russeted English dessert apples that tend to be small, an undesirable quality in today’s “bigger is better” mentality. They have a sweet and nutty flavor, though their name, “pineapple”, is more likely associated with their appearance than with their flavor.

Rio Grande russet potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rio Grande russet potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And while we are talking about things russeted, which refers to the rough texture of the skin of the fruit or vegetable, hows about these lovely Rio Grande russet potatoes from Olsen Farms. It is just one of the almost two dozen varieties of potatoes they grow in Northeastern Washington. These are, as you might guess, great baking and frying potato, perfect for fall. Stop by Olsen’s tents today to learn about the many different varieties of potatoes they offer, their many characteristics, and the uses for which each is best suited.

Bosc pears from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bosc pears from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, it was not my intension to start a string of russeted produce going here, but alas, that is what I appear to have done. These Bosc pears from Collins Family Orchards are just plain awesome, and waiting for you to devour them mercilessly!

Fougasse from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fougasse from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A bread for any season, this olive fougasse from Tall Grass Bakery is nothing short of addictive. Whether you go with the big, pretzel-y fougasse that I love slicing down the middle and topping with fresh goat cheese, arugula and a little proscuitto (assuming I don’t just inhale it before I get the chance), or the fougasse loaf, which is wonderfully moist and chewy, and full of salty, olive-y, oniony deliciousness that’ll keep for a few days in theory, but which is more likely to disappear with a few hours, you are going to get hooked on this lovely, traditional French bread.

Paper Lantern hot chile peppers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Paper Lantern hot chile peppers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Who says you can’t grow hot chile peppers on the west side of the Cascades? These very hot Paper Lantern chile peppers are grown in Port Townsend by Colinwood Farms. Mind you, they employ a bit of greenhouse technology in order to bump up the BTUs, since hot peppers require hot weather. They’re pretty, but they’re not for the timid.

Kabocha winter squash from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kabocha winter squash from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kabocha winter squash are perfect food for a cool, fall evening. They are sweet, with a great texture, and you can heat up your whole house roasting them. Then serve them right out of the oven, or make a nice soup with them. Or chunk it up and add it, still warm, to a nice salad. These lovelies are from Gaia’s Harmony Farm.

Lamb from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lamb from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Skagit River Ranch has some of their amazing lamb available now from a fresh harvest. I’m thinking some lamb sounds pretty good sided with some of that kabocha squash, and a little fougasse, eh? Mmm. Lamb.

Cream cheese, apricot, raspberry and apple kolach from Little Prague European Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cream cheese, apricot, raspberry and apple kolach from Little Prague European Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These traditional kolach pastries have their origins in the Czech Republic, so it makes sense that you can get them from Little Prague European Bakery. They are made using local flour from Shepherd’s Grain, and come in a variety of yummy flavors. Above, from the left, you see cream cheeseapricotraspberry and apple.

Hand-forged blue steele pans from Blu Skillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hand-forged blue steele pans from Blu Skillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Carbon steel pans are great for searing and caramelizing – and they make fantastic over-easy eggs! They are similar to cast iron, but forged rather than cast. This makes the pans lighter and easier to handle, as well as less porous and quicker to season.  They can take high temperatures, and they can go from stove top, to oven, to table – where they make a beautiful addition!” Sometimes, it is just easier to quote the vendor’s website, you know? Especially when it is as well-written as is the site for Blu Skillet Ironware. Patrick Maher and Caryn Badgett make these gorgeous pans right here in Ballard.

I do most of my cooking on stainless steel pans from Revere Ware. When they were first introduced in 1938, Revere Copper & Brass made a point of referring to them as exhibiting the best of both form and function, and that was important after the Great Depression. After all, if you were going to spend money on cookware, you want it to last, you want it to work, and you want something you can show off to your dinner guests. And today, as we limp our way out of the Great Recession (because even though it was, in fact, a depression, apparently it is not cool anymore to actually call it that), things are no different. We want quality, form and function. Blu Skillet gives us just that. I have been putting one of their 10″ pans through its paces for a couple of months now, cooking everything from halibut to corned beef hash in it, and it works great. It is getting more seasoned with ever use. It browns and sears great. It cleans easily. And best of all, it is made right here. Yup, one more thing you don’t need Corporate America to do for you anymore! Booyah!

There is plenty more local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.

Please remember bring your own bags every Sunday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, please take note of our new green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Ballard Farmers Market, and please make an effort to use them correctly. Each container has what’s okay to put in it pictured right on the lid. Please do not put the wrong materials in, because that drives up the cost of recycling and composting, and it can result in the entire container being sent instead to a landfill. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.

Sunday, December 23rd: Happy & Merry, All! Everything You Need For A Special, Local Holiday Is Right Here!

December 23, 2012
Hams for the holidays from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hams for the holidays from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is it, good folk of the People’s Republic of Ballard! This is the last call before Christmas for local beauty and deliciousness from your Ballard Farmers Market. You have but five hours left today to load up on everything you need from wine to smoked salmon to festive breads to broccoli to jam, cheese, butter and milk! Everything from candles for your table to wreathes for your door, from a shaving kit for dad to a gold pendant for mom, from handcrafted clothing to handcrafted woodwork to handcrafted cups and bowls, and so much more! Make this the most special of most special times of year. Bring home everything you need for the holidays direct from the local folks that produced it, and celebrate with the highest quality, most beautiful, tastiest wonderfulness to be found anywhere, all while investing in local businesses, local production and local jobs. Talk about gifts that keep on giving!

You’ll need a centerpiece for your holiday dinner table, don’t forget. No, I’m not talking about flowers. I’m talking about roast beast. Like these gorgeous hams from Olsen Farms. They’ve also got some primo tenderloin roastsprime rib roasts and pork loin roasts, as well as every kind of potato you’d ever need to pair with it. Just remember, you can’t expect the Grinch to carve the beast for Cindy Lou Who if you’ve forgotten to bring the beast home in the first place!

Shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you met the newest farm at your Ballard Farmers Market yet? Sno-Valley Mushrooms is based in Duvall, and they grow lion’s maneblue oyster and these shiitake mushrooms. I enjoyed some this past week, and they are delish. We’ve been waiting for cultivated mushrooms for years, and they are finally here. So add some mushrooms to that holiday feast, baby!

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.

Parsnips are a holiday must, and this stack of them from Nash’s Organic Produce is also just plain awesome. How’s about a parsnip, potato and celery root mash? Maybe some parsnip and celery root soup? Ooh, I know. Gather up a whole bunch of roots, from parsnips to sunchokes to rutabagas to carrots to turnips and more, toss them with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast them in a nice, hot oven until tender and caramelized.

Red mustard greens from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red mustard greens from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yes, there still remain some lovely greens at your Ballard Farmers Market. These gorgeous red mustard greens are from Children’s Garden. They make for a nice, spicy salad, and they’re great just lightly sautéed with a little garlic, just until their wilted. Yummers! And Children’s should have a few more holiday wreathes today, too.

Martini Stix and pickled peppers from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Martini Stix and pickled peppers from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Purdy Pickle has added a few new items to its picklicious lineup, just in time for the holidaze! They’ve got Martini Stix (pickled carrot sticks with capers)pickled peppers and mixed pickles. Plus, they have a huge variety of other pickled things to add to your table, or your favorite cocktail, all made from fresh, local ingredients from many of the farms you know and love at your Ballard Farmers Market.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mmm. Nothing like sweet potatoes on the holiday menu, eh? And our own Lyall Farms is the only farm in Washington bringing sweet potatoes to farmers markets here in Seattle. So stock up, and roast them, mash them, candy them… do that voodoo that you do with them. You can thank me later!

Wild Yellowfoot chanterelle mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild Yellowfoot chanterelle mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Some lovely wild Yellowfoot chanterelle mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles provide a lovely accent to a nice beef roast or some salmon. And ’tis the season for them right now. They are gorgeous, clean and delicious! Sauté them in a little butter, and you’re good to go.

Hard ciders and berry wines from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hard ciders and berry wines from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget some liquid love in the form of hard ciders and berry wines from Rockridge Orchards. You don’t want to be the one showing up empty handed to the party, do you? You do want your feast accented by the right beverage, don’t you? And never fear. Rockridge has the kiddie table covered, too, with great sweet ciders by the half gallon jug.

Prairie Spy apples from Booth Canyon Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Prairie Spy apples from Booth Canyon Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether for crunching or cooking, Booth Canyon Orchards has an apple for you. They grow an amazing selection of heirloom apples, many of which are sought out far and wide by their longtime loyal customers. Like these Prairie Spy apples, or Macoun apples that’ll transport you back to an ancient orchard in the Mid-Hudson Valley.

Winter squash from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Stoney Plains Organic Farm will certainly help round out that feast. Can’t you just smell it roasting in the oven right now, filling your kitchen with its sweet aromas. Whether your goal is soup, pies, mashed, roasted or sautéed, Stoney Plains has an edible gourd with your name on it!

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

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

This is the last week until sometime next summer that you will find Boistfort Valley Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Make sure you stop by and load up on deliciousness like these stunning rutabagas, some greens, maybe even some kohlrabi or garlic, and thank them for another great year!

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.

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 21st: Parsnips, Brussels Sprouts, Heirloom Apples, Hardy Kiwis, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds & More!

October 20, 2012

The Loki fishing on Puget Sound. Photo courtesy Loki Fish.

“Eat Local. Eat Loki.” That’s the slogan for the Loki Fish Company, based at Ballard’s own Fishermen’s Terminal, and a long-time vendor at your Ballard Farmers Market. And it is this time of year that they truly bring the “local” home. That is because Loki just started fishing for Keta salmon on Puget Sound this week, and today, they will offer the first of the year catch fresh at the Market! Fish doesn’t come any more local than this. Above is a photo of the Loki out in the center of Puget Sound, not far from here, last October. Enjoy!

Heirloom Macoun apples from Booth Canyon Orchard. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you know that there are more that 7,500 known varieties of apples? Really. And Washington state, being the largest producer of apples in the U.S., is home to an enormous reservoir of heirloom varieties of apples, helping to preserve many hundreds of these heritage breeds of apples for future generations to enjoy. Right now, many of these stunning apples are available right here at your Ballard Farmers Market, including these Macoun apples from Booth Canyon Orchard. A cross between McIntosh and Jersey Black apples, they have been regarded as one of the finest eating apples in the world.

Golden beets from Gaia’s Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gaia’s Natural Goods is very proud of their stunning vegetables, which are actually hitting their prime right now for flavor and nutrition. Gaia’s puts an emphasis on the healthfulness of what they grow on their organic farm up in Snohomish. But you’ll keep going back for the flavor and freshness! Just look at these stunning golden beets they have now. Impressive, even amongst the Ballard Farmers Market family of farmers, eh?

Parsnips from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s parsnip season! Woohoo! These beauties are from One Leaf Farm. I love roasting them in a hot oven with some sweet potatoes or other roots, but they are also great in mashes with celery root and potatoes, or in soups, stews and more. Hey, so it’s dark, cool and wet again. So what. We’ve still got lots of awesome deliciousness coming into your Ballard Farmers Market every week!

Hardy kiwis from Greenwater Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hardy kiwis, like these from Greenwater Farm in Port Townsend, are one of the great, though rare, fruits of the Northwest. They are a true kiwi, but a lot smaller than their southern cousins, and frankly, a lot sweeter. They’ve been breed to thrive in our cool, damp climate. They are only going to be around for two or three more weeks, so get some while you can. Trust me, if you miss these, you will spend the entire next year listening to your friends raving about them until October rolls around again. Consider yourself warned!

Brussels sprouts from Summer Run. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, I do love this time of year, when so many of my favorite foods come into season. Like Brussels sprouts. You heard me. I love to brown some chunked up bacon while sweating some shallots, then tossing in the sprouts halved and sautéing them until bright green and just beginning to become tender. Hit the hot pan with some white wine to deglaze it, which will also finish braising the sprouts, and season with salt and pepper to taste. This recipe is guaranteed to win over the most skeptical eaters. Summer Run Farm wins the Brussels sprouts sweepstakes with the first of the season this year!

Roasted Oxbow pumpkin seeds from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This time of year, Pasteria Lucchese is making a lot of pumpkin ravioli with pumpkins from Oxbow Farm. That means they end up with a lot of pumpkin seeds, too. So, they roast them, simply. They are crunchy, delicious and satisfying, and they give you the ability to enjoy freshly roasted pumpkin seeds without getting your hands all slimy.

Salad mix from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sure, nights have gotten cooler around here, but there is still plenty of gorgeous salad mix coming from our local farms to your Ballard Farmers Market, and perhaps no salad mix is lovelier than this spicy salad mix with edible flowers from Colinwood Farms. This is one of those images that causes you to bang into your screen with your finger or your nose, just trying to get at the beautiful deliciousness, isn’t it?

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

These bags are the stuff of legend. 5-pound bags of Nash’s Best Carrots from Nash’s Organic Produce in Sequim. They are sweet and crunchy, make for great juice, additions to salad, or munched on their own, maybe dipped in some hummus. Grab a bag and enjoy!

Red storage onions from The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These lovely red storage onions are from The Old Farmer. Perfect, aren’t they? I know, you’re thinking, “but I thought The Old Farmer only sold flowers.” Nope. They grow some veggies, too, and this year’s long, warm, dry summer has resulted in one of the best years for onions in memory — including these beauties!

Spinach gouda puffs from D:Floured. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish this week’s epistle with something irresistible — spinach gouda puffs from D:flloured. What makes them even better is that they are gluten-free, and yet they don’t taste like so many gluten-free products do. These are amazing, and you will love them, whether or not you are avoiding gluten. Trust me. When have I ever lied to you? (Okay, you can’t count April Fool’s Day.)

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, November 20th: Eat Local For Thanksgiving with Chef Dustin Ronspies of Art of the Table!

November 20, 2011

Chef Dustin Ronspies of Art of the Table performing a cooking demonstration at Wallingford Farmers Market this past June. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is where the rubber meets the road, folks. If there is any time to eat local, it’s Thanksgiving. After all, what’s the point of giving thanks for the bounty on our tables if we do not know who to actually give thanks to? Well, when you Eat Local For Thanksgiving, you’ll know the names of each of the farms that produced the ingredients that went into your Thanksgiving feast, and that means you can thank each and every one of them by name as you give thanks over your meal. How cool is that? And to help us with great ideas for Thanksgiving side dishes is Chef Dustin Ronspies of Art of the Table, who will be performing a cooking demonstration today at noon at your Ballard Farmers Market. Dustin has built his entire business around using what’s fresh and local at your Ballard Farmers Market every week as the basis for his weekly menus, so if anyone can talk Eat Local For Thanksgiving, it’s him!

Winter squash from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, it’s time to go down the Thanksgiving grocery check list. And you might as well bring that entire list to your Ballard Farmers Market today. I mean, if for some reason you can’t find it here, you’ll still have four days to get it at the coop or Ballard Market, right? Let’s start with an absolute staple: winter squash. Just look at these beauties from Growing Things Farm. You know, like with so many crops, 2011 was not a good year for winter squash harvests, but the ones our farmers did harvest are awesome, and the Market is flush with them today, so celebrate ’em while you can!

Fresh sausages from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you are looking at this photo thinking, “What the heck do sausages have to do with Thanksgiving dinner?”, then you need to broaden your horizons a bit! These beautiful, farmstead sausages from Sea Breeze Farm are perfect to mix in with your stuffing, or to toss in with your mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes. Their savory, spicy, fattiness adds complex flavors to all sorts of dishes. So don’t think of them as a main course. Think of them as a seasoning!

Brooke Lucy from Bluebird Grain Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for flour to bake with, or to thicken that gravy? Or maybe you’d like to add a nice pilaf as a side dish. I imagine you have all manner of uses for the whole grains, cracked grains, flours and mixes offered by Bluebird Grain Farms. Well, Brooke Lucy returns today with your direct connection to your local grain grower. Everything else on your holiday table will be local. Shouldn’t your grain products be local, too? Not to mention fresh and delicious!

Granny Smith apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Granny Smith apples from ACMA Mission Orchards make for great pies and sauces, and they’ve got a gorgeous fresh crop of them, and many other varieties of apples and pears, right now. And hey, don’t just think desserts and sauces. Think stuffing, or roasting with squash and more. Few meals are more wonderful than Thanksgiving dinner for  celebrating the bounty of this year’s local harvest of magnificent deliciousness. So pull out all the stops!

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beauregard sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms are another must for your Thanksgiving table. You can roast them whole, or cut them up. You can bake them in a casserole. You can mix them in with your mashed potatoes. You can even try them with a recipe I learned from some of the Mexican farmhands at Full Circle Farm years ago — cube them, steam them until just tender, and then mash them with some canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and a little maple syrup. Yeah, baby!

Fresh, local jersey cow milk from Silver Springs Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, just how many dishes will require fresh milk this week? You’ll need them for your mashed potatoes, of course. And for that chocolate cream pie. So let’s be thankful for Silver Springs Creamery for producing for us some of the most incredible, local jersey milk and goat milk you will find anywhere. Support your local dairy while enriching your meal.

Brussels sprouts from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ah, the mighty Brussels sprout from Boistfort Valley Farm. It is peak season for them now. If you love them, you don’t need me to sell you on them. But if you are one of those phobic types, then you clearly have never had them prepared properly. They are amazing oven roasted, but I love them sautéed with pancetta, shallots and a little white wine at the end to deglaze the pan and give them a little steam. You pork-phobic types can leave out the pancetta, I s’pose, if you must. Otherwise, sweat the chopped shallots while you render the fat out of the pancetta, and when they’re both going good, add your halved and quartered sprouts. When they start to get bright green and a bit tender, hit the pan with some white wine for a few minutes, until nicely tender. Just don’t overcook them. That’s why most folks don’t like them. They’ve always had them overcooked.

Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

As for those aforementioned mashed potatoes, Olsen Farms has an amazing selection of the finest potatoes you will ever want. For mashing, I am a particular fan of these Viking purple potatoes, with their creamy, white flash that is pretty much put on this earth as a vehicle for butter. But you might be a German butterball fan. Who am I to judge?

Sugar pie pumpkins from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pumpkin pie is a staple of many a Thanksgiving feast, but too many people use that nasty canned stuff. But why, when Stoney Plains has these gorgeous sugar pie pumpkins just waiting for you? These babies are bred specifically for your pie-making pleasure. Please, do not deny them their destiny!

Artisan breads from Grateful Bread Baking. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You might be thinking, “With all the food we’ll have on our table this Thursday, do we really need bread, too?” Uh… yes!!! I mean, you are gonna take it home tonight, cube it up or tear it apart, toss it with olive oil and herbs and spices and roast it in the oven at low heat to dry it out, and then, on Thursday, you are going to make the most amazing stuffing with it. Woohoo! So stop by Grateful Bread Baking for just the right loaf, or three.

Schmaltz, a.k.a., chicken fat, from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And the secret ingredient is schmaltz, or chicken fat. Use it in just about everything. From your mashed potatoes to your baked goods to a rub-down for your turkey, and on and on. Stokesberry Sustainable Farm produces this from their chickens. And they’ve also got plenty of turkey sausage right now. Work some of that into your stuffing, too, eh?

Quince jelly from Deluxe Foods. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll be needing some incredible, heirloom jams and jellies to accompanying many of your dishes, and for that, Deluxe Foods has you covered. Hopefully, they’ve have some of this quintessentially Thanksgiving-esque quince jelly today, though you might have to get here early to get any. But hey, if not, they’ve go many more great flavors.

Parsnips from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Parsnips from Nash’s Organic Produce are great added to a root roast, stew or soup, but for Thanksgiving, I recommend blending some in with your mashed potatoes. Oh, sweet, creamy deliciousness!

Rutabagas from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let us finish today’s Eat Local For Thanksgiving epistle with the mighty rutabaga from Colinwood Farm. These, too, can be mashed in with your potatoes, but me, I like ’em steamed and mashed with lotsa butter all on their own. For my money, it just ain’t Thanks For The Land Day without a healthy helping of bagas.

Hey, there is plenty of 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.