Posts Tagged ‘pickled salmon’

Sunday, December 29th: We Bid Adieu To 2013!

December 28, 2013
Bottle-fermented hard ciders from Finnriver Farm & Cidery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bottle-fermented hard ciders from Finnriver Farm & Cidery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s the end of the year as we know it, and I feel fine! (Um, sorry, REM.) Yes, we’ve hit the bottom of the last page of our 2013 calendars, and now it is time for the one and only day of the year upon which the entire planet takes pause and celebrates. Kind of amazing, really, that the one thing that unites us globally is getting new calendars each year. All over the earth, we will be drinking and dancing and singing and kissing strangers and blowing up fireworks instead of people for just one day.

And that is why I, for one, believe it is time to switch from a 365-day calendar to a one-day calendar. See, if every day was New Year’s Day, and every day was also New Year’s Eve, the world would finally always be at peace. But until we can get world leaders to agree on my new one-day calendar idea, we need to make the most out of our 1-day-in-365 of harmony. So I say, let’s party like its 1999! Hmm. Wait. Bad idea. Let’s just have fun and love one another, no matter one’s nationality, religion, skin color, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or even one’s sports team loyalties. And what better way to kick off the New Year this coming week than with a bottle of the bubbly, as in bottle-fermented Artisan Sparkling Cider from Finnriver Farm & Cidery? This stuff is old-school, and seriously amazing. And it comes complete with its own champagne cork that will go, “pop!”

Dino (lacinato) kale from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dino (lacinato) kale from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for some greens and roughage in your diet after a month of holiday parties and snacks? Stoney Plains Organic Farm has you covered! They effectively use row covers to keep their greens going all winter long. Some of their tasty dino kale sounds pretty good right about now, doesn’t it?

FreshBucks_LogoToday is the last day to use your Fresh Bucks coupons at your Ballard Farmers Market. If you receive Food Stamps benefits (SNAP/EBT),  when you use them at the Market, we will match them dollar-for-dollar, up to $10, each time you visit the Market through the end of the 2013. Unfortunately, as I pointed out above, today is the last Market of 2013. So use any remaining Fresh Bucks coupons you have today, or score one last set of them, as long as you use them today. Remember, Fresh Bucks are only good for fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmers here at your Ballard Farmers Market.

The sausages of Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The sausages of Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know, nothing says, “Happy New Year!” like sausage. I am not sure exactly how it says it, but I am quite confident that nothing else says it the same way. And that is why you should get yourself some fresh local sausages today from Sea Breeze Farm.

Samish Bay Cheese makes a variety of delicious farmstead cheeses. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Samish Bay Cheese makes a variety of delicious farmstead cheeses. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Say cheese! Actually, I’m not sure saying “cheese” is really all that important when you are taking a selfie on New Year’s Eve, but I am certain that adding some of this gorgeous and award-winning artisan cheese from Samish Bay Cheese will make your party much, much better.

Cabbage from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cabbage from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether you are making some homemade kraut, braising it, slawing it, or playing bocce with it, you have to admit that this is some pretty darned spectabulous looking cabbage from Nash’s Organic Produce. Of course, they also have sweet-as-can-be beets and carrots now, too, recently kissed by freezing weather and all sugared up. And why not give some of their less famous roots a try? From sunchokes to rutabagas to golden turnips, Nash’s is rocking the roots right now. Heck, try them all at once with one of their mixed root bags, and grab a copy of their 21 recipes for them.

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

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

Mmm. Pickled salmon from Loki Fish. Now, that says, “let’s get this party started!” But get it early, as it sells out fast.

Syrups from Soda Jerk Soda. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Syrups from Soda Jerk Soda. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Make your own non-alcoholic bubbly with these soda syrups from Soda Jerk Sodas. Or use it as a cocktail mixer. And, of course, you can grab a growler or three of their fresh sodas today at your Ballard Farmers Market, 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.

These carrot martini stix and pickled peppers will certainly spice up your holiday festivities. Get down to Purdy Pickle today, and get your pickle on! They’ve got a great selection of pickles from which to choose.

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

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

And you gotta love olive fougasse from Tall Grass Bakery. Seriously. It is required of you. Mind you, if for some reason, you are one of those rare (and troubled) birds that doesn’t, that just means more for me! I can eat one of these by myself in a single sitting. Happy New Calendars, indeed!

Kimchi, Krauts & more from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kimchi, Krauts & more from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I seem to have a disproportionate number of fermented products in the year-end countdown, and maybe that is because that last round of glüg and fruitcake feels like it is setting up residency. Now’s a good time for all of us to embrace the fermented, and healing, deliciousness of kimchi and kraut from Ballard’s own Firefly Kitchens. It’s good food that’s good for you, especially after that third plate of holiday cookies.

Fresh kombucha from CommuniTea. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh kombucha from CommuniTea. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And why not finish with one last bit of fermented goodness that will pick you up and cure what ails you. Yes, it is kombucha from Communi-Tea Kombucha. Delish. And hey, it will work great for toasting in the New Year, too. It’s got the fizz. It has a little bit of alcohol, but not too much. And it’ll give you an energy boost to help you make it through the wee hours. (And you thought these posts were never helpful. As if.)

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 30th: Everything You Need For A Perfect New Year’s Eve Par-tay!

December 30, 2012
Wines from Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wines from Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy New Year, good people of Ballard! 2013. Can you believe it? We weren’t even supposed to be here now. Good thing the Mayans are smarter than us. Well, tomorrow night, we’re gonna party like it’s 1999. Um, well, never mind. If I recall, that was about the lamest New Year’s Eve party in Seattle — maybe anywhere — ever. It was a month after WTO, some guy had just tried to smuggle explosives in from Canada on a ferry to Port Angeles, and then Mayor Paul Schell, scaredie pants that he was (not to mention his inability to manage public safety in this town), cancelled Seattle’s millennium celebration. We were the laughing stock of the world. After Seattle’s finest kicked us out of Seattle Center at 6:30 p.m., we were, err, “treated” to three minutes of fireworks “magic” from the Space Needle that amounted to one enormous pffft, and people by the thousands were heard chanting disparaging things against the mayor all over the city, followed by the mayor failing to even make it through the primary in September — the first since the 1930s. I can still remember the Tonight Show making fun of Seattle, showing big parties all over the world, and then Seattle, with three old guys sitting around in an otherwise dark, empty room in their boxers, blowing on noise makers. Then, there was the January 2nd banner headline on the front of the Sunday Seattle Times that read, “Schell: ‘I’m Not A Wuss’.” Oy. (BTW, these are lovely wines from Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery.)

Head cheese from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Head cheese from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Of course, back then, we also expected the world to come to an end. Our electric grid would screech to a halt come the turning of the calendar to the year 2000, and all of our computers would burst into flames. We all filled our bathtubs with water before going out to party that night, and we all had plenty of ready-to-eat canned food, bottled drinking water, first aid kits and gas masks. Mind you, I think most of us got the gas masks more in response to the WTO being in town than the threat of Y2K meltdowns, but in any case, we all woke up the next morning with throbbing heads, tubs full of tepid water, and plenty of regularly scheduled bowl games on perfectly functioning televisions. We all felt more than a little silly, because unlike this year’s Mayan calendar mania, in 1999, a lot of us really expected the new year to greet us with calamity. Humans is such stupid animals. (Mmm. Tasty head cheese from Sea Breeze Farm.)

Bloody Mary Mix from Zane & Zack's World Famous Honey Co. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bloody Mary Mix from Zane & Zack’s World Famous Honey Co. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know, your Ballard Farmers Market was born in the year 2000. It was that summer that the farmers left the Fremont Sunday Market, back when Fremont was being completely redeveloped, and set up shop in the parking lot of the U.S. Bank at 56th & 22nd, now, the location of the Ballard branch of the Seattle Public Library. And this time 12 years ago, we were in the midst of a grand experiment — the city’s first year-round neighborhood farmers market. The winter of 2000-2001 was miserable, wet and cold, and many Sundays saw just our Market Master, Judy, and Anselmos Farm out there, sticking it out for a very loyal core of Ballard customers. (Bloody Mary mix and pho sauce from Zane & Zack’s World Famous Honey Co.)

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

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

Hard to believe that what we see every Sunday on Ballard Ave now had such humble beginnings, but there it is. So perhaps we should wish you into the new year with this thought: start small, but dream big, because you can make it happen. A handful of people dreamed of a great market in Ballard, and today, Ballard Farmers Market is the highest sales volume market in the state, world renowned, and one of Seattle’s top tourist destinations. In 1998, the Ballard Chamber of Commerce said it wanted a Sunday farmers market, because the neighborhood was empty on Sundays. Ballard Ave was loaded with empty storefronts. While the rest of Seattle boomed, it seemed Ballard had gone bust. Today, it is challenging to find parking in Ballard on Sunday, Ballard Ave has blossomed with dozens of new businesses, many of which were lured to the neighborhood by the success of Ballard Farmers Market. The neighborhood is perhaps the strongest in the city, and Seattle’s finest chefs fight for locations near Seattle’s finest farmers market. And your Ballard Farmers Market could not be more proud. (Pickled keta salmon from Loki Fish.)

Fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Soda. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Soda. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

So we’ve got plenty to celebrate. Let’s party like we’re happy, folks, not like we’re expecting the end of days. Your Ballard Farmers Market has everything you need to make for a great party… well, except for fireworks. But for that, you still have the Space Needle. I know you’ve been riveted by every word I’ve written here so far, but please take the time to notice all the delicious photos above and below of all sorts of wonderful, local goodness that’ll help you ring in the new year in style, while supporting good, local, living-wage jobs, and in so doing, will help continue to build Ballard’s robust economy. Like these fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Soda Company. And did you know that these fresh sodas, made with great, local ingredients, are available for you to take home in half-gallon growlers, for you to serve to the designated drivers and minors at your whoopdeedoo, or, if you desire, for you to mix with an adult beverage of your choice.

Delicious handmade caramels from Jonboy Caramels. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Delicious handmade caramels from Jonboy Caramels. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Of course, we’ve got local wine (up top), superb charcuteriemixerspickled salmon and sweets! Like these irresistible caramels from Jonboy Caramels. Made right here in Ballard from local ingredients, these are some of the finest caramels you will find anywhere, and they will make your guests very happy.

Raw & vegan snacks from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Raw & vegan snacks from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll need crackery and snacky things for munching, crunching and dipping, and why not make them raw and vegan while your at it, so none of your more high maintenance guests will complain. Visit our own House of the Sun, also born right here in Ballard, for these amazing crackers and kale chips, as well as some great hummus, too. They please any palate, vegan or not!

Eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eggs? What do eggs have to do with a New Year’s Eve party, you ask? Simple. Two words: deviled eggs. Yeah, baby. I mean, I suppose they could symbolize fertility — the birth of a new year ripe with new opportunities — but seriously… deviled eggs are like garlic — there is no such thing as too much. Am I right? That said, you may also want to have eggs for breakfast the next afternoon, too. Stop by Stokesberry Sustainable Farm for some of these beautiful, pastured eggs from happy chickens down in Olympia. (If those chickens only new what else happens down there, they might not be so happy.)

Pickled Golden Beets from Gaia's Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

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

It is hard to have too many pickles, either. They make every gathering more delicious. Have you checked out the newly expanded selection of pickliciousness from Gaia’s Natural Goods lately? They are making pickles, like these pickled golden beets, from produce they grow on their own farm! Not only tasty, they are good for you, too, but don’t let that discourage you from enjoying them on New Year’s Eve.

A variety of soups by Got Soup? Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A variety of soups by Got Soup? Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether you want to impress your guests with an elegant Crab Bisque, or settle in for a day of watching football in your jammies on New Year’s Day with some Curried Cauliflower, Got Soup? makes it easy. They’ve got a great lineup of locally-produced gourmet soups made with ingredients from Market vendors, conveniently packaged in frozen quart containers. All you do is take ’em home, heat ’em up, and lie to everyone else about how long you spent slaving over a hot stove recreating it from your grandmother’s long lost recipe.

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

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

Nothing makes a party a party like fresh oysters on the half shell from Hama Hama Oyster Company, the oyster company so nice they named it twice. They’re delicious. They’re an aphrodisiac. Heck, they’re even loaded with zinc, to help you ward off, or fight off, that nasty cold that’s been going around. And they’ve got pickled and smoked oysters, too, plus shucked jar oysters.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll need crusty, artisan breads to soak up the party juice tomorrow night. Plus, it makes a great foundation for cheese, smoked salmon, hummus, what have you. Check in with Ballard’s own Tall Grass Bakery for breads like their Pain au Levain (left), Baker Street Sourdough, and Avery’s Pumpernickel. And did you know that Tall Grass got its start with us over in Fremont in the late 1990s, using other bakeries’ kitchens at first, before growing in the storefront you see today on 24th Ave?

Peanut brittle from Pete's Perfect Butter Toffee. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Peanut brittle from Pete’s Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of sweets, nobody makes them better than Pete’s Perfect Toffee. Stop by for a sample, then load up on toffeefudge or some of this peanut butter brittle. Just make sure you get enough for everyone at your party, so no fights break out. Heck, just stash it in your closest and eat it all yourself on New Year’s Day!

Smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ooh. Smoked salmon. Local smoked salmon from Wilson Fish, in fact. They catch their fish off the coast of Washington. And you’d be hard-pressed to find better smoked salmon anywhere. Just get here early to get yours, because last week, they were sold out before noon! It’s that good!

Honey Crisp Apple Cider from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Honey Crisp Apple Cider from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rockridge Orchards bottles a variety of sweet apple ciders, great anytime, but also perfect as a mixer, or for your designated drivers and minors, at your New Year’s Eve party. Of course, keep in mind that they have plenty of the high-octane stuff, too — hard ciders and berry wines — to please you and your guests!

Samish Bay Cheese makes a variety of delicious farmstead cheeses. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Samish Bay Cheese makes a variety of delicious farmstead cheeses. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Blessed are the cheese makers. And you will need cheese tomorrow night. If you haven’t tried the incredible selection of artisan, farmstead cheeses made by Samish Bay Cheese, you are missing something special. Several are award winners from the American Cheese Society, and they are quite unique styles of cheese here in the Northwest. Stop by and sample some today, even if you think you remember them from before. Because they’re not making gouda anymore, folks. This stuff is in an entirely different league!

Please be safe out there tomorrow night, have a great time, and please don’t drink and drive. We want to see you back here again next Sunday.

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, 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, December 27th: It’s Almost 2010! Can You Believe It?!? (I just wanted to be the first person to ask you that question.)

December 27, 2009

Pickled sockeye salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yep. New Year’s Eve approacheth. It’s time to party our brains out because we are getting new calendars. Woohoo!!! Holidays vary from country to country, religion to religion. We Americans celebrate Thanksgiving in November, and our neighbors to the north in Canada celebrate it in October. We celebrate Independence Day, and Canada celebrates Canada Day. (They’ll start calling it Independence Day around the same time they take the Queen off their stamps and money, I’m guessing.) And who can keep track of all the December holidaze, like Chanukah, Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Festivus and Boxing Day. It’s all quite dizzying. But at least we can all agree to join together in raucous celebration of new calendars. It is calendars that will, in the end, bring peace and unity to Planet Earth. So get ready to par-tay like it’s 2010, people. We’ll help you with some party food ideas, like the pickled sockeye salmon from Loki Fish, above.

Fresh smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

But don’t stop at just the pickled stuff. Grab some smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish, too.

German, Italian and Andouille sausages from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And you’ll need sausages. Lots of sausages. Fortunately, Olsen Farms has lots of sausages, like the German (left), Italian and Andouille sausages above.

Anthony Estrella shows off some Jalapeno Buttery cheese from Estrella Family Creamery. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Some Jalapeno Buttery cheese from Estrella Family Creamery will certainly be a hit at your party.

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

And Seastack cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery will open the door to just about anyone else’s party in town.

Samish Bay Cheese makes a variety of delicious farmstead cheeses. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

All of our cheese makers at Ballard Farmers Market offer a variety of cheeses. Just look at this delicious selection from Samish Bay Cheese.

'Zaw makes fresh pizzas at the Market for you to take home and bake. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

By now, with the thought of all this party planning for Thursday night, and the kitchen fatigue you are already feeling from this past week, you may just want to let someone else do the work. For that, we welcome ‘Zaw. ‘Zaw makes up pizzas fresh at the Market, using local ingredients, for you to take home and bake. Try one out tonight, then maybe have them set you up for your New Year’s Eve party later this week, as they are located just a block away from the Market on Leary Way. (And ask them why the Queen is still on Canadian stamps and money while you’re there.)

Remember, your Ballard Farmers Market is chock full of all sorts of goodness for your party, and just plain for your kitchen. 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.