Posts Tagged ‘potatoes’

2nd Addition: March is National Soup Month: Now Use Fish for a Healthy and Sumptuous Basis for Great Chowders

March 21, 2015
When he's not clowning around at Wilson Fish, Tim Davidson is an international disaster relief volunteer for the Red Cross. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When he’s not clowning around at Wilson Fish, Tim Davidson is an international disaster relief volunteer for the Red Cross. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

SO WHY NOT TRY A CHOWDER FOR SUNDAY DINNER?

Any variety of smoked salmon you chose will make a fine main ingredient in a chowder that will become one of your favorites with this recipe from bbcgoodfood.com.  We recommend it for the simple ingredients and fabulous flavor. You can click this link to see what you think. It may inspire you to try it.  You might even want to send us a photo or video of you cooking, or eating the soup, or clowning around.  We think it would be fun to see how you do and what you think.

Now, let’s talk Potatoes and Leeks.  Absolutely required, they can be found in abundance from most of our farmers.

First, Leeks:  Try Mee Garden, The Old Farmer, Colinwood Farm, Nash’s Organic Farm, Pa Garden, Ia’s Gardne, Growing Washington, Growing Things, and Stoney Plains.

OneLeafBabyLeeks

Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

These shining and delicate flavored vegetables provide just the right touch.  But they always need to be washed thoroughly-they have a reputation for surprising people with globs of mud stuck between their layers of the top 2/3rds of the stalk.

HELPFUL TIP FOR CLEANING LEEKS:  Cut stalks into 2-3 inch pieces and remove the root end; place in a large bowl with cold water; and stir vigorously enough to see the beginnings of separation of the layers.  Allow to sit in the water long enough to begin to see the dirt come free from the layers, and give a good final rinse until you get the pieces clean.  Plan on using the bottom white portion up to the paler green pieces in your soup.  The greenest top parts can be placed in a bag & frozen to add terrific flavor to a clear vegetable broth made later, or you can compost them.

Now, the beloved Potato:  They too are available from your favorite farmer with little exception.  Pick the colors and textures you want.

AlmHillRussetPotatoes

Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

KirsopPotatoes

Kirsop Potatoes are still looking good. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The great news is Potatoes are so good for you.  Even without the skin, 1 medium potato will provide 70% of the Vitamin C you need in a day, 25% of the Potassium, 9% Iron and 8% Protein.  Add to that such nutrients as 30% of your daily need for Vitamin B-6, 18% of dietary fiber and 12% of Magnesium.  And I could go on, but out of courtesy to you, I’ll stop here.

Finally, this recipe calls for heavy cream (BBC calls it double cream), but if you substitute yogurt from Samish Bay Cheese, or sheep yogurt from Glendale Shepherd, you won’t regret it.

Sheep's milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Sheep’s milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Jersey cow yogurt from Samish Bay Cheese. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Jersey cow yogurt from Samish Bay Cheese. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We’d love to see your innovations and how you do.  We are always interested in your experience.

Until then Bon Appetite!

Sunday, March 8th: Just A Few Of My Favorite Product Photos & My Farewell!

March 7, 2015
A heart-shaped tomato from Around The Table Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

A heart-shaped tomato from Around The Table Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to combine my three passions into one gig over the last eight years. I managed to find a job in which I got to help develop our local food system while at the same time writing about it and photographing it. What a blessing! I have been working with farmers markets since 1991, and I have served on the board of Seattle Chefs Collaborative since 1999. I also served as executive director of Washington State Farmers Market Association from 1999-2005, and in 2006, I co-authored the Washington State Farmers Market Manual for Washington State University. I have loved all this work, and I am proud of all we’ve accomplish here, leading the nation in local food. So even though I am leaving my farmers market job after today, I will still be around.

For this last official regular blog post for your Ballard Farmers Market, I’d like to revisit with you some of my favorite photos from over the years. Like the one above, taken at Wallingford Farmers Market last summer. This naturally-occuring heart-shaped tomato was grown by Poulsbo’s Around The Table Farm. Yet one more reason to love vine-ripened, farm-fresh tomatoes over homogenous, boring tomatoes from the Big Box stores, if you really needed another reason.

An explosion of carrots from Gaia's Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

An explosion of carrots from Gaia’s Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While the previous photo was copied all over the intertubes, it is this photo that actually circled the globe. Yes, this is my single-most plagerized photo ever, and I say that with pride (and a little bit of annoyance — please don’t republish photos without permission or giving credit!). I took this photo of baby rainbow carrots that look like an exploding firework not long before Independence Day in 2012. These carrots were grown by Gaia’s Harmony Farm in Snohomish. I published this photo across all of our markets’ blogs and Facebook pages for the 4th that year, and it just spread across the interwebs from there. Imagine how far it would have travelled had a vision of the Virgin Mother be visible in it?

Fresh sausages from Sea Breeze Farmat Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh sausages from Sea Breeze Farmat Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

I’ve taken a lot of nice photos of Sea Breeze Farm’s meats over the years, but I’ve always liked this one of their sausages best. The sausages are all uniform in size and stacked perfectly, highlighted by the wooden butcher block below them. But what sets them off is that they are three such distinctly different colors. Kinda makes you want some right now, doesn’t it? And that is what makes this photo so special.

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

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

Rutabagas are one of my favorite vegetables. I must owe that to my Irish heritage. My family eats them every Thanksgiving. Indeed, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without them. Then my Aunt Joyce taught me to add them to the corned beef pot on St. Paddy’s Day. (You need to add them 15-30 minutes before your potatoes, as they’re much denser.) They absorb all the flavors of the spices and meat. Nummers. I’ve also always found rutabagas to be quite beautiful, with their deep yellows and purples. And of all my lovely photos of rutabagas — indeed, of all the thousands of images I’ve taken of markets over the years — this one of rutabagas from Boistfort Valley Farm, spread out randomly in a wooden farm box, is one of my absolute favorites.

Framed cabbage from Full Circle Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Framed cabbage from Full Circle Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This wonderful photo of symmetrically-arranged cabbages in a wooden box was taken back in 2010. They are from one of the gorgeous displays that Big Dave used to erect for Full Circle Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. The image quality suffers a bit from my old camera’s inferior technology, but the image is still nice, don’t you think?

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

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

One Leaf Farm is known for growing lots of deliciously bitter members of the chicory family. They are quite beautiful, too, and in 2012, I managed to capture this image of escarole, treviso radicchio and Palla Rosa radicchio here at your Ballard Farmers Market. This image is now used on One Leaf’s own website, which pleases me every time I visit it.

Romanesco from Full Circle Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Romanesco from Full Circle Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Another of the most stunning vegetables — one that magically grows in perfect fractals — is this romanesco, a member of the cauliflower family. And my favorite photo is of this romanesco from Full Circle Farm at Madrona Farmers Market back in 2011. This photos has served as the cover photo for Madrona’s Facebook page ever since.

Chinese spinach from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chinese spinach from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

But for my money, the most beautiful vegetable of all is this Chinese spinach. With its purple and green leaves, it is just flat-out stunning. Only two farms bring it to your Ballard Farmers Market each summer: Mee Garden and Children’s Garden. This image is of some from Children’s Garden from 2011. And in fact, before I published this photo and waxed poetic about the virtues of this gorgeous leafy green, these two farms were hard-pressed to sell any of it. Now, they can’t harvest enough of it. And for that, I love you, good people of Ballard Farmers Market! You are willing to be adventurous in the name of eating local!

Broccoli in the field at Alm Hill Gardens. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Broccoli in the field at Alm Hill Gardens. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Most people probably don’t even think about what broccoli looks like growing in the fieldThis is what it looks like! That’s the developing floret right there in the center surrounded by all those lovely, and edible, mind you, leaves. That’s why I’ve always loved this photo from Growing Washington in Everson — it surprises people. No, milk doesn’t just magically come in a carton, and yes, broccoli does have leaves!

Winter squash from Summer Run Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Summer Run Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash is also very photogenic. And this photo of delicata and carnival squash from Summer Run Farm taken just this past fall happens to be my favorite. The colors are simply explosive, aren’t they? No wonder so many restaurants will use their squash as decorations around the dining room for weeks before cooking them!

Cauliflower in every color from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cauliflower in every color from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you know that cauliflower comes in so many colors? Just it this photo you’ll see purple, yellow, green, white and green romanesco from Growing Things Farm. Seriously, aren’t farmers markets so much more fun in every way than a boring Big Box store, where you’ll only get white cauliflower, and it won’t be remotely as sweet as this stuff is?

Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally… and this is the big finally… in honor of Ballard’s Scandinavian roots, and because this photos has actually been republished in national print magazines, let’s finish off my celebration of my favorite product photos, and my role as Blog Master, with these Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms. Their magnificent purple skin belies snow white flesh that makes them a perfect masher.

Thank you for joining me week in and week out for all these years, as I have brought you the news of the day as to what’s fresh now at your Ballard Farmers Market, with a sprinkling of snark and commentary. If at times my tone has seemed revolutionary, that is because the revolution starts here, on your fork. Know that I won’t be too far away, and that you’ll likely still see me around the Market on Sundays. Hopefully, I’ll contribute the odd guest post in the future. And now that I have the time, I’ll be whipping my personal blogs into shape with tales of food and adventure from near and far. You can find my blogs via mayoroffoodtown.com, though give me a couple of weeks to spit-polish them a bit, as they’re a bit tarnished from years of neglect. (If you have need for a skilled writer, photographer or event organizer, contact me through that site.) And I won’t turn down hugs today, either. (Unless you’re sick. Just got over norovirus, and that stuff is just plain nasty.)

xoxo Zach

Sunday, January 17th: Storage Crops (Go Hawks!)

January 17, 2015
The 12th Potato from Olsen Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The 12th Potato from Olsen Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Another Sunday, another big game. That’s been our reality here at your Ballard Farmers Market during football season the last two years. And in order for us to get us localicious on, we all have to do a little adapting. This week, with a 12:15 PM start time, we recommend that you come to your Ballard Farmers Market between 10 AM and noon, or step out of one of the many bars and restaurants on Ballard Avenue featuring the game on their televisions during halftime, if you want to catch the game and get your grocery shopping done, too. And if you focus on these great storage crops featured in this week’s epistle, like these potatoes from Olsen Farms, you can easily leave them in your trunk while you enjoy the game somewhere here in Downtown Ballard. (Oh, and if you are not planning on watching the game, coming to Market during the game will be a pleasure for you!)

Dried grains, beans and seeds from Nash's Organic Produce at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Dried grains, beans and seeds from Nash’s Organic Produce at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter is a great time to utilize and enjoy dried beans, grains, seeds and milled products from Nash’s Organic Produce. From freshly milled cornmeal and gluten-free buckwheat flour, to whole grains like triticale and naked oats, from mustard seeds to dried fava beans, Nash’s has an amazing, diverse and versatile selection. I love adding the naked oats to chicken soup, and using their cornmeal to bread pan fried oysters from Hama Hama Oysters, or true cod from Wilson Fish.

Mixed roots from Growing Washington (Alm Hill Gardens) at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Mixed roots from Growing Washington (Alm Hill Gardens) at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for a quick and easy dinner idea? How about a root roast? This handy root mix from Growing Washington (a.k.a., Alm Hill Gardens) is just the ticket. The key to a successful, low maintenance root roast is to cut your roots into appropriate sizes based on their density, so that they all will be ready at the same time. Rutabagas are the densest, followed by carrots and beets, and then potatoes. Sunchokes and parsnips cook the fastest. The denser the root, the smaller the pieces. Follow this rule, and you will have great, simple, delicious root roasts. Just lather them up with your favorite oil, salt and pepper to taste, and slide them in a hot oven until tender. Give them a toss about midway through.

Frozen blueberries from Sidhu Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Frozen blueberries from Sidhu Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

I add a handful of these frozen blueberries to my hot cereal every morning. Sidhu Farms harvests them at their peak of ripeness, and quickly freezes them, so that we can enjoy them all winter long. If you do plan to shop the Market and then watch the Big Game in the neighborhood, we recommend that you bring a small cooler with some ice to keep your blueberries frozen.

Red storage onions from Colinwood Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Red storage onions from Colinwood Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

2014 was a great year for onions, and we will enjoy them all winter long. Just take a gander at these beautiful red storage onions from Colinwood Farm, for example. They are a great long storage onion, have a nice, intense oniony bite to them when raw that is great for salads and sandwiches, and they sweeten up beautifully when caramelized.

Dried beans from Kirsop Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Dried beans from Kirsop Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Besides all of their great veggies, Kirsop Farm produces many different kinds of dried beans, including hurreritetiger, black & pinto, as well as hard red wheat. All are great for hearty fall soups, stews, salads and more, and they will keep for months!

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, don’t forget the wonderful Beauregard sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Great roasted on their own, steamed and mashed with garlic and chipotle peppers, roasted with parsnips, made into soup or pies, or however you enjoy them best, they are sure to warm your belly and your soul on a cool, damp Northwest night.

Go Hawks!

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 7th: Ballard-Made Cookware, Seattle’s Oldest Winery, Beautifully Bound Journals, The Best Canned Tuna Ever & Crepes!

December 6, 2014
Forged iron cookware from BluSkillet at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Forged iron cookware from BluSkillet at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

What do local food, local art and your Ballard Farmers Market all have in common with this photo? Only the best gift ever for the cook in your life! These hand-forged iron skillets made by Blu Skillet Ironware are beautiful, cook foods perfectly, can go from stovetop to oven to grill to campfire, and are made right here in Ballard! And while they will go toe-to-toe with the finest cookware available anywhere, and they are so special that they were recently featured in the Wall Street Journal, they are made for you, the good people of Ballard, because that’s just how they roll. I’ve used one of these every day for over a year, and I love it. And so will you and yours!

Refillable bottles (left) from Wilridge Winery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Refillable bottles (left) from Wilridge Winery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

How do you keep the good times rolling this holiday season while minding your impact on the environment, saving money, and supporting the oldest winery in Seattle? Why, with these refillable 1.5 liter bottles of wine from Wilridge Winery, that’s how! Available in three different varietals, these are good, sturdy table wines that will keep you and your guests happy, and you can get them right here today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

As colorful as any holiday lights, these cans of albacore tuna from Fishing Vessel St. Jude are quite simply the best canned tuna you will ever taste. They come in many different flavors, but more importantly, they contain the young, North Pacific albacore caught by St. Jude — low in heavy metals and high is beneficial omega-fatty acids. Don’t pour off the liquid in the can, like you do with that corporate canned tuna from the Big Box stores. St. Jude doesn’t add any water. That liquid is the natural juices of the tuna itself, or in other words, it’s pure flavor. Oh, and canned tuna from St. Jude makes for great stocking stuffers!

A savory breakfast crepe from La Crespella at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy La Crespella.

A savory breakfast crepe from La Crespella at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy La Crespella.

Our buddies Samuele & Sara Lucchese, the culinary geniuses behind Pasteria Lucchese, are branching out! Starting today, they will be offering fresh sweet and savory crepes at your Ballard Farmers Market. Look for La Crespella for fresh, delicious, creative crepes made with Market-fresh ingredients!

Handmade leather bound journals from No Boundaries at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Handmade leather bound journals from No Boundaries at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

These beautiful, handmade, leather-bound journals from No Boundaries Books are each unique. They are made in Seattle, feature hand-stitched domestic leathers and 100 sheets of recycled cotton paper sourced from India. The leathers, their colors, and the paper itself varies from book to book, so no two are the same. Some come with gorgeous stone clasps, and they are available in a variety of sizes. They will allow you and yours to preserve memories in a wonderfully memorable package!

Ozette potatoes from Alvarez Organic Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Ozette potatoes from Alvarez Organic Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This could be the last week for our friends from Alvarez Organic Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market until the asparagus starts popping out of the ground next spring. So load up on onionsgarlicdried peppers and beanspepper wreaths and these Ozette potatoes today, while you can. And remember, garlic, onions and potatoes make great stocking stuffers, too!

Seasonal gluten-free deliciousness from nuflours at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Seasonal gluten-free deliciousness from nuflours at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

‘Tis the season for gluten-free holiday treats from nuflours gluten-free bakery. Flavors from peppermint to cranberries, to delightful cookies and festive cakes and brownies, nuflours will make your holidays that much more bright, especially if your diet requires you to avoid wheat products.

Reishi mushroom concentrate from Ascended Grounds at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Reishi mushroom concentrate from Ascended Grounds at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Ascended Grounds makes a lovely variety of concoctions out of medicinal mushrooms, from teas to coffee infusions to chocolates, and more. They will boost your immune system during the cold, dark, wet months. And what better gift can you give than the gift of good health?

One-ounce recycled gold coin from Itali Lambertini at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Itali Lambertini.

One-ounce recycled gold coin from Itali Lambertini at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Itali Lambertini.

Itali Lambertini makes stunning gold jewelry in Port Townsend using recycled gold. That means no war, no corrupt mining rights and no sooner-or-later environmental catastrophe is necessary. But maybe you are just looking for a gift for a youngster that they can hold onto as an investment or an heirloom. Consider one of these one-ounce recycled gold coins. They are individually minted by Itali Lambertini, and they are pure gold without any government bank involved. Save the salmon in Bristol Bay. Save your drinking water. Save a mountain in North Central Washington. And invest in the future of our youth, both in coin form and by treading lightly on the planet they will also inherit from us.

Growlers and growler coolers from Soda Jerk Fresh Soda at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Growlers and growler coolers from Soda Jerk Fresh Soda at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget to make provisions for the designated drivers and the kiddos attending your holiday parties. Pick up a couple of growlers of fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Soda right here at your Ballard Farmers Market! And right now, when you purchase a growler, they will throw in an insulated shoulder bag for a special price! These bags allow you to carry your growler in comfort, keeping your hands free for additional shopping and to carry other bags. And don’t forget their soda syrups! Both the syrups and the sodas make for great mixers!

Carolina models a beautiful garlic braid from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Carolina models a beautiful garlic braid from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful and delicious. Well, I was talking about the garlic braids, but I guess that statement covers Kirsop Farm’s Carolina, too! But back to the braids… they make for a nice, natural decoration for your home from which you will be able to harvest heads of garlic for months to come. And, as if it really needs saying… they make a great gift!

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.


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