Posts Tagged ‘rye bread’

Sunday, November 14th: My, Oh, My! Hit A Home Run & Eat Local For Thanksgiving!

November 14, 2010

All-Rye bread from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Thanksgiving approacheth, and it is time to stock up our pantries with all manner of local goodness, so that we can impress all our holiday guests with just how savvy and thoughtful we are when it comes to both local and great food. And before we start giving thanks for the bounty we enjoy here in Seattle — because we are spoiled here — let’s all take the Eat Local for Thanksgiving pledge, while there is still county funding to keep the Puget Sound Fresh website up and running. Of course, we should probably thank all those folks in local government who have worked so hard in support of farmers markets and local farms in recent years, many of whom will be out of jobs soon. (And we can all thank Wall Street for that!)

Mustard greens from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

On a personal note, I would like the thank Dave Niehaus for giving all us baseball fans the most beautiful verbal paintings of Mariners games for more than 30 years. No matter how badly the Mariners ever sucked, I always enjoyed listening to him call their games. As a storyteller myself, I can only dream of having so gilded a tongue as he possessed. He will be missed, but at least we know who will call the games in the remake of A Field Of Dreams, right? So for Dave, I started out with some Tall Grass Bakery rye bread, then some Full Circle Farm mustard greens (sorry, no mustard photos from Sea Breeze), and…

Sausage & salami from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary Lyons.

… some salami (of to the left above) from Olsen Farms. Of course, you might be more likely to be looking for potatoes and a standing rib roast from Olsen right now, but what baseball fan doesn’t find  tears welling up in their eyes at the thought of Niehaus screaming, “Get out the rye bread and mustard, Grandma, cause it’s grand salami time!” Dave, you embodied the little kid in all of us.

Kimchi from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary Lyons.

Hey, sports fans (and everyone else)! Let’s also give thanks for all the cool new food artisans we’ve gotten to welcome into our five markets in 2010. This time of year, when we’ve got a little more space for them at your Ballard Farmers Market, we get to welcome a lot of additional food artisans into the Market. In recent weeks, you’ve seen Platypus Breads (gluten-free breads), House of the Sun (raw & vegan foods) and Four Sisters (Vietnamese chili sauces). Today, we welcome Firefly Kitchens with their incredible fermented deliciousness in the form of kimchi, sauerkraut, rötkraut and Yin-Yang (carrot and ginger goodness). Firefly Kitchens is another new company in 2010 — a rising star we got to help foster along at our Wallingford and Madrona markets this past summer. It was the coolest thing to see them run out of inventory in their third week at our markets and have to get larger fermenting crocks because their products were so well received. And hey, a spoonful a day will keep the doctor away, don’t you know!

A holiday ham from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let us also give thanks for the amazing farmers who feed us week in and week out. Let us do it by serving their bounty on our Thanksgiving (or Thanks for the Land Day, as I like to think of it) tables. And are you panicked because you forgot to order a turkey from one of our farmers, and now they’re sold out? Never fear! Serve ham instead! I don’t know if you’ve ever had one of Skagit River Ranch’s smoked hams, but I have, and they are to die for. Really. And Eiko told me last week that they still have a fair number of them.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, so you must have sweet potatoes on your holiday table, and you think you can’t get them from a local source. Well, you can thank the good folks at Lyall Farms for growing them for you over in Sunnyside. So now, you can have your sweet potatoes and get your local on, too!

Rutabagas from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary Lyons.

Me, I gotta have me some rutabagas mashed with butter. For that, I thank Boistfort Valley Farm for growing some spectabulous bagas, baby. Maybe you are unfamiliar with this proud Nordic vegetable, but if you are going to continue to spend time here in Ballard, you had better honor its Scandinavian and Irish heritage with what the Scandinavians call “Swedes” and the Irish simply call “turnips”, and you better get you some bagas, too. (Oh, and you’ll find the butter at Golden Glen Creamery, by the way.)

Galaxy Gala apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary Lyons.

You’ll likely be needing apples for all sorts of things on your holiday table, and you can thank ACMA Orchards for bringing you a dizzying array of apples every week. Like these Galaxy Gala apples they just harvested. They’ve got an apple for every one of your apple needs!

Wine and hard cider from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And thank you, Wade & Judy, for your wonderful hard ciders and berry wines. We’ll be needing many bottles of Rockridge Orchards goodness to grease the holiday skids, as it were, helping us make merry, and in some cases, helping us all get along. And they’ve got sweet cider for the kiddies, too!

Whatever you care to share across your table during the holidays, you’ll find it at your Ballard Farmers Market, from flour to eggs to chicken to gluten-free croutons (order yours now!) to bacon to cheese to wild mushrooms. So when you take the Eat Local for Thanksgiving pledge, and it asks you to commit to adding one local item to your table, scoff at it and say out loud, “One item? Heck, I’m going to make every item on my holiday table local!”

There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Just check the What’s Fresh Now! listings in the upper right-hand corner of this page for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now!

Sunday, August 1st: Happy Farmers Market Week! It’s Peak Season, People! Woohoo!!!

August 1, 2010

Mother's Day 2010. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holy Peak Season, Batman, it’s August already, and that means it’s Farmers Market Week 2010! Yup, from August 1-7, 2010, the whole gosh-darned country celebrates Farmers Market Week. Read Governor Christine Gregoire’s official proclamation. And while you are at it, vote for your Ballard Farmers Market in the 2010 America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest. We’re still in 3rd place nationally, out of some 7,000 farmers markets, but we should be in 1st! But Davis, CA is right now, and Rochester, NY is in 2nd. A lot of Ballard fans voted this last week, and we gained a lot of ground on them, but we still have a ways to go. Do you really want to be responsible for allowing CA & NY to beat Ballard because you didn’t take 30 seconds to vote? CA & NY win everything, regardless of who is really the best, and we all know Ballard Farmers Market is the best, don’t we? So vote! Vote with every one of your email addresses. Email all your friends, family, neighbors, bankers, attorneys, doctors, plumbers, cats, dogs, goldfish, everyone you know and encourage them to vote, too! You see this photo above? That’s from Mother’s Day 2010. 12,500 people came through your Ballard Farmers Market that day. If half of them voted for Ballard, we’d bury CA & NY. You don’t have to have your cookies turned on. You don’t have to register with the site. You won’t get any junk mail unless you opt in to receive it. You don’t have to make a donation. Just click the link, click vote, fill in your name and email, and you are done!

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

Hey, did I tell you that I finally got a new camera? It has been just over two weeks, and I am still learning all its bells and whistles, but I am pretty happy with the photos it is producing. I must give a shout out to the good folks at Glazer’s Camera for taking such good care of me and for matching me up with a rockin’ camera perfectly suited to serving the needs of these market blogs. In honor of my new (to me, anyway) camera, I will share more photos than usual today, while at the same time perhaps being a little less verbose. You can’t expect me to spew mind-blowing witticisms for all of these lovely photos. I mean, a fellow can give just so much. That said, just look at all those lovely tomatillos from Alvarez Organic Farms above. Salsa verde time!

Artichokes from Summer Run. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I love photographing artichokes almost as much as I love eating them. They really are remarkably beautiful vegetables, aren’t they? And I must respect any food that threatens me with bodily injury while I pursue eating it. These gorgeous chokes are from Summer Run.

Korean red garlic from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s 2 a.m. as I write this, and I must admit that I am indulging in the guilty pleasure of listening to Hall & Oates while I work. Not sure if it’s the delirium of the hour or my Philly roots, or maybe it’s this heaping pile of that stinking rose known as garlic that just takes me back to those soulful tunes I enjoyed in my youth in those sweltering Augusts in South Philadelphia’s Italian neighborhood, when the temp and the humidity would both be 95, and the garbage collectors would go on strike. You know, this Korean Red garlic from Stoney Plains will keep away even the fiercest of vampires while bringing a tear to any Italian’s eye. And it is strong enough that it will cover up the odor of that garbage strike, too!

Rainbow carrots from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Check out these gorgeous rainbow carrots from Full Circle Farm. The other day, as the low clouds from the onshore flow were finally burning off in late afternoon, there was just enough hazy moisture left in the air that I actually saw a rainbow around the sun! It formed a perfect ring encircling the flaming orb. The only time I have seen this phenomenon before is during winter when humidity in the air forms ice crystals that create the rainbow ring, usually indicating that snow is on the way. But to see it in summer was new to me.

Pickling cukes from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickling cucumbers are arriving at your Ballard Farmers Market now, like these bathing beauties from Alm Hill Gardens. When I first got involved with farmers markets way the heck back in 1991, one of the farmers at the Olympia Farmers Market, where I got my start, shared her pickling recipe with me. I used pickling cukes grown by Mike Peroni for my first batch of pickles. Mike currently owns Boistfort Valley Farm, and no longer grows pickling cukes. Back then his farm was called Flying Rhino. Ah, the fond memories.

Lapins cherries from Tiny's. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lapins cherries, like these from Tiny’s, are one of the last cherries to come to harvest each summer. I think they are perhaps the most lovely cherries of them all. Just look at that deep, dark, red color they have. They are also one of my favorites to eat. Can you imagine if you didn’t have your Ballard Farmers Market to bring you varieties of cherries other than Rainiers and Bings? How boring that would be, but that is in fact the reality of things at even the best grocery stores here in Seattle, a place with better grocery stores than just about any other place in the country, and a place with better cherries, too. That is the difference between farmers markets and grocery stores. And let’s face it: grocery stores that do bring in new kinds of crops only do so after those crops have proven themselves at farmers markets for several years. But you and I are savvy enough to cut out the middle man and at the same time enjoy the many heirloom crops our farmers offer us, like Lapins cherries. So, have you voted yet for Ballard Farmers Market?

Collard greens from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm grows some of the most photogenic produce, don’t you think? Could these collard greens be any prettier? I think not. They are perfect. Divine. You know, collard greens here are so tender and delicious — not like the huge collard leaves down South that have to be cooked for friggin’ ever, until they are mush. I like sauteing these with bacon and garlic until just wilted and eating them alongside a nice steak. Oh, yeah, baby!

All-Rye bread from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now that is a spectacular loaf of bread, is it not? It’s the All-Rye from Tall Grass Bakery. It is an incredibly moist, quite dense, and uncompromisingly wonderful bread perfectly suited to a big old slather of some of that incredible butter from Golden Glen Creamery, whether your slice be fresh off the loaf or fresh out of the toaster.

Donut peaches from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It was during the summer of my first year as Executive Director of the Washington State Farmers Market Association back in 1999 that I was on a trip to visit the brand new farmers market in Yakima. I was staying at this lovely bed & breakfast on a farm in Naches, and the farm was one of the first few farms to be licensed to grow this new peach called a donut peach. The farmer, still looking for a market for his peaches, sent me home with a box of them. Boy, howdy! I was in love, and I’ve been in love with them ever since. See, I have always been one of those wusses who doesn’t like to deal with all that juice pouring all over me while eating peaches, and the special nature of donut peaches and their tiny pits meant I could enjoy an amazing peach with only a fraction of the mess. I brought home a bunch of these donut peaches from Collins Family Orchards the other day, and I am in peach heaven right now. Makes me think how that Presidents of the United States of America song is passé now that the peaches come to us in the city. No need to move to the country to eat a lot of them anymore.

Salad mix from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

In as much as I am a wuss when it comes to sloppy peaches, I am a slacker when it comes to salads. So I reach for a bag of salad mix from Colinwood Farms  each week. And besides being easy, what I love about salad mix is that it gives me so many different flavors all mixed together without me having to round up all those different ingredients separately. It would take me forever to go through all that stuff it I did. I also love that salad mix is a true expression of the farmer. Each farm’s salad mix is different. And I think I have tried just about all of them in Washington over the years. There’s this farm over in Sequim called Kol Simcha Farm that produces superb lamb, but they used to also produce the single best salad mix I’ve ever encountered. I used to go all the way to the Tacoma Farmers Market just to get it from them on Thursdays. You’ll find at least a half dozen different salad mixes at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Find the one that works best for you, or just mix it up every week.

Raspberry-Blueberry Cream Pie from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did I say I was going to be less verbose today? Right. Who was I kidding?!? But really, what words can do justice to this image of Raspberry-Blueberry Cream Pie from Deborah’s Homemade Pies? It really speaks for itself. But if you have yet to try one of Deborah’s ridiculously spectabulous pies, you are out of your flipping mind!!! Honestly, she makes perhaps the best pies on earth. Look, my dad kicks bottom when it comes to making pies, and I genuinely thought I’d never meet a pie that would compare to his… and then I met Deborah and her pies. I swear, if I find at the end of the Market today that she has not sold out of every single pie, I will be forced to stop each and every one of you in the Market next Sunday to ask you how the heck you could get through another week without one of these suckers! I’ll do it, too. And for those of you gluten-intolerant types, she’s got gluten-free pies even, and she’s got savory meat pies for dinner. That’s it. Now you’ve got me wound up. She better be sold out by 2 p.m. today, people!

And remember, there is plenty more for you to find today at your Ballard Farmers Market. But before you click on the What’s Fresh Now! pages to see what all else is in season right now, please do take a moment to vote for Ballard Farmers Market in American Farmland Trust’s America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest. And thank you!