Posts Tagged ‘true cod’

Sunday, January 19th: Cooking Oil, Cranberries, Leeks, Chickweed & Refillable Wine Bottles!

January 18, 2014
Camelina oil from Ole World Oils. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Camelina oil from Ole World Oils. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy Sunday! This is the first Sunday since December that your Ballard Farmers Market has had to share with the Seahawks, but fortunately, kickoff in the NFC Championship Game does not happen until 3:30 p.m., half an hour after we close. So you’ve got plenty of time to get down here, get your localiciousness on for the coming week, zip home to drop it off, and get back down here again to watch the Game with us and the gang in one of Ballard Ave’s 13,478 watering holes. And for the 13% of you who still don’t care about the Seahawks, we’re here for you, too!

Oh, hey. Ole World Oils returns today with their camelina oil. This cooking and finishing oil is made from cold-pressed camelina seeds (a mustard cousin) that are grown and processed by Ole World Oils on their farm just outside of Ritzville in Eastern Washington. This oil is fresh, delicious, high in beneficial omega-fatty acids, is great drizzled over salads and as a finishing oil, and has a very high 475 degree smoke point, making it perfect for any cooking application. And it is priced to easily replace all of your imported oils, be they from Italy, Canada or California.

Fresh Washington true cod from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh Washington true cod from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wilson Fish may be best known for its fresh, frozen and smoked Washington salmon and its halibut, but this time of year, if you want fresh fish from them, this true cod and ling cod are what you are likely to find. I love pan-frying their true cod. I make a breading of grits, whole grain flour, rice flour, corn starch, salt, pepper, chile powder, garlic granules and some dried oregano, mixing it altogether in a bowl with a fork, to ensure everything is carefully blended. Then, I like to cut the fish into “nugget” sized pieces, which I give a quick dip in egg, then roll in the breading until fully coated. Then, I toss it in a hot BluSkillet iron pan that I’ve put a healthy amount of camelina oil into, and I fry it on each side until crispy. It doesn’t take long, and you can make up the breading in advance and save any leftover breading in the freezer. This breading works great with Hama Hama Oyster Company shucked oysters, too!

Chickweed from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chickweed from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hmm. Maybe a nice side of chickweed salad would be good with that pan-fried true cod. Stoney Plains Organic Farm has chickweed already, just for this purpose. Farms like Stoney Plains grow chickweed over the winter as a nitrogen-fixing crop that helps build nutrients back into their soil naturally. Smart farms like Stoney Plains choose varieties of chickweed at are good for human consumption, so they get an addition crop out of it, and we get an additional winter and early spring green. Make a simple chickweed salad by tossing it with some salt, pepper, some sheep feta from Glendale Shepherd, some sunflower seeds or pine nuts, a little lemon juice or local verjus, if you’ve got some, and some camelina oil.

Frozen organic cranberries from Starvation Alley Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Frozen organic cranberries from Starvation Alley Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look, kids! Starvation Alley Farms has frozen organic cranberries for you! Woohoo!!! Make pies, jams, sauces, muffins, cookies, whatever you love to do with cranberries. Make a nice dressing with them for that chickweed salad. Cranberries: they’re not just for Thanksgiving anymore!

Refillable bottles (left) from Wilridge Winery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Refillable bottles (left) from Wilridge Winery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Those big bottles on the left above? They are refillable! Seriously. Wilridge Winery, based in Madrona, worked it out with the Liquor Control Board so that they can reuse these magnum-size (1.5 liter) bottles. Why, you ask? Lots of reasons. First off, whether a new bottle is made from virgin or recycled glass, it still requires a lot of energy to make them. Not these. Next, when they reuse bottles, they do not have to buy new bottles for each new bottling, a cost they would normally pass onto you. And because the bottles are larger, you get twice the wine for the price of one bottle, not to mention that it cuts the cost of labor to fill that bottle in half, too! The result is that for $20 plus an $8 bottle deposit, you get an excellent, everyday, local table wine. Wilridge will be sampling their  wines today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Give them a try, and then grab one of these refillables for your Hawks party, or for the party you having not watching the Game.

Wool from Glendale Shepherd. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wool from Glendale Shepherd. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Glendale Shepherd makes great sheep’s milk cheeses. But something else their sheep produce is wool! This wool, in fact. Mind you, the wool usually isn’t this color of green whilst on the sheep, unless the sheep is acting out against its parents.

Leeks from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Leeks from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mmm. Leekliciousness. Think sauces, soups, sautés, tortes… tarts for that matter. Winter leeks are wonderfully sweet for whatever application you have, and Alm Hill Gardens has these lovely young leeks for you now.

Many butter flavors from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Many butter flavors from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A little butter with them thar leeks sounds pretty good, too. Or for cooking your eggs… which come to think of it, might make for a nice scramble with some leeks, eh? Or buttered toast with one of Golden Glen Creamery’s many sweet or savory flavored butters. Golden Glen’s farmstead butters are made up on their farm in Bow, and if you haven’t tried them, you likely don’t really know what truly fresh butter tastes like. Trust me.

Certified organic beef chuck roasts from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Certified organic beef chuck roasts from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When it is cold, dark and damp this time of year, it is the perfect time to warm up your whole home with a nice roast, don’t you think? Skagit River Ranch has these gorgeous, delicious, grass-fed and finished, certifed organic beef chuck roasts from their farm up in Sedro-Woolley, in the Skagit River Valley. Grab yourself some roots, and get roasting!

Curly leaf kale from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Curly leaf kale from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is also serious kale season, and Children’s Garden has lots of this green curly leaf kale right now for you. They’ve also got some nice collard greens now, too, as well as fresh herbs, and, of course, their beautiful flower bouquets, even this time of year.

Organic Pink Lady apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic Pink Lady apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

ACMA Mission Orchards still has plenty of their certified-organic apples and pears from their fall harvest for you. Like these Pink Lady apples — sweet, crunchy and satisfying, they will help you keep the doctor away all winter long.

Whole grains, flour and dried legumes from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole grains, flour and dried legumes from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nashs’ Organic Produce produces lots of grains and legumes in addition to the produce for which they are both named and loved. Right now, you can get lots of dried beans from them, from fava beans to kidney beans to black beans to field peas, as well as several types of grains, from hulless oats to triticale to rye to wheat. They even have several kinds of flours milled right on the farm and delivered fresh to you at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Sunflower sprouts from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunflower sprouts from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, let’s get our sunflower sprouts on for winter, eh? Packed with nutrients and flavor, they make a great addition to salads and sandwiches, and a great garnish, too. Jarvis Family Garlic Farm has these fresh sprouts now, as well as wheatgrass, great for juicing.

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.

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, February 5th: There’s Just Something Fishy About Ballard!

February 4, 2012

Cans of albacore tuna from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

As I walked about Ballard this week, I found myself observing with pleasure the rustic look many of us wear here. Full disclosure, I grew up in New York, and after spending most of my adult life out here, I note, when I return there, that folks just plain look different. It’s like we’re from different countries, you know? But heck, you can experience that just going over to Bellevue. Ballard has its roots in the fishing and timber industries, and we still wear Carharrt, flannel shirts, have long hair, grow facial hair, and when the smell of the sea permeates the air in Ballard, our hearts still swell. So this week, let’s pay tribute to the industry that calls Ballard home, too — the industry we are so aligned with, we host a festival in its honor every July — the fishing industry. We’ll start with a hat’s off to Fishing Vessel St. Jude, which works out of our own Fishermen’s Terminal. They catch some of the finest sashimi grade albacore tuna on earth off the coast of Washington. This fish is low in mercury and high in beneficial omega fatty acids, because it is juvenile tuna, caught as it swims south from its spawning grounds in the North Pacific to spend its adult life in tropical waters. Cold water fish build up that healthful fat to keep them strong, and these guys are too young and have been in cleaner waters to have built up heavy metals in their flesh.

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

Wilson Fish catches spectacular king salmon off the Washington coast that, when it gets to market, is so fresh, they like to say it’s from the future. Its rich flavor and generous fat content cause it to rival the best king salmon anywhere, and their smoked salmon is nothing short of a religious experience. And while they don’t have the fresh king this time of year, just frozen, they do often have fresh true cod or fresh rockfish.

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

Any true connoisseur of oysters appreciates the merroir of the briny, delicious little puddles of snot. Merroir, you say? What’s merroir? Well, you’ve heard of terroir, right? That’s the concept that the wine you are drinking, or the cheese you are eating, tastes of the place — of the earth — it comes from. Well, the same is true of oysters, except they come from the sea (mer), not the earth (terra). Got it? See, around here, true oyster lovers don’t ask what species an oyster is before they ask what bay the oysters are from. Each bay has its own distinct mix of salt and minerals in the water, and the oysters from that bay taste of it. Hama Hama Oyster Company raises their oysters on Hood Canal near Lilliwaup on the tidal flats created by the Hamma Hamma River, after which the company was named in 1922. Their oysters taste of that place, and that place tastes good!

Loki Keta Ikura. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Loki Fish bases its two boats at Ballard’s Fishermen’s Terminal, too. They fish in Alaska by summer and Puget Sound by fall. In Puget Sound, they participate in the still strong keta salmon fishery each October and November. Keta salmon, once looked down upon by some, has made a comeback of late, and its milder flavor that takes well to sauces and smoking, as well as the fact that it is a sustainably harvested wild fish at a competitive price, have made it an excellent alternative for that nasty, drug and food coloring fed farmed “Atlantic” salmon many of the unscrupulous Big Box stores try to foist upon you. Keta also offers up a wonderful byproduct — ikura — or fish eggs. These babies are little bombs of briny awesomeness just waiting to explode in your mouth as you eat them atop pasta, a salad or a cracker and some fresh goat cheese.

Sandwich cookies of a different color from Dolce Lou! Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Today, we welcome a new vendor to your Ballard Farmers Market: Dolce Lou. Dolce Lou makes gluten-free goodies of all kinds — especially great if you are gluten intolerant. But even if you’re not, these are some of the most amazing cookies, cakes and pastries you will ever find anywhere. The point is, gluten-free does not have to mean it tastes like sawdust. Yes, I know it has been a while since we’ve had a vendor specializing in gluten-free products. That’s because we didn’t just wanna let any gluten-free products in. We wanted fabulous gluten-free products, made using local ingredients as much as possible, and produced in the same spirit you find from all our other marvelous vendors every Sunday. So welcome Dolce Lou today, and buy two of everything… one to eat here, and one to bring home!

Succulents from Phocas Farms in summer. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And finally, today, we celebrate the return of Phocas Farms from Port Angeles. Jim is back with his extraordinary variety of succulents — they grow over 200 — some of which they even created! Now’s a great time to get these bad boys into your garden or rockery, while its cool and damp, so they can lay down a footing and be ready to stand up against the driest weather summer has to throw at them. And come July, they will begin to explode in even more colors than your see at the Market today, and they will begin to bloom, like the ones above, and you will be so happy you planned ahead and got them now!

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.

Sunday, January 15th: Snow Schmoe! We’ve Got Salad Mix, Tomato Sauce, Fresh Fish, Dried Beans, Hearty Bread & Farmstead Butter To Keep You Warm!

January 15, 2012

Market shoppers came to Ballard Farmers Market by whatever means they could on December 21, 2008, including toboggans. Photo copyright 2008 by Jon Hegeman.

The talking heads on all the local TV news programs have been whipping us all into a rabid, snow-obsessed frenzy this week. They’ve got their artists working overtime to come up with updated looking “Winter Blast 2012” graphics, and their IT guys are designing all kinds of new toys for the weather reporters. People are waiting in line at Les Schwabb for hours to get snow tires, and riots are breaking out in Home Depots over shovels and window scrapers. But here in Ballard, we fear not! We are of Viking stock, after all, and we would not have been the first Europeans to land on North American shores by traversing the North Atlantic if we were a bunch of weather wusses. Am I right, people?!? So bring on the snow! Show us your worst! We will don our winter boots, our cross-country skis, our snow shoes and our toboggans, and we will make our weekly pilgrimage to our Ballard Farmers Market, no matter the weather, just like we did in December 2008.

Spicy salad mix from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And to show winter what we really think of it, we will eat spicy salad mix from Colinwood Farms in the middle of January, because we can! We are hearty folk, and we eat what’s in season, but because we support our local farmers year-round, they have been able to adapt along with us, and that means they have figured out how to feed us salad in January. Boo-yah!

Vodka cream sauce from Tomato Goodness. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We will eat local tomatoes in the dead of winter, in the form of vodka cream sauce from Tomato Goodness, because they had the good sense to make a whole lot of sauces from Billy’s tomatoes this past summer. Genius! Heck, they’ve even straight-up canned some of those tomatoes whole. And the vodka in their cream sauce is local, too!

Pears from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And we can store things, too. Like apples & pears. Martin Family Orchards does just that. And they’ve got plenty of lovely pears like these, as well as apples galore, from this past fall. Ah, fresh, local fruit, all winter long. Now, that impresses me about our species a lot more than the latest smart phone upgrade!

Fresh Washington true cod from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You go to the local Big Box store, and the fish there is from, um, like Thailand or China. What’s up with that? I mean, Ballard is first and foremost Seattle’s maritime community, where its fishing fleet is based. We should be eating local fish, sustainably harvested, as direct from the boat as we can get it. And here at your Ballard Farmers Market, you can do just that. How about some of this lovely fresh Washington true cod from Wilson Fish, for example. I love this stuff tossed in a simple little breading mixture of whole wheat flour and corn meal, some garlic powder, cayenne powder, some nice sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a little bit of baking powder, to help the breading crisp up when I pan-fry it. And to get it to cook evenly and get more breading flavor, I cut it up into bite-sized pieces before breading it. Oh, sweet codlicious satisfaction!

Collard greens from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We’ve still got a good selection of hearty greens at your Ballard Farmers Market this week, including these awesome collard greens from Children’s Garden. Did you know that collard greens are one of the most nutrient dense veggies out there? And they are delish! Okay, maybe you are one of those people who has only ever had them cooked to death, Southern-style, and you don’t think you care for them. Our northern collards are different. They are sweeter, and more tender, and they don’t require more than a gentle sauté with some garlic and maybe some salty, smoky pork product until just wilted, but still bright green. They are an amazing side to a nice steak, some sausage, or just starring on their own. And they are at their prime right now. Amazing what a little cold weather will do to bring out their inner beauty!

Dried shelling beans from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Our local farmers have been working hard with Washington State University to develop varieties of shelling beans that will thrive in our diverse climate zones around here. Several years ago, you would have been hard pressed to find shelling beans at local farmers markets. Today, farms like Stoney Plains have them year-round, fresh during their harvest season, and dried the rest of the year. Visit them today for some dried cannellini, cranberry or fava beans!

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

Nothing like some stick-to-your-ribs all-rye bread from Tall Grass Bakery to get you through a cold winter’s day. This stuff is so hearty and delicious, and it’ll stoke your fire for hours. I love this with a healthy shmir of some local, farmstead butter. Hmm, where can I get some of that?

Fresh, local butter from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, yeah, right! Golden Glen Creamery has local, farmstead butter, and they’re back today, after several weeks hiatus to do some major maintenance on their processing facility. And they make some incredible butter. It is available in a selection of flavors, and even unsalted, but me, I like it plain old lightly salted. So back off! That one’s mine!

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.

Sunday, May 29th: Farewell To Anselmo’s, Our Founding Farm.

May 29, 2011

Chuck Long of Anselmo's Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is the end of an era at your Ballard Farmers Market. On Friday, May 20th, we lost our friend and farmer, Chuck Long, of Anselmo’s Farm after a lengthy illness. Chuck, with his partner Arlene Debrusca, who we lost just over one year ago, started Anselmo’s in 1998. Arlene had been a nurse, her daughter, Marie, worked in the health insurance industry, and Chuck was an auto mechanic. Chuck wanted to grow organic vegetables, so they got a 4-acre patch of dirt in Mukilteo. They originally sold at Fremont Sunday Market, as well as several other markets. They followed Market Master Judy Kirkhuff to the U.S. Bank parking lot in Ballard (where the library is now) in August 2000, when redevelopment in Fremont forced the Fremont Sunday Market to move to a location that hurt farmer sales.

During the first winter in Ballard — the winter of 2000-2001 — for almost all of that winter, Anselmo’s was the only farm at the market. Indeed, says Judy, Arlene was a trooper through rain and snow and cold to provide service to her loyal customers.

Daughter Marie Debrusca hugging her mom, Arlene, for warmth (and because Arlene liked to hide from my camera) back in November 2005, when we still set up the winter market in the lot on Ballard Avenue where Moshi Moshi stands today. Photo copyright 2005, 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

In 2001, Anselmos moved to a 28-acre parcel in Machias, in Snohomish County, where they began cultivating 10-12 acres, and where they produced greens all winter in their 90′ x 20′ greenhouse. By the winter of 2001-2002, they had been joined by five other vendors in a little lot off of Ballard Avenue (where Moshi Moshi resides now) after the Market moved to Ballard Avenue in late 2001. Anselmos eventually stopped selling at any other farmers markets because of the support they had in Ballard. “The customers we got when we were alone in the U.S. Bank lot still buy from us today,” Arlene told me in early 2009. “We love the folks in Ballard.” And Ballard loved them back.

Lilacs from Alm Hill Gardens in season now. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We truly owe a debt of gratitude to Anselmo’s. Without its commitment to Ballard Farmers Market and the people of Ballard, we might not have seen the creation of the first year-round farmers market in Seattle, which has, in turn, inspired other markets to operate year-round. One farm, standing alone in cold winter rain, forged a path for what we know today as this amazing weekly event called the Ballard Farmers Market that draws more than 9,000 people per week to a neighborhood bustling with new storefronts and eateries that once was a ghost town on Sundays. Sunday, May 22nd marked the last day Anselmo’s would sell at your Ballard Farmers Market. Arlene & Chuck, and the entire Anselmo’s clan, thank you. You will be missed.

Michaele Blakely of Growing Things showing off her prized eggs. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Michaele Blakely and Growing Things Farm, another very familiar farm to Ballard Farmers Market faithful, will be moving to the corner stall at the 22nd Ave NW end of the Market to occupy the longtime space of Anselmo’s. Indeed, folks who have been patronizing the Market’s farms all the way back when they still were part of the Fremont Sunday Market may recall that Michaele was the first manager of the farmers market, before Judy took over from her not long before the move to Ballard. Perhaps the single most diversified farm in our Market, Growing Things offers everything — and I do mean everything — from fresh produce to amazing eggs to chickens my family eats for Thanksgiving to plants to soap made from the lard and tallow of the farm’s own cattle and pigs to the pork and beef from those animals to jams… the list seems endless. (And so does the paperwork Michaele has to fill out with the State because she produces farm products in so many different categories.)

Baby red butterhead lettuce from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm, also with your Ballard Farmers Market for many years, will still be found back-to-back with Wilson Fish mid-market. This week, they’ve got some beautiful baby lettuces, like this red butterhead lettuce, as well as some amazing collard greens, dino kale, pea vines and other braising greens, and lots of tomato plants.

Fresh, brilliant red king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of Wilson Fish, they’ve got some incredible fresh king salmon today, including the first white and marbled king of the season. And did you know that marbled king salmon is unique to the north Washington and south British Columbia coasts? You won’t see it coming from Alaska! Wilson will have some true and ling cod, halibut, rockfish, and freshly smoked king today, too, all just in time for your Memorial Day barbecues and picnics!

Spring garlic from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I love spring garlic from Alvarez Organic Farms. It is fresh, sweet and mild compared to cured garlic. You can use all of it, even the hairy roots, though you should compost the dirt-hugging bit where the roots hit the bulb. But you can simply cut it up without peeling it, stalk and all, and toss it in with your asparagus and morel mushroom roast, your sautéed greens, or grill them whole alongside your salmon.

Morel mushrooms, finally, from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Few things have come to symbolize just how late our growing seasons are this year than the mighty morel mushroom. Between the cold, the record snow pack, and the fact that that snow pack persists at low elevations, morels have been especially slow to emerge this year. Well, finally, Foraged & Found Edibles has some. Finally.

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.