Posts Tagged ‘truffles’

Sunday, November 11th: Eating Local For Thanksgiving Begins With Your Ballard Farmers Market!

November 11, 2012

Chef Jason Stonerburner of Bastille at his 2011 Eat Local For Thanksgiving cooking demonstration at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Thanksgiving, or “Thanks for the Land Day,” as I like to think of it sometimes, is less than two weeks away, or put more simply, there are only two Market days before it. Yes, it is very early this year — November 22nd! Time to get planning your menu and to stock up on local deliciousness from your Ballard Farmers Market. It is time again to Eat Local For Thanksgiving. And with all the amazing ingredients available from local farmers, fishers, ranchers and food artisans right here, not only have you no excuse to not build your holiday menu around local food, you’d be foolhardy not to. Besides, what better way to give thanks for our great local food producers than to serve their products for Thanksgiving dinner? But perhaps you are still a little nervous. To help you relax a bit, we have brought back our annual tradition of Eat Local For Thanksgiving Cooking Demonstrations for the next two weeks. This week, we feature Ballard’s own Chef Jason Stoneburner of Bastille from 12-1 p.m. Bastille was intentionally built next to, and around, Ballard Farmers Market. It has a garden on its roof. And Chef Jason not only builds his menu around what is available from Market vendors, but he actually used to be one of them! Who better to give you some tips on cooking simple deliciousness from local goodness. (Next week, look for Chef Dustin Ronspies of Art of the Table.)

Fresh, local cranberries from Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is the year to stop talking about making fresh cranberry sauce and actually make fresh cranberry sauce! And Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm has fresh, local cranberries ready for you for just that purpose. Available for just a few weeks each year, they are hoping to have them through next week. But they are not sure. So if this is, in fact, your year, get those cranberries today!

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

My Thanksgiving dinner table wouldn’t be complete without some Boistfort Valley Farm rutabagas steamed and mashed with Golden Glen Creamery butter. Simple, delicious, and oh, so complimentary to everything else on the menu, and for me, it is a lovely reminder of my Irish roots. (Did you see what I did there?) Of course, Scandinavians here in the Peoples Republic of Ballard will feel kinship to them, as well.

Red Sunchokes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This week, we celebrate the return of another perennial fall and winter favorite, sunchokes, a.k.a., Jerusalem artichokes. Neither from Jerusalem, nor an artichoke, sunchokes are a member of the sunflower family, and native to North America. They were cultivated and used by native peoples long before the first arrivals of Europeans. Sunchokes make for great soups, sauces, root roasts, home fries and much, much more. These tubers are delicious, nutritious, and will sustain you throughout the cold, dark, wet months. Stoney Plains Organic Farm just started harvesting these red sunchokes (above). In the spirit of the original Thanksgiving feast, when Indians kept the Pilgrims alive and made them feel welcome with the local bounty, why not add sunchokes to your Thanksgiving menu, much like them may have been 500 years ago.

Porcelain Doll Winter Squash from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm has an amazing variety of heirloom winter squash and pumpkins right now, like these really cool looking, and tasty, Porcelain Doll winter squash. Squash is a necessity for your holiday table, and how about making this year’s pumpkin pie from scratch, too, eh?

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

Another must on my Thanksgiving menu is Brussels sprouts, like these beauties from One Leaf Farm. Normally, I like them sauteed with Sea Breeze bacon and some Alvarez shallots, and finished off with some white wine. But since my folks don’t eat pig these days, these still are plenty good without the bacon. And a good substitute for shallots is cippolini onions

Cippolini onions from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And your source for those aforementioned cippolini onions is Port Townsend’s own Colinwood Farms. Cippolinis caramelize beautifully, coming out sweet and silky, and making for a perfect accent to many meat and poultry dishes, and Brussels sprouts, of course. They also fry perfectly for shoestring onions to top a chicory salad.

Fresh, whole, Puget Sound Keta salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Today is the last day for fresh Puget Sound Keta salmon from Loki Fish, as the season has come to a close. Swing by Loki for fillets or whole fish. They also have fish trim, like bones, collars and wings, for making stocks or smoking, and even skeines, ready for curing into ikura. But fresh only this week! After that, it’ll still be available frozen, cured, smoked, etc. Enjoy!

Root Vegetable Crackers with Kim Chee from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

House of the Sun raw and vegan foods has introduced another great cracker to its delicious lineup — Root Vegetable Crackers with Kim Chee. Loaded with beet goodness, they are packed full of flavor and nutrients. Try them with one of their great spreads!

Bread & Butter pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Please welcome the newest vendor to your Ballard Farmers Market, Purdy Pickle. Purdy Pickle makes an amazing array of pickliciousness from great, local ingredients direct from our local farms, like these Bread & Butter pickles, above. Purdy Pickle is one of our mainstay vendors at our weekday markets in Wallingford and Madrona over the summer season. Now, they bring their goodness to Ballard. Woohoo!

A variety of truffles from Trevani Truffles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another recent addition to your Ballard Farmers Market is Trevani Truffles from Renton. Trevani’s confections are made using lots of local ingredients, too, and they will add elegance to many a holiday gathering, be it large or small. Or just treat yourself on your way through the Market!

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, February 13th: Flowers, Wine, Cheese, Sweets… Sausage!

February 13, 2011

Gorgeous tulips from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, before I get into berating you to not forget your sweetie, mom, cat, dog or parole officer tomorrow, I just have to get a little something off my chest… How ’bout those Egyptians, eh? I don’t know about you, but I’ve been riveted to the international news broadcasts on Channel 28.2 these last few weeks. I fear we Americans too often take for granted what much of the world dreams of having — the right to choose our leaders and say what we want when we want. Maybe watching the brave people of Egypt will remind us not to so easily disregard what is perhaps the most precious right we Americans enjoy: our freedom. So consider this my valentine to the people of Egypt, and a thank you note, too, for reminding us just exactly why we party our American brains out on July 4th every year. Next year, let’s do it on February 11th as well.

Okay, I know I fell better know. So, let’s get to the beratement. You will need flowers for tomorrow, or you will need a comfy couch at your buddy’s house, if he ain’t too busy romancing to open the door to you. Lucky for you, Alm Hill Gardens has flowers. Lots of them. But then, if you are that slacker that shows up to your Ballard Farmers Market at 2:30 p.m. today, you might miss them, because everyone who gets here before you will be thinking the  same thing. I’m just sayin’.

Award winning wines from Lopez Island Vineyards. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Showing up with an award-winning bottle of wine from Lopez Island Vineyards will also be a good career move tomorrow. And Lopez Island Vineyards is right here at your Ballard Farmers Market. Maybe you should try a nice bottle of siegerrebe? It’s made from a German grape that grows well in the Puget Sound appellation, and it has a wonderful grapefruit finish. And best of all, as Brent from Lopez Island taught me, you can remember how to pronounce it by remembering the names “Bob Seger” and “Reba McEntire.” Just say “Seger-Reba”! Folks’ll be really impressed with you, which is, after all, what we’re all going for… to start with anyway… tomorrow.

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

How about some good cheese? This Seastack from Mt. Townsend Creamery is award-winning, too. In fact, it has won multiple awards. With a nice baguette from Tall Grass Bakery, some of that aforementioned wine, and those flowers, you’ve got the foundation for a very special evening indeed!

Handmade truffles from Hot Cakes. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweets. Get you some sweets, too. Like some of these truffles, or perhaps a molten chocolate cake, from Hot Cakes. Talk about your decadence! If this stuff doesn’t lead to… well, you know, then that nut simply was not for cracking. Besides, you can brag that not only do you know the chocolatier, but that the chocolate she uses is organic, fair trade, and made in Fremont! And the flour in the cake comes from Bluebird Grain Farms. Let’s face it. Local, delicious, fair, organic – they’re all sexy. They show you care. They show you think about what you are doing. Who is not going to love you for that?!?

Artisan sausages straight from the farm at Sea Breeze. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And finally, nothing says “I love you” like sausage from Sea Breeze Farm. Am I right?!? Heck, get two — one for you and one for that special someone — or get one just for you, if you’re on your own tomorrow night. Nothing wrong with giving yourself some love by giving yourself some sausage. And frankly, you can’t go wrong with George’s sausage at Sea Breeze Farm. It comes in various sizes and flavors, with a sausage to please everyone. They can give it to you French-style, Italian, Spanish, Romanian — ooh, Romanian. Now, that’s some good sausage! So stop by Sea Breeze today, and ask them to hook you up with some fresh sausage for you to enjoy with your sweetie tomorrow.

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. But please note that due to our recent cold weather, some crops may not be available as anticipated.

Sunday, December 5th: Your Destination For The Best Local Food & Handcrafted Gifts For The Holiday Season!

December 5, 2010

A beautiful holiday wreath from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, yeah, it’s December folks. Thanksgiving and the Apple Cup are behind us; we’re in the middle of Chanukah; and WordPress has turned the snow on. Woohoo! And your Ballard Farmers Market is your destination for the finest foods and the most unique gifts produced locally by folks that may even be your neighbors. So while you celebrate with family and friends during this holiday season, make the occasion extra special with all local goodies. Investing in quality goods produced locally — goods that have soul — you end of giving a gift that will keep on giving, because your gift will be one-of-a-kind, your dinner will taste of the lands that surround us, and the money you spend will continue to circulate throughout our local community, helping to create sustainable, living-wage jobs.

Let’s start out with the decking of your halls, eh? These handmade wreathes from Alm Hill are beautiful and fragrant and made with love.

Christmas cactus from Red Barn Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You could barely make out the little buds on these Christmas cacti from Red Barn Farm when I took this photo before Thanksgiving, but they will be bursting with gorgeous blooms in time for Christmas.

Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ascents Candles makes their candles from natural palm oils and scents them with a wonderful variety of essential oils. The result is beautiful candles that burn much longer than most, while bathing your home in soothing aromas instead of filling it with toxic fumes. Looking for something clean-burning for your dinner table that won’t interfere with the flavors of your food? They have a great selection of unscented candles, too.

Wild cranberries from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of that holiday table, how about making your very own fresh cranberry sauce with some of these fresh wild cranberries from Foraged & Found Edibles? I mean, you shop at Ballard Farmers Market. You can’t tell me you still eat cranberry sauces out of a can!

Sweetwater Fireweed Honey from Tahuya River Apiaries. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This very special, and very limited, Sweetwater Fireweed Honey from Tahuya River Apiaries will sweeten that cup of tea, or perhaps something with a little more kick, and it is great drizzled over, well, everything. Plus, these lovely little jars make great stocking stuffers. But get it will you can. The supply is limited.

Handmade truffles from Hot Cakes. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I look at these handmade truffles from Hot Cakes, and I cannot help but thing of the film, Amadeus, and all the various opulent royal parties with decadent Viennese confections. Why not treat yourself and your guests like royalty this holiday season and lay out a nice plate of these beauties?

Smoked sockeye from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Opulence? Add a side of smoked sockeye salmon from Loki Fish to that table. Nuff said, really.

Caramel apples from Jonboy Caramels. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here’s a treat just for you… and maybe the kids, too. Nah, eat it yourself! Caramel apples from Jonboy Caramels. They beg the obvious question: why didn’t they start doing this months ago?!?

Lamb parts from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Parts is parts. What film is that from? Well, in any case, while these lambs’ kidneys, hearts, livers and tongues from Sea Breeze Farm may not exactly fit into everyone’s holiday meal plan, you can make all manner of deliciousness with them. And they serve to remind us that there is still plenty of just plain good food to be had at your Ballard Farmers Market, regardless of any holiday feasts. Besides meat, seafood and poultry, we’ve still got lots of fruits and veggies, milk and cheese, breads, pies and pastries, spices, sauces and rubs, and so much more.

Sculpted dancing woman surrounded by jewelry by Michael Marron. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Michael Marron is an artist. A Ballard artist. He works with silver, and he makes the most spectacular earrings, rings, pendants and other jewelry from it, as well as some gorgeous sculptures, like this little dancing woman. You won’t find this in a mall! Stop by Mike’s booth and be blown away by his work. Get your gift on at your Ballard Farmers Market.

Clipboards from Bruce Launer. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you ever seen such beautiful clipboards? These are handcrafted by Bruce Launer. And while I am guessing you were not thinking of which special someone in your life could use a nice clipboard, I am guessing you know a person or six that could use a spectacular cutting board. I mean, let’s face it. I could have shown you Bruce’s magnificent cutting boards — I do have the photos — but I wanted to make a point. If Bruce can take the lowly clipboard and elevate it to a fine art form, imagine what he does with his other fine woodworking?!

An owl hat from This, Hat, and the Other. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I hope you are already picturing your little one, or someone else’s, wandering around with one of these adorable caps from This, Hat, and the Other on their noggins. Jessilee Marander hand knits this cute little hats that come in all manner of inspired and fun designs, from bees to strawberries. Honestly, they kinda make me wish my head was smaller.

Earrings from Christine Groutier. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Christine Groutier makes all sorts of styles and colors of earrings, necklaces, bracelets and other jewelry. Indeed, she is nothing short of prolific. And that means you are certain to find a unique little something from her that is just perfect for someone you love, even if that someone is yourself!

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. But please note that due to our recent cold weather, some crops may not be available as anticipated.

Sunday, February 14th: Flowers, Jewelry, Oysters & Spice

February 14, 2010

Gorgeous tulips from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you are wondering why I’m leading with flowers today, you definitely need to get down to Ballard Farmers Market to buy some right now, or else plan to spend the next couple of weeks on the couch. Dude. Look at the calendar. It’s Chinese New Year. (Oh, yeah. It’s also Valentine’s Day.) If you are looking for some spectacular colors to warm the heart of that special someone, you need not buy overpriced flowers flown in from South Africa or South America. You can pick up some of these magnificent Whatcom County tulips from Alm Hill Gardens right here at your Ballard Farmers Market.

Black pussy willows from Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For a little something different, how about these wonderful black pussy willows from Harmony Farm. The pussy willow season is just about over. (Heck, it’s been over in my backyard for two weeks!) But treat these right, and they’ll dry beautifully and spruce up your home for months.

Spectacular wooden earrings from Forestlife Creations. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dean Robertson knows how to coax the inner beauty out of any piece of wood, and the results are these lovely earrings he calls Forestlife Creations. He makes various kinds of brilliant wooden jewelry that will wow that your valentine. Remember, at Ballard Farmers Market, you can feed your eyes and soul as well as tantalize your taste buds and nourish your body. Support your local farmer and your local artist, and give a unique gift while you’re at it.

Kumumoto oysters from Taylor Shellfish Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether or not oysters are an aphrodisiac, they certainly will perk up your night. Stop by Taylor Shellfish early today for some of these Kumumoto oysters, before Oyster Bill sells out of them, lest, again, your couch becomes your bed.

Several varieties of local paprika from Some Like It Hott! Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spice up your night with local paprika, too, from Some Like It Hott! Charles Bodony, who grows, dries and smokes chilis to make his paprika in Port Townsend, tells me that he now has the 2009 vintage (yes, his paprika has vintages) alder smoked paprika that weighs in at a whopping seven stars of heat. Stop by to sample some, then bring some home to pep up just about anything.

Five flavors of soup from Got Soup? Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

New this week at your Ballard Farmers Market is Got Soup? Jerry Baxter makes fresh, delicious soups in a variety of flavors from local ingredients every week. Pick up a frozen quart, and bring it home for a simple, yummy, full-body warming meal. This week, look for Crab Bisque, Orange & Cumin Scented Sweet Potato, Cassoulet, and Smoked-Tomato Bisque. You’ll always find vegetarian and vegan options, too. Also new this week is Booth Canyon Orchards from the Methow Valley with D’Anjou pears.

Red cipollini onions from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Port Townsend’s Colinwood Farms returned to your Ballard Farmers Market last week with spicy salad mix, braising greens, lots of beautiful spuds, and these gorgeous, and powerful, red cipollini onions.

Truffles, caramel sauces and molten chocolate cakes from Hot Cakes. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Autumn Martin returned with her Hot Cakes last week, too. Grab a Josephine for a lovely snack while you shop, and pickup some truffles, caramel sauce or some molten chocolate cake to pop in your oven for later. Autumn, who used to be the chocolatier at Fremont’s Theo Chocolates, uses local flours, and chocolate, of course, and even local butter.

Pork rib roasts from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Perhaps you are just looking for a nice piece of meat for Valentine’s Day. How about one of these pork rib roasts from Sea Breeze Farm? The one of the left is even already Frenched for you.  And if you are really lucky, you might still be able to get a reservation for Valentine’s Day dinner by Chef Meredith Molli at La Boucherie, Sea Breeze Farm’s own restaurant, on Vashon Island. The menu looks amazing!

Some of the bowls up for grabs at "Empty Bowls," a fundraiser for Ballard Food Bank and the Seattle Animal Shelter. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Empty Bowls is a fundraiser for Ballard Food Bank and the Seattle Animal Shelter. The idea is that you donate $10 for a soup and bread dinner, and you get to keep the bowl your meal comes in. The bowls are made and donated by dozens of local artists and just plain folks. And there are some particularly spectacular bowls from top local artists that will be sold in a silent auction. You can see just a sampling of the bowls up for grabs in the photo above. The event itself takes place at the Ballard Community Center on Saturday, February 27th.

A group from Seattle Flickr Meetups photographing the Ballard Farmers Market on February 7th. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ballard Farmers Market is always photogenic, as evidenced by a visit from the Seattle Flickr Meetups group last Sunday. Some of these folks have cameras older than mine… that use film! Actually, I think there was a camera there that was older than me.

And remember, your Ballard Farmers Market is chock full of all sorts of goodness for  your kitchen, from meat, seafood, poultry, cheese, to all sorts of fruits and veggies, baked goods, sauces, confections, fresh-cut flowers and fresh milled flours, plants for the garden, wild mushrooms, and on and on. 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.