Posts Tagged ‘Washington black truffles’

Sunday, January 8th: We’re Back & We Missed You, Too! Farewell Christina. Thanks for the Food Love.

January 8, 2012

Chef Christina Kim Choi slinging mushrooms for Foraged & Found Edibles at West Seattle Farmers Market in 2005. Photo copyright 2005 by Zachary D. Lyons.

With sadness, we share the news of the passing of Christina Kim Choi, a talented young chef who spent many days working at Ballard Farmers Market for Foraged & Found Edibles, which she co-founded with Jeremy Faber, as well as as a shopper. She dedicated herself to local, sustainable food. Christina passed away on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 from a brain aneurism at the age of 34. Rest well, Christina.

Washington black truffles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jeremy Faber of Foraged & Found Edibles let me know that he will have his first Washington black truffles of the season today at your Ballard Farmers Market. This rare treat is lovely enjoyed simply shaved over some buttered emmer pappardelle from Pasteria Lucchese. Stop by, pickup some truffles, maybe some chanterelles, pay your respects to Jeremy, then go home tonight, cook up some amazing, local deliciousness with your love ones, give them a hug, and raise a glass to Christina. Because if you love Seattle’s locavoric food scene, whether you realize it or not, Christina’s fingerprints are all over it.

Purple goddess pears from Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We are sooo glad to be back today at your Ballard Farmers Market today. We’ve missed you woe these three long weeks. You know, it is a bit of a crap shoot for me today to tell you what you’ll find on the tables of the farmers at your Ballard Farmers Market in advance of them arriving this morning, since we haven’t seen them since December 18th. So I am shooting from the hip here. Last I recall, Jerzy Boyz assured me that they would have these gorgeous purple goddess pears for a while. Lets hope “a while” includes today. But if not, I am sure they’ll have plenty of other fruit for you to enjoy!

Beautiful cabbages from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And I am fairly certain Nash’s Organic Produce with have more of these loverly cabbages today. Hey, we’ve got a favor to ask of you. Please help us save the Farmers Market Nutrition Programs from the Governor’s budget axe. This federal-state partnership program leverages $900,000 of federal funds into our state with just a $100,000 state investment. It is also a rare government program that works, and that, in the end, actually pays for itself by generating local economic activity. Please call your state legislator tomorrow or Tuesday at (800) 562-6000 with this simple message: “restore funding for the Farmers Market Nutrition Programs.” To learn more about these program, see yesterday’s blog post on the subject.

Award-winning jersey cow yogurt from Silver Springs Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This jersey cow yogurt from Silver Springs Creamery took top honors in its class at the 2010 American Cheese Society Awards. And it’s no wonder. This is some of the most amazing yogurt you will ever taste. It comes with a thick, creamery cap atop it that is as rich tasting as any yogurt you’ve ever encountered. If you’ve been looking for some yogurt with some body, with an attitude, that ain’t no wussy yogurt, this is for you. And best of all, it comes to you directly from your local dairy!

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

The weather’s been pretty mild since we saw you all last, and so I am going out on a limb and predicting that Full Circle Farm will have some of these mustard greens today. See, we haven’t gotten completely frozen out yet, so hopefully these beauties are still hangin’ in there. But if not, you can count on them to have plenty of other good vege today.

Beautiful bacon from the happy pigs of Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mmm. Bacon. Salty, smoky, fatty porkiliciousness for any season, direct from George and Eiko at Skagit River Ranch. But get there early today, cuz just like their eggs, their bacon always sells out. Mmm. Bacon.

Desiree potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And, of course, Olsen Farms will have all manner of spudtasticness today, with potatoes of every shape, color and size. I am a particular fan of these desiree potatoes. They have a waxy, yellow flesh that is perfect steamed and slathered with lots of good butter. And they stand up well to being thrown in the pot with your corned beef, too.

A sampler pack of canned tuna from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fishing Vessel St. Jude makes their monthly appearance today with the best albacore tuna you will find anywhere, made all the better because it comes to you right from the boat that caught it off the coast of Washington. This tuna is high in beneficial omega-fatty acids and low in mercury, because they catch it young as it is swimming from the cold waters of their birth in the North Pacific on their way to the tropics to get their party on as young hipsters. Get it as frozen loins, ready to sear or eat raw as sashimi, or get it smoked or dried, and it is the best canned tuna you will ever taste. Just don’t drain off the liquid when you open the can. That’s not water. It’s the flavorful natural juices of the fish!

Gluten-free chocolate decadence cake and chocolate muffins from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let us finish with dessert. Mind you, I am a charter member of Dessert First! But most folks eat it after their meal. Go figure. Well, Deborah — the Deborah of Deborah’s Homemade Pies — tells me that she just may have some of these incredible, gluten-free chocolate muffins and chocolate decadence cake today. Seriously, this stuff is amazing. The muffins are moist and delicious, and the cake is rich, dense and, as it should be, decadent. You’ve had a week to get over your holiday gorging. It’s time to treat yourself again!

Just a reminder to please help us save the Farmers Market Nutrition Programs from the Governor’s budget axe. This federal-state partnership program leverages $900,000 of federal funds into our state with just a $100,000 state investment. It is also a rare government program that works, and that, in the end, actually pays for itself by generating local economic activity. Please call your state legislator tomorrow or Tuesday at (800) 562-6000 with this simple message: “restore funding for the Farmers Market Nutrition Programs.” To learn more about these program, see yesterday’s blog post on the subject.

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 10th: Tulips, Wool Yarn, Pizza, Wild Mushrooms, Fresh Lamb & Sunchokes. January is Still a Month of Plenty!

January 10, 2010

Alm Hill is already harvesting fresh tulips for your table. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

No, your eyes are not deceiving you, and this is not a file photo. This past Sunday, Alm Hill Gardens brought their first fresh-cut tulips of the new season to your Ballard Farmers Market. They “force” them in their greenhouses, so we can enjoy them in the darkest, coldest time of year. Thank you, Alm Hill Gardens, for providing us a ray of hope that spring is just around the corner.

Arwen Morgan returns to Ballard Farmers Market after far too long an absence. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just as refreshing this past week was the return of fiddle player, Arwen Morgan, a member of the very musical Morgan family which performs as a group under the name The Cutters, though many of them play individually at Ballard Farmers Market. But Arwen’s return, after an absence of almost a year, is particularly uplifting. You see, she suffered a terrible accident early in 2009 in which she broke her back, and until a month ago, it still hurt her too much to stand out and play for us. But play for us again she is now doing, so if you see her, welcome her back, and toss something in her fiddle case to make sure she covers the spread on medical bills, and maybe someday, our artists and farmers won’t have to worry about getting hurt, because we’ll all be covered by insurance, kinda like they do in Sweden and Brazil.

'Zaw Artisan Pizza In The Raw's Brussels Sprouts & Bacon pizza. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you stopped by to welcome our newest Ballard Farmers Market vendor, ‘Zaw Artisan Pizza In The Raw? These guys are making pizzas fresh at the Market, using Market ingredients and organic dough and sauce, for you to take home and bake. Take their Brussels Sprouts & Bacon pizza (above), for instance. The sprouts are from Nash’s, and the bacon is from Skagit River Ranch. And hey, we all knew that bacon makes Brussels sprouts taste good to anyone. So why not take it a step further and make a pizza out of it, right?

Beautiful wool yarns from Brookfield Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Not all the farm products you’ll find at Ballard Farmers Market are edible, but they are farm products nevertheless, so if you’re gonna buy them somewhere, won’t you feel better buying them directly from the farmer? Take these beautiful hand-dyed and spun wool yarns from Brookfield Farm, from up in Whatcom County. All of this wool comes from their own sheep. Plus, they produce wooden furniture from their own trees. If you’re gonna sit down and knit a sweater, might as well do it on one of their chairs with some of their yarn, eh?

Wild black trumpet mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Our local forests and mountains are still producing tasty fungi, and the good folks from Foraged & Found Edibles bring them to us every week at Ballard Farmers Market. Wild black trumpet mushrooms (above) are in season right now, and they often have other varieties we don’t report on here, as they are too unpredictable or in too small quantities. They may even still have some Washington truffles today. But check with them early, as anything unusual will sell out quickly.

Gorgeous Asian pears from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The Market is still loaded with fruit, from apples to pluots to these gorgeous Asian pears from Martin Family Orchards. You’ll find great fruit from ACMA, Collins, Jerzey Boyz, Lyall, Rockridge and Tiny’s this week as well.

Ravioli and plin from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pasteria Lucchese makes some wonderful fresh pastas by hand. They have a perfect elasticity and bite to them, besides being just plain delicious, and their ravioli and plin are simply inspired. They use many Market ingredients for their fillings, too. So treat yourself to some tonight, and let Sam give you tips on how to dress them.

Fresh cuts of lamb from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sea Breeze Farm treated us to fresh lamb again this past week. Of course, their refer-case display varies from week to week, depending of what they have slaughtered and butchered on the farm that week, but you can always count on whatever they have in their case to be fresh and magnificent. So if it’s full of lamb, get lamb. If it’s full of pork, get pork. It’s all good.

Red sunchokes from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is that time of year to celebrate sunchokes, that most North American of tubers that kept many a Native American and colonist alive through the harsh winter months way back in the day. Sunchokes, a.k.a, Jerusalem artichokes, like these from Full Circle Farm (above) can be used much like potatoes (which are South American). I like them in root roasts and soups. Try puréeing them with parsnips, or you can steam cubes of them until just fork tender — about ten minutes — then brown them in butter and fresh thyme like home fries.

And remember, your Ballard Farmers Market is chock full of all sorts of goodness for your kitchen. For a fuller accounting of what you’ll find at the Market today, go to “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner.

Sunday, December 13th: Cranberry-Nut Butter Toffee, Holiday Wreaths, Great Gifts, Chocolates (By George!) & Lots of Good Eats

December 12, 2009

A sterling silver fairy necklace by Michael E. Marron. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons,

 

Michael E. Marron is a sculptor, jeweler and designer right here in Ballard. He likes to work with sterling, like with this lovely fairy necklace (above) to which my photography does not do justice. Look for Mike with the “Made in Ballard” sign.

Cranberry-Nut Butter Toffee from Pete's Perfect Butter Toffee. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

We all love Pete’s Perfect Butter Toffee already, right? I mean, it’s perfect, after all, so how could we not love it? But Pete rolled out the big guns for the holidays for us with his special holiday treat: Cranberry-Nut Toffee. This luscious stuff is made with cranberries, as well as cashews, walnuts and pecans. Make sure you get enough for stuffing the stockings, and for your own secret stash.

A beautiful holiday wreath from Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

You’ll find a nice selection of fresh holiday wreathes, like this one from Harmony Farm, throughout your Ballard Farmers Market. Check with Alm Hill and Growing Things, as well, and Alm Hill has these gorgeous fragrant mantle runners (below), too.

Fragrant mantle runners from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

Salmon lox from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

Every family has its unique holiday food traditions. Mine eats takeout Chinese on Christmas Eve, then lox and bagels for Christmas brunch after opening presents, and then a dinner built around some sort of roast beast or other. If your family shares my family’s bagel tradition, some of the best salmon lox around can be found at Loki Fish right here at Ballard Farmers Market. They make lox from sockeye, coho and keta salmon. While Northwesterners may favor the sockeye, folks used to a New York style of lox may want to try the coho or keta, which is similar in lightness and flavor to that nasty farm-raised stuff they use in New York, except Loki’s stuff is all wild and local!

Braeburn apples from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

Tiny’s Organic Produce now has many of our favorite winter apples in, like these Braeburns, above, as well as fuji and pink lady apples. They are good anytime, and they make a nutritious stocking stuffer. And I am sure many of you have great Chanukah recipes that call for some good apples, too. (Mmm, latkes with fresh apple sauce!)

Canvas holiday Ballard Farmers Market shopping bags at Venue and the Market info desk. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

Since you are likely to be getting too much stuff for your normal supply of bags this week, may we suggest picking up one of these limited edition Ballard Farmers Market holiday gnome bags, either at Venue, just around the corner from the Market on 22nd Avenue NW, where you’ll also find lots of great gifts made by local artists, or at the Market Info Desk.

Syrah chocolates from Chocolates By George! Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

George is back with his Chocolates By George! Check out these holiday treats he is making for us right now — chocolates infused with syrah. Two great tastes that taste great together!

Black Washington truffles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

Truffles don’t just come from Europe. They come from Washington, too. Foraged & Found Edibles has black (above) and white truffles from Washington right now. Ounce for ounce (as that’s how they’re priced), these beauties are a fraction of the cost of their imported cousins. And while the aficionado may notice a difference, I personally find them plenty enjoyable. Try them shaved with some of Pasteria Lucchese’s pappardelle and butter.

Goat shanks from Quilceda Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

How about braising some delicious goat shanks from Quilceda Farm for an intimate dinner over the holidays? I love this stuff. If you like lamb, or just want to try the most commonly eaten meat on earth (we Americans are such wusses), stop by Quilceda, ‘cuz he’s got your goat.

Apollo waits for a Wilson Fish treat. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

Don’t forget your furry ones. From Olsen Farms dog chews to Moosedreams’ pet products, the Market has you covered. And be sure to stop by Wilson Fish with your canine friend(s) for a little smoked salmon. Above, Apollo waits patiently for his treat. Below, Apollo leaps for salmon (and joy), after which Wilson’s David counted his fingers.

Apollo leaps for Wilson's smoked salmon. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

As always, there is plenty of other good stuff this week at your Ballard Farmers Market. For a fuller accounting of what you’ll find today, click on “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner. However, do keep an open mind today, as our current cold weather may have temporarily knocked out some of the crops currently on the list.