New Vendors This Week
Last week they wanted to sneak in with a soft opening, but they were happy with their first day. Number One Sons will bring us a wide variety of fermented veggies including pickles, kimchi, and sauerkraut as well as fermented salsas. They are working on a banner, but in the meantime, you can find them at the tent with the big pickle out front!
On the Way In and Out
Max Tyson of Tyson Farms wants you to know that this is the last week for his blueberries, so if you want to stock the freezer or make jam, this is the week to stock up. It will be another week for the first apples of the season at Tyson Farms, and as Max has reminded me, the Ginger Golds are not your typical early “green” apple like the Rambos. They are a sweet and flavorful apple to whet your appetite for the great apples coming in early fall — maybe even a few weeks early this year.
The day-sensitive strawberries are in good supply at Heritage Farm — they are especially sweet and so nice to have “out of season.”
Check with Wicked Oak to see whether they have freshly butchered pork this week; they were planning to have even more of this one made into chorizo. They sold out of the last batch fast. Those Tamworth hogs must add lots of extra flavor of their own to a complex sausage.
Doug Linton is bringing beef from one of his new steers — it looks so lean but is extremely tender. Cook it no further than just this side of medium and it will be as juicy and flavorful as any heavily marbled cut and much healthier for you, too.
Celtic Pasties will have Beef & Guinness, Cottage Pie Style, Spinach & Feta, Cheese & Onion, and a new Barbeque Chicken recipe. He will also a few pasties made without onions because some shoppers have requested them.
Special Events This Week
Health coach Patty Repko will give demos at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. this week about making healthy, satisfying snacks for you and your family. She will show you how to make green smoothies and provide recipes and handouts. See our flier for more details.
From the Market Master
(We’re taking a break this week — enjoy this newsletter from our archives!)
Part of improving your skills in the kitchen is knowing what to have on hand at all times to expand your repertoire. For a well-stocked pantry, you will need some items that regretfully cannot be bought at area farmers’ markets. But having these items will enable you to cook up those market ingredients on any spur of the moment. They are also the kinds of ingredients that enable you to successfully create a menu of complimentary dishes or a one-dish meal or casserole that needs something more than just the main ingredients to hold it together.
Start with a good vinegar and maybe even two or three. Pick out a good wine vinegar and move on from there to include some flavored ones also. And it never hurts to have some good old cider vinegar around too — for potato salad if nothing else. Then I recommend that you choose a good quality extra-virgin olive oil that tastes good to you, because this is the one you will use for salad dressings and also to dribble over a completed dish to pop the flavor. For most of your cooking, Berio pure olive oil is just fine, and it also works for those salad dressings that will play a minor rather than starring role in a dish. I also use a combination of olive and canola oils in my homemade mayonnaise that I always have on hand.
Next you want to keep lemons, limes and oranges on hand for marinades and salad dressings and to flavor dessert sauces — these are the secret ingredients that add summer brightness to foods.
In the refrigerator, keep on hand a good-quality ketchup and some Dijon mustard for marinades and BBQ sauces. In the pantry have some Worcestershire sauce and good soy sauce for flavoring anything from crab cakes to gazpacho to summer vegetable sautés. And of course you are going to need herbs — buy them fresh when you can, grow them yourself or check out the herb mixes that may be sold at your market. If you do not cook from scratch every night, buying mixed herbs and spices is a great way to save money on individual spices that have skyrocketed in recent years — and to eliminate waste.
I always have a pepper grinder handy, and I confess I am now using sea salt for just about all my cooking — though not my baking. It really does do a better job of bringing out the flavor of the food without overwhelming it with saltiness.
And then there is the cheese. I always have a variety of cheeses that I use on a regular basis including American cheddar, Australian cheddar when I can get it, Parrano and Parmesan Reggiano. Less often I will buy fresh mozzarella because it does not keep so well — and when I have it on hand I will cook something that uses it. If the cheese assortment begins to get moldy, I trim them up and throw them all in the food processor with that mayo I have on hand and make pimento cheese.
In the meat keeper in the refrigerator, I also have either some really good and lean smoked bacon or a package of country ham bits and pieces. I use these almost as much in the summer as winter for flavoring because it does not take much to add aroma and flavor to a vegetable dish like the summer succotash recipe I like so much. And garlic! I always have garlic in the crisper next to the citrus fruits in the other one.
That would appear to be the full circle, though I have probably forgotten something. Reply to let us know what you have on hand.
That’s about it — not too many items for even the smallest kitchen — and I have one of those so I should know. And it’s all you need to cook on the fly with whatever you bring home from the market, just like a French country cook or a modern California chef. All good cooks start with the basics and take off from there. Have a great flight — no need to play it safe on this runway.
See you at the market!