Archive for May, 2008

Late Report

May 30, 2008

Hey all,

Sorry for the late posting but LIFE has been getting in the way. I took a quick loop this morning around the market and saw lots of strawberries, the first beets (Yunno & Muddy River Farm), and the fact that Migorelli’s had sugar snap peas. Plenty of greens in the market today, and lovely clams at the fish mongers. Eve’s Cidery is here today – their cider is fantastic! Try some ūüôā

Both DairyQueen and beingreen are out today – and I’m only in for a half day. Wow. Summer is upon us at last!

It’s really gorgeous out – so hit the market. I hope to have a fuller report for you on Monday.

~baconbit

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Snap Peas @ Kernan Farms

May 28, 2008

Two new arrivals… snap peas at Kernan Farms and bundles of rye and barley (ornamental use) at the River Garden. The rye and barley is particularly eye-catching when arranged next to the spring phlox!

Evolutionary Organics

May 28, 2008

I am so glad that Kira is back on Wednesdays again! I absolutely love her take on a spring salad mix! She grows the most unusual and yummy selection of sprouts and greens. One of my favorites is Hon Sai Tai…its a little bit spicy… and the Red Russian Kale is wonderful too. And everything is organic so it can be eaten straight from the bag. (She has a real elaborate set-up for the tongs, so there is no need to handle the greens with your hands, thanks.) She also has starter herbs and edible flowers. And she is real big on root vegetables, too. This morning she told me her garlic is looking awesome this year… which everyone should be excited about. Its not ready yet, but keep an eye out.

Sheepsmilk cheese, morels, and strawberries, Oh MY!

May 28, 2008

Last week I mentioned two farmers who’s farm names I could not remember – today I took notes so I would not forget! Kernan Farms and Evolutionary Organics. Their stands are directly across from one another. Kernan has a few types of veg and fruit in large quantities. Evolutionary Organics has small quantities, but a lot of diversity. Together, they have some of my favorite things.

Kernan’s strawberries are *fantastic* – truly. Large, plump, and sweet – on a warm day you can actually smell them from about 8′ off. They are less expensive than a lot of other market stands, at $6/quart. I am contemplating going back at noon to pick up asparagus as their asparagus tastes like sweet peas. I don’t know if it’s their terroir, or what, but it tastes like sweet peas and is delectable. Today I got some of the first sugar snap peas I’ve seen. Yum!

Across the aisle at Evolutionary Organics, there is a wide selection of heirloom plants for your own yard or windowsill. They also have beautiful greens, sprouts, edible flowers, and lots of lovely Japanese turnips. I find their prices competitive, and their demeanor particularly pleasant . I prefer their greens (and attitude) to that the other major salad greens vendor at the market (no names today as I don’t want to slight someone accidentally by misremembering a farm name).

Valley Shepherd Creamery was there. They are my favorite cheesemaker – and now that my digestive system seems to hate all dairy except sheep – they are one of the few I can go to. They make a fantastic aged cheese with truffles called Tartufo. Today they have Tartufo Fresco – a fresh sheepsmilk cheese flecked with black truffles. Lovely! I also picked up some of their very aged Fairmount – it dates from December of 2006. It is sweet and nutty at the front, and VERY sharp. Almost too sharp at the end for my cheese-wimp palate, but on a slice of bread to temper it will be fantastic.

Honey Hollow Farms still has GIANT yellow morels! Unbelieveable. Three weeks of morels – I am a happy camper!

Over the weekend I baked Honey Hollow Farm eggs in a ramekin, on top of sauteéd yellow morels and green garlic, topped with breadcrumbs and butter. Bake at about 400 until lightly golden and just turning solid. Fantastic stuff. Eggs & mushrooms are fantastic. Honey Hollow Farms eggs and yellow morels are several steps beyond fantastic, at a point where words begin to fail me.

Ronnybrook seems to have broken the curse of lateness they were suffering from last year. I got to the market around 8:15 this morning and they were all set up and ready to go.

~baconbit

Better than Cola

May 25, 2008

It’s strawberry rhubarb season again, and every year I wonder, “What can I do with rhubarb that isn’t pie?” It’s not that pie isn’t good – it is. Pie is a marvelous invention and ought to be eaten regularly to maintain an attitude of joy in the world. Pie is round, and thus a mandala of the mouth and a path to nirvana. Please, do not mistake this desire to experiment with rhubarb as a slight on pie!

At the same time, it seems as though the classic pairing of strawberries and rhubarb is relegated to pie, and pie only. Perhaps the occasional cobbler, which is basically pie, but upside down. It seemed to me that there must be another place for this wonderful combination of sweet and tart.

Sweet. Tart. Springy. Refreshing. “Well,” I thought, “lemonade is sweet and tart and refreshing. Maybe I can make a drink from strawberries and rhubarb.”

I have two copies of the Joy of Cooking. One is the most recent printing from 2000 and it is a perfectly fine cookbook that I hardly ever use. Instead, I continue to use my stained and battered 1975 edition. The ’75 has all the older drinks and recipes that fell out of fashion (the Lady Balitmore Cake is a knockout), but can make the best basis for new recipes. Recipes like “Lemonade Syrup.” Instead I made Strawberry Rhubabarb Syrup, which is now stored in the ‘fridge. Some of it is gone, mixed in a few teaspoons at a time with my homemade club soda, to make Strawberry Rhubarb Soda.

It’s refreshing, sparkling, and a really fun pink color! At about 35 calories for 8 oz of soda water and 2 teaspoons of syrup, it’s a far healthier treat than store bought soda – and MUCH better tasting. With a splash or two of bitters, I discovered this morning that it’s a great hangover cure too! I’m curious to see how delicious this would be with a little bit of champagne for a decadent Memorial Day brunch. If you are diabetic, you can easily replace the sugar with Splenda, honey, or agave syrup. This is also gluten free! Most of all, it’s delicious.

Strawberry Rhubarb Drink Syrup
1 cup quartered strawberries
1 or 2 stalks of rhubarb (depending how tart you want it)
1/8 inch slice of fresh ginger
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons vodka (as a preservative – optional)

1) Wash and quarter your strawberries.

2) Wash and peel your rhubarb. You want to take off that outer skin which is kind of stringy.
It’s very easy, just use your paring knife and it will peel off in lovely strips. Dice your rhubarb.

3) Put the berries, rhubarb, ginger, sugar and water into a small sauce pan. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves, and everything begins to simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes, and then leave pot to cool on stove for an hour or so.

4) Strain the fruit syrup. I like to do this by using a cheesecloth bag. These are quite inexpensive, though sometimes hard to find. They are easier to work with for some things than cheesecloth, and take up no storage space, and are reuseable. I like to use them for making stock (put all veg in the bag and remove and then you don’t have to strain), and I use them in beer making too. Here, you can stretch the bag open over your bowl (much like how you put a trashbag in your trashcan – they are very stretchy) and pour the syrup and fruit in. This will let the syrup through and catch the fruit. Pick up the bag and give it a good squeeze to get the last of the syrup out of the fruit and into your bowl. Mmmm.

5) Add vodka.

6) Pour concoction into bottles or what have you. You’ll want to keep this in the ‘fridge, not on a countertop. Between the sugar and the vodka, this syrup should last for quite a while in the ‘fridge. A couple of weeks at minimum.

7) To serve: Pour a glass of seltzer or club soda. Add syrup to taste. Drink and enjoy!

~baconbit

Dancing Ewe Farm

May 23, 2008

Oh my goodness….I just returned to the market during lunch and discovered a FANTASTIC new stand (well, new to me at least). Dancing Ewe Farm, hailing from Granville, NY, sells two kinds of delicious raw-milk cheeses. Farmers and cheesemakers Jody & Luisa Somers were managing the stand. You must visit their website to learn about the cheeses- one is a cow’s milk cheese called Prima Caciotta, the other is a sheep’s milk Ricotta. The ricotta is to die for, I wanted to gobble up a whole cup by itself. I just enjoyed a slice of the caciotta with lunch. Very tasty. Also be sure to visit their website and read the About Us section- a very sweet love story indeed- www.dancingewe.com

~DQ

After hearing this news about Dancing Ewe cheese from Dairy Queen I hungrily investigated the situation as well. I must say the Prima Caciotta is one of the more refined cheeses I have tasted at the market. It is a lovely aged raw-cows milk cheese with an occasional blue marbling- if you are lucky. I bought a wedge to bring to my family over the weekend, it does strike me as a cheese that would pair well with a hearty cabernet franc! Dancing Ewe is at the market every Friday. Don’t miss them next week!

~BG

Japanese Turnips and Furikake

May 23, 2008

Last week I tried Japanese turnips for the first time. I bought them from Mignorelli’s – and today I got them again but this time Cunuco (spelling?). They are beautiful white globes, thin skinned, and O! So lovely and sweet! At $3 a bunch, they are a great bargain – and you can eat the greens! A double dose of goodness for your moola!

I try to procure most of my food locally – but there are some things that I don’t hold to doing locally only, and the big one is seasonings and spices. Lately I have been crazy for furikake, a Japanese condiment of crushed toasted sesame seeds, seaweed, sugar and salt. I make mine with just salt, sesame seeds, and nori all crushed up in a mortar and pestle. I love it on hard boiled eggs (I just had some from Tellos actually for breakfast!), and rice, and steamed shrimp, and Japanese turnips!

Here is how I’ll be preparing mine tonight:

Cut the greens from the turnips, wash, and put aside for a little bit. Wash the turnips and cut off the tap roots, the top stubs, and quarter the globes. Do not peel! They are thin skinned and the vitamins all live in the skin!

Place the turnip quarters in a steamer (I got mine for $15 in Chinatown) and steam for about 15-20 minutes. When tender, sprinkle with furikake.

While your turnip globes are steaming, heat up your wok and prep your turnip greens by shredding them into long strips. Take the green garlic you bought at Yunnos, with the gently swelling bulbs, and cut up a whole one: strips, dice, whatever you like best (I like strips). Sauté your garlic, and then add your shredded greens. When all is tender through and through, add a splash of soy sauce and sesame seed oil (YUM).

Serve with your favorite protein (in my case some broiled fish) and rice. Revel in the spicy bitterness of turnip greens, and the tender sweetness of the turnips themselves, and the interplay of umami and salt of the furikake.

~baconbit

Wild Hive Farm

May 23, 2008

This morning is gorgeous in the greenmarket- sunny and cool. ¬†I was running into work, so didn’t shop around yet, but I did pick up some flour from Wild Hive Farm (set up on Fridays in the NW corner of the market). ¬†They hail from Clinton Corners, NY. ¬†Here’s their description of what they do:

” At Wild Hive Farm Micro Mill we stone grind locally grown organic grains in small batches to provide you with the freshest and most nutritious wholegrain products in the Hudson Valley.”

They have a wide variety of baked goods and other products…cornmeal and popcorn to name a few. ¬†Here are the two flours I bought:

Organic All-Purpose Flour (1lb. 8oz. bag)- Stone Ground Soft White Winter Wheat with 100% of the wheat germ intact.  

Stone Ground Organic Flour (same size)- 7 Organic Whole Grain Blend: Hard Red Spring Wheat, Rye, Spelt, Soft White Winter Wheat, Triticale, Barley and Oats

www.wildhivefarm.com

Happy Friday~ Dairy Queen

Blue Moon Fish

May 21, 2008

Long lines this morning at Blue Moon! Oysters and Sea Bass look great! Have a look at their fish

page to keep up-to-date on what is in season….

Patience is a Morel

May 21, 2008

Specifically a yellow morel – of which Honey Hollow Farms has more of! Today he has baskets full of great huge ones, and pre-weighed half pints in all shapes and sizes. I bought a full pint of them.

Last week I was asked about my favorite mushroom recipes – honestly when I get a special mushroom I just do my best to highlight them and not interfere too much. My first set of morels I put in the fantastic Korean pancake recipe. Tonight I think I shall make risotto – a perfect foil for highlighting these spring gems, and a perfect pairing with the last of my garlic scapes from Monday.

I had the names of additional two farms you should seek out today – one with lovely greens (pea tendrils! buckwheat sprouts!) and plants for sale (organic something, at $4 per 1/4 lb) and the other that has great big full quarts of strawberries ($7) that are so fragrant I could smell them from 8′ away…. but all that got erased from my mind (though not my totebag) during my conversation with Mike at Tamarack Hollow Farm. Some folks are partial to Flying Pigs Farm, and make no mistake, they make a good product. I, however, am an unabashed devotee of Tamarack Hollow. Something about Mike’s pigs make my heart and belly sing. It had been far too long since I had his bacon, so I stopped by to pick up a pack and was distracted by his pork confit! I have bought some, of course, and shall consume some as soon as this missive is finished.

By the way : if you are looking for some property in Vermont, Mike is looking to sell his current house. Stop by and chat if you might be interested!

~baconbit
(photo by beingreen)