Weather or Not
The bad weather forecast last Saturday seemed to have kept a lot of shoppers away, as well as caused an unheralded number of vendor no-shows. With only four Markets left before we take a little break, now is no time to let the weather scare you off. October -- about the least predictable month weather-wise, save that it will be sunny (or cloudy), chilly (or surprisingly warm), rainy (or dry), breezy (it is pretty much always breezy) -- requires advanced skills in dressing oneself and preparedness in general. You'll be in a hoodie, a raincoat, and waterproof shoes one day, and a logo tee, a shirt with the sleeves rolled up, jeans, a trucker cap, and sandals with socks the next (you know who you are). To be on the safe side, stash an umbrella, a change of shoes, and maybe some flares in your trunk, dress in layers, and show up for the Market already.
Unconvinced? Here are six reasons to come to the Market in the rain:
- Lots of parking spaces available
- Virtually no wait for service and probably a bigger selection
- Vegetables come prewashed
- Easy to get a table at the café (which is under a tent)
- Free puddles for the kids, with or without purchase
- We give out Market Bucks just for showing up
That said, if it's really coming down -- which it wasn't last week (it barely sprinkled, you wimps) -- we often close things up early. The Market will be there, but maybe not all the way till 1:00. Another example of why we advise not waiting until the last minute to come out.
That hinky weather we just mentioned makes us want to eat things that have cooked on top of the stove for hours or that have baked in the oven for a while, things with layers of flavor and sometimes with a little kick. Like gumbo and jambalaya. The internet abounds with recipes for these, as well as several explanations of the difference between the two, which is, essentially, that jambalaya is a casserole that has rice as part of the dish, and gumbo is a stew served over rice. What we want you to know is that most of the essential ingredients for these dishes are available at the LFM -- andouille sausage from Freeland Market, chicken from Livengood, and okra, bell peppers, tomatoes, celery, garlic, onions, and scallions from our various produce providers. (Obtaining that essential spice of Cajun and Creole cooking, filé powder -- or ground sassafras leaves -- was once practically impossible around here, but the internet has changed that.) If you really want to be directed to some recipes, maybe go to this jambalaya from Emeril Lagasse (he should know from jambalaya, right?). And this one for gumbo seems pretty easy and is very well reviewed, though there are loads more you could try. If you believe, as we do, that nothing takes your cooking to the next level like good technique -- the "musts" of the dish -- try this slideshow about how to make gumbo, which shows just how brown your roux should be (answer: really brown, like chocolate).
Another thing we're drawn to in this weather is gratins, defined as "a dish that has bread crumbs or cheese on top [editorial note: preferably both] and that is cooked in an oven." Gratins tend to be vegetable based and, more specifically, fall or root vegetable based, so no wonder our mind is moving in their direction. This slideshow from Saveur magazine includes gratins that feature onions, red cabbage, Brussels sprouts (we keep waiting for the day that veggie is renamed "brusselsprouts" and we can all breathe a sigh of relief), rutabagas, kale, squash, fennel, and, of course, lots of potatoes. Seriously, bookmark that thing because some day you're going to need a side dish for a cold-weather dinner and you'll wonder where you saw all those yummy gratins. But the one we're taking to our next bring-a-dish is this one -- roasted cauliflower with tomatoes and goat cheese -- in part because we can get all three of those main ingredients at the Market this Saturday (we're using fresh tomatoes instead of canned, as well as Amazing Acres' goat cheese). The other part is that it sounds just fantastic and no one ever objects when the thing you bring to a bring-a-dish is fantastic.
Livengood just let us know they're taking this Saturday off. Both our visiting vendors missed their September appearances, so it's been far too long since we've been able to get at their goods. But at last, maple syrup and lotions and balms of all sorts will be at hand.
It's come to our attention that more photos from Dog Day have gone up on John Green's website since we linked it last week. If you looked then and didn't see your pooch, try again now (you may have to click over a couple pages, since the most recent Market always loads first). Or, if you just like dogs and want to admire them, have at it, friend!
The final Community Day of 2015 is the last day of October, and the application deadline is October 17, next Saturday. Download the app here, complete and submit it, and get on board to showcase whatever it is you want to bring to our attention that day. We're all ears!
Last year we had only a couple entries for the Sweet Endings Dessert Contest. Not to be petulant about it, but if more people don't participate this time, we'll probably scrap the contest in the future, which would be a shame, but why do something if no one is interested in it. So, with that in mind, please consider entering the contest, all the proceeds of which go to the local food bank. There is no shame in not winning, but there may be regret in not entering. The contest is on October 31, you need to include one ingredient from the Market (one stinking ingredient, come on!), and all the other info is on the application. So enter. #NoRegrets
Fire Truck! Fire Truck! Fire Truck!
Tonight and tomorrow, be a part of National Fire Prevention Week by attending one of two (or both) open houses being held by local departments. Tonight, the Lansdowne Fire Company hosts its open house from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Come to the 26 N. Highland Avenue station to meet your local firefighters and first responders as well as enjoy live demonstrations, free goodies for the kids, informative fire prevention materials, and light refreshments.
Tomorrow, the 111-year-old Yeadon Volunteer Fire Company will hold their annual Fire Prevention Open House from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at 600 Church Lane in Yeadon. There will be a live fire-fighting demonstration beginning at 7:30. Bring the family to meet firefighters, tour the lime yellow fire trucks, and see several fire displays. Hot dogs and refreshments will be served. Any questions, give them a call at 610-623-9642.