Last Saturday during setup, we warned the vendors that the Market would probably be dead, dead, OMG-is-no-one-shopping-today??? dead until 10:15 because of the parade but then take off like a bottle rocket, and that's pretty much what happened. The Fourth of July and the Farmers Market are a harmonic convergence of sorts (such fresh sweet corn! so many grabbables for any event you're attending!), and it'll happen again in 2016 because when the Fourth falls on a Sunday, Lansdowne holds the events on Saturday. Hope we can count on your support then too (can't say we didn't warn you).
In our house, pizza is a frequent meal choice. Sometimes it's homemade and other times it's the dial-up kind, but when the heat hits, pizza just disappears from the menu...until we walk past our backyard grill. Then the realization smacks us on the forehead like a sweltering Philadelphia summer heat wave that pizza can be made on a grill. Oh, and it's so good, too. The technique is simple. Make dough, shape it into small rounds (easier than one big one), toss them onto a hot grill grate, close the lid, and after the bottom is browned (a matter of a few minutes), flip them over, add cheese and toppings, and bake until hot and bubbly.
What's the best dough for the pizza? Any will do, but this recipe is good. (You can also make extra and then freeze pizza dough using this method.) This flatbread recipe is nice because the dough is ready in just 20 minutes. Our fave toppings are goat cheese from Amazing Acres (either the crumbly fromagina or one of the creamy chevres), sautéed onions, tomato sauce or fresh tomatoes, and a drizzle of olive oil. Goat cheese, tomato, and pesto make for a nice grilled pizza combo, too.
Passion for Preserving
Having our fresh fruits and veggies now and still wanting to eat them later is always a challenge. With the Market overflowing with peaches, plums, apricots, blueberries, black and red raspberries, and preservation-worthy veggies like cucumbers, carrots, green beans, zucchini, and more, maybe it's time we did a little canning.
Our friend Heather has the right idea. In addition to being a longtime Market volunteer and expert organizer who repeatedly proves that the LFM shed really is bigger on the inside, Heather has created a near-weekly gathering of friends each summer to make a party out of preserving. Last year, we made probably 10,000 jars of preserved peaches, nectarines, apple sauce, blackberry jams, salsas, chutneys, and more. (Number slightly exaggerated for comic effect, but only slightly.)
Here are the most important points to note. First, follow the instructions from a reliable website or book. (Those are from the 125-year-old company that makes Ball Mason jars). Second, use a tried and true recipe. Check out the Ball recipes, Marissa McClellan's Food in Jars website and cookbooks, or even this homemaker's recipe trove. Third, don't decrease the amount of vinegar or sugar a recipe requires unless it says you can. Doing so can lower the acid level and invite nasty bacteria to take up residence in your jars. Fourth, take into account that some fruits, like peaches and nectarines, might take up to 5 days to ripen sufficiently, and plan your canning accordingly. (Note to your really busy self: nectarines don't need to be peeled, so they're less work than peaches.) Fifth, follow the safety instructions to a T. That means putting hot food into hot, sterilized jars (running the jars through the dishwasher is the fastest when you're making a lot), and after sealing the jars, letting them remain undisturbed for at least 12 hours before checking to make sure the seal has taken. Sixth, if you don't want to do boiling-water canning, try refrigerator pickles ( spicy quick-pickled radishes and small batch refrigerator pickles) and freezer jams that aren't shelf stable but that will hold up in the fridge or freezer for a long time. Seventh (though this could have been first), preorder flats of fruits or vegetables from our farmers and they'll bring them to the Market for you to pick up. Look for their contact information on our LFM Vendors page. Eighth and last, here are five tips from cookbook author Linda Ziedrich that we're adding to our to-do list this year, especially the one about keeping a preserving journal, which might allow us to report a more accurate number next year.
#Zucchini Still Trending
Todd McAllister and his daughter Victoria of Poniton Farm shared this yummy low-carb, gluten-free, veggie-rich zucchini lasagna recipe with us last Saturday. As we pointed out a few weeks ago, this humble green squash has been elevated to a tasty pasta substitute to the delight of many. As for this lasagna recipe, if you don't eat beef, simply substitute ground turkey, roasted chicken, or roasted veggies (chopped potatoes, onions, carrots and celery would be nice), with some cannellini beans or chickpeas thrown in for extra good measure.
This Week's Lineup
Remember that the visiting vendors listed each week are at the LFM only once a month, so if you miss them, it'll be 4 weeks until you get another chance. The Vendors page of the website tells you what week to expect each vendor in case you've missed a favorite and are wondering when they'll be back.
The Lansdowne Community Garden makes its 2015 debut this week with herbs and other July-appropriate Lansdowne-grown products. Look for them!
We were hoping the Regency Café would be back this week, but they're still struggling with summer staffing issues. Pop over and give them some support though. They'll be glad to see you. Also, Bonnie's Wondergardens is off from the Market until September. For reals this time.
Everything Old Is New Again
We interrupt this regularly scheduled newsletter to bring you this breaking news: the Lansdowne Farmers Market website is a great place to troll for seasonal recipes. Simply type an ingredient or dish into the Google search box at the top right of each page and, voila! To see what's been stored on the website since 2007, take a look at these search results: peach, corn, blueberries, and, the old abundant favorite, zucchini. Thus, if you vaguely remember seeing a recipe for corn pudding in Fresh Picks a few years ago that you found interesting, now you can find it pretty easily.
How's your child's song, dance, magic trick, accordion solo, gymnastics routine, stupid pet trick, balancing act, singer/songwriter number, or whatever coming for the open mic on Kidcentric Day, July 25? There's only 2 weeks left to get that act together and take it on the road (either Lansdowne or Owen Avenue, en route to the parking lot). Tempt reluctant kids with the promise that all performers are tipped with one not-so-shiny Market Buck.
To celebrate the US winning the soccer World Cup this week, we'll give a Market Buck to any soccer players, female or male and of any age. If you ever played organized soccer, come tell us at the Market Manager tent, and you'll get a wooden nickel (which is really worth a dollar), which all the vendors will be glad to accept, despite lifelong warnings against the practice.