Last Saturday was a fun and busy day at the Market, kicking off the holiday weekend with a bang! It was both a delight and a dilemma to see that the fruit and vegetable selection has exploded (figuratively, not literally). What to buy, what to buy?
We do feel sorry for one cynical soul who asked a farm vendor, "Where do you get these?" (Despite the "Jersey Fresh" stickers on every bin.) For those of you who didn't know (really?), the vendors are real farmers and their staff members (and sometimes family members) who bring us the joy of locally grown, ready-to-eat fresh produce that is in season right now.
We know many of you took LFM purchases to parties with family and friends this weekend and we hope you enjoyed them! Plus, wasn't it nice that Mother Nature let us extend the celebrations beyond the famous Lansdowne Fourth of July parade on Monday morning by giving us a rain delay that was paid off with great Union Athletic Association fireworks on Tuesday night? We love our small town.
Dorothy of Rafiki Shoppe let us know that she'll have some speciality Ethiopian foods this week. The first is injera, a sourdough-like griddle bread/pancake that's made with teff flour. Tear off bits of the injera and scoop up two vegetable dishes: Atakilt Wat, which is ginger cabbage with potatoes, and Ethiopian lentils seasoned with a Berbere spice mix.
What's Old AND New
When Tracy Crider realized that the chemical additives in food were making her sick and she had to find a whole new way of cooking, she did what any self-respecting foodie would do: she got her grandmothers' recipes and started making BBQ sauce. Soon, friends were asking her to make more and more sauces for their own meals and that's how the 1-year-old Ancient Kitchen was born.
Tracy chose the name "The Ancient Kitchen" because she was going back to ancient roots of cooking, when food was made without artificial colors and flavorings. "I have a Polish grandmother in Philadelphia and another grandma from Nashville. My southern roots are where all the spicy stuff comes from," she says.
The selections on deck this week (and on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays from now on) will be BBQ sauces like Smokin' Tornado (in hot or sweet), Hawaii Stylin' (hot or mild), and Low Country BBQ (mild); fruit butters and spreads like Spicy Vanilla Raspberry, Green Apple Jalapeño, and Ginger Spread; spice rubs like Caribbean Jerk, Memphis, and Cajun; sea salt and peppercorn mixes; and relishes like Zweet Pepper Achari (mild), Poppin' Pepper Achari (medium), Red Hot Pepper Achari (self-explanatory!).
One of Tracy's favorite recipes is a vegetable stir fry of whatever seasonal veg she has on hand (last week was squash, zucchini, broccoli, and peppers), topped with teriyaki sauce made by mixing a teaspoon of the Ginger Spread with natural soy sauce, a bit of olive oil, and chopped garlic.
Green Zebra Farm had glorious cauliflower this past week and will have more this Saturday, along with heirloom tomatoes, lettuce, green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, and broccoli. We whipped up a batch of pan-roasted cauliflower with raisins and nuts using walnuts and almonds instead of pine nuts, which we didn't have. You know those greens that form a protective wrap around the clusters of the sweet white florets? We sautéed them in olive oil and chopped garlic with a squeeze of fresh lemon as an additional side dish. (They tasted like cauliflower, only green-y-er.) Oh, and did we mention cauliflower pizza? It's up on next week's rotation, for sure.
Poniton Farm had its seasonal debut last Saturday and is offering corn, cucumbers, zucchini and a limited supply of Schober's Orchards' famous peach cider; stay tuned for the peach crop, coming soon! We made small batch refrigerator pickles with kirby (aka pickling) cucumbers. They make a delicious topping for burgers or a grilled Cubano sandwich.
Sweet corn from Fruitwood Farms became two dishes: roasted corn soup with tomato and roasted corn salad with a spritz of lime. Both were to die for.
Veggies served cold are the cure for the hot, humid days we've been having lately. While we do chop up veggies (cucumbers, carrots, celery, radishes, corn-off-the-cob, etc.) for a standard lettuce-based salad, we also like salads that start out with cooking vegetables but end up refrigerated to bring down the temp and mingle the flavors. Try this beet and goat cheese salad using Amazing Acres Goat Dairy's chèvre, a simple corn salad recipe that is a wonderful side dish for BBQ ribs or grilled chicken, or sweet and sour cucumber noodles that require a vegetable peeler, a julienne peeler, or a spiral slicer gizmo thingy.
We know you don't want to miss out on getting your cutting and slicing cooking and gardening implements sharpened up by Neil's Sharpening Service, which will be at the Market this week. Visit his website for details about what he can sharpen.
If you want to ask how you can help your LFM, stop by the Market Manager's tent (between Big Sky Bread and the Music tent) and speak to one of our friendly volunteers about helping us for just a few minutes at the start or the end of the Market. We'll welcome you to the fold with a Market Buck to treat you to a little extra grocery money.
Kidcentric Day is coming up July 30. There will be an open mic component again this year, so we hope you're working with the little ones on their song, dance, unicycle act, or whatever. Looking farther ahead, Community Day #2 is August 27, and applications for that will be available as of the August 4 newsletter.
Tonight, Hoffman Park goes international with the satirical French comedy Tartuffe, presented by the Commonwealth Classic Theater Company. There's a reason why this play is still around. Written by Molière in the mid-1660s (it's as old as our famous sycamore tree!) pokes fun at moral smugness (both individual and societal) and both reveals and revels in the outrageousness of religious hypocrisy. The show is free and starts at 7 pm, so bring a picnic, blanket, and low-backed chairs and enjoy the show.
But don't put away your picnic paraphernalia just yet! Friday night, the Lansdowne Parks and Recreation Board screens Creed in Hoffman Park, starting at 8:30 pm. Philly favorite Sylvester Stallone is back, teaming up with Michael B. Jordan in the latest spin-off of the Rocky franchise that's earned a bunch of good stars from viewers across the interwebs.