Excessive Heat Whining
¡Ay, caramba! It's been hot at the Market the past few weeks. Shvitzing, sweating, stinking hot. (We're well aware the parking lot pavement doesn't help with that, but there are no immediate plans to replace the macadam with grass. Thanks, however, for the suggestions.) Right now, the forecast for the weekend is best described as "brutal" -- the tippy top of the 90s and humid. Given this, we understand if you want to make a rather quick run through the Market. Here are some suggestions:
- Come early. Not only is it as cool as it's going to be (though that ain't likely to be very cool this week), but there are fewer shoppers, so less waiting.
- Come even earlier. Although we have an opening bell (more like an opening "clang"), our vendors are permitted to make sales before 9:00 am and will accommodate early birds if they're ready.
- Bring a shopping list. Gonna be honest: we never do this. We therefore make repeated trips the full length of the Market, picking up things as we think of them, and always forgetting at least one item (eggs). Don't make things harder on yourself than they have to be. Consult the vendors below, make a list of what you absolutely intend to get, and you'll probably save yourself some sweating.
Alternatively, if you plan on lingering for the music and company, wear a hat, bring water (though some is available at the Market), and have a cooler or cooler bag with you to protect any temperature-sensitive purchases. Most vendors will hold things in their coolers once they've been purchased, but you have to remember to go back for them before you leave, which is the tricky part.
Important schedule alert! This is the fourth but not the final Saturday in July. Next week is one of those confusing fifth Saturdays (the other one is not until October). Please note that we are expecting our 1/3 vendors for the next two weeks (both July 30 and August 6), so the biweekly vendors listed above will not be back for three weeks (returning August 13). Plan and purchase accordingly, peeps.
The height of summer, like the depths of winter, offers weather so extreme that it's a darn good time to stay inside and dig into the web on things that interest you, in this case, food and cooking. So here are some articles, blogs, and sites we think you should check out. (Some have appeared here before, but you trying writing this newsletter for years without duplicating information.)
- This produce storage chart offers more information than most of us can use about how to properly store (temp, humidity level) pretty much any fruit or veggie you might ever buy. We found the last column (Storage Potential, aka How Long Can I Forget About This?) most interesting. Seems many root vegetables keep better with their tops than without. (But celery longer than carrots? Nuh-uh.)
- Food52 and Tasting Table are both sites that include cooking tips, new products, recipes, and shopping. Food52 does a lot of crowdsourcing of recipes (corn fritters with cheddar and scallions, thank you very much) and delights in a good recipe contest, whereas TT gives more bandwidth to chefs' tips, tricks, and secret weapons (like this charred tomato oil that we are so gonna be drowning everything in).
- Long on both the funny and the yummy, Smitten Kitchen was already one of our favorite sites, but it just underwent an overhaul so is worth a new look. The blogger (Deborah Perelman) tends to cook seasonally and includes with each recipe links to recipes from the same time point in earlier years. So for example, if this recent recipe for cucumber yogurt raita salad doesn't float your boat, maybe the tzatziki potato salad she had posted 4 years earlier on roughly the same date will. For the past few years, she has even included recipes "for the other side of the world," which are 6 months "off" -- that is, feature winter foods when we're in summer, so if you have cauliflower in July, she'll have a new idea for what to do with it. Deb's been writing this blog for nearly 10 years, so there is much to draw from (more than 1000 recipes), and if you can stand getting one more email, hers come loaded with links presented on a theme. We always read them, which is our highest praise. Keep up the good work, Deb.
- Finally, we cannot stop watching those videos of food being prepared (often wildly speeded up) that keep coming into our Facebook feed. We recently watched disembodied hands make a veggie flower pie, zucchini pizza bites, and Tuscan chicken pasta, not that we'll ever make these dishes, but there is no looking away. Search Facebook for Yummly, Tasty, Delish, or Taste of Home (watermelon shark!) if you just want some fun ideas, or try Cook's Illustrated Magazine or its media cousin America's Test Kitchen if you're up for something a bit more difficult. Or just sit back and see what cooking videos your friends share. They usually involve endless amounts of cheese; stretchy cheese makes for gooood watching.
Kidcentric Day means special stuff in the third row all day next week (July 30), just for the young-uns. Tried and true favorites include Winged Wonders interactive butterfly exhibit, quickie crafts, free games, the Wet Tent (dress them appropriately for water blasters and water balloon showdowns), and open mic performances starting at 11:00. They can sing, dance, juggle, tell jokes, play an instrument, or demonstrate whatever talent they would like to spotlight. All participants get a Market Buck to spend immediately or later if you are raising a little saver. We could use some help with this, so if you have a couple hours to spare, please let us know ASAP and we'll get you a high-level volunteer position, such as being a water balloon target. (Just kidding; that job requires special skill.)
July 30 is also the last Saturday of the month, so we'll be collecting food for the local food bank. You may have noticed that there's now a little donation jug in the Market Manager tent every week so you can stick a buck or two in any time you have some spares, and it will all go straight to the food bank. (Thanks to Terry Baraldi for heading up that campaign.)
Finally, Community Day #2 is coming up at the end of August (the 27th). Applications will become available through this newsletter in two weeks, on August 4, and will be due the 17th. Got that?