Some recipes from 2016-finally!

Chef Jen Cooks August 5th:

Gazpacho:
Hand mince the onion and rinse in cold water.( rinse anytime to you plan to eat an onion raw) Chop garlic and hot pepper in a food processor until fine. Add tomatoes and cucumbers and pulse until chunky or desired consistency. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, minced parsley and basil.

Squash with tomatoes and shiitake powder:
Saute sliced squash, chopped onions and minced garlic in a blend of butter and olive oil until squash is tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add chopped tomato and a tablespoon of shiitake powder from Baywood Organics. It adds flavor and thickens the sauce.

Pico de gallo:
Hand chop and rinse onion. You want ½ to 1 cup onion. Chop 2 cups of tomatoes and 3 Tablespoons minced hot peppers. Mince 2 cloves of garlic, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or fresh lime juice, fresh cilantro and salt to taste. Continue reading “Some recipes from 2016-finally!”

2017 Schedule

Happy New Year!  Here’s the Independence Farmers Market schedule:  all Market days are Fridays unless noted otherwise.

May  12- Grand Opening

May 26-Herb Day.  Chef Jen cooks with herbs

June 9-1st of 2 Fiber Days

June 30-Kids Day.  Join Cowboy Don,Ranger Amelia,4H, BRDC and more for fun for the whole family

Tuesday July 4- Town Parade

Continue reading “2017 Schedule”

November and December Events

Please welcome Abby Williams Nicolo as our new On-line Market Manager as we also say good-bye and many thanks and good wishes to Penny Bergeron our past manager. Friends of the Market may already know Abby as our Kid’s Corner Coordinator. Come greet Abby and join us November 16th for the first On-line Market Open House. Sample products and get ideas for holiday entertaining. Tim Mansfield will be sharpening,so bring those knives,scissors, chainsaw chains etc….

Beautiful pesticide-free Christmas trees and wreaths from Brookgreen Farm are available again this year for pre-order on the On-line Market. This is one of our largest fund-raising efforts for the Market. We appreciate your support and are pleased to be able to offer such a high quality product.

Join us   Green Friday, November 25th and December 3rd,  11 am to 3 pm at Town Park for our Winter Markets and Christmas Tree Fundraisers. Enjoy free kids activities, listen to Christmas carols sung by the Highland Camerata at 12:30, shop for delicious local products  and beautiful crafts, and pickup your pre-ordered Christmas trees and wreaths.  In addition December 3 features the 2nd Annual Chili Cook-off.  Free to enter, $5 to taste and vote for your favorite and $25 to the winner!  Bring entries to the Market from 11-11:30.Tasting starts at 11:45 and the winner will be announced at 1:30.  Be sure to stay for the Christmas Parade, it starts at 3pm.

September and October Events

Chef Jen  will be cooking on Pepper Day September 9th.  We’re thinking about a Chef Jen cookbook as a fund raiser for the Market.  Stop by the manager tent and tell Michelle if you’d be interested.  Enjoy our annual free pepper tasting.  Did you know that ALL peppers change color?  Taste green and ripe varieties side by side and discover the wide range of flavors and heat found in peppers we can grow in our region.  Ashe County pimento was mentioned in a recent issue of Garden and Gun magazine, here’s your chance to try it before it becomes famous!

September 16th is the final Fiber Day of the season.  Thanks to all our fiber vendors for creating this special day at our Market.  Be sure to come and shop for these amazing locally produced artisan crafts.  Many of vendors also raise the animals that produce the fleece that goes into these products.

 

October begins with the last Cooking Day of the season on October 7th.

The Market season closes with the Apple Festival.  Bring your apples to the Market to press-don’t forget to bring containers- or purchase cider that we’ll be pressing as a fund-raiser for the Market.  Apple Fest also features an apple dessert contest.  Bring your entry to the market by 10 am,  Judging at 11 am.  The top prize is a $25 gift certificate to the Market!

November and December feature our Winter Markets and Christmas tree fund raisers on November 25th and December 3rd.  We’ll be offering organically grown trees again this year.  Jen, Gesh and I personally select each tree and we are very picky.  We pick  nice fat ones (my favorite) and taller skinny ones( favored by Gesh and Jen)  They are fresh and locally grown in Grassy Creek by the Joyce family.  You can reserve your trees on the on-line Market.

 

Recipes from June and July Cooking Days with Chef Jen

COOKING DAY- June 1st:

Biscuits and gravy:

Jen started the morning with biscuits and gravy. She made the biscuits at home.  Heartmoss Farm sausage was browned until done. Add a handful of flour and stir until the flour is browned and fat is absorbed, making a quick roux.  Add milk gradually while stirring until thickened. Season with white pepper and serve on a biscuit.

Sirloin Tips with Shitake mushrooms:

The sirloin (Little River Farm) was tossed with flour and seasoned with salt and pepper.  Sautée the meat and mushrooms in butter with chopped green onions until the meat is browned. Add stock or water to cover and simmer until the meat is tender adding more liquid as needed.

Roasted Cauliflower:

Heat the grill or oven to 400 degrees.  Toss cauliflower with olive oil, salt, pepper and a big pinch of curry powder and place in a single layer on a pan and roast until browned.

Stuffed Nasturtium Flowers:

Blend together one parts sour cream and 2 parts cream cheese until smooth.  Add honey to taste and pipe into nasturtium flowers.

Quick Pickled Sugar Snap Peas:

Mix in a small saucepan 1 ¼ cups vinegar and 1 tablespoon each salt and sugar.  Bring to a boil and dissolve the spices.  Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/4 cold cup water.  Pack a quart jar with sugar snap peas that have been washed and stems and strings removed.  Add 4 cloves garlic and 2 dried red peppers or some red pepper flakes in a sterilized quart jar. Pour in the vinegar mixture and keep in the fridge for 2 weeks before using.

Chorizo and White Bean Salad:

Soak 2 cups cannellini beans overnight in enough water to cover by 2 inches.  Pour off water and add 2 cloves of garlic and fresh water to cover. Bring to a boil and then simmer until tender.  Always salt beans after cooking or they will toughen.  Brown the chorizo (Olivia’s legacy) and mix with the cooked beans.  Fill a serving plate with fresh lettuce, top with bean mixture and a dollop of sour cream.  Top with dressing.  Jen’s dressing used a pint each of homemade roasted tomato sauce and sweet red pepper sauce, apple cider vinegar to taste, a dash of sriracha sauce and a drizzle of honey.

Lamb Sausage Meatball Sandwich:

Roll lamb sausage (Heartmoss Farm) into balls.  Brown until cooked through.  Add equal quantities of tomato and sweet pepper sauce and simmer until thickened.  Grate mozzarella on French baguette and toast (Stickboy’s in Boone) .  Top with meatballs.

Chicken and Vegetable Stir fry:

Cut the chicken into small, uniform size pieces and sauté in butter.  Remove from the heat.  Chop vegetables; add olive oil to the pan if needed and sauté.  Jen used carrots, sugar snap peas, mushrooms and squash.  Add the chicken back to the pan when the veggies are almost done.  Season with a dash of sriracha and serve with a sprinkling of chives.

 

COOKING DAY JULY 1ST

Roasted Carrots:

Heat the grill or oven to 400 degrees.  Remove carrot tops and reserve for pesto. Toss scrubbed carrots with salt, pepper and olive oil.  Place in a single layer on heat proof pan and roast until golden brown.  Turn once after 10 to 15 minutes and roast the other side until fork tender.  Most vegetables can be roasted.

Carrot Top Pesto:

Put carrot tops, 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, several tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, a tablespoon of lemon juice, a pinch of Aleppo pepper (Penzy’s spices) and salt into a food processor and puree.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.  You can add grated parmesan and or nuts if desired but omit lemon juice if you do.

Cole Slaw:

Shred a small head of cabbage.  Shred 2 or 3 carrots.  Add the juice of a lemon, an equal amount of extra virgin olive oil, salt to taste, a pinch of red pepper flakes.  Taste and add a bit of honey or sugar.  You can also add onions, chives and garlic if desired.

Kale Chips:

Heat the oven or grill to 250-350 degrees. ( higher temps will roast faster and need closer attention) Remove the stem and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Bake on a sheet tray in a single layer for 10-20 minutes.  Flip and continue to roast until crisp.  You can add other seasonings if desired.  Try garlic powder, cayenne, parmesan, lemon zest, onion powder or seasoned salt.  Experiment!

Quick Cucumber Pickle:

Combine in a bowl or Ziploc bag: thinly sliced cucumbers, your preferred vinegar to cover (apple cider, rice wine or white), a bit of honey or sugar, salt and herbs.  Try one or 2 of the following: garlic, chives, parsley, cilantro, green onion, even seaweed.  Cover and leave at room temperature for a few hours for flavors to come together.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

Tzatziki:

Combine in the food processor: 8 ounces plain yogurt, 2 peeled and sliced cucumbers, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, the juice of ½ a lemon, salt and pepper, a tablespoon chopped fresh dill, 2 cloves of garlic and a dash of sriracha sauce.  Process until smooth.   Jen served this over raw tender baby  beet greens and Heartmoss lamb burgers.

Blue Cheese Dressing:

Combine in a bowl: ¾ cup sour cream, 1 1/3 cup mayo, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire, ½ teaspoon dry mustard, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, salt and pepper, 4 ounces blue cheese and a dash of sriracha sauce. Blend until smooth.  Best made the day before.  Best with assertive summer greens.

Tomato Festival Kicks off August at the Market

The 5th annual Tomato festival on August 5th is a  great way to start the month of August at the Market.  Enter the Salsa contest and win $25!  No fruit salsas allowed this year, it’s the tomato festival after all!  Bring a quart of salsa to the Market by 10 am.  Tasting begins at 10:30 am.  The people’s choice wins the contest.  Results will be announced at noon. You can also enter the Monster Tomato weigh-in.  Bring your tomato by 11.  Weighing begins after the salsa winner is announced.  Wagon Wheel Farm set the bar pretty high last year with their enormous 2.98 pound tomato.  Don’t let that discourage you, tomatoes seem to running smaller this year and the winner receives a $25 gift certificate to the Market.  Chef Jen will be cooking fresh and delicious food and it’s your opportunity to try all the fabulous tomatoes being sold at the Market in the free tomato tasting.  It’s always fun to see and taste all the different varieties.

National Farmers Market is week is August 8th-13th.  Visit the Market on the 12th to show your support!

The third Friday, August 19th is a monthly Fiber Day.  Visit with your favorite fiber artists.

JULY AT THE MARKET

We close out June with the 5th annual KIDS DAY on the 24th.  Don’t miss this fun-filled day of FREE and FABULOUS kids activities and give-aways featuring Cowboy Don, Ranger Amelia, Miss Ellie, Grayson County 4H, Blue Ridge Discovery Center and the Virginia Department of Health.

July 1st is Cooking Day with Chef Jen-she’s planning lots of simple veggie recipes.  It’s also Wellness Day featuring the Virginia Department of Health and Dr. Karen.  We’ll also be in the 4th of July Parade in Downtown Independence.

The Wednesday Evening Market is now open  every Wednesday from 4-7pm.  The On-line Market is also open for your shopping convenience.  So many opportunities for fresh, local  products!

July 17 is the Berry Festival and our 3rd monthly Fiber Day.  Start your ovens and plan to enter the Berry Pie Contest!  We’ll be selling delicious berry sorbet as a fund-raiser for the Market.

 

July closes with Take a Break from the Interstate HWY 21 Yardsale .On the 29th the Farmers Market will include yard sale. items as well as our usual array of fabulous local products.  Saturday and Sunday will see the lot filled with vendors selling a little bit of everything.

June Events at the Market

Friends of the Market,

It’s finally June and starting to feel like summer!  Lots of produce is coming into the Market and Chef Jen is ready to cook this Friday, June 3rd.  To date the menu includes carrot top pesto, grilled kale salad, beef  with shiitakes,  edible flowers, curried beets and carrots and ….June 10th is Herb Day featuring Ellen Reynolds of Beagle Ridge Herb Farm.  June 15th marks the Grand opening of the Wednesday Evening Market from 4-7pm and the reopening of the On-line Market.  June 17th is the  2nd monthly Fiber Day. June closes out with the 5th Annual Kids Day on June 24th.  Don’t miss the weekly Kids activities each Friday with Abby from 10-11am.

If you missed the cooking demonstration  and recipes for the Rooted in Appalachia Roadshow, here they are…

Miss Pattie’s favorite Stirfry:

1/2 cup of 5 vegetables:  Pattie chose peas, cauliflower, broccoli, green onions  and mushrooms and  1/4 cup of soy sauce.  She washed and chopped the veggies to small bite size pieces and sauted in a little oil until tender and seasoned with soy sauce.

In addition, Michelle added 2 quick and fun recipes for raw carrots:

“Dirt Dip” from Martha Stewart Living  featured roasted kalamata olives  over a ricotta cheese dip.  Dry the olives for 3 hours in a  275 oven.  Process in a food proceessor until finely chopped.  Set aside.  Mix 1 cup ricotta with 1 tablespoon heavy cream and whip.  Top with olive “dirt” and serve with baby vegetables.

Sesame Carrots featured grated raw carrots drizzled with 1 tablespoon roasted seasame oil and 1 teaspoon lemon juice and topped with roasted sesame seeds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Market Time!

Friends of the Market,

May is finally here and it’s almost time for the Grand Opening of the Independence Farmers Market at Town Park.  Join us May 13th from 9am to 1pm for delicious produce, locally raised meats and eggs, fresh baked goods and beautiful crafts.  There will be plants for your gardens, both ornamental and edible and the kids can plant seeds in eggshell cups.  After the  Market, walk across the street to the office warming party hosted by Grayson Landcare.  Come see the new office and enjoy baked goods by the talented young cooks at the Grayson County Cate Center.

May 20th is the first of our monthly Fiber Days.  Save the date, it’s every third Friday.  We close out the month on the 27th with the Rooted in Appalachia Farmers Market Roadshow sponsored by Appalachian Sustainable Development.  There will be kids activities,  cooking demonstration and more and it’s all free!

The Independence Farmers Market is pleased to be able to accept Senior Farmers Market coupons this year and we continue to offer up to a $25 match for SNAP purchases for fruits and vegetables.  It’s like getting FREE vegetables and fruit. We are able to offer the Double Dollar program because we are a member of the Wholesome Wave National Nutrition Network.

Hope to see you there and be sure to bring a friend.

Great cooking ideas

Getting Hooked On Cooking With CSA

by Katherine Deumling of Cook With What You Have      

Friends of the Market, here is a a great article by Katherine Deumling .  It talks about using a CSA share, but it applies to using seasonal products from Farmers Markets too.

 

A CSA share offers a plethora of produce every week and with it varieties we may have never seen before, let alone cooked—a delight and a bit of a challenge, for sure.

Fresh, delicious vegetables chosen for me week after week is my idea of heaven. It hasn’t always been but I get more hooked every year. I’m hooked on the deliciousness, on not having to make any decisions about what vegetables to purchase, and on the creativity it inspires.

So, how does one get hooked?

Stock your Pantry, Two Ways:

Shop mostly to restock rather than for specific dishes. You’ll spend less time (and money) running to the store for last minute items and can instead spend your time cooking, eating, and creatively using what you already have.

This is a basic list but you certainly don’t need everything listed to cook many dishes. And, your pantry will reflect your particular taste. This is just a loose guide.

Purchased Goods for Pantry, Fridge and Freezer:

  • Lentils; French green, red, brown
  • Beans: black, pinto, white, chickpeas
  • Grains: brown and white rice, barley, farro, cornmeal/polenta, quinoa, pasta, couscous, bulgur
  • Seeds & nuts: sunflower, pumpkin, hazelnuts, walnuts, peanuts, almonds, etc.
  • Spices: cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, dried chilies, turmeric, caraway, paprika, cardamom
  • Herbs: thyme, oregano
  • Vinegars: cider, rice and red wine
  • Oils: olive, sunflower, coconut, sesame
  • Hot sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Lemons and limes
  • Meat and fish in freezer: sausages, bacon, chicken, etc.

Semi-prepared Items:

When you have a little spare time you can add semi-prepared items to your fridge/ pantry that will make life much easier and tastier when you don’t have those extra few minutes to get a meal on the table.

  • Make a jar of vinaigrette and keep it in the fridge. Dress lettuces and greens as well as roasted vegetables or plain chickpeas/beans with the same vinaigrette, adding some chopped herbs and toasted seeds. Be creative!
  • Cook a good quantity of beans. Put beans out to soak before you go to work in the morning. Cook them that evening while you’re in the kitchen cooking something else for dinner anyway and have them ready for the next day or freeze half.
  • Cook twice as much rice, barley or farro as you need for any given meal and freeze half of it to make fried rice, rice and beans or a soup the following week on a particularly busy night when you need the head start.
  • Toast a cup of sunflower or pumpkin seeds and keep in a jar. Your salads will be better for them; your soups will have added crunch; your snacks will be cheaper and more nutritious!
  • Use a whole bunch of parsley or cilantro to make a quick, savory sauce with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar. Stir in some thick yogurt for a creamy version. Having a flavorful component like this on hand means a plain bowl of rice or beans or a fried egg turns into a meal in no time.
  • Make chicken or any other meat, fish or vegetable stock and freeze.

Free Yourself from Strictly Following a Recipe & Learn to Improvise and Substitute.

The more you cook—and you will be cooking (!)—the easier and more fun it is to substitute and adapt as you go. Families of vegetables such as brassicas and alliums have certain common characteristics that in many cases let you substitute one for another. However, there is no real shortcut to learning how to do this so experiment as much as you can—you’ll have plenty of opportunity. Here are a few general guidelines to get you started.

Root vegetables love to be roasted as do brassicas like kohlrabi, cauliflower, romanesco, Brussels sprouts and broccoli. Cut up, tossed with a little oil and salt and roasted in a single layer, they are delicious as is or can serve as the foundation for soups, mashes, salads, etc.

Onions, like their allium compatriots, shallots, scallions, leeks and garlic, are pungent raw and quite sweet cooked. If you don’t have an onion by all means use a leek, though leeks are sweeter and you might add a little acidity to balance it out and leeks are not so good raw. Scallions (green onions) and shallots can be substituted for onions and vice versa in many recipes, raw or cooked.

Sweet potatoes, potatoes, celery root, rutabagas and turnips and sometimes winter squash can often stand in for one another in mashes, gratins, soups and stews.

Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, spring rabe and romanesco, all brassicas, have similar flavors and behave similarly in many dishes, though certainly not all. Mashed cauliflower is delicious but I would not mash Brussel sprouts.

Leafy greens are eminently substitutable. Chards, beet greens, kale and collards, are all good raw (very thinly sliced) when young and tender. They behave quite similarly when cooked and can be mixed and substituted for each other at will. Turnip, radish, and mustard greens are all tender and often interchangeable, though radish tops are a bit fuzzy raw. Make sure to blanch those.

Get Good at a Handful of Dishes that Showcase most any Vegetable.

It’s not so hard to keep up when you have a handful of recipes that can accommodate most any vegetable and in a variety of combinations.

A simple frittata elevates most vegetables, from leafy greens to peppers, peas, herbs, potatoes and both summer and winter squash.

Pan-fried vegetable fritters/savory pancakes/patties transform mounds of vegetables of all kinds into savory nuggets. Broccoli with parmesan, leftover mashed potatoes, leeks and plenty of parsley, rutabaga and carrot latkes, Japanese-inspired cabbage pancakes with scallions, sesame oil and soy sauce. . .

Fried rice with loads of finely chopped vegetables; simple Thai-style coconut milk curries; and soups and stir-fries, of course, are all good vehicles for delicious CSA produce.

A quick, stove top version of mac ‘n cheese with whatever vegetables you have, chopped finely, never fails to be devoured.

Finally, recipes can often accommodate way more vegetables than they call for. Perhaps a recipe calls for 1 lb of pasta and 3 cups of vegetables. Invert that ratio and use ½ lb of pasta and 6 cups of vegetables or just add more vegetables and have plenty of leftovers. You’ll figure out how to make such changes and have recipes and tips work for your particular selection of produce.

Get comfortable making a few of these dishes and make them your own, with different spices, herbs, cheeses.