Farmers Market Report: September 21-22, 2013
Roasted Hatch chiles, cantaloupes, bacon, and sausages
By Kate Thornberry, 3:30PM, Fri. Sep. 20
If you haven’t stocked up on roasted Hatch chiles this year, this Sunday at the HOPE Farmers Market will be your last chance. They will be roasting New Mexico Hatch chiles from Wagner Farms at the market this weekend before your very eyes; selling them for $4 a pound.
I bought several pounds last Sunday, and I am glad I got them at the HOPE Market, because the chiles themselves were very fresh and beautiful, and there were more red ones (which I am sure we all agree are prettier, and sweeter).
Windy Hill Farm, also at HOPE, has a ton of garlic for sale. I always like to buy my garlic locally when I can, because it grows around here for one thing, moreover, most of the garlic in grocery stores comes from China. The local stuff lasts longer in the fridge, too (undoubtedly because it hasn’t spent several months being shipped here from China).
HOPE has a new bakery table, Curious Confections. The new folks specialize in British baked goods, and they had a splendid maiden voyage last Sunday, selling out of many items. Scones, Scottish shortbread, Welsh buns, and other delights will be their focus. I sampled their shortbread and it was sinfully rich and delicate at the same time.
This coming will be HOPE’s East Side County Fair, which will have lots of fun activities for kids: face painting, a petting zoo, bobbing for vegetables, and kid-oriented live music.
Caeda Farms is back at the Barton Creek Market, with the most delicious “Sugar Cube” cantaloupes, as well as the best deal on gorgeous bouquets I have seen this year (only $5 each). I have bought a bouquet every week, and so far they have always included gladiolas. The gladiolas in my garden died, oh, in June probably, I couldn’t believe they were still blooming at Caeda Farm. When I asked, I was told that they were volunteers. Volunteer gladiolas, can you even believe it?
How was I able to afford a frivolity like fresh flowers? Because I signed up last week for the Barton Creek Market Bring-A-Friend Coupon. Bring a friend with you to the market, and both of you sign up at the information booth. The following week, you both get a $5 coupon. The day I got my coupon, I was the only person who had taken advantage of this awesome free money program. Obviously I need to write about it more.
The Flying Pig Provision Company (my new bacon provider) has a new variety of bacon, Ancho Chile and Espresso. Naturally I bought some, and it is amazing. This weekend they will be adding Pastrami to their lineup of smoked meats. Everything I have tried of theirs has been wonderful, definitely check these guys out.
Celtic Seafare will be selling lots of hot-smoked wild Columbia River King salmon this Saturday. Flavors will include Lemongrass, Rum and GInger; Jack Daniels Pecan Pesto; Wildflower Honey Roasted; and Sun Dried Tomato Bruschetta. I bought Lemongrass, Rum and Ginger last week and it was superb.
I would be willing to wager that the Wildflower Honey Roasted is made with Austin Honey Company Honey (their booth is directly across the aisle from Celtic Seafare). Austin Honey Company is my new favorite honey, because they always have honey-in the-comb for sale. Ever since my bee-keeping neighbor gave me a pan of honeycomb almost twenty years ago, I really crave it, and it is so nice to be able to get it. Austin Honey Company also sells beeswax for $10 a pound. I know it is used in cosmetics and in candles, but I think you can also just rub it on your furniture. I am going to have to try that.
IO Ranch Lamb, after an absence of six weeks (seems like longer) has finally got lamb sausage for sale again. This sausage is just the best, great grilled but marvelous just fried in a pan, too. I ate it everyday for lunch for a while, with fresh fermented sauerkraut and melted Gruyere from Full Quiver Farm. Sausage on a bun with melted cheese and kraut is one of the best things there is, and IO Ranch Lamb sausage, with just a hint of rosemary, is perfect eaten that way.
I know I raved about Ottmer’s Family Farm fall tomatoes last week, but I have to plug them again. I bought a couple of pounds last Saturday to make Mexican food, and, oh my, these really are the best tomatoes available at ANY of the markets. Deep red through and through, sweet, tasty and ripe, firm, and easy to slice. I ended up slicing half of them onto bread and just eating them with salt and pepper. I have to say, I think they are even tastier than the first tomatoes of spring. Look for Ottmer's at Sunset Valley.
Field Peas are coming into season right about now, and Comanche Oaks has black-eyed peas for sale, as well as fresh pomegranates. STAR Farmers Mkt. has purple hull peas for sale (already shelled), and several farmers at all markets have unshelled field peas for sale.
Two Happy Children Farm will have spaghetti squash, acorn squash, butternut squash, zucchini, eggplant, sweet Italian peppers, habaneros, jalapenos, cherry bomb peppers, okra, some tomatoes, plus yellow and red seedless watermelon.
Dai Dui will be back at the Mueller Market this Sunday after a few weeks on hiatus; so Jesse will be at the Downtown SFC Market on Saturday and Mueller on Sunday. This week the Dai Due Butcher Shop (that means, the stuff you buy cold to eat at home) will have Fresh Herb Italian Sausage ($12 lb.), Venison, mesquite and pear sausage ($12 lb.) and Jujube Oven Jam (Membrillo) for $8.
Breakfast and Lunch at the Market from Dai Due:
Sprouted Wheat Pancake with fall fruit compote and venison breakfast sausage; Biscuits and Gravy with country style breakfast sausage; Sweet Potato, Goat Cheese, and Chorizo Tamal wrapped in a collard leaf with a fried duck egg and fermented green chili salsa; Egg, Potato, and Nopal Taco with Cotija cheese and chile de arbol salsa; Sparkling Mexican Plum Lemonade; and Cafe a la Olla.
See you at the Market!