The Austin Chronicle

Farmers Market Report: July 27-28, 2013

By Kate Thornberry, July 26, 2013, 10:35am, On the Range

We have gotten just barely enough rain this summer to keep the farms from completely burning up, so the bounty is still pouring in (the cool spring we had didn’t hurt either!).

Tomatoes are still going strong, especially for the farmers north of us; cucumbers are at their peak (it is a good time for pickling); and eggplants and peppers are doing well. The figs have just about ended, but there are still green beans to be had. The sweet onions are done drying, and are everywhere (both Bermudas and 1015s). Braune Farm’s tomatoes have been photographed and featured in this space more than any others this summer, because they are so gorgeous. There is a rumor that Richardson Farms will have the first of the new crop of popcorn this weekend. I don’t know if you have read about the dangers of microwave popcorn, but reading about them got me to start making popcorn the old-fashioned way again. Big Surprise: it takes just about the exact same amount of time to make organic local popcorn in a frying pan, topped with real butter, as it does to microwave a bag of Deathcorn. Huh. It makes me wonder why I ever started using microwave popcorn? (Maybe it was just the novelty?) The big news this week is that Lightsey Farms has brought in the first of the hard cooking pears. These are the pears you want to use for making a pear pie, canned pears, a rustic pear tart, pear bread, pear butter, or anything where pears are cooked. The sweet supermarket Bartlett pears are great for eating out of hand, but try to cook with them and you end up with a soppy mess, they are just too juicy. Our local Texas hard pears are just so much better for baking; I can’t wait to make some pear butter. Or – maybe Stephanie McClenny will have some pear butter at Confituras in the coming weeks? As a canner myself, I kind of hate to admit it, but it is slowly dawning on me that it is better economy to buy a jar of preserves from Stephanie, than buy a flat of fruit, can it, and then fail to eat it fast enough. 42 jars of home made jam in the pantry isn’t that great of an idea if you only use 12 jars a year. This week Confituras will have blueberry basil jam, celeste fig lavender marmalade, bourbon brown sugar peach preserves, tomato confit, and persian lime curd. The STAR Farmers Market stand had rare green grapes last weekend; STAR also makes a terrific fresh table salsa. Tomatillo Heaven Salsa also sells a wonderful fresh salsa made with an entire avocado in each jar. (Barton Creek, Funkytonk). I believe this is the week that Celtic Seafare is at the Barton Creek Market. Personally, I can’t imagine a better breakfast than a bagel with their salmon, washed down with some of Casa Brasil’s cold-brew coffee. Dewberry Hill Farm (Really Good Chicken) will be at both the Downtown Republic Square Market and the Sunset Valley Market this Saturday.

2 Happy Children farm continues to have the sweetest melons ever this weekend. I have become addicted to buying a watermelon every week, and I’m getting one this weekend too! 2 Happy Children will be at both the Barton Creek Farmers Market and the Cedar Park Farmers Market this Saturday. Dai Due breakfast and lunch at the market this weekend:

French Toast with Peach Syrup served with Country Style breakfast sausage; Rabbit, Chorizo and Potato Hash with onions and a fried egg; El Deguello! Bean and cheese quesadilla with a fried egg, ranchero sauce, chorizo, bacon, onion, crema, and queso fresco;  Pork and Butternut Squash Picadillo Taco with cortido and ancho salsa;  Cafe a la Olla Mexican coffee with molasses, brown sugar, and spices; Wild Grape Soda.

See you at the Market!

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