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July 24, 2008 | Visit the Farmers Market online at

Market News for This Saturday, July 26

Produce is about at its peak now, and the vendors' tables are groaning under the abundance. As proof, Fruitwood Farms will be expanding to its full size of three tents starting this week. Still, it's been the early birds who've been getting the watermelons and cantaloupes, and those ethereal grapes will be along in the next couple of weeks and they disappear like that, so don't sleep in too long or head for the shore too early or you'll miss out on some great stuff.

The big news this week is that the car clubs VW Enthusiasts of Delaware Valley and the Old City Oil Drippers will be bringing a couple dozen vintage vehicles to the Market just for fun. Older restored and being-restored Volkswagens will snuggle up with a few newer models at the east end of the parking lot, right "behind" the Farmers Market. Take note: the Lansdowne Avenue entrance will be closed this Saturday. Please enter on Owen Avenue or park on the street, which is probably the safest bet.

Lansdowne's own Mission Burrito will also be putting in an appearance this Saturday, plus the next two Markets. Recently nominated for best of Delco for their terrific brunch, MB will be offering breakfast tortas and burritos, plus chips and soda. With these additions and Minicakes' small bites (did you try that cheesecake? man, it's good!), there's been no better time to come to the Market hungry.

One very generous Market appreciator has donated another table and umbrella, plus eight -- yes, eight! -- chairs, which we scatter about, so there's now plenty of places to sit for a spell and relax. Our tired old bones thank you, anonymous donor!

The Growing Gift Basket has topped $850 with recent additions of a $25 gift certificate from Jasco Jems, a framed kids' book illustration from Sylvia Nunez, and a necklace from Ronni Liebert. This is the last week to buy raffle tickets for $1 each or six for $5. Next week the price goes up a little. We told you that would happen.

Cucumbers are a favorite of ours. They're not much nutritionally, but they're plentiful (ie, cheap) and exceedingly low-cal, and not much smells fresher. We grew up eating them by the bushel -- in every summer salad, on most sandwiches, and in a homey PA Dutch dish we knew as creamed cucumbers. Now, there are dozens of recipes on line for creamed cukes in sour cream or mayo, but this is a little different, with the "cream" coming from evaporated milk, that old-timey staple, to create an unusual sweet and sour side dish. Give it a try before you scoff. Peel two or three cucumbers, leaving some stripes of green skin for pretties, and then slice them pretty thin, discarding the ends. Also thinly slice about a quarter of a large sweet onion (one of the candy onions from the Market would be great) or two or three scallions, both green and white parts. Put a cup of evaporated (not condensed) milk into a small bowl and add 2 to 3 Tb sugar and about a third of a cup of cider vinegar, and then stir. Taste it and add more sugar or vinegar to brighten the sweet or sour aspect, then add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the cream over the cukes and onions and refrigerate for at least an hour, till it's good and cold; stir before serving. This is a fairly liquid salad, so you may want to serve in small dishes. If you're only partly sold on this or want the diet version, try replacing the evaporated milk with two thirds of a cup of cold water and do everything else the same. They're not creamed but they're still cool cucumbers.

After-Market Add-On

The final film of Lansdowne Sofa Cinema's summer session is this Saturday, July 26, at 6:00 and 9:00 pm at the Baptist Church at Lansdowne and Lacrosse Avenues. The movie is the delightful and much-lauded Cinema Paradiso, which takes place in Italy, a while ago. In case Torino and Amalfi aren't in the cards for your summer vacation this year, this film makes a great quickie getaway in both place and time. Tickets are available at the popcorn stand at the Farmers Market, at Noel Schmidt's Furniture, and at the door.

Planning will soon start for the fall film series, and they could use some help. It's movies, it's popcorn, it's fun! Save your seat with Lansdowne Sofa Cinema by letting them know you're interested in volunteering.

Free Musical for Kids Tonight

Children’s theater is a boon. It gives the little ones something different to look forward to, and it provides the parents with a low-impact evening out. Tonight, Thursday, July 24, A Year with Frog and Toad will be presented at the Lansdowne Friends School. The familiar characters of cheerful Frog and grumpy Toad have a calendar’s worth of adventures in this songful take on the children’s classic. Show is at 7:00 pm at Lansdowne Friends School, 110 N. Lansdowne Avenue.


The Lansdowne Farmers Market takes place every Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm in the parking lot next to 28 North Lansdowne Avenue, rain or shine.

Visit our sister market, the Oakmont Farmers Market, Wednesday afternoons in Havertown for more local produce, bread, meat, and other products.

Featured This Week

Business of the Week: The good news is the Peacock Collection Antiques will be bringing an eclectic mix of the store's charming vintage merchandise (linens, housewares, collectibles, and decorative items) to the Market. The bad news is that the shop, at 213 W. Baltimore Avenue, in that little strip of storefronts, is closing by the end of September. Boohoo. To make us all feel a little better, owner Claudia Bibber is having a Christmas in July sale at the shop, featuring her vast collection of cheery yuletide goods, including new store stock (unsold and unused) from the 1940s.

Artist of the Week: Robert L. Jefferson is a painter and illustrator who is a member of, among other groups, the Artist Guild of Philadelphia. His work includes portraits, historic buildings, inspirational themes, and children's book illustrations, and is executed with a deft and knowing hand. He'll be bringing prints of some of his favorite pieces to the Market and says they'll have appeal for all ages.

Musician of the Week: The Mansfield Brass is known for meeting under the streetlights of Gladstone Manor and serenading unsuspecting but ultimately grateful residents. With most of the group's members actually from Lansdowne, the "Hey, I know that guy" factor will be high.

Check out what’s coming in the weeks ahead, music- and art-wise, by visiting our continually updated on-line schedule.


Upcoming Local Events

Karaoke Night at Regency Cafe
Thursday, July 24, 7:00 to 9:00 pm

Film: Cinema Paradiso at Lansdowne Sofa Cinema
Saturday, July 26, shows at 6:00 and 9:00 pm. A wonderful film about love, growing up, leaving home, loss and success in a small hamlet in Italy.

Cow Pie Bingo sponsored by the Lansdowne Boys and Girls Club
Saturday, August 2, 12:00 noon
Come and see if the cow deposits a “chip” on your square and win! To buy a chance, call Dennis at (610) 623-8031.
Party is free, chances for bingo are $10 each
Green Avenue, across from Penn Wood High School

Community Day at the Lansdowne Farmers Market
Saturday, August 9, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Promote your business, organization, club, candidate, famous home cooking, or whatever to the crowds at the Market! Sell or give away products, hand out marketing material, see and be seen. Spot are $20 each and space is limited. Download the application here, and get ready for a fun time.

Click for a complete listing of upcoming local events.