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September 10, 2009 | Visit the Farmers Market online at | Subscribe to Fresh Picks

Market News for This Saturday, September 12

B & B
LAF Why just go bigger when you can go bigger and better? The Lansdowne Arts Festival does just that this year, its seventh, expanding to a second level of the Twentieth Century Club, adding new artists, and showcasing even more musicians and performers that would be worth paying to see but that are presented there entirely for free. The Festival takes place from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm both days this weekend, with the art show happening all day and the music and dance performances changing hourly. (The schedule is here.) If live music isn't your bag, perhaps you'd be interested in the short play performances and poetry readings at noon on Saturday and 1:00 on Sunday. The festival will also be welcoming special guests who wanted to get in on the fun, like the Philadelphia Zoo, which will be bringing a small animal petting zoo at 2:00 pm on Sunday. Food will be available from local favorites like the Regency Cafe and Mission Burrito, as well as other purveyors, and Bonnie's Wondergardens will be beautifying the front of the Club with arrangements and wreaths for sale. In past years, the Festival has triumphed despite weather challenges that have ranged from a hurricane the first year (truly) to silly-high temperatures and humidity last year. For its seventh year, the Lansdowne Arts Festival is looking at a forecast in the 70s and mostly clear both days. Now that's lucky. See ya there, right?

Meanwhile, Back at the Market
Just as the Lansdowne Arts Festival is a local sign that summer is officially out and fall is in (even when it's been 90 degrees), so is the arrival of mums at the Farmers Market. Bonnie's will have a huge variety of mums this Saturday, from small pots, to window box size, to hanging baskets, plus winter pansies and some cold weather vegetable seedlings, like kale and cabbages. Shoppers have also been snatching up her $5 bouquets, and there will be plenty of those, plus some larger, specialer $15 ones in case you're feeling the need for something else a bit bigger and better.

Speaking of special, two luxury food items are going to debut at the Market this weekend, so bring a few extra dollars to take advantage of this gourmet opportunity. First, John's Minicakes will be offering duxelles, which John describes as a kind of mushroom foie gras. It's basically a highly reduced paste made of mushrooms and seasonings that is rich and complexly flavored. It's used primarily as a garnish in dishes like omelets or pilaf, as a topping for crostini or baked potatoes, or wrapped along with beef in puff pastry to make Beef Wellington, but it can be used to add an earthy goodness to many foods. If you're interested but are not quite sure what to do with it, John will first give you a taste and then make some suggestions for using it. Right next door, Mark of Natural Meadows Farm will be bringing smoked capons this week, pushing the luxury meter way up there. The capons are fully cooked, not frozen, and ready to eat. They surely make a distinctive addition to a meal. Throw in a nice baguette from the Regency or Wildflour and some of Flint Fill Farms' fresh goat or cow's milk cheese, and you'll be feeling very sophisticated indeed.

Not so high-falootin' but nonetheless delicious, sweet potatoes will be coming to Market this week at Fruitwood Farms' stand. That's the good news. The howlingly bad news is that nectarines are completely over and peaches are in their last throes. Good thing that there were about six different varieties of apples available last week (with more coming all the time), plus watermelons and cantaloupes; it's making the decline of the stone fruits a bit more bearable. Now's also the time to buy a bunch of red peppers and make yourself a big batch of roasted peppers at home, which is messy but not hard and has wonderful results. You can make them as garlicky as you want, then throw them in salads, on pizzas, in sandwiches, etc, etc. Once you've made your roasteds, take it to the next level with homemade roasted red pepper hummus.

Farm Fresh Express will be back this week (phew!), but this is the last Saturday for several weeks that Greenwood Kitchen will be at the Market, returning October 17, so stock up on their packaged crackers and macaroons to get you through the hiatus. (Some of their products are also available at Cinema 16:9 or at the Swarthmore Coop.) Treat yourself this week to one of their wheatgrass shots, which they handcrank on site when you order it and then deliver with an orange slice chaser. The juice is grassy (no duh, huh) but also surprisingly sweet and terrifically good for you. Have it before your coffee and feel the difference starting the day with something gentler than a jolt of caffeine makes. Then you can have your coffee.

Meg Votta of Sycamore showed us how to make gazpacho last week, and it was inspiring. She did it right in front of the crowd and didn't measure a thing, and the result was frankly awesome — fresh and flavorful and vaguely citrusy with a little kick. Here's her list of ingredients so you can try it yourself at home: tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper, poblano pepper, scallions, lemon basil, parsley, lime juice, Tabasco sauce, salt, and black pepper. Throw it all in a blender, whirr, taste, adjust, serve. The winner of the $25 gift certificate to Sycamore was Aaron Olson. Congratulations, Aaron!

Cats and Dogs
The Market will be host to special guest Animal Friends of Lansdowne this week, who will have a couple of kitties available for adoption, plus their AFL bandanas, mugs, and other merchandise for sale, the profits from which go to buy pet food, pay vet bills, and meet other expenses incurred while helping critters. It's a great cause and fits right in with the local focus of the Market.

And remember that Dog Day is only two weeks away, on September 26. We thought we'd have licensing on site, but it seems that won't happen because the tags aren't available till January. The dog parade is scheduled for 11:30, and we'll be offering prizes (gift certificates to Bone Appetite Barkery) for Best Costume (should your pup choose to wear one), for Best Poser, and for one randomly drawn parade participant. Market photographer John Green will be snapping shots of all the entrants also, so practice getting your canine pal to smile for the camera, or at least to face it.

Three Reminders
Fox 29's Hot List contest closes September 11, meaning this is the last week to vote for local entrants. Put it off no longer. Go now and cast your ballot (okay, click your choice) for Farm Fresh Express for Best Gourmet Grocery, the Regency Cafe for Best Coffee Shop, Cinema 16:9 for Best Indie Theater, and Mission Burrito for Best Burrito. Got another email address or three? You can vote from those too — it's completely legit. We'll let you know here next week how they did.

Brunch at Sycamore starts this weekend, kicking off in conjunction with the Lansdowne Arts Festival and therefore being offered both Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The Saturday meal is a one-off though, and next week brunch moves to Sunday only, to remain there until they decide otherwise. Remember your own champagne for mimosas or Bellinis, your own vodka for bloody Marys, and your own whiskey for Irish coffee, or you'll be gazing enviously at those who did.

Some of the best photographs taken during the Lansdowne Photo Walk a few weeks back are now on display at the Regency Cafe, where they'll hang until the end of September. Seeing our little borough through the eyes of others is a treat and might even compel you to exclaim, "Hey, I can see my house from here!"

MAPThe 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

Artist of the Week: There is no artist at the Market this week, but head over the Lansdowne Arts Festival for an abundance of them.

Musician of the Week: Mary Scholz and Alec Stewart, sponsored by the Lansdowne Arts Festival.

Blog: Earthquake prediction, helmet envy, jazz.

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


Upcoming Local Events

Movies at Cinema 16:9
September 10 to 17, various times; $5 to $7.50
Sunshine Cleaning, Sin Nombre, United 93
Free cartoons, Saturday 10:00 am to noon
35 N. Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne

Higgins and Malteze at Concerts at the Beach House
Thursday, September 10, 7:30 pm; $15 or 610-626-0012

7th Annual Lansdowne Arts Festival at the Twentieth Century Club
Saturday and Sunday, September 12 and 13, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm; Free
84 S. Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne

Pray the Devil Back to Hell at The Garden Church
Sunday, September 20, 1:00 pm; Free-will offering
82 N. Lansdowne Ave, Lansdowne; 610-623-1645

Wissahickon Chicken Shack at the Lansdowne Folk Club
Thursday, September 24, 7:30 pm; $15 to $18 Twentieth Century Club, 84 S. Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne

Save The Lansdowne Day at the Lansdowne Theater
Saturday, October 3, 10:30 to 11:00 am; Free
31 N. Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne

Lansdowne Games Day at The Garden Church
Saturday, October 3, 11:15 am to 9:00 pm; Free
82 N. Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne

Click for a complete listing of upcoming local events.

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