October 7, 2010 | Visit the Farmers Market online at LansdowneFarmersMarket.com | Subscribe to Fresh Picks
News for This Saturday, October 9
In truth, Bonnie has a really busy Saturday coming up, so she may not stick around the Market long, but lots of other vendors will be there all day for your shopping pleasure. Along with the regular weekly vendors (who are starting to bring pumpkins, late-season apples, and Asian pears; oh my!), alternating vendors this week include Turning Roots Farm with loads of picturesque and tempting vegetables, Wentworth Farm with cheddar and Colby cheeses and luscious butter you have to be there by 10 am to get, and Cupcake Dreams, which has been absent for far too long, but Julia returns with classic vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, red velvet cupcakes, and sure-to-go-fast autumnal pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, plus a variety of large and small pound cakes. Well, thank goodness! Also back this week is Donna Howard of Spotted Hill Farm, who is always happy to give newsletter readers a deal on something. This week it's $1 off shampoo; just mention this "ad" and save. She'll also have those popular felted wool soaps in a whole variety of colors plus tins of Fair Trade shea butter. Although nothing is more consternating this time of year than seeing Christmas decorations in department stores, the Market only has a few more weeks left (really! only five to go!), so don't put off any gift shopping you plan to do among our vendors. If you want to give felted soup, buy it now!
Speaking of champs, how 'bout them Phillies? As the boys of summer again carry their season into the fall, let's root them on with another Market Buck giveaway for demonstrating your Fightin' Phils spirit. But this time instead of just showing up at the Market Manager tent wearing something with a Phillies logo, to get a Market Buck you also need to bring a donation of a couple of items for the community food bank. (If you saw through this as a shameless attempt to paint the Market Phillies red while actually giving out the Market Bucks for food donations, you're just imagining things.) In fact, we'll be collecting items for the food bank every week till the end of the season just to give it a nice boost before the really cold weather sets in, so bring a bag or box of nonperishables -- rice, beans, soup, pasta, sauce, peanut butter, etc -- to us and we'll get it to where it's needed and give you a Market Buck too.
Finally, Community Day. The last one of the season is coming up on October 23 (that's the same day as the Fall Festival), and you can get an application here or at the Market Manager tent until we run out (which is why downloading one is the safest bet). The deadline for application submission is October 16, but if you wait until after about the 12th to send one in, you'll probably be shut out, so for goodness sake, please just do it now and save us all the agita of having seven applications arrive on the 16th when there are only three spots left, which forces us to make some hard choices. Really, that's no good for anyone, and Community Day is supposed to be fun.
Scrub, peel, and 3/4-inch-cube four or five white potatoes, cover with water, cook until just tender, then drain. While the potatoes cook, chop up the white and light green parts of one large leek, then wash carefully a couple times to rid it of pesky trapped grit. While your knife and cutting board are out, chop up three peeled carrots and two stalks of celery reasonably small. Melt a generous dollop of butter in a Dutch oven or deep, heavy pan, and add the leeks first and then the carrots and veggies after the leeks have started to soften. Cook that combo a few minutes, then add a cup or so of chicken or vegetable broth, just to cover the veggies, and simmer until the carrots are tender. Add the potatoes, a 3-inch sprig of rosemary, and a 5-inch sprig of fresh thyme (or a pinch of each dried if your herb bed is even sadder than ours), and then enough milk to almost cover the whole lot of veggies, potatoes, and herbs. (We used nonfat milk but then added some half and half too, but use whatever you have on hand.) Salt and pepper this conglomeration to taste, plus add a generous pinch of cayenne, which you will much appreciate as a soft glow at the back of your throat when mealtime comes. Heat this gently for another half hour or so, stirring occasionally, until it's all combined and happy together, then remove the herb sprigs. Now, for the crazy ingredient from our family's tater soup. While the vegetable-potato-milk combo is heating through, melt about half a tablespoon of vegetable shortening in a skillet. Don't use butter, folks; use solid vegetable shortening, like Crisco. Why? Because that's what Nana used, and she knew her way around shortening. Once it's melted, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of plain old flour and stir it around well. Keeping the heat fairly high, continue to stir the flour and melted shortening together until it forms, well, blobs, then keep cooking the blobs until they brown, stirring occasionally. The idea here is to really brown the flour, until it smells nutty and cooked and almost burned really. This isn't a roux by a long shot; it's just browned flour, which we have a hunch was supposed to substitute for meat in a frugal family's soup, fooling the palate into thinking that some tasty bits of smoked bacon or ham had been added somewhere along the line. So, brown your flour then add it to the hot and creamy soup (it will sizzle nicely as it hits the liquid), and then take a submersible blender or a potato masher (our choice) and smash the potatoes a bit, but don't get carried away -- you want to leave some chunks. Taste it for salt and pepper and then dish it into shallow bowls. If you want to make your family really happy, you'll serve this thick soup with toasted whole-grain bread slathered with jam or fruit butter. The sweet of the fruited-up toast is a perfect counterpoint to the savory of this unpretentious yet delicious soup. If you try this soup -- and why wouldn't you? -- please let us know what you think and how you tweaked it for your own purposes.
Featured This Week
Artist of the Week: Anyone who knows Maura Williams personally can attest that she is a very attentive and genuinely interested person. When you talk, she listens, really listens, and if you've changed your hair or glasses, she'll notice and remark on it. Maura gives the same attention to her photographs -- often of local flora and landscapes -- as she does to her friends and clients (she's a physical therapist as well as a photographer). You can bet that when she takes a photo, she's considered the subject from several angles and vantage points and settled on the best one before she presses the shutter. It's clear from the arresting results.
Musicians of the Week: The Fiorenza-Dowlin duo refers to itself as "the Spinal Tap of acoustic musicians," which is all we have to go on because computer problems are keeping us from further accessing their site. That said, the music at the Market has been unbelievably good the past few weeks, so if by some chance these two are hilariously bad, we'll grin and bear it and tip them anyway. We're already well ahead of the game.
Upcoming Local Events
Movies at Cinema 16:9
Allison Mars Project at 2312 Garrett
Stevie Coyle at Concerts at the Beach House
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