Summer just couldn't wait for yesterday's solstice to come to Lansdowne. It jumped the gun by showing up last Saturday at the Market in the form of sweet corn, peaches, and tomatoes.
Really, what says summer more than that combo except perhaps "hammock, nap, mosquitoes"? For our money, this is the very best time of the Farmers Market season because the lovely lettuces and greens of the cool weather are still available while the hot
weather favorites are also showing up, with new delights appearing every week. (If only someone could come up with a June watermelon!)
Also popular last week was a new item at The Lansdowne Table -- black T-shirts with a round logo advertising Lansdowne's newest restaurant,
NoBL, opening next week on June 26. If things go as hoped, it will soon be as lauded and popular as its award-winning sister restaurant, Sycamore. (Why are you still here? Go get on the
mailing list and make your
reservation!) One of the interesting things about NoBL is that it will have a retail area at the front of its large space where every day you can buy items similar to those available through The Lansdowne Table at the Market.
TJ at Turning Roots says they might have cabbage this week, which might not seem like something to be excited about until we remind you that you don't necessarily have to cook
it, since, admittedly, boiling cabbage like you're the head cook at a gulag might not be the most appealing thought in hot weather. But how about using it for coleslaw or sauerkraut, which require no heat? Even if you don't like these concoctions as side dishes, they are (individually) what make a special sandwich special
(ever had the turkey special at Doyles? it's very special) and what make a subpar hotdog worth the calories.
You may already have a favorite coleslaw recipe, but some of us don't, so here are a few suggestions (we hunt and gather so you don't have to). The
Dead Simple Slaw recipe from Smitten Kitchen is a good place to start because it is indeed dead simple (also because she is a wonderfully funny and engaging writer, and if you
cook you should just be reading that well-regarded food blog anyway).
Here are a number of interesting slaw recipes, not all of which use your standard cabbage. Especially appealing are the blue cheese variety (she says try on a burger, and why
wouldn't you want to make your burger special, but just leave out the blue cheese if you don't like it) and the pickled one that's a riff on the Zabar's salad.
On to the sauerkraut. We've been known to take a bag of purchased sauerkraut to cookouts at which the quality of the hotdogs was likely to be suspect (looking at you, Mom).
But it occurs to us that showing up with a jar of homemade sauerkraut, which could pass for a legitimately thoughtful hostess gift, is probably a more socially acceptable idea.
This recipe is good for the info it gives you about what's going on when the kraut is fermenting (ie, don't freak out about the mold) but it requires a crock and makes a large batch.
This one, on the other hand, suggests using a Mason jar for a much smaller quantity and includes a few more spices. If you want to save yourself some trouble, however, wander over to
Green Aisle Grocery, where they have locally made kraut that was fermented in honey barrels and that's darn tasty. (This week, Green Aisle will also have Renaissance sausage, Asherah's vegan burgers, and Sweet Stem Farm's spare ribs.) But pick up a head of cabbage anyway. They keep for months in the fridge and we're sure you'll find a use for it.
Probably no one is counting except us, but this will be the fourth Saturday of the month, bringing back the vendors who are on the 2/4 schedule. The wildcard spot goes to Ridge Valley Farm, aka Sue Meyer and her maple syrup. Even though there is something very autumnal about maple syrup, it's actually produced in the spring: the sap runs in late March when the winter weather begins to warm and then it's boiled down to make syrup. It's an annual --
as in once a year -- process. All this is to say that you'll find the best selection of Ridge Valley products now, in both sizes and varieties of syrup, as opposed to later in the year when Sue has done dozens of markets in the area and her pickings start to get slim, since it's not like they can just make more in August when they run low. So stock up for yourself and for gift giving now while the getting's good. (If you're
looking for advice, we recommend the grade B, which is darker and more flavorful than the A.) Yellow Springs Farm is also back this week (having missed the second Saturday), with cheese made from goat's milk and that out-of-this-world caramel sauce.
And since this is a week without Provisions, get a Market Buck by stopping by the Manager tent to tell us what you're having for breakfast at the Market instead of one of Marnie's crepes or breakfast burritos.
Fourth of July Update
Lansdowne's Union Athletic Association will be at the Market both this week and next week selling tickets to the Fourth of July fireworks. As we noted last week, the Union AA is still seeking volunteers to help out with their nightly "blitzing" fundraising efforts. If you'd like to lend a hand, email Pat Arone or call her at
As mentioned last week, next Saturday's Community Day is already sold out, which is great for those who got their applications in quickly. If you missed out, our next one will be at the end of August and apps will be become available August 2. As usual for Community Day, we'll be accepting food and monetary donations for the local food bank at the Manager tent. This gives you fair warning to add some peanut butter, pasta, rice, or other useful nonperishable to your cart so you have it on hand for the 30th. It goes to a good cause.
The last Saturday of July, the 28th, will be Kidcentric Day, and since we couldn't help noticing that kids just love it when they get a chance at the microphone, one of that day's events will be a half hour or so of open mic time when any little one can get up and perform -- sing, dance, recite a poem, play an instrument, whatever. It's not a competition, just an opportunity to show off a little, and we couldn't be more excited about it.
This Sunday, the Lansdowne Arts Board presents the next installment in its Salon Sundays series at noon at Sycamore, 14 S. Lansdowne Avenue.
This month's salon focuses on art cooperatives, and features a group of artists with first-hand experience sharing and working together in studios, retail stores, and
arts venues, among other art-based endeavors. Featured speakers include Cari Brezina, Nicole Haddad, Jennifer Hoff,
Richard Prigg, Lele Tran, and moderator Stephen Wagner. The discussion takes place at noon and is entirely free, but donations are appreciated.
Klaatu Barada Nikto
Taken at face value, the 1951 version of The Day the Earth Stood Still may seem a lot like a 60-year-old science fiction film with dated special effects and characters typical of post-WWII America. However, beyond the creepy sound effects and mediocre costumes, the film still delivers a powerful and relevant message: Mankind must overcome its thirst for war or face extinction. It's this message that warrants the film's inclusion as the Lansdowne No Place for Hate Committee's free flick of the month, taking place at 7 pm next Thursday, June 28, at the Lansdowne Library. Feel free to bring your own beverages; complimentary popcorn will be provided. A discussion will take place after the film. (That header, by the way, is a famous quotation from the movie. Attend the screening to discover its meaning.)
Free Summer Meals for Kids Available
Two local churches are offering free breakfast and lunch for children under 18 throughout the summer. There are no eligibility requirements or forms to complete -- all you have to do is contact the church you would like your child to attend so that there is enough food available. Lunch will be served Wednesday through Friday at St. Paul's Lutheran Church (email Pastor Dave Anderson or call 610-622-6161), while both breakfast and lunch are served Monday through Friday at First Presbyterian Church of Lansdowne (email Pastor Nancy Holt or call 610-622-0800). The program runs through August 31. Download a PDF flyer with more details.