Fresh Picks
October 4, 2012 | Visit the Farmers Market online at | Subscribe to Fresh Picks

MARKET NEWS for this Saturday, October 6

Correcting Our Continuity Problem

It was a tad nippy at last Saturday's Market, and it's apt to be a tad nippy again this week, with continued tad-to-bonafide nippiness as the summer season winds to a close. Speaking of which, we are entering our final full month of Markets, with only four to go in October and then our special bonus pre-Thanksgiving Market on November 17. That's T minus five and counting. With that in mind, why not challenge yourself to try something new each of the remaining weeks? No doubt you'll find something you've overlooked for too long.

So the five-Markets-to-go thing is the bad news. The good news is that the LFM will no longer have a true off-season, since we are planning on starting those two-hour winter Markets, which you so appreciated last year, in December and carrying them monthly through April. So, calendars ready? There will be a winter Market on the third Saturday of every month that does not already have a full Market. To wit: December 15, January 19, February 16, March 16, and April 20. They will have the same loosey-goosey format as last winter, with vendors just taking spots in the lot in the order they show up and selling largely out of their trunks -- no tents, often no tables. (Maybe we should call these Black Markets since that's how they might look to drivers-by, or Flurry Markets because they're brief but busy and prone to snowstorms.) They open at 9:00 am and we're outta there at 11:00 -- so a mere two hours of brisk sales and likely brisk weather. It's just a little something to carry us all over to late May 2013.

Who's on First?

[Have we used that headline before? Probably, but we're too lazy to check.] After two weeks of mostly our 2/4 vendors, it's time to welcome back the 1/3s, namely, Amazing Acres Goat Dairy, Green Aisle Grocery, John and Kira's Chocolates, Penns Woods Winery, Provisions, and Spotted Hill Farm (Donna swears Spotted Hill will show up this week). This is ordinarily a Doe Run Farm week, but Haesel had to be elsewhere, so look for them again on October 20th. (Apologies that Farm Fromage did not make it as scheduled last week; they had van trouble.)

Green Aisle has alerted us that they are now carrying meats from a new vendor, Wyebrook Farm in Honey Brook. They'll have chicken breasts, thighs, legs, and ready-to-bake breaded strips, plus some beef, all of which is 100% pasture raised by farmer Dean Carlson. Most impressively, Green Aisle says that Wyebrook meat is "unequivocally the best we've tasted from all our local purveyors," and that's some high praise. Meanwhile, Marnie at Provisions is making goulash, chicken tikka masala, gooey butter cake, and some other baked beauties. Plus, word on the street is that caramelized onions may be on offer as a crepe filling . . .

Slow and Steady

Not that we've brought it up, there isn't much in the savory category that isn't improved by caramelized onions -- sandwiches, wraps, soups, pizza, tarts, eggs, meats, casseroles, you name it. All get a boost from the rich, sweet, buttery mellowness that comes from cooking onions slowly for a long time. But it's the "slowly for a long time" requirement that's the reason that so few of us have caramelized onions in our fridges, ready to deploy at a moment's notice. Because when you prepare them on the stovetop, you really have to allow plenty of time and not get caught up in anything else because they need some watching and stirring and mothering. In our house, we often get sucked into an episode of American Pickers or whatever and remember the onions only when we smell them burning. Well, not anymore, because we have discovered a nearly foolproof method and have actually prepared caramelized onions while asleep: the crockpot method. You can Google "caramelized onions crockpot" and find dozens of recipes, but they all pretty much boil down to this: Find yourself at least six or eight onions, such as at the Farmers Market. But they can even be older ones that are going a bit soft, as this is a great preparation for onions that are past their prime. Slice them either lengthwise from root to stem if you want them to be very limp or crosswise into thin rings if you want a bit more body. Melt a couple tablespoons each of butter and olive oil together with the crockpot on high, then add the onions and stir them around to coat. Add a little salt and some fresh thyme if you like it, then cover and turn the heat to low and go away for like 10 or 12 hours. If you're awake and around, you can stir the pot occasionally, but it's not mandatory. When they're nicely browned and, well, caramelized, mission accomplished. If there's too much liquid remaining, remove the lid, crank it up to high, and give it an hour or so to cook down, then season to taste (you can even stir in a little balsamic vinegar at this point if you want to get fancy). What you'll have created -- mostly while sleeping! -- is a couple of cups of secret-weapon molten slivers of goodness to throw into pretty much everything you eat for the next week or two. (You should know that we were well into our 20s before ever having caramelized onions, meaning we grew up deprived in ways that today's youth would find incomprehensible.)

Special Stuff

The season's final Community Day is the next to last Saturday of this month, October 20. Thus, the deadline for submitting the application is next week, or October 13. After that, it's wait until the end of June 2013. June 2013! That's nine months away -- who knows what could be happening then! Our advice: now, now, now. (FYI: We'll again be collecting food for the food bank on Community Day.)

On that same day (October 20) will be the Sweet Endings Dessert Contest, which we sincerely hope you'll enter. You just need a good recipe (original or "borrowed" and tweaked) and a couple ingredients from the FM vendors. The full rules and application to fill out and bring with your entry on the 20th are here. Worth mentioning: It's $5 to enter, and the money raised will go to the local food bank. But the first place winner will get $50 cash donated by Mike Nelson of Fruitwood Farms, who thought that a cash prize might increase interest in the contest. Here's hoping.

Finally, what fun last week's Dog Day was! There were 26 participants in the parade, and the happy crowd would have taken any of them home if permitted. The photos that John Green took of you trying to get your pooches up onto the "Great Dog" podium (and mostly failing) are right here. Go have a gander and download a couple; they're free. (Also, a thousand sorries that the dog groomer and SPCA adoption van didn't show last week. Despite inquiries, we have yet to get a good explanation for either absence. It's a mystery.)

Coming out of Darkness . . .

Have you used the Lansdowne Theater as a landmark to give directions to out-of-towners trying to get to the Farmers Market or to one of our terrific restaurant or to Cinema 16:9? Funny thing is, we all know where the theater is, but it really hadn't looked much like a theater for a long time, with that decrepit marquee that most people didn't even notice. Chances are, your guests drove right past while wondering, "What theater?" But locating the theater has gotten a whole lot easier lately with the full renovation of the historic overhang that's been happening over the summer and that culminates this Friday night, October 5, with the official relighting of the marquee during a short ceremony at 7:00 pm. After a few people say a few words and the marquee blazes to vibrant LED life (quite a change after having been dark for 25 years!), the historic theater will be open for tours for $10 per person, and all the businesses in the building -- Cinema 16:9, The Regency Café, Become Yoga, and Owen Biddle Photography School -- will be open too. (To get yourself in the mood, check out what a Google image search turns up for Lansdowne Theater. The results will impress you.)

Movie Night in Hoffman Park Tomorrow

The Lansdowne Parks and Recreation Department presents a free showing of the 2011 movie We Bought a Zoo (rated PG) in Hoffman Park at 6:30 pm this Friday. The movie begins at 6:30 pm; come early to picnic in the park!

Minority- or Women-Owned Business Certification Seminar

Register today for LEDC's upcoming small business seminar at Cinema 16:9 next Tuesday at 6:00 pm, and learn the steps necessary to apply for federal and state certification as a minority- or woman-owned business for the purpose of qualifying for government contracting opportunities. This seminar will be led by Lansdowne resident and business owner Kelli Artis. Refreshments will be provided.

Tell Us Where You Walk

The Borough of Lansdowne invites you to participate in a brief online survey to inform planning for pedestrian walkway improvements in Lansdowne's Central Business District. This survey is open to anyone who visits, works in, or lives in Lansdowne's CBD. Your participation is a vital component to this planning project and will be used to shape the overall plan. Access the survey here.


Artist of the Week

It's always a pleasure to pick up a little something from Karen Grasso of Grassroots because her items are both useful -- things like reusable shopping bags, dishcloths, scrubbies, and soap scrap sacks -- and surprisingly trendy, since the sort of thing that your grandmother made then used around her house (ie, retro home goods) are what all the hip shops are carrying now. Everything old, people, is new again.

Musician of the Week

The Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra -- well, not all of them, but a quartet anyway -- traditionally joins us in early October to promote their fall schedule. And this year is no exception. Their first concert is October 28 and will feature selections of Haydn, Berlioz, Dvorak, and Brahms, so perhaps we'll be treated to a bit of those composers' works.



Movie Night at the Park: We Bought A Zoo
Friday, October 5, 6:30 pm; Free
Hoffman Park, Scottdale Road

Relighting of the Lansdowne Theater's Historic Marquee
Friday, October 5, 7:00 pm; Free
31 N. Lansdowne Avenue
Tours of the theater available for $10

Minority- or Women-Owned Business Certification Seminar with Kelli Artis
Tuesday, October 9, 6:00-8:00 pm
$10 per business, $5 per Lansdowne or Yeadon business
Cinema 16:9, 35 N. Lansdowne Avenue

Friends of Community Cats Workshop
Saturday, October 20, 1:30-4:30 pm
Lansdowne Borough Hall, 12 East Baltimore Avenue
sponsored by Animal Friends of Lansdowne

In-Home Business Happy Hour
Presented by the LBPA
Wednesday, October 24, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
2312 Garrett, Drexel Hill
Email or for details

Lansdowne Folk Club presents The Special Consensus with guest Foxhound
Thursday, October 25, 7:30 pm; $15-$18
Lansdowne Presbyterian Church, 140 N. Lansdowne Avenue

Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra with guest conductor David Wetherill
Sunday, October 28, 3:00 pm; $5-$18
Upper Darby Performing Arts Center,
601 North Lansdowne Ave., Drexel Hill

Mozart's Requiem Choral Concert at Lansdowne Presbyterian Church
Saturday, November 10, 7:30 pm; Free
140 North Lansdowne Avenue

Do you have an event to announce?
Send your upcoming events to to have them included in this space!

View the complete listing of local events.

A Dog Day high-five
Photo by Amanda Villier.

See more market photos from John Kelly Green Photography.


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.

Newsletter Sponsors