MARKET NEWS for this Saturday, September 20
Guests at the Arts Festival's Taste of Lansdowne opening night reception were treated to finger foods created by borough resident Marnie Miller from ingredients largely donated by Market vendors. (Many thanks for that, vendors!) One of the more popular items was sliders made from grass-fed beef from Livengood, which Marnie topped with a compote of peaches she had cooked with jalapeno peppers, brown sugar, and white wine. The crowd was mighty impressed with that unusual combination, as we know from being the server carrying that tray and being made to feel as popular as the Beatles. This got us thinking about using peaches in savory ways, as part of the appetizer or entrée, and not just on the dessert tray.
First up, a tip for cubing peaches, which is the "shape" called for in many of these recipes. Just make a few cuts on a ripe freestone peach, then twist – genius! Once you have your cubed peaches, salsa is a great way to incorporate them into the main dish or the lead-up to the main dish (ie, the thing you keep noshing on while you're cooking so that you're too full to eat more than two bites of the entrée, which you then take as leftovers for lunch the rest of the week). This easy no-cook peach salsa is recommended for chicken, turkey, or fish dishes. A similar-but-not-identical salsa is piled onto fish that has been marinated with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to create what sounds like some killer fish tacos (scroll all the way to the bottom of that webpage for the recipe proper). The final salsa recipe is made using peaches and corn and pineapple you've already grilled, for a "next day" topping for chips and other stuff. (Try that one during the Sunday game instead of jarred salsa, and you'll feel better about having snacked for 4 solid hours.)
Because we are a big fan of foods that are packed with flavor and delivered in cylinders (hence all the sausage love in this newsletter, and you should see how excited we get around cannoli), this recipe for summer rolls with shrimp and peaches is going on the to-make list. They would be a great meal to serve soon, with friends, letting everyone assemble their own roll as you go. Seriously, why should you do all the work? If, like us, you live mostly on pasta, this vegetarian whole grain pasta dish that incorporates grilled peaches along with tomatoes and other more typical ingredients should get a try. Admittedly, it sounds a little odd, but so did salt on caramel not that long ago.
The most popular way to use peaches savorily (should be a word) seems to be with chicken. That happy Pioneer Woman lady uses quantities of legs and thighs and barbecue sauce that seem rather large for a peach whisky chicken that serves "6 to 8," but leftover chicken is never a problem, especially if it's as tasty as this sounds. Ellie Krieger's contribution to this list has an Asian flair and uses boneless, skinless breasts. Or, if you're still up for grilling, and we hope you are because fall is the best time for it (it feels much nicer to stand close to a hot grill when it's chilly than when it's in the 80's), try these balsamic honey chicken peach skewers, because unless you undercook them or burn them to a crisp, they'd simply have to be delicious.
So: peaches – not just for dessert anymore. (But if you insist on serving them for dessert, please make these peach cupcakes with brown sugar frosting post haste and deliver half the batch to the Market Manager tent Saturday morning.)
Speaking only for ourselves, the most baffling vegetable at the FM these days is okra. It's kinda odd looking – more like a seed pod than a full-fledged veggie – and it's notoriously slimy, not a quality we typically (ie, EVER) seek out in edibles. (Though we get that this very quality is what makes it so valuable in gumbo, so stop yelling that we don't get it; we get it.) If you too are turned off by the texture of okra, this tip for leaving it whole (no trimming at all!) and steaming it for a few minutes claims it removes the gooiness and turns it into a delightful thing to behold (and eat). Then you can make this side dish (okra + walnuts + a few other things + butter) and feel like you've conquered another contrary vegetable this season (having wrestled kale to the ground in 2013 and taken cabbage out at the knees in 2012).
One week away, on the 27th, is the LFM's favorite special event, Dog Day, in which we even more strongly encourage Marketgoers to bring along your best buddies of the canine persuasion, so you can -- as a family -- visit with the folks that Animal Friends of Lansdowne have lined up for the extra row. Participants include a groomer, an animal artist, and reps from Glenolden Animal Hospital, the rescue Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, and Helping Paws (a local trap-neuter-release group). The Icery will also be offering a special on doggy ice cream (more details here next week). Most notably, however, your furry pal will definitely want to participate in the famous (in our minds) Dog Parade, which kicks off at 11:30 and for which we offer small prizes and ENORMOUS bragging rights to the winners in the following categories: Showmanship, Best Dressed, Best Trick, Best Poser, Best Smile, Best Use of Tail, Funniest, and Best Kisser.
John Martin, who won August's 10 Market Bucks that go to a random volunteer, is getting himself on fine footing for a win again in September by being the only volunteer to help set up the LFM last week. Also going into the hat because they helped with breakdown at the end of the day, when it was raining (duly noted!), are Jane Miller, Marcus DiScuillo, Judy Veloski, Bill Brown, and Mark French. Thank you all!
If you want a Market Buck this week, come tell us in the Manager tent what your favorite Lansdowne event is and you'll get one. Is it the Arts Festival? The 4th of July fireworks? The Theater's Halloween Ball? Perhaps the Farmers Market ... ? Whatever it is, we want to know. Spill.
Lansdowne's Parks and Recreation Board has planned a doubleheader of big happenings this Saturday. From 9 am to noon, stop by the Twentieth Century Club for a Fall Programs Open House -- a chance to preview some of the department's upcoming Fall classes and meet the instructors. The afternoon half of this twin bill takes place down Scottdale at Hoffman Park, where the appropriately named Park Day runs from 1 to 4 pm. Activities for the whole family include a moonbounce, face painting, field games and prizes, along with refreshments available for purchase. Both events are free and open to the public. For more information, call 610-284-1493.
Turning the Corner on Business Development
Economic Development in Lansdowne is turning the corner, and the LEDC is a central force in making this happen. We are excited to bring to you monthly profiles of new developments in the central business district in our new e-newsletter and blog, Turning the Corner on Business Development. Check it out and be sure to leave a comment and let us know what you think!
FEATURED THIS WEEK
Artist of the Week
Helen Lui makes all kinds of things, as her blog makes clear. Mostly, she works with paper and yarn, creating embellished cards, boxes, and bags, plus hats, scarves, American Girl doll clothes, and other wearables (from yarn, not paper). She's new to the artist tent and will be bringing a wide variety of handmade goods, and that's always a fun combination.
Musician of the Week
Based on this recording made on Gene Shay's radio program, we expect Joy Thiessen of Sweetbriar Rose to be utterly delightful in her first appearance in the Musician tent. (Please be welcoming and tipful because we'll probably want her to come back.)
UPCOMING LOCAL EVENTS
Lansdowne Parks & Recreation Fall Programs Open House
Steve Gillette and Cindy Magsen
Visit our sister market, the Oakmont Farmers Market, Wednesday afternoons in Havertown for more local produce, bread, meat, and other products.
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