The bounty of the spring season is just getting started, people. And we couldn't be more thrilled.
Next Week's Menus
Some people -- some very organized people -- know what their week's meals will be, in advance. We applaud them and strive to be just like them. We just don't succeed very often. Instead, we buy whatever looks fresh and inviting (asparagus! strawberries! greens! mushrooms! red onions! beets!) and wing it every single night by foraging in the fridge.
If you are the planning type or just want to make sure you get what's in season before the other shoppers beat you to it, read on.
Springtime is a green time, especially at the Market. Expect to see more green leafy things overflowing the tables -- lettuces, several kinds of kale, Swiss chard, broccoli rabe, collard greens, and beet greens still attached to their root (here's how to tell them apart). (If the person next to you asks the vendor to snap off the beet greens and just hand over the beets, be sure to pipe up, the way a friend did, and say you'll take 'em.) Our go-to recipe for any of the greens at the Market is simple. Chop or slice the greens, then wash them and shake off most of the water. Toss them into a hot pan of olive oil and chopped garlic, sprinkle with salt, cover, and let cook until the stems are fork-tender. Cooking time will vary, depending on how tough the leaves and stems are, with spinach on the shorter end of the range, chard and beet greens in the middle, and kale on the longer end. Just add a bit of water to keep the cooking going as necessary. Substitute butter for the oil and leave out the garlic, if you wish. Or, saute up some bacon, chopped pancetta, sausage, onions, etc., to give the greens an additional kick of flavor.
Preserving the Season
Reports are that we will have strawberries again this Saturday, which is great news for those who missed out on this tasty local bounty last week. The berries were too good to pass up so we bought two quarts and made the Ball Canning Jars recipe for Strawberry Preserves Deluxe. Oh, my! How good the preserves are!!! So, to make your own, mosey over to this 1974 Bowling Green (Kentucky) Daily News article for the exact same recipe as the canning company's cookbook that is on our shelf and not in your kitchen. Don't can? Well, put the majority into freezer-safe containers and keep one jar in the fridge to have with your morning toast. You'll thank us.
In case you didn't know, two vendors at the market have fresh, delicious eggs: Livengood Family Farm and Creative Shepherd Farm. So what can you do with eggs BESIDES make breakfast, quiche, baked goods, ice cream, other desserts, etc.? For something completely different, try these soy sauce-marinated hardboiled eggs adapted from the Momofuku Milk Bar restaurant cookbook. Add the marinated eggs to salads and pastas or have them on their own as a snack. They are salty with a depth of flavor that makes them more than just your average good egg.
Eating Better by Livengood
Have you checked out the white coolers at Livengood Family Farm yet? If not, you're in for a treat. Their meat and eggs are pasture-raised and organic. We are talking humane, my friends. Their mission is producing quality food to revitalize holistic, sustainable communities. But maybe their most appealing trait is that the business is family-owned and multigenerational. (Help them support their mission by voting for Livengood Family Farm on the Mission Main Street Grants website. When they get 250 votes, their application for a $100,000 small business grant from Chase will be considered.)
As for recipes, pick up some Livengood chicken or meat of your choice (no factory farming horror stories here, my dears), toss it in a little lemon and olive oil, and then grill or sauté it. Serve with your favorite sides or use it to beef up a springtime asparagus pasta dish.
This Week's Vendors
An update on Poniton Farm: Todd McAllister reports that his startup farm is still gearing up so he won't be joining us this week; watch this space for a heads up so you'll know when he'll be at the Market.
Also, Bonnie's Wondergardens will only be around in June and will be taking off in July and August. That means for now, if you want to buy your plants along with your produce and other products in a one-stop-shopping-trip experience, you have just a month left to do it. Bonnie reports that she'll have a wide variety of herbs and annual plants (including ready-to-display potted plants and flower arrangements) on hand this Saturday. Also please note that getting to Bonnie's store off Baltimore Pike will still be possible during the upcoming (and as yet unscheduled) road construction project on Scottdale Road.
Nonweekly Vendors: Creative Shepherd Farms, Kia's Cakes, Mojo's Popcorn, Spotted Hill Farm, Taste Artisanal Market, Taste of Puebla, and The Avenue Deli.
Visiting Vendor: Once-a-month vendor Relishing Grannies, a Winter Market favorite, will have a variety of homestyle pepper relishes on hand, including Mimi's Hot Stuff, Sweets' Pepper Relish, and Nana's Onion Pepper Relish. Owner Phillis Hilley is Yeadon-based and the recipes are family-tested so you know they'll perk up your taste buds on anything you try them on. If you miss Relishing Grannies on Saturday, you'll have to wait for July 4, so stock up now!
The June 27 Community Day application, available here, is due back by June 13. Don't delay -- spaces go really fast!
Until we get the next batch of LFM T-shirts printed up, you can show your support for the Market by purchasing one of our Come Chill in Lansdowne cooler bags for $5 at the Market Manager Tent. Even better, you can get two for $8 and pass one on to a friend.
It's time to start planning for the LFM Plant Exchange on June 20. As you clean out your flowerbeds of excess plants that will need a home, pot up and label your perennials with their names and their preference for sun or shade. Then, bring 'em to the Market starting at 8:30 a.m. Between 9:00 and noon, you'll be able to pick a plant in exchange for each one you donated. From noon until Market close, anyone can purchase a plant for $1. Proceeds benefit the Lansdowne Farmers Market as well as the diversity in Lansdowne area gardens.
We're still looking for help with Market setup and breakdown. If you're an early riser, come by at 7:45 to help us set up tents and the cafe and then get your shopping done early. We also welcome help at 1 p.m., when we reverse the process and pack up the shed to await the next Market morning.