Last Saturday's Kidcentric Day was simply magical. There were Olympic torch lightings and tricky dice-balancing challenges with the Lansdowne Library crew, cork-boat making and races with sisters Marty and Helene, Mr. Carlie and his bins of musical instruments for the kids to try out, a drone demo, pint-sized joke tellers and singers at the open mic show, monarch butterflies brought by Ann of Winged Wonders Education, soccer shenanigans and team signups with the Lansdowne Boys and Girls Club, kids' games with bean bags and hula hoops, bubbles, super soakers in the wet tent to cool down, photos by John Green, and even a big red fire engine from the Lansdowne Fire Department. The kids had fun, parents and adults loved watching them enjoy themselves, and everyone was in a good mood, despite the heat.
It's the little things in life that make a community great, isn't it?
Weekly: Big Sky Bread, Frecon Farms, Freeland Market, Fruitwood Farms, Green Zebra Farm, The Icery, Kia's Cakes, Poniton Farm, and Wilsons Curiously Good Foods. Biweekly: Creative Shepherd Farm, Mediterra, Mitchell & Mitchell Wines, MoJo's Pop Co., South Mountain Creamery, Taste of Puebla, and Vera Pasta. Soap: Kiss My Soul Naturals. Special: The Cottage Kitchen.
No, you aren't in Groundhog Day. This week you'll see (mostly) the same folks you saw last week because July gave 1/3 vendors the fifth Saturday too and now that we've flipped the calendar to August (shout-out to anyone still using paper calendars!), we're back to the regular 1/3 vendor schedule. Got that?
To those who asked about milk and eggs, South Mountain Creamery is back this week, and Creative Shepherd often has a few bottles of the white stuff and cartons of eggs for those who show up early.
One of the surprises at last week's Market that we hope will be repeated this week was strawberries from Frecon Farms. We know! Apparently there's a strawberry whisperer in among Frecon's suppliers. We're hoping for more this week (please, oh, please!), and we've been promised a second wave this fall; the whisperer apparently is using hoop-houses to protect a fall-ready crop of the strawberries from this stinkin' heat.
One Tomato, Two Tomato
It's hard to beat a freshly sliced or chunked up raw tomato in August. A salted saucerful has been our lunch more than once recently. You can, of course, cook with them, too. Deb of Smitten Kitchen makes sure you'll never run out of recipes -- she's collected 44 tomato-based dishes and conveniently located them on her website in one neat place. Some of the offerings include eggplant with yogurt and tomato relish, naked tomato sauce, herbed tomato and roasted garlic tart, tomato salad with crushed croutons, and, our favorite, slow-roasted tomatoes, which put sundried tomatoes to shame. There's no need to stick with just one website, of course. Cowboy tomato jam is a sweet/spiced/spicy condiment that goes great on top of roasted chicken and pork, a bagel with cream cheese, or a cracker. Sandwiched inside a grilled cheese sandwich, it provides a zing that we didn't know grilled cheese needed until now.
As much as we love sharing seasonal recipes with readers of Fresh Picks, we're also pragmatic about how much energy anyone (particularly us) has to whip up something unique and tasty -- every single day. This week, we want to focus on what you can pick up from the Market and, with a minimum of fuss and bother, turn into a quick meal.
The simplest (and our favorite) method is to act like you're on a picnic along the Seine even if you're eating in your air-conditioned dining room. Pick up a sizable loaf (even sliced, if you want) from Big Sky Bread; some cow's milk cheese from Creative Shepherd Farm and one of Wilsons Curiously Good Foods' beer cheeses; some salami, pâté, or other charcuterie from Freeland Market; and tomatoes and fruit from the produce vendors. Wilsons CGF also has fresh low-fat chicken salad with a creamy, spicy dressing that is delicious straight from the container or piled onto bread. Mediterra's balsamic vinegar is a sophisticated addition to cheese or fresh fruit. With these goods in hand, all you'll have to do is put it out with some knives and spreaders and, voilà, you're done. Wash it all down with one of Mitchell & Mitchell Wines' chilled sweet or semi-sweet offerings and you've got a spectacular summertime dinner.
Many folks have been inquiring about when we will have the August 27 Community Day applications. The answer is: right now. Print out this page from the Market website and be sure to read all the details on the form; there are several dos, don'ts, and can'ts to be aware of. Spots cost $30 and applications are due August 17, though spots often sell out before that deadline and earlier submitters are given preference.
They Are the World
On Saturday at 6 pm, Lansdowne's First Presbyterian Church welcomes the Matsiko World Orphan Choir for an hour-long concert that includes singing, dancing, and hearing the stories of the members, who come from India, Peru, Liberia, and around the world. The choir is part of the International Children's Network (ICN), which supports organizations dedicated to ending the cycle of poverty in third-world nations. In addition to educational support, the ICN provides food, clothing, school supplies, medicine, and other needs for these children. There is no admission charge but a goodwill offering to support the choir would be welcomed and appreciated.