Saturday, April 17, 2010
I love farmer's markets, or the idea of farmer's markets - fresh local produce brought directly to you, the consumer, at the height of ripeness. Although, alas, many "farmer's markets" don't fit that bill. There is a farmer's market in the park across from my office every Wednesday during the summer. But the farmers are in short supply. It's mostly prepared food vendors - local restaurants setting up stands to sell hot lunches to the business crowd. There is one token purveyor of produce (although with lots of pies and breads and cookies) but it depresses me so to see the bananas and oranges offered for sale there, and wondering where New Jersey's orange groves and banana plantations are. Local produce????
But the farmer's market in nearby Montclair, NJ is a fabulous one - a shining example of all that a farmer's market should be. I wait each year for it to open, usually in June. But my run-in with the "seasonal produce" google gadget made me realize I had read somewhere that there was a spring farmer's market open in Montclair.
So I went over this morning. Yes, there were two local vendors there. One was selling freshly made Polish food - sauerkraut, stuffed cabbage, kielbasa, some other meats, pierogies, etc. The other was a farm vendor. Sure enough, his only fresh produce was lovely asparagus, but he also had fresh eggs, grass-fed meats, freshly-made cheeses, his own tomato sauces. Their sauces are lovely - made with fresh ingredients and spices, with no preservatives or additives, no sugar, no HFCS. I especially love their vodka sauce which is a standard tomato sauce but with the addition of vodka (naturally) and heavy cream. I nearly bought a jar before I remembered I was avoiding nightshades for the time being. :-)
But I did buy some grass-fed ground beef, some fresh asparagus, and a container of the Polish sauerkraut. I began trying to quiz the vendors about how the sauerkraut was made but they hadn't a clue. They did assure me that it was made by a Polish lady using old-fashioned Polish methods. Well shades of Dr. Kwasniewski - I figured it was far better than supermarket sauerkraut and bought some of that too.
And as I was driving home I got the email that my Real Food order was in, so I just went right on to pick up my order of 3 dozen pastured eggs, 1 quart of grass-fed heavy cream, and two packages of dog food meat (beef ground up with all the bones, blood and organs) for my collie, Bran.
So all in all it was a good morning's haul, and I'm less peeved now about my google gadget. I had delicious orange pancakes for breakfast (sour cream, an egg, a pinch of salt, some baking powder, a rounded spoonful of coconut flour, a rounded tbsp of low-sugar orange marmalade, and some water to make it the right consistency) with some Whole Foods bacon, I have two pork loin cutlets marinating right now in a pork marinade from Julia Child's "The Art of French Cooking" for dinner - maybe with some saurkraut, or fresh asparagus, and maybe some more of my caramelized onions. Tomorrow I'll do something with the grass-fed ground beef, yesterday I had delicious chicken livers with caramelized onions, as well as a great veggie (red cabbage, zucchini, mushroom) omelet with Wensleydale cheese. I feel like I've been eating like a Queen lately, and the scale has dropped a couple pounds over the last few days. Can't beat that. :-)
Pretty Chickens's Caramelized Onion recipe:
- 3-4 pounds of onions, peeled, sliced into slices 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick, then separated into rings
- 1 cup (two sticks) butter
Put one stick of butter on the bottom of a slow cooker (you can slice up into pats if you want). Then put all the onion rings on top. Then slice the second stick of butter into pats and put on top of the onions. Turn the slow cooker on to low for about 14 hours, and you will have perfect caramelized onions! Chickens's recipe did not include salt. but I *might* add a pinch of salt if I make these again.