Schlafly Farmers Market
Schlafly Bottleworks, Southwest Ave, Maplewood MO
Wednesday, July 19th
I am an omnivore. There was a time maybe 15 years ago more or less that I was a vegetarian (for a few years). I guess I could call myself a “flexitarian”. I heard this term recently and I thought it was appropriate and clever. I enjoy many cuisines, methods of food preparations and most dietary preferences. I prefer “real food”. And real food can be prepared and enjoyed in a multitude of ways. I don’t do it intentionally, but I do notice in the summer months I tend to be more vegetarian. As an omnivore, I don’t miss the meat as much and I tend to “fill up” and be really satisfied with all of the summer produce.
I have been enjoying more summer salads and sides. I have been cooking large quantities of some vegetables and then reheating them for a few meals during the week. The huge pot of fresh green beans, with onions and potatoes have been a hit. We add smoked and fresh hocks or bacon, bay leaves, salt and pepper. A few days ago I had a bowl of this dish for lunch. Add a few slices of tomatoes, an ear of corn and a glass of iced tea. WOW! That’s a favorite summer supper for me.
Green beans with onions, artichoke hearts, an Italian dressing and fresh grated parmesan cheese baked in a casserole dish make a great side as well. Cold green bean salad (green and wax beans) in a vinaigrette have been a tried and true summer side for generations.
Cold Corn Salad has been a favorite for the last several summers. We get a lot of corn at the farmers markets that we manage. We freeze and pressure can as much as we can. We eat fresh corn on the cob several times a week. Don’t we all find ourselves invited out and need to take a dish to a few potlucks and parties during the summer months? I always look for a recipe that is going to be quick, easy, delicious and that uses fresh market ingredients. If the corn has been sitting around for a few days and is beginning to get a little starchy, making a corn salad or corn soup is the best way to use it up.
**Fresh Corn Salad**
(serves 6 as a side dish)
Cut kernels off of 5 or 6 ears of corn (about 4 cups)
Blanche the kernels in boiling water for a minute or two, rinse in cold water and drain.
In large bowl add- ½ large green pepper diced and about 1/3 cup diced yellow onion.
Stir in corn.
Add 1 tsp sea salt, fresh ground pepper
About ¼ to 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (to your taste preference)
The juice of 1 lime
A generous drizzle of good olive oil.
Stir all ingredients together, cover and chill. Before serving, taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
Just before serving add 1 diced, ripe avocado and stir gently.
Optional- add feta or cojita cheese before serving.
Keeps well in the fridge for a day or so.
Another really easy, refreshing summer salad that I enjoy (with variations) is a cucumber, peach and/or melon salad. Tonight I used 1 large, ripe peach and ½ of a very small, ripe cantaloupe. The mélange was superb.
**Cucumber Peach (or melon) Salad**
(serves 4 as a side dish)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
2 large peaches, peeled and diced, about 1 ½ cups
(or cantaloupe or mix of both peach and melon)
¼ cup finely diced yellow onion
1 TBLS finely diced fresh basil
Dash of sea salt and grind of fresh pepper
Drizzle of olive oil
Drizzle of good quality balsamic vinegar
Stir all ingredients together. It will create a thick, syrupy sauce)
Cover and chill.
Will keep for at least a day in the fridge.
As soon as we get watermelon at the market which could be anytime, I will share a favorite Watermelon Tomato Salad recipe.
Meanwhile I also wanted to take the time to share the mustard formula that I have been using for the last several years. I have been enjoying the mustards that I made a month or two ago. Making mustard is not difficult. And one does not need a lot of special ingredients. Homemade mustard flavors and consistencies can be greatly varied. I am going to share my favorite formula. I use this as a base for different mustard “flavors”.
Mustard seeds (I use brown and yellow)
Ground Mustard Powder (I use McCormick or Coleman)
A liquid- I use beer
An acid- I use various vinegars
sweetener ( I use honey) and or fruit
Chopped herbs are an option
I start a new recipe/formula with a small amount of ingredients that makes about ½ cup.
In a small glass bowl. (This makes about ½ cup)
*3 TBLS mustard seeds (Coarsely ground or crushed, I use a mortar and pestle. Breaking them releases the flavors.)
*¼ cup ground mustard powder
Add the liquid.
*¼ cup beer in my formula
(If the liquid is cold, your mustard will be sharper, hotter. If the liquid is room temp the mustard will be mellower. I prefer it mellow. I use room temp beer.
Let this mixture sit for at least 10 minutes (it’s chemistry). The longer you let it set, the less hot it will be.)
Add the acid.
*1 1/2 TBLS. ( I use various flavored white wine type vinegars). You can add juice or another acid.
(As soon as you add the acid, the chemical reactions stops and you have set your mustard. You can stop here if you would like. It’s mustard.)
*1 tsp salt, ½ tsp turmeric and 1 TBLS of sweetener (honey and or jam or fruit)
Stir and cover and let set. I like it to set for a few days. Taste and add chopped herbs if you’d like, or more sweetener. Or leave as is. Enjoy.
Mix and Match the mustard seeds, ground mustard, wild mustard, liquids, acids and sweeteners. Take notes. When you find a formula that you enjoy, double the recipe and make a full cup. Mustard keeps indefinitely.
And now for homemade ketchup. This is not difficult either. But it does take a while to cook down and thicken. Ketchup spices can also be adjusted depending on the flavor profile that one enjoys most.
This formula makes just under a quart of ketchup. It keeps forever in the fridge. You can also hot water bath, can it in smaller pint or half pint jars. I only make this once or twice a season and to make it worth my while I usually double the amount of tomatoes, onions, peppers , salt, vinegar, honey, but leave the spices the same. You can taste the mixture as it cooks and add another spice bag or take out the spices sooner. There are a lot of formulas for ketchup spices on the internet. We are used to very sweet commercial ketchup. Use this as a guideline and/or make a smaller batch first.
Homemade ketchup is definitely worth the effort.
5 pounds of ripe tomatoes, chopped, no need to peel
2 cups each finely chopped onion and sweet pepper (red is preferred, but not necessary)
¼ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
4 large cloves finely chopped garlic
Put all of these ingredients in a large pot and bring to a simmer about 30 minutes. Ingredients should be soft.
Put all of these ingredients in a food mill fitted with the fine sieve. Then place back in pot.
Add ¼ cup honey (more if you desire sweeter)
Add 2 TBLS salt
Add the spice bag and let simmer for about an hour until the mixture is thick and reduced by half.
At this point, you can use a crockpot to finish the simmering and get to the final product. It does take longer.
Spice Bag- these can be varied quite a bit according to what one enjoys
In a large piece of cheesecloth put the following ingredients. Tie up and add to tomato mixture.
2 Bay Leaves
1 whole clove
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
couple of pieces of whole allspice
1 tsp of coriander seed
1 tsp black peppercorns
½ cinnamon stick
When mixture is thick remove spice bag
Add 2 TBLS Cider vinegar
Stir until desired thickness. It should make about 3-4 cups, depending on how thick you like it.
Now time for this week’s vendor list. I am still waiting to hear from a few more folks. It’s going to be quite warm. Come a support the vendors, pick up some just picked, first of the week, fresh, local, seasonal produce, figs, peaches, blackberries, pastured meats, eggs, honey, cut flowers, baked goods, cheese, tamales, South America savory and sweet pastries and more.
Farrar Out Farm
Eckenfels Family Farm
Alpacas of Troy
Rosy Buck Farm
Flower Hill Farm
Three Girls and a Tractor
The Tamale Man
Three Rivers Community Farm
Ivan’s Fig Farm
Buila Family Farm
Come enjoy live music, complimentary Schlafly beer samples and a great market.