This last Sunday my brother and I prepared, cooked and hosted a small group of family and friends to HONOR and remember our dad in a memorial picnic. Writing the market blog has been challenging for me the last couple of weeks, but it needs to be done. The market vendors need the advertising, marketing and interest focused their way each week. The amount of work and hours that they put into growing, harvesting, cleaning, packing, driving, unloading and setting up is immense. I respect and HONOR all of the work that they do and always want to do what I can to support them and intice you, the community and customer to head our way on market days and pick up some of the first of the week, just picked produce, pastured meats, eggs, honey and all that the market vendors have to offer. The market is a great community event and a place that relationships are formed, but first and foremost for these folks, it is a place of commerce.
My dad was a good man that loved to tell stories and share food. He was an avid gardener, fisherman and hunter. He loved to cook. He loved to make ice cream, or put us in the back of the pickup truck on hot summer days and take us to get ice cream at a local dairy. He loved to take evening drives and look for wildlife along the roadside meadows. An evening swim in the local creek was a treat after a long summer afternoon of work and play. Ice cold watermelon, peach juice streaming down our arms, homemade jelly from summer fruits are favorite memories. Fish fry’s with cousins, BBQ’s, a platter of corn on the cob for supper with a plate of tomatoes, cucumber and onions in vinegar and sugar, cobblers and that homemade ice cream will forever be my go-to summer highlights. The memories that he created with my brother and me will always be with us. They have made us who we are in many respects. He is still in our being, our very fiber. And with this, I hope that ALL of you create some great food memories and life memories with your loved ones.
I am cheating just a bit this week and using a blog from last summer with a few edits….enjoy!! I smile as I write this as I think of what used to be summer reruns on some of our favorite TV shows. Does that still happen? We haven’t had TV in our house for a number of years and with all of the streaming and cable and……I have no clue. In any case, here is your summer rerun of the market blog from last year (updated a bit)!!!
PS….We have a new vendor today (July 12, 2017)- SudAmerica Bakery. Pastries and baked goods, some are traditional South American (Peruvian) treats. And James Miller is returning this week. Some of you may remember James from the winter market.
And today Ally, our GardenWorks gardener will be on hand to give YOU tips and tricks on trellising and pruning your home garden veggies. She will focus on tomatoes and peppers.
July 12, 2016-We are at the beginning of the Missouri summertime, produce harvest season. Much more is ahead of us in the coming months.
I was visiting with a vendor last week during market and as we were chatting we were admiring all of the brightly colored produce. I mentioned how the color of the food really reflects the season. In the spring, all of the early produce is green. Just as the earth is waking up and greening, much of our food is green. Then spring gradually moves onto summer. As the sun gets brighter, the temperature warmer and the days longer, the color of our food changes and again mimics that intensity of the summer weather. The bright reds, oranges, greens, purples and yellows shine boldly.The flavor of the summer produce intensifies as the sunshine and heat increase. Have you ever heard of the Brix measurements in food?
Each week the amount and variety of fresh, seasonal, local, tasty produce covers my counter and fills my refrigerator. It’s now time to enjoy the fresh flavors, but soon it will be time to think about preserving the bounty. For years I have been making pints and pints of bread and butter pickles and pickle relish. Canning tomatoes in various forms is also a favorite. Making jellies, salsas, chutneys and other hot water bath, low acid or high sugar preserving is pretty easy. This spring I was in a two day class to get certified in processing and low acid canning. It was quite interesting. Over the next few weeks I hope to share some recipe ideas for preserving and canning. Some if it does not require a lot of special equipment and can be fairly easy. Taking the time to preserve when there is a bounty can save time and money in the future months. And the food that one preserves themselves really does taste better.
Meanwhile enjoy all of the local, delicious, fresh food now. The market vendor list is growing. The produce is bountiful. This week enjoy blackberries, peaches, plums, summer apples, sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and more. To some extent, the weather has been cooperative and has extended the season of some of the more early crops. Beets are a good example of produce that we are still seeing each week. This has also been a banner season for potatoes.
Join us at the Market, 4pm-7pm. Enjoy live music, complimentary Schlafly beer samples and a great line-up of vendors.
Biver Farms- a variety of local, seasonal, certified organic produce
Buila Family Farm– a variety of local, seasonal produce
Cham Bakery- locally made pita breads and traditional Middle East pastries
Del Carmen– locally made traditional Cuban black beans, black bean soup, dips, hummus
Ivan– a variety of local, seasonal produce
Eckenfels Family Farm– locally raised, pastured beef and pork cuts, farm fresh eggs
El Chico Bakery- fruit filled empanadas and cookies
Farrar Out Farm– locally raised, pastured beef, pork and lamb cuts and organically raised produce
Flower Hill and Rosy Buck Farms– salad mix, sprouts, eggs, edible flowers, bouquets
Ishaya Farm-a variety of local produce, pickled veggies, jams, kale chips and more
Larder and Cupboad– a variety of housemade preserves, housemade butter and other artisinal culinary delights
Ludwig Farms Creamery (at the Larder and Cupboard tent)– a variety of cows milk cheeses
Maplewood Richmond Heights School– locally grown seasonal produce as well as seeds and cut flowers, plants
Miller Organics– a variety of seasonal, local produce and cut flowers
Red Guitar– a variety of locally crafted artisan breads
Ringhausen Orchards- summer apples, Red Haven peaches, blackberries and plums
Seed Geeks– a large variety of non GMO seeds, handmade soaps and a unique variety of local, raw honey “goodness” including spun honey
SudAmerica Bakery– NEW VENDOR, pastries and baked goods. Today we’ll be bringing papa rellena (stuffed potatoes), meat empanadas, and alfajores (2 melt in your mouth cookies with dulce de leche in between).
The Tamale Man– a variety of fresh made tamales, sauces and agua fresca
Thierbach Orchards– locally grown Red Haven peaches and a variety of seasonal stone fruits, berries
Three Girls and a Tractor– a variety of local, seasonal produce including sweet corn and locally grown, sweet Missouri pecans
Three Rivers Community Farm– a variety of local, seasonal produceNon Food Vendors this week
The Earring Lady
René Sackett, Market Manager