Wednesday, June 16, 2010

At the Farmers' Markets

I've found lots of great veggies and fruits at the local farmers' markets I frequent in recent weeks, but the greatest find was Sam Consylman's t-shirt, pictured here at the South Street market a few weeks ago, where Sam helps staff Earl Livengood's stall.

Sam may tolerate squirrels partying, but don't let any groundhogs try it in front of him, especially during hunting season. His wife makes a mean fried woodchuck!

I've never been a big fan of summer squashes. I don't dislike them, but I'd never wait for their appearance with baited breath. Still, now that I'm trying to emphasize vegetables in my diet, I appreciate the role they can play. Lately I've been adding them to the onions and peppers I sauté for a pasta topping. And when done on the grill with a little olive oil they make a great accompaniment to grilled meats.

At Headhouse this past Sunday, Beechwood Orchards had plenty of black raspberries, which I've been mashing into yogurt. Proprietor Dave Garretson warned me that he's not had a great cherry crop this year simply because of the wet weather: the crop is good, but rain has caused excessive cracking. Still, pretty tasty and sweet, even if slightly water-logged; but don't let cherries that have skin cracks hang out in the fridge too long. I would have picked up some pie (sour) cherries, but since I'm going to be out-of-town a lot over the next month I've had no time for baking or sorbet making, two excellent applications for tart varieties of cherries.

Blueberries, especially from South Jersey, are making their annual appearance. The pint I picked up from A.T. Buzby at Headhouse were another fine addition to yogurt, as well as in cobblers and all sorts of other goodies.

The snow peas and sugar snaps from all the vendors I've tried, both at the farmers' markets and the Reading Terminal Market, have been superb. Mostly, I just munch on them as snacks, though their desireability in stir fries is obvious.

Apricots should be the next summer fruit to appear, along with a broader range of raspberries.

Tom Culton had a limited range to offer Sunday, but he was particularly long on garlic scrapes, which he was giving away to any takers. I picked up a fresh-dug onion from him.

Garden notes: Just last week I cut back my chive pot to the dirt; the shoots are already six inches high! The sage is taking off, too.

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