From the Market Manager
I read an essay recently about the power of hand written recipes. I am sure that those of you that have recipes handed down to you by a parent or grandparent, can recognize the handwriting instantly; I sure can. I might never make the recipe, but just looking at it brings back memories.
Perhaps the recipe was something you particularly liked, or perhaps it was one that was always at a family holiday dinner.
I make a cookie called Starlight Mint Surprise (capitalized because it is in the cookbook) that my grandmother used to make. Until the last several years of her life, she lived way out of town from us. She must have found the recipe in a newspaper because it was a prizewinner in the Pillsbury Best of the Bake-off contest sometime in the 50s. I know this because I have the Pillsbury Best of the Bake-off cookbook published in 1959 and that recipe is in there.
Whenever I make that recipe I think of my grandmother who was a wonderful cook. You can find the recipe online I’m sure. It is basically the chocolate chip cookie recipe with ½ cup more flour with a solid mint chocolate candy in the middle. I get the candy at Michael’s in the section that has cake pans, etc.
I sent these cookies to my grandson Evan who was in his first year at the University of Colorado this year, and I gave him the history also. Grandmas making Starlight Mint Surprise cookies. Gotta love it.
Garlic scapes are at the market now. They are the top of the garlic plant that are cut off so that the energy goes into the garlic bulb. You can use the whole thing. Sauté them with olive oil and use to complement potatoes or another vegetable.
Meet the Vendors
Trinity Farm is in its 4th generation of dairy farming. The Smyth Family has produced milk and dairy products since great-grandfather Richard Smyth began farming in 1912. The original farm was on Hazard Avenue (Rte. 190) in Enfield, CT. They grew tobacco, raised poultry and housed 46 milking cows. Approached by a local physician in response to a TB outbreak, Richard was one of the first dairy farmers in the state to begin bottling pasteurized milk.
Since 1984, the present farm has been located at the southern tip of the Enfield Historic District on Oliver Road. Purchased in 1984, it includes 20 acres for pasturing and hay, along with 2 cow barns, hay/equipment storage building and the dairy processing plant.
Michael and Dale Smyth (Mike is Richard’s grandson) added the milk processing plant to the farm in 1995, and have passed the operation to their children, the 4th generation of Smyths to continue to farm.
All of the milk and milk products (yogurt, butter, etc.) that they sell are from their own milk; they don’t mix their milk with anyone else’s.
They milk mostly Holstein cows which produce a larger volume of milk compared to other breeds. The barn was built specifically to comfortably house their large frame says Anne Dugas, a Smyth daughter.
The farm sells whole, 1%, and skim milk along with half and half, and heavy cream, chocolate, coffee and strawberry milk, butter, 5 flavors of yogurt, and kefir, a creamy, fermented milk drink.
The milk is bottled in glass bottles which keeps the milk colder, and fresher. They also offer home delivery in Windsor Locks, Enfield, Ellington, Suffield, Somers, CT and Longmeadow, MA.
Two facts that I’ve learned along the way—their cows live longer than most cows in large dairy farms, and the butter is yellower in the months when the cows are outside eating fresh grass. Also, if the heavy cream is too fresh, it won’t whip well. Needs to be about 2-3 days old to whip well. Who knew?
In addition to the farmers’ markets that they go to, they have a store on the farm that is open M-F from 6 to 6, and Saturday from 6-4, closed on Sundays.
Stanley Park is having its free Sunday night concerts each week at 6PM. Bring a picnic and enjoy both.
The Armory National Park is having a few upcoming events. This Saturday, the 25th, at 2PM, a program, Backyard Pollinators, with Ranger Susan Ashman and Old Sturbridge Village garden volunteer Charlie Peters, will discuss the importance of backyard pollinators. Learn what you can plant in your own garden to help these pollinators. The park is on State Street in Springfield.
On July 9th they have a full day of programming. From 2-5 enjoy a fun packed day interacting with Armory workers and their families. There will be story telling booths, tours of the buildings and grounds, talks from the curator on preserving and protecting Armory history, and a special Armory worker exhibit full of memorabilia. From 5:30-6:30 PM there will be dance lessons, and a big band concert from 6:30-8:30. Spend the evening on their historic grounds listening to Dan Gabel and the Abletones, an 18-piece big band.
If you have cookbooks you no longer use, bring them to the market to give away. We have a blue bin at the market table to put them in. Bring cooking magazines also.
Each time you use your SNAP/EBT card at our market for $10 or more, you will get a bonus of $10 plus a $2 token from us. The $2 token is only to be used for produce, nothing else. The other EBT tokens can be used for food, or for plants that will grow food. We don’t sell seeds here, but you can use EBT for food seeds also.
WIC and Elder Coupons
We accept these coupons at our market. The elder coupons are distributed through senior centers, so call the one you have in your neighborhood and find out if you can still get some. There are never enough for everyone who wants them, so it’s important to call a senior center.
Please make sure that if you have any left over from last year that you throw them away; they expire at the end of October and aren’t good the next year.
Register to Vote
We have forms at the market table that you can send in to your town/city clerk to register to vote. If you have moved since the last election, you need to change your address which you can do with this form. I know that there are people who are so cynical that they don’t think that their one vote counts; all votes count. You know that there are countries in the world where people don’t have the freedom to vote, or if they can vote, sometimes their vote isn’t really free. Don’t throw away this privilege that we have in the U.S.
Almost anything can go into a salad. Try combining some vegetables like cooked beets with carrots, some goat cheese (a very popular combination), a little bit of lettuce or other green like arugula, scallions, a homemade vinaigrette dressing, and you are good to go. It’s pretty, you have different textures, and in a fine restaurant you would pay $10 or more for it. Toasted walnuts or pecans are also nice. You can dip the nuts in a simple syrup solution (boiled water and sugar), let them dry and voila, now your salad is $12.50.
Put some fruit in a salad. I like nectarines when they’re in season. Strawberries and blueberries are always good. They hold their shape, and they’re a little sweet which is a nice complement to the non-sweet ingredients. Use oranges in the winter.
When tomatoes are in season, use different colored ones. You don’t need more than that although some scallions are always good with tomatoes. Mix up your greens also. If you look around our market you will see many types of lettuce, far more than you will find in a grocery store. Use radicchio also. The maroon and white looks so pretty in the mixture.
Consider a Farm Vacation
There are many farms that have accommodations for overnight stays. This is a great type of vacation to take with children. Go online and you should find many places through`out the country. I took my children to Rockhouse Mountain Farm in Eaton Center, NH. FUN!
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