From the Market Manager
Can you believe that this is already week 10 of our market?
I know that we all get into somewhat of a rut as far as what we make for meals, but I hope that you all try something different from the market. It makes meals more interesting when you add something new, or cook something a different way than you usually do.
Lots of people are roasting vegetables these days. Doing so conserves the flavor because none of the flavor gets dissipated in water. If you have freezer space, I recommend that you roast tomatoes once they are abundant. I wash them, quarter them, put them on a rimmed cookie sheet, drizzle them with olive oil, and sprinkle kosher salt on top. Bake at 400 degrees until they’ve collapsed (you’ll know when they’re done.) Then puree them (sometimes I add fresh basil) and now you have the start of a wonderful sauce. If you use a regular tomato rather than a Roma one, you will have to pour some of the liquid off before pureeing them.
Blueberry season should be starting any day. Those also freeze beautifully. Lay them out in one layer on a rimmed cookie sheet, freeze, and then put into a freezer bag. A friend’s mother used to freeze exactly the amount that she needed for a blueberry pie, so that when the time came to make one, all she had to do was open a bag; she always had the proper amount for her pies.
Corn season has started. YAY! If you are only going to cook a couple of ears, use your microwave. Don’t husk the corn, put it into the microwave as is. The strength of your oven determines how long you have to cook them for; I do mine for 6-7 minutes. Be very careful when you take them out because they have steamed, and they are VERY HOT. The silk comes right off.
I think someone from WIC will be here next week to hand out WIC coupons.
Meet the Vendors—Grace Hill Farm
Grace Hill Farm is run by Max and Amy Breiteneicher. The farm grew out of their shared interests and value— a love of good food and a desire to produce food that is delicious and made with integrity; a love of nature and of living and working closely with animals and the land, and, of course, Max’s great passion for cheese.
Max was taught cheese making and animal husbandry over the years by a series of true professionals at Jasper Hill Farm, Chase Hill Farm, and Sidehill Farm. After many years of searching they found just the right spot in Cummington. The land had belonged to the Dawes/Thayer family since the 1700s. They sold it to Max and Amy in 2012. Within living memory, it had been a sheep farm and a dairy farm. There are lots of stone walls running through their woods that attest to the pasture that used to be everywhere. (When clearing the land, stones were dug up, and walls were built.)
They make several types of cheese, all of which, when ready, are sold at our market.
• Cheesecake—a soft, mold-ripened cheese with a delicate white rind and a deep, slightly tangy flavor and cheesecake texture. Made by hand from their grass-fed raw cow’s milk, and aged 60 days.
• Hilltown Blue—a creamy and mostly-mild blue with a natural rind and rich flavor. Made by hand from their grass-fed raw cows’ milk, and aged 120 days.
• Wild Alpine—a gruyere-style hard alpine cheese with a natural rind and buttery texture that gives way to a slightly nutty, earthy flavor with fruit notes. Made by hand from their grass-fed raw cow’s milk, and aged 9 months.
• Clothbound Cheddar—an English farmhouse cheddar wrapped in cloth and aged for roughly one year. It is sharp without being overpowering, slightly dry with a buttery texture. Made by hand from their grass-fed raw cow’s milk and aged at
least 9 months.
• Valais—a Raclette style cheese with superb melting qualities. Fruity and slightly pungent. In the Swiss and French Alps, this cheese is traditionally melted atop new potatoes, toasts and, vegetables. Perfect for grilled cheese. Made by hand from their grass-fed raw cow’s milk and aged at least 3 months.
The Armory National Park has some fun things coming up this weekend. 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.
Trinity United Methodist Church, the big church right next to Forest Park, has started its summer series, “A Little Night Music.” Each Thursday evening at 6PM throughout July, there is a concert in the sanctuary. Afterwards supper is served; each week it is different. The concert is free, but they ask for a contribution for the food. This week they will be serving grinders. They always have ice cream with toppings for dessert. While you are having supper there is a carillon concert. Bring your own chair, or sit at one of the tables that they set up. In case of rain the food is served inside the church in Asbury Hall.
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.
We always have many to thank for supporting this market. United Bank, the Berkshire Bank Foundation, Concerned Citizens for Springfield (our sponsor), Robyn Newhouse, the Springfield Parks and Recreation Department, TD Bank at the X, the Forest Park Civic Association, and individual donors. As some say, it takes a village…
Recipe—Sugar Snap Peas with Toasted Almonds and Feta
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 T. olive oil
3 scallions, sliced thin
1 or more garlic cloves
1 # sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
2 T. water
salt & pepper to taste
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
In a small skillet over medium-high heat, add almonds and toast until golden brown, 5-6 minutes, set aside.
Set a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil. When it sizzles, add scallions. Cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add peas, water, salt and pepper. Cook 3-5 minutes shaking skillet occasionally until peas are tender and water has evaporated.
We can print one up for you if you’d like. Or, just purchase wooden coins to give as a gift. A regular customer who is a Realtor, likes to give them to people who have bought a house through her. Great idea. Good for lots of other scenarios also. Many older people have all the stuff they need, so a gift to the market is perfect.
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