From the Market Manager
Good news! From now on any of you who need to use the Sumner Avenue entrance for the market can do so for $1. Then you can come to the market table and get reimbursed. The Trafton Road entrance is still free.
Can you believe this weather? Last week I was sitting here with multiple layers on and gloves, and I was still chilly. Today we are roasting.
This is one of the things we need to be thankful for— our farmers work in all kinds of weather to bring us terrific products.
I bought some spinach from Outlook Farm that I didn’t use for almost 3 weeks. When I did it was nearly perfect. I used it in spanakopita. If you want to make it, purchase your phyllo dough at Milano’s in the South End. They sell it fresh, and it is much easier to use than phyllo that has been frozen.
Do you ever stop to think how fortunate we are in our area to have so many ethnic stores? I used to purchase Asian products in Boston or New York when I went there, but now I don’t have to do that. We have it all here.
Free Fun Fridays!
The Highland Street Foundation, based in Newton, knows that saving money adds to the pleasures of summer. This year’s Free Fun Fridays! features no-charge admission to eight or nine Massachusetts organizations and institutions each week. See the complete list of 85
participants at highlandstreet.org. They are all over the state.
This organization picks up surplus food and delivers it to organizations that can use it. They come to our market almost every week and gather from our vendors who have extra. For some farmers, depending on the item/s, it’s either give it away, or throw it away, so Rachel’s Table is such a convenient way for them to donate food. Once a summer (maybe we’ll do it twice) RT comes to the market and asks us to purchase something and donate it to them. Our customers are very generous; RT always leaves with a good haul.
This is called spinach pie, and there is some spinach in it, but don’t use too much because it will be too bland. You can make it into small or medium sized triangles, or in a rimmed cookie sheet, or in a 9 x 13” pan, or a couple of smaller pans.
1# fresh phyllo dough
1 ½# feta cheese—use some that has been in a brine; it’s sharper. Don’t use the brine.
spinach, fresh or frozen
32 oz. ricotta cheese
scallions—6 or 7
Most recipes tell you to cover the phyllo with a damp towel, but if you work fast, it shouldn’t dry out.
If you use fresh spinach, use a couple of pounds, cook it, and squeeze it dry then cut it up. If you use frozen use 2 boxes of chopped; defrost and squeeze dry.
You can use fresh or dried dill weed. Some people use mint. Put it in the mixture and taste it. If you think it needs more, add more.
Melt butter, keep warm. Sauté scallions until they’re wilted.
Spread bottom of your pan with some butter. Put a sheet of phyllo in the pan. Brush melted butter on top. Continue doing this with many sheets of phyllo, maybe 10-12. Add half of your cheese mixture. Put more phyllo on top of that, brush with butter. Spread more cheese mixture on top of that. Then put more phyllo dough on, and brush each sheet with butter. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
You can freeze it now, or partially bake it and freeze it then. Score the top with a sharp knife so that it’s easier to cut when it’s fully baked. You bake it at 350 until the top is a light brown. This can be served warm or at room temperature. Your friends will be impressed.
Bing Arts Center
If you haven’t been to the Bing Arts Center, you need to go. Brian Hale, the director and driving force behind the Bing brings lots of performers there as well as art exhibits. Check their brochure at our market table, or go online and get their schedule.
Meet the Vendor—Mt. Warner Winery
Mt. Warner is a farmer winery located in Hadley, MA owned by Gary and Bobbie Kamen. Their philosophy is to recognize the unique characteristics of their agricultural climate. They began with 25 vines and a hobby winemaking passion that has grown to a modest vineyard and a micro-winery. Many of their wines have been recognized in many national and international
competitions, and they continue to maintain a single focus; making quality wines that can be enjoyed in any season. They are also beekeepers.
HIP—Healthy Incentives Program
HIP is Massachusetts’ implementation of a $3.4 million Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive grant from the USDA.
The program addresses the primary barrier to accessing fresh fruits and vegetables for low-income families: the affordability of high quality, nutritious foods.
The new HIP benefit will be available to SNAP families statewide beginning this spring for a three-year period.
The HIP incentive benefit has a monthly cap based on household size. Households will need to spend SNAP dollars on fruits and vegetables at one of the four main points of sale to earn HIP incentives. When a SNAP customer swipes their SNAP/EBT card for fruit and vegetable purchases, an equal amount of incentive funds is immediately and automatically added back to their cards for any future SNAP purchase at any SNAP retailer up to the monthly cap. For example, if a family uses their SNAP benefits to buy $15 of fresh produce at a farmers’
market, a credit of $15 will be immediately returned to their EBT card to use for other eligible purchases.
HIP is only for use at participating farmers’ market vendor stalls, farm stands, mobile markets, and CSAs with customers receiving an instant, dollar for dollar match credited to their EBT card through specially programmed SNAP systems, e.g. EBT terminals up to their monthly maximum for HIP.
This is a neighborhood party that has been ongoing for close to 30 years if not longer. It is always held on a terraced street in the Forest Park neighborhood. This year it is being held at the Fairfield/Garfield triangle.
Many homeowners decorate their porches, and those who attend are encouraged to walk around and look at them. Many of the folks who live on the street that is hosting that evening have parties, and you might get invited to come up on a porch for a snack.
The festivities begin with a children’s bike parade at 6:30. Band music begins after that. Strawberry shortcake, lemonade and trinkets for the children are sold. Everyone is welcome; you don’t have to be a Forest Park resident. Bring a chair and bug spray and enjoy an
evening in the neighborhood.
• Cilantro—this particular herb can be referred to by two names depending upon which part is harvested and used. If the leaves are harvested,
it is called cilantro; if the seeds are harvested, it’s called coriander. It is most often grown for its
foliage, and not seeds. It is most often associated with Mexican or Asian foods.
• Lemon balm—is an upright, bushy herbaceous perennial. Leaves are light green, arrowhead shaped, somewhat hairy and coarse textured. It grows to about 10-24” tall. Lemon balm spreads by setting lots of seed and can, if allowed to go unchecked start to overtake the garden. Prune
flowering stalks before they have a chance to set seed. It can be used to flavor many different types of dishes. It can be added to salads, stews, soups, fish, pork and egg dishes. It is also used in making jellies, teas and vinegars and to complement fruit.
• Scented geranium—There are hundreds of varieties of scented geraniums to choose from. While scented geraniums do flower, the flowers are often secondary in importance and not all that attractive. Fragrances can run from apple to mint to lemon to coconut to rose. They don’t
overwinter, so they are best grown in pots to be brought indoors for the winter.
Forest Park Summer Concert Series
The Parks Department will be holding a free summer concert series this June. On Thursdays June 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd at 6:30 PM in the Forest Park Amphitheater (near the duck ponds). In case of rain the location will be at Central High School. After 5:30, there will be free entry to the park for this series.
• June 15th, Dee Reilly
• June 22nd, the Manzi Family
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