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Market Newsletter ~ October 1, 2019

October 1, 2019

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Market Newsletter ~ July 18, 2017

July 18, 2017

From the Market Manager

Do you have a new neighbor? If so, have you told them about our market? Sometimes word of mouth is the best advertising.


I saw a woman picking up trash as she was out for a walk the other day. If everyone did that, we’d all have clean areas to enjoy. Even if everyone picked up only a few pieces of trash a day, it would make a difference.


Do you like improvisation comedy? A special performance by Phantom Sheep is coming to the Jewish Community Center on Thursday July 27th at 7PM. The cost is $8 at the door/$5 students. This will be comedy created right before your eyes. The J is located at 1160
Dickinson Street in Springfield.


I made spare ribs the other night where I rubbed a spice mix on them, wrapped them in a double layer of aluminum foil, and baked them at 325 degrees for 2 hours. Then I put them under the broiler to crisp them up. If it hadn’t been raining, I would have put them on
the outside grill. They were delicious and so tender.


Use fresh corn as often as possible in a recipe. After you cut off the kernels, boil the cobs in water for about 10 minutes and use that in soup. Freeze some for winter soups also.


This ‘n’ That

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.


If you have cookbooks you no longer want, bring them to the market and put them in the blue bin at the market table.


Don’t forget to check out the free Fridays at museums and locations throughout the Commonwealth this summer. for all of the details. This week the offerings are:

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
• Tanglewood, Lenox
• Boston Athenaeum
• The Museum of the NCAAA—Museum of African American Artists, Boston
• Fruitlands Museum, The Trustees, Harvard
• Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History, on the campus of Regis College in Weston
• Lynn Museum
• Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield


If you aren’t already registered to vote, we have the forms at the market table. We will send it in for you. The League of Women Voters campaigned long and hard for this motor voter registration.


Make sure that the numbers on your house can be read easily from the street. I was looking for a house the other day, and many houses had numbers that were obscure.
Annoying at the least, but if an emergency vehicle has to get to you, it could be dangerous.


Someone suggested we put together a cookbook of favorite recipes, so if you have one or two you’d like to share, please bring them to us at the market table.


If you have smelly trash like lobster or clam shells, put it in the freezer until trash pickup day.



Eggplant is a member of the nightshade family which also includes potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes. Eggplant is the common name in North America, Australia, and New Zealand, but British English uses the French word aubergine. It is known in South Asia and South Africa as brinja. It isn’t eaten raw.


There are several varieties of eggplant. The longer thinner one is called Asian eggplant. It has fewer seeds, and is generally used in stir fries. The globe eggplants come in purple, lavender, white, and purple and white striped. These are used for grilling, in baba ghanoush, for eggplant Parmesan, and many other recipes. Try the different ones to see if you can detect differences.
Sometimes eggplant can make your mouth tingle, but if you cook it very well, it won’t.


Baba Ghaoush
2 globe eggplants
¼ cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, mashed to a puree
juice of ¼ lemon, or more if you like it lemony
2 T. plain Greek yogurt
½ tsp. salt, and a good twist of pepper

Either heat a grill pan over high heat until it’s really hot, or grill it outside. Prick the eggplants all over with a fork, lay them in the pan or on the grill, and leave to cook for 10 minutes or until blackened. Turn them over and cook for another 10 minutes. Cook until charred and crispy all over. This may take up to 40 minutes in total. They may smell as if they are burning, but fear not, this is a good thing. The reason for charring the outside is to give the inside a smoky taste. They will collapse some as they cook. Transfer to a bowl to cool, reserving any juice.

Cut each eggplant in half and scrape out the insides right down to the charred skin. Place the flesh on a cutting board and chop to a coarse puree using a large knife. Transfer the puree back to the bowl with any reserved juice. Add the remaining ingredients. Stir really well and serve. Great with pita bread.


Meet the Vendors—Ben Lester

Ben Lester grew up in a home where ancient grains were an important part of the kitchen and has come to specialize in growing and distributing locally grown ancient, heirloom and heritage grains, beans and flours.

He launched his groundbreaking CSA program (Community Supported Agriculture) Pioneer Valley Heritage Grains in 2008 and it has been a huge and growing success. In their 9th season with distributions in Western MA, Boston, and New York an ever-growing group of local food lovers sign up each year for these special offerings. Available nowhere else this is truly a one of a kind opportunity to connect with your food and enrich your kitchen potential. "Wonderful food is built on great ingredients."


This year they are at a number of markets from Boston to New York selling a sampling of local grains and flours. They will be at our Forest Park market the second Tuesday of each month. Last year they launched a new program based on the CSA model for grains but organized around all types of farm preserves from dried seaweed and mushrooms to mustards, hot sauces, fruit preserves and more! They call this "The Farmer's Pantry".

This year they have also added the "Rice Share" making the first New England grown rice available at their distributions this winter. Come meet Ben at the market and sign up for the harvest shares at


Always new and exciting developments in making local foods easier, better, and more accessible.




HIP—Healthy Incentives Program

Something that you MUST be very aware of is that you MUST have a balance on your EBT card to use your HIP benefits. If you have spent all of your SNAP benefits, but not your HIP benefits, you can’t use HIP for that month.

By the way, the HIP benefits are from the beginning of the month to the end of the month and then the next month you get more; they don’t carry over to the next month although what gets put back on your card does.

I know that this is confusing, but it’s a new program,  so it is not surprising that there are some glitches. You’d better believe that if this ever goes to another state that the people who put it together here will have lots of information for them so that they don’t have the same problems that we’ve had.


One of the problems is that even though there was a letter that went out with many languages on it, people who speak little or no English come to the market, and they don’t understand us, and we don’t understand them.


Asian Cucumber Pickle

4 cucumbers, peeled and cut into thirds
2/3rds cup vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 red chilies finely diced
5 T. soy sauce
1 ½ T white wine vinegar
2 ½ T sugar
10 scallions finely sliced on an angle.

Grate the cucumbers using the coarsest side of a box grater. Run each cucumber chunk all the way along the grater to produce long, thin slivers until you reach the seeds, then turn it around to get the side. Grate each chunk of cucumber until all you are left with is the seeds in the middle, then discard the seeds. Wrap the grated cucumber in a towel and squeeze really hard to expel as much moisture as possible. Keep squeezing. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan and gently cook the garlic and chilies for a minute or so, no browning is required, Add the soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar and bring to a simmer. Add the cucumber and use a fork to loosen
the strands within the hot liquid. Work quickly because you don’t want to overcook this—3 minutes max.


Add the scallions, give everything a quick stir, and remove from the heat. Leave the pickle to cool then store in a sterilized jar in the fridge for up to 14 days.


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