From the Market Manager
My mother’s favorite summer sandwich was very simple, but it had excellent ingredients. She liked Gus & Paul’s (no longer in business) “cisel” bread (a dense rye bread) spread with butter, then a thinly sliced onion, and sliced native tomatoes.
I was thinking about that the other day now that tomatoes are in season. Sometimes I think that the simple things can be the most delicious. In the summer, I sometimes have a small ciabatta from Berkshire Mountain Bakery, toasted, with butter, and a sliced tomato. That with some corn on the cob makes a delicious supper. If I had guests I wouldn’t serve them that for dinner, but for me it’s perfect especially on a Tuesday evening when I am always tired from the market.
You know that this has been a somewhat rainy summer unlike last year when we had a drought. It’s hard on farmers to have either, but I remember a farmer told me many years ago that they’d rather have dry than wet because they can put it (water) in, but they can’t take it out.
This ‘n’ That
WIC and elder coupons are only for produce. You do not change them for wooden coins at the market table. If you want to buy dairy, or meat, or bread, etc., you either buy the coins with your debit/credit EBT card, or use cash. They expire at the end of October.
HIP is only for produce also. Several things to pay attention to with HIP: You MUST have a balance in your EBT account, or you can’t use HIP. You must use it each month, or you lose it for that month; it doesn’t carry over to the next month. It goes from the first of the month to the last of the month; it doesn’t matter what date you get your SNAP benefits which is why it’s important to have a balance on your card. Even $10 because they can swipe your card more than once after the amount has gone back on your card. I know it’s confusing, but you’ll get used to it.
We have 3 participating vendors—
1. Rainbow Harvest Farm
2. Red Fire Farm
3. Riverbend Farm
Freeze blueberries—put them in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet, freeze then put into a freezer bag for later use. You can freeze other fruit also for later on. Do it the same way, so you don’t end up with a clump when you go to use it.
If you are going to make jam, buy Ball’s pectin; it’s excellent.
Please take down your tag sale signs. Also, pull out the signs that are all over the place that say they’ll buy houses for cash, or they can help you quit smoking in one day, or any of the signs that crap up our neighborhoods.
And, please pick up some litter each day; it all helps.
Don’t forget to check out the free Fridays at museums and locations throughout the Commonwealth this summer. Highlandstreet.org for all of the details. This week the offerings are:
• Franklin Park Zoo, Boston
• Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton
• Cape Cod Maritime Museum, Hyannis
• Worcester Historical Museum
• Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester
• Fitchburg Art Museum
• Jacob’s Pillow Dance, Becket
• Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton
• Naumkeag, The Trustees, Stockbridge
There are numerous ways to make gazpacho. It is a liquid salad that is eaten cold. If you have access to the Internet, look it up and try different recipes. You can even make a fruit gazpacho. Here’s my recipe. If you’d like another one of my recipes, go to our website (address above) and look at confetti gazpacho. I don’t give you amounts because it almost doesn’t matter. When I make it for the market, I make gallons of it. When I make it for myself, I make a small bowl of it. I use my food processor.
• Sweet peppers
• Red wine vinegar
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Salt and pepper
Puree some tomatoes in the processor with some fresh garlic. Cut up and coarsely chop the cucumbers, peppers, onions, and some more tomatoes. You want the garlic and onions to be background, not prominent in flavor.
Add vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Taste. If you want it spicy, add some red pepper flakes, or siracha.
Remember the heat will get stronger as it sits, so don’t add too much. Refrigerate. You will have to take it out of the fridge for a little while so the olive oil can re-liquefy.
This is only good for a day or two, then make more.
National Farmers’ Market Week
Why farmers’ markets? They preserve America’s rural livelihoods and preserve farmland; the U.S. loses an acre of farmland a minute to development. They stimulate local economies; growers selling locally create 13 fulltime jobs per $1 million in revenue earned. Those not selling locally create 3. Locally owned retailers, such as farmers’ markets, return more than three times as much of their sales to the local economy compared to chain competitors. Markets increase access to fresh nutritious food, and they promote sustainability.
Peach Blueberry Cake
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½” cubes
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup sugar
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 T. tapioca powder or cornstarch. You can buy tapioca powder at an Asian store
2 # firm, ripe large peaches, about 4, halved lengthwise and each half cut lengthwise into fourths
1 cup blueberries
1 T. fresh lemon juice
Pulse together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and pulse just until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Add egg and vanilla and
pulse just until dough clumps and begins to form a ball, about 15 pulses.
Press dough onto bottom and evenly (about ¼” thick) all the way up side of spring form pan with floured fingertips. Chill pastry in pan until firm, about 10 minutes.
Make filling while pastry chills
Mix tapioca or cornstarch with sugar, then add peaches, blueberries, and lemon juice and gently toss to coat.
Spoon filling into pastry and bake, loosely covered with a sheet of foil, until filling is bubbling in center and crust is golden, about 1 ¾ hours.
Transfer cake in pan to a rack and cool uncovered, 20 minutes then carefully remove side of pan. Cool cake to barely warm or room temperature, then cut into thick
wedges with a sharp knife before serving.
(This could be made in another type of pan, but it is absolutely gorgeous when removed from the pan and served on a beautiful cake plate.)
From Gourmet, August 2005
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