From the Market Manager
This is it! The last day of our market, week 27; it’s 20th year. Thanks so much for your patronage. Thanks to our sponsor, Concerned Citizens for Springfield, and to all of our financial supporters. You know the expression that “it takes a village?” It takes a “village” to have such a successful farmers’ market. Although we pay rent to the park for the space, they also help us with putting up and taking down our canopies and tables and chairs. They pick up the trash,
and make sure that the area is clean each week.
Almost all of our vendors have been extremely reliable. That is necessary, of course, because when our customers come to the market, they want consistency. I know that many people say that they are hardly in the grocery store during the months that our market is open. I find that that is so for me. I am like a child in a candy store; I always buy too much at our market each week.
Two weeks ago, I bought a 15-pound cabbage because it was there and I knew that I’d find ways to use it. I have used it as a conversation piece when someone has come to my house; everyone is in awe at its size. I cut into it the other day to sauté it with onions, and it wasn’t hard to cut at all.
Not a week goes by that someone doesn’t thank us at the market table for having this market. It is the largest one in this part of the Pioneer Valley, and has such a terrific variety of vendors.
Although the HIP program is new this year, we have been accepting EBT cards since 2008. We wanted to make our market a place that anyone who receives SNAP benefits would want to shop at.
Get well wishes to Dorothy Hayes from Sweet Pea Cheese who had surgery last week, and to Bill Chicoine from Chicoine Family Farm who is having shoulder surgery today.
Our winter market begins on November 11th. Usually it is the second and fourth Saturdays, but due to Thanksgiving, we are also having it on November 18th. After that it will be on the second and fourth Saturdays through April. The hours are 10-2. It is located in the old monkey house. Come in the Trafton Road entrance, the back entrance to the park. The monkey house is the second building on your left.
We will have lots of everything this year including food to have for lunch there. HIP will be usable there all winter.
Please use your HIP benefits. This program is found money for those of you who depend on SNAP benefits to help make ends meet. If you have friends or family who have SNAP, ask them if they’re using their HIP benefits, and if not, encourage them to do so.
4 things to remember about the new HIP program:
1. You MUST have a balance in your EBT account or the vendor can’t swipe your card. The money goes back on the card when your HIP transaction is done. If you only get a small amount of SNAP benefits, make sure you keep something (more than $5) in your account so that you can use HIP. You can’t use HIP if there is no money in your account.
2. It goes from the first of the month to the last of the month. It doesn’t matter when your benefits are applied to your account.
3. The HIP money you don’t use does NOT roll over to the next month. If you don’t use the benefit during the month, it’s gone for that month.
4. It’s automatic; it doesn’t show up in your EBT balance, but it is there.
This ‘n’ That
The market will reimburse you $1 if you come in the Sumner Ave. or Rte. 5 entrances, but if you use the Trafton Road entrance, there is no fee. Also, that is the entrance you should use for the winter market as the building that we are in is the second one on the left as you come in that way. You won’t have to drive around the park to find us.
Make sure that you are registered to vote, and VOTE. It is a privilege to vote. Springfield’s next election is next week, November 7th for City Council and School Committee.
A friend posted a picture from Dublin—it’s a trash can with a sign on it that says “Litter is disgusting, and so are the litterers.” So true. Please pick up some litter every day. If everyone did that, it would really help.
The frequent shopper cards are valid at our winter market also.
You can go to our website (address above) and look at our recipe archive. All of the recipes use something that you can purchase at the market at some time during the season.
If you want to contact any of our vendors during the off season, go to the vendor page of our website. The information is there.
Check out Fathom Events online. They show the National Theatre from England, the Bolshoi Ballet from Moscow, and many other programs that you can see in a movie theater. The Enfield Cinema, the Amherst Cinema, and the Hampshire Mall Cinema all carry their programs. It’s a terrific way to see some things that we wouldn’t get to see otherwise.
Every so often someone who comes to the market table will tell me that they don’t like something that they haven’t liked since they were a child. I always tell them to try it again because our tastes change as we mature.
A simple and delicious way to make carrots or parsnips is to steam or boil them, then add brown sugar to some butter, and add the drained, cooked vegetables. Excellent with chicken or pork.
Recipe—My Grandma’s Cabbage Soup
This is a vegetable soup that I make sweet and sour as my Grandma, who was Polish, did. It doesn’t have to be sweet and sour if you don’t like that flavor.
Beef, chicken, or vegetable broth
Onions, celery, carrots, parsnips, cabbage, potatoes, diced canned tomatoes, salt/pepper, brown sugar, vinegar.
However much you use depends on the size of your pot.
I don’t bother sautéing the onions for this soup; just put the broth and vegetables in the pot and cook until they’re done. That’s when you will make it sweet and sour. My grandmother always threw in a handful of raisins at the end. More texture and it sweetened it a little more.
Donate Cook Books
If you have cookbooks that you’re not using any longer, bring them here and put them into the blue bin. What you don’t want, someone else might.
You can bring cooking magazines also. No other types of books please.
We do this for the winter market also.
Everyone has a recipe for stuffing; this is mine. I don’t give amounts because if you have too much for your bird, just put the rest in a greased oven dish or pan, and serve it on the side. Put some of the drippings over the stuffing in the oven dish or pan.
Stale bread, (I usually use white or whole wheat bread) crackers (Ritz, saltines, Town House) or any other that you might have on hand. I like Ritz or Ritz type the best.
Corn flakes or another type of non-sweetened cold cereal, slightly crushed.
Onions, celery, mushrooms if you like them, dried cranberries, shredded carrots, eggs, salt/pepper, dried poultry seasoning, garlic or garlic powder, chicken broth, and salt and pepper. Some people like to toast the bread before they use it, but I
Sauté the onions, celery, and mushrooms together in a neutral oil (corn, canola, etc.) ‘til softened. Add bread that has been pulled apart, crushed crackers (don’t have to be crumbs) and cold cereal. Add the rest of the ingredients. I like eggs in mine ‘because it holds it together somewhat.
You can also add crumbled sausage, cooked or not; it will cook in the bird or pan. Add the cranberries or not.
Remember, it’s tough to screw up stuffing. Add enough broth to get it to the texture that you want. Everything is done to taste because it depends on how much you are making. You can also use fresh herbs—parsley, sage rosemary, and thyme--instead of the poultry seasoning.
Home-made stuffing has so much more flavor than the boxed kind. And, it’s a great way to use up old crackers, bread and cereal.
ONCE AGAIN, THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR PATRONAGE, AND FOR MAKING OUR MARKET SO SUCCESSFUL. WE WILL BE BACK HERE THE FIRST TUESDAY IN MAY.
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