From the Market Manager
I had company to dinner on Sunday evening, and for dessert we had strawberries with heavy cream that I got from Trinity Farm. Sometimes you don’t have to make a fancy dessert to truly enjoy it. Having quality ingredients makes all the difference.
Last week I bought some yellow squash for the first time this season. I cook it very simply (boil, drain, mash, then put butter and salt on it), so the delicate flavor comes through. I am fortunate that I like almost all vegetables whether they’re cooked with lots of other ingredients, or just by themselves. I always encourage those of you who have young children to vary their diets, and try new foods. Also, if there’s something you didn’t like as a child, try it as an adult. You might be very surprised that you like it now that your taste buds have matured.
One of my favorite things to eat, is a small ciabatta from Berkshire Mountain Bakery toasted, buttered, with slices of native tomato on it. It doesn’t have to get fancier than that. A perfect July supper for me is corn on the cob and cut up tomatoes. Especially after a market day when I’m tired.
I know it’s almost July, so we know that corn and tomatoes are coming to market soon. There are some things I don’t buy unless they’re local; it’s worth the wait.
Plan on picking some fruit and vegetables this year. Not only do you save money by doing the labor, you might be inspired to can or freeze some for the colder weather.
I made my yearly supply of strawberry jam last week. It’s so easy, and as I said, if you have freezer space, you don’t have to use canning jars, you can use any jar or container. Just make sure you don’t make them too full, or the jar will break when it expands.
Mark your calendar for Outlook Farm’s Cherry Festival on July 15th. They have a barbecue, music, and a tag sale. It’s rain or shine. Rte. 66 in Westhampton.
If you make this when everything is local it will be excellent. Even now, it will be very good without all local items.
Red onions or mild yellow onion like Vidalia or scallions
Parsley and/or mint
Lemon juice/olive oil/salt and pepper
Cut up vegetables and herbs. Mix together with lemon juice and olive oil. Season to taste. Let it sit a little while for the dressing to blend with the vegetables.
HIP will continue after June 30th. Remember to keep some money in your EBT account because the farmer can’t take money out of it if there is nothing in it. Keep at least $10 available for when you want to use HIP. It goes back into your account once your transaction is completed.
Remember that it goes from the first of the month to the last of the month; it doesn’t matter when you get your benefits. And, remember that if you don’t use all of your HIP benefits, they don’t carry over to the next month like your regular SNAP benefits do.
HIP benefits are automatic; they are in your account at the first of each month, but you don’t see that amount in there if you check your balance. It’s there.
The slip you get when you use HIP will tell you how much of your benefits you have used up to that date. $40 for a family up to 2, $60 for a family of 3-5, and $80 for a family over 5. Per month.
You can purchase herbs and plants that will grow food with HIP benefits.
We have 5 vendors that accept HIP. They should all have signs saying so. Massachusetts is the only state that has HIP; it was implemented with grant money.
Highland Foundation Free Fridays;6/29
Lyric Stage Company of Boston
Berkshire Theatre Group—Stockbridge
Nantucket Whaling Museum
The Mount: Edith Wharton’s Home—Lenox
Worcester Art Museum—Worcester
Clark Art Institute—Williamstown
Children’s Museum in Easton
Edward Gorey House—Yarmouth Port
Admission is free. This continues for 10 weeks; different places each week. Look up the Highland Foundation to find where the other places are this summer.
This ‘n’ That
Once again, I am complaining about house numbers not being able to be seen from the street. Go outside your home, and stand in the street where a car would be. Can you see them? If they are hard for you to see imagine how difficult it would be for someone who doesn’t know
the number. It’s a safety thing folks.
I went looking at some homes for sale this past weekend. I was amazed at the number of homes that didn’t have a railing for the front steps. Even going down 3 steps can be hazardous.
Does the amount of litter on our streets bother you? It makes me crazy. I can’t stand living in a place that’s messy, and I sure don’t like it when my surroundings are messy. I don’t understand why anyone litters. I guess they’re slobs. When you are out, pick up a few pieces of
litter, and throw them away. If we all did this, our city would be much cleaner.
Our Sponsor—Concerned Citizens for Springfield
CCS was started in 1995 by a few landlords who owned property in the Forest Park neighborhood. It morphed into an organization that included volunteers primarily from the neighborhood who care for and about it.
Since its founding the accomplishments have been numerous and varied.
• Active working partnerships with property managers
• Community gardens on Dickinson and Beaumont Streets
• Affordable rentals at 26-30 White Street • Renovation of 46 Forest Park Avenue with Putnam Vocational High School
• Rehabilitated—340 Dickinson St., 102-105 Commonwealth Ave., 44 Lester St., 26-30 White St., 60 Fairfield St., 115 Sumner Ave.
• New construction—11-13 Keith St., with Putnam Vocational High School, 231 Belmont, 1 Keith, Lower Orange St., in partnership with HAP
• Marengo Park/Belmont Ave. traffic island landscaping
• Entry garden landscaping and maintenance at bottom of Longhill St.
• Worked closely with Wynn Properties to rehab Forest Park apartments on Longhill St.
• Sponsor of Farmers’ Market at Forest Park CCS has worked closely with several departments of the City of Springfield, the Forest Park Civic Association, Springfield Housing Authority, the X Main Street Corporation, and several other organizations to improve the neighborhood.
Chinese Style Pork Chops with 3 Mushrooms
5 T. peanut or other salad oil, divided
1 or more cloves of garlic
3 slices fresh ginger
6 rib pork chops, ½” thick
1 t Chinese rice vinegar, or white vinegar
½ cup strong flavorful chicken broth
¼ pound mixed chanterelle and shiitake mushrooms,
stemmed and sliced
3 large cultivated (button) mushrooms
1 T. oyster sauce
1 T. hoisin sauce
In a large skillet, heat 4 T oil until medium hot. Add garlic and ginger, sauté 30 seconds, or until they release their flavor, but don’t brown. Discard garlic and ginger, reserving flavored oil.
Sauté pork chops, 3 at a time in the flavored oil until nicely browned on both sides; remove chops to a plate Add vinegar to the skillet. Stir to scrape up brown bits.
Add broth, simmer until reduced slightly.
Meanwhile heat the remaining 1T. oil in a medium skillet, Sauté the 3 kinds of mushrooms over high heat until they color slightly and begin to release their juices.
Add oyster sauce and hoisin sauce to mushrooms; stir well. Return chops to pan, cover and simmer on low heat until tender.