Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Place to Be on Saturday Mornings

When does not being able to find a parking place make me smile? When it's because so many people are shopping local at the Umpqua Valley farmers market! I actually had to go find a spot around the corner on a side street today because every space (and even some "non-spaces") was full and cars were circling around waiting for someone to pull out.

It gladdens my heart to see so much support for our local farmers and crafters.

After I finished The Best Breakfast Burrito Ever, I bought a huge bag of mixed lettuce greens from Suzi and Asinete at the Big Lick Farm booth and put in a request to reserve the first peony bouquets (still several weeks away, they tell me) from my favorite flower vendors. I held off on buying more asparagus until next week. I'm hoping some rhubarb will start showing up soon.

The Best Breakfast Burrito Ever!

Here's a peak at the inside of the Smokin' Friday breakfast burrito I devoured at the farmer's market this morning: Pulled pork, scrambled eggs, shredded cheese, their extraordinary barbecue sauce, diced home-fry potatoes, sauteed onions and a few dollops of sausage gravy, all wrapped up in a grilled tortilla.

I may not have to eat the rest of the day!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Week in Review

Last Saturday got off to a great start with an early-morning trip to the farmers market. I dropped my son off at the baseball field at 8:30 to start warming up for his 9:30 game and headed over to the market on Diamond Lake Blvd.

I checked in with Jim Leet to pick up two bundles of asparagus I had reserved (you can sign up for his email list and get a heads up on Thursday or Friday to see what he'll be bringing) and a bag of his Zesty Lettuce Mix. Then I stopped by the Sterken Farm booth and bought some giant green onions.

Three flower vendors were at the market. I picked out a lovely bouquet of lilac and white tulips and a smaller, mixed bouquet of bright red and yellow tulips.

Sadly, The Baklava Lady has decided to travel to the Grants Pass farmers market, where she might be able to sell more, so I didn't get my feta tarts for breakfast.

The Smokin' Fridays booth was not able to be there due to an emergency, so I didn't get my breakfast burrito either, but I am assured they will be there this weekend.

I ended up buying an almond and anise biscotti from Lighthouse Bakery and paired it with a hot chocolate from the neighboring Dutch Bros. on my way back to the ball field.

Lots of transplants for your garden, too, but my raised beds are not quite ready for them yet.

My husband took me to Dino's for dinner Saturday night. The place was packed. Great to see they are doing so well in this economy. I had Debbie's incredibly smooth and creamy Gnocchi with Chicken and Artichokes in Gorgonzola Sauce. Absolutely delicious! And I had the Tiramisu for dessert. I asked the waitress to reserve a piece for me when we ordered our entrees because I knew there wouldn't be any left if I waited and I was right.

Sunday it was my turn to cook dinner for my parents. I used some of the diced ham I had frozen after our Easter dinner and made Scalloped Potatoes & Ham. I roasted the asparagus and served the zesty greens with a poppy seed vinaigrette. I whipped up a batch of "Death by Chocolate" cookies for dessert, a recipe I had ripped out of a magazine ages ago but had never tried. Definitely worth repeating.

Don't forget about the food and film event at the Douglas County Museum Friday night. I have to be in Portland, so I will miss it, but I plan to watch "Ingredients" as soon as it comes out on dvd.

See you at the market on Saturday.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Film for Foodies

Get to know your food!
The Local Food Movement Takes Root
A Documentary Film
Featuring Oregon, New York and Ohio Farmers and Ranchers
Douglas County Museum

TICKETS for the FOOD & WINE EXHIBITION are $8 and may be purchased at:
Umpqua CDC (605 SE Kane St.), Douglas County Museum, or at the door (admission limited).
Food, Wine & Film Exhibition
Friday, April 23, 2010
5:30pm Local Food & Wine Exhibition
6:30pm Ingredients Film Screening
Douglas County Museum
Roseburg, Oregon

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Kruse Farms Opened Today

I didn't make it in yet, but Kruse Farms opened today. If you've had a hankering for a locally-made pie, their bakery should be up and running.

Regarding opening day of the Umpqua Valley Farmers Market, I checked in with some of my favorite growers and here's what I learned:

Jim Leet of Linnea Marie Farms (he's the farmers market president, too) will have his Zesty lettuce mix, tender asparagus, herb plants for your garden and some catnip toys and lavender sachets. The produce supply is limited, so get there early if you want some. If you haven't tried my Cream of Asparagus soup yet, now is your chance. I noticed today that Sherm's has the white balsamic vinegar called for in the recipe. I'm still working on the bottle I bought at Trader Joe's, but I'm sure the Napoleon brand is good too.

Christine, from Sterken Farm, says they will have all of their jams, fruit bars, salsa, dried fruits, juice and beauty products, along with shelled walnuts and hazelnuts, green onions, eggs, possibly some asparagus, and strawberry and raspberry plants for sale. Lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage will be coming on shortly. Their covered, raised beds give them a jumpstart on the season.

I'll also be on the lookout for arugula, green garlic stalks, and red onion from other vendors and I am hoping The Baklava Lady will be there with her spanakopita and feta tarts.

I'll be scoping out the possibilities for Mother's Day gifts (for my mom and hints for myself) from the craft vendors and if Smokin' Friday's BBQ is there, I will definitely be ordering a breakfast burrito. Oh, and I hope my favorite flower vendors are there!

The market opens at 9:00 am with live music, prize drawings and always a few surprises.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Farmers Market Opens This Weekend!

I'm baaaack! My winter hiatus is over and I can't wait for the opening of the Umpqua Valley Farmers Market this Saturday.

If the sun would just stay out for more than a few hours, I might actually be able to get out and dig in my garden. I planted some peas in March and they were none too pleased to be hailed on a while back. At least the strawberry plants from last year are looking well.

So what have I been doing the last three months? We added on a laundry room/food storage/canning kitchen to the back of our house, with a guest room/ping pong table room up above. My dad, my husband, my father-in-law, and I have been finishing the inside. I have spent much time filling nail holes with drywall mud, tried my hand at mudding some seams (which is actually similar to frosting a cake), and even did a tiny bit of texturing. Mostly I run to the store for more mud, screws, etc.

I painted the entire new laundry/kitchen area all by myself and quite enjoyed the project. "Belgian Waffle" is the color I chose and it's like walking into a room full of sunshine-exactly what this California girl wanted. Eventually (as soon as I finish the floor) this room will be home to my extra set of double ovens, my food dehydrator, my extra Bosch mixer, my wheat grinder, the extra refrigerator, the big freezer and all the buckets of different kinds of wheat berries, oats, sugar, honey, dried beans, etc. that are in the garage, along with shelves for my full (and empty) canning jars.

Food has definitely been on my mind, as I am busy planning the details of the buffet dinner for my oldest daughter's wedding reception. I agreed to do the food if it meant I could get out of anything having to do with decorations. I'm sure there will be postings along the way to June 19th! Wish me luck.

Anyway, for anyone who might have wondered if I fell off the face of the planet, I did not. I'm sure the farmers market and fresh spring crops will bring new inspiration for cooking, baking, and eating well. Be sure to say "Hi" when you see me at the market.