October 2007 archive

Farmer’s Market Goodies – Oct 20

Nothing like starting the day with a cream cheese pecan muffin!  We picked up some really interesting peppers yesterday.  One looks a lot like Trinidad Perfume and the other looks like a bird pepper – very small, red and hot!  The gentleman selling them also had some kind of heirloom okra.  I’m thinking about slicing it, breading it and lightly frying it, then freezing it so we can have a couple of batches of fried okra this winter.  We bought red cherry tomatoes from Jerry – he’s got some more of his gorgeous sweet potatoes but we’ve got a lot still here at the house.   Place from the Heart Farms still has zephyr squash so I bought a lot.  We sliced and blanched it and froze most of it.  We also took some and shredded it and froze it – I want to be able to make Zucchini Orzo and zucchini bread this winter.  We got some carrots – I’m debating blanching and freezing some of them.  We also bought a beautiful big napa cabbage – I’m not sure what to do with it but it was so pretty, I couldn’t resist!

Homemade Falafel

This is a VERY "loose" recipe.  Measurements aren’t exact in about all cases.

Take one cup plain yogurt (don’t use no-fat) and mix with chopped cucumber and minced garlic.  Add salt and chill.

Toast some wholegrain pita bread and chop up some tomatoes and red peppers.

Chop finely:
1 onion
2-3 tiny carrots(we got these from the farmers market and they were little)
Some red pepper (we used half of a small pepper)

Saute in olive oil over medium heat for a few minutes.  Add a couple of minced cloves of garlic and about a teaspoon of ground cumin (add half of this and keep adding to taste).  We made a huge pot of chickpeas a few weeks back and froze the extras.  Add 2 cups (I think the flavor is a lot better than canned) and cook as much liquid out of it without burning.  Take off heat and add a couple of tablespoons of tahini and some minced parsley.  Let cool and add one beaten egg.  Mix well and add one teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 to 1 cup flour.  I used all-purpose because I was out of whole wheat.  Mix well.

Saute large spoonfuls of batter in olive oil over medium heat and drain on paper towels.  Serve rolled up in a pita with tomatoes and peppers and drizzled with cucumber yogurt sauce.  This was an awesome meal. 

I’ve got a decent amount of batter left so I’m going to lightly fry the rest of the patties and try freezing them to see how they do.

Market Day – Oct 6

We loaded up again today – A Place From the Heart Farm was back this week so I got 6 pounds of Zephyr squash and three pounds of green beans to freeze. 

Jerry had some okra so we bought some more.  I’m thinking of freezing it breaded and half-fried so we can have fried okra this winter as a treat.  We also got more of white sweet potatoes.  I need to figure out how to store them safe from the mice in our cellar.

Gary had some Alabama Red okra so we got the little bit he had.  Next year, I definitely need to remember to get some okra going.  It’s gorgeous and a plant made for our climate.

Dave from River Ridge Farms had ground lamb so we got some of that.  We also got a stewing hen, ham hocks and chicken livers.  I’ve never had chicken livers before so M is going to make them for me.  We’ll see.  We also got some raw "pet milk".

I also bought a cool looking heirloom pumpkin from this eldery couple – it came with a three page handout with recipes they like.   

M stopped by another farmer’s market yesterday and got some eggs and ground beef from Laurel Creek Farms.  He wanted to get some catfish because they have a catfish pond but they can’t process it and sell it.  You see, they have to take a course to "learn" how to do it safely but no one will tell them when the course is offered.  Stuff like this actually helps me become more committed.  Anger is a very good motivating factor for me and I refuse to spend money supporting CAFO producers when smaller meat and dairy producers get screwed over and over again by rules set up to drive them out of business.  So instead of being able to buy local catfish farmed in clean water, I can either spend time and money fishing for them myself (which is fun but there are a lot of lakes I wouldn’t consider clean) or I can buy catfish farmed in South America. 

Farmer’s Market Goodies & putting them up

Jerry had some okra so I bought all that he had.  I was enough to fry up a little last night and I still had about 5 cups left to bland and freeze for gumbo this winter.  Last week I took some really woody okra pods I had and simmered them with some leftover tomato juice (anytime we had tomato juice that would make a recipe too watery, I poured it off of the chopped tomatoes and froze it).  Quite a bit of the okra flavor cooked into the juice and it will be awesome for gumbo.  So after blanching the okra, anything that seemed to woody got sliced up and stuck in the scrap bag with the okra stems.  I also bought another sweet potato squash from Jerry – the other one had a bad spot so I had to cook the whole thing but it’s a pretty tasty squash so I want to buy a few more to store.  I also bought some more white sweet potatoes.  They are just like regular potatoes but with a sweet aftertaste.  They make the most amazing home fries.

JD had some gorgeous muscadines so we bought a pint.  He also had some of the cleanest, prettiest Jerusalem artichokes I’d ever seen.  I just saw a yummy recipe for Jerusalem Artichoke Bisque in a Deborah Madison cookbook so I got some.

Gary still has eggplants so I bought three of them.  I made some eggplant relish last week to can and it was really good.  I want to make another batch.

Today, I popped open a tiny jar of the Curry Pickle Slices!  I LOVE them!  I’m definitely making these next year.  I blanched the squash that I bought last Saturday.  I’d been putting off dealing with them but one had gone soft and it was put up or shut up time.  So I froze about ten cups.  They were a delight to work with after the snotty mess of okra.  I also had to deal with the huge mess of cucumbers I bought last week so Marcus and I made some pickles that used a combo of lemon juice and vinegar.  I need to use up the rest of the cukes and as much as I want to make more Curry ones, I’m going to try to try some non-sweet ones.  The goal this season is to try as many different recipes as possible so we can make larger batches of the great ones next year.  I also canned a pint of okra – I’ve never had pickled okra so what the hell!

Marcus was sweet enough to dice up the huge mess of red peppers sitting in the fridge that were about to go bad.  He sauteed them with some onions and garlic and threw in the tomatoes that were about to go bad as well.  I’m going to fuss with it tomorrow and freeze it for later this year.

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