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Archive for the ‘Support Local Farmers’ Category

Well, it’s the peak of summer, and National Farmers Market Week, so your primary mission is clear: find your local farmers market!

Sure, the supermarket sells tomatoes, peaches, corn, melons, and so much more. But there’s something magical about the taste of a tomato that was harvested at peak ripeness the day before, as opposed to supermarket varieties that were picked while green before being hauled across the country. Your farmers market is the place to find those treasures. The best ones also carry local dairy, certified organic veggies, cheeses, meats, artisan breads, and luckily for us… fresh lobsters and seafood, too. The fact that shopping there helps you support small farms and eat more sustainably? Just a big fat Bonus!!

So, if you find yourself in our neck of the woods, ( shameless plug 🙂 stop on by. The Wells Farmers Market is open each Wednesday, rain or shine from 1:30-5pm, and we love meeting our many many visitors to our area. Come taste the flavors of Maine.. blueberries, peaches, plums, and lobsters, pickled can goods, plus scrumptious fresh baked goods utilizing the fruits of our summer season.

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Every summer when the vegetables in my garden burst into color, it’s hard for me to think about eating anything else.

I still remember sitting in the middle of my dad’s victory garden, where each vegetable seemed a work of art, creating my own private pageants by lining up the eggplants, zucchini and peppers, arranging them — then re-arranging them as the light bounced off their shapes, sizes and colors.

Once I tired of my game, I would help myself to an impromptu picnic, the ripe tomatoes, radishes and carrots still half covered with dirt. And today, I still conduct these pageants… and still enjoy biting into the first pulled carrots.. dirt and all. After all, which man-made image can surpass the silhouette of a plump purple eggplant, a pear shaped yellow pepper or even a bulbous garlic? And what of the elongated cylindrical zucchini? Or.. that perfectly rounded juicy first tomato off the vine. But in today’s fast paced world, most rarely pause to appreciate them.

More often, they arrive in our kitchens swathed in paper and plastic and are sliced, diced, squeezed, chopped, julienned.. even puréed, becoming secondary components of larger dishes.

Since I love ❤ examining these miracles of nature, I use every excuse to create dishes where I can keep my vegetables whole. Crazy I know LOL.. but hey, that’s just me.

But think about this for a moment.. by leaving vegetables whole, scooping out the center, then piling back complementary ingredients, a new and nourishing relationship is born. Sometimes, the outside indicates the inside. But even though zucchini traditionally cries out for onions, and peppers and tomatoes; mushrooms provoke Parmesan, shallots and bread crumbs; and sweet peppers propose meat, tomatoes and garlic, when we travel afield… you begin to realize the choices and combinations are endless and flavor synergies are limited only by our imaginations. And if you are imagination stumped hop over to my other blog here for some new ideas.

Nature’s bounty can produce parades of stuffed veggies for your tables, from the plethora of various squashes, to eggplant and even tomatoes! Plus offering you some tempting new items for your menus, rather than just plain old boring steamed zucchini, for next to pennies if you plan right. Stuffed vegetables– the summer’s bounty–can make any meal a special event and so healthful too!

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q: what’s the best thing to put into a blueberry pie?

a: your teeth! 🙂

Yum! It’s blueberry season!

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… Zucchini, summer squash, patty pans!  Now I’ll need to come up with some new recipes to use them all up before these babies head to torpedodom ( is that really a word?) LOL!  How many possible recipes can there be for zucchini anyway?  Baked, sautéed, stuffed, steamed, pickled, hidden in mock apple pies, sweet breads, muffins,  relishes, and even jams. I can’t think of another thing to do with them all! But I just love finding that blossom first thing in the morning.  Funniest remark I get at market in early October… “ you’re all out of zucchini?”. 🙂

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What to do with all this rhubarb?! With all this rain we’ve been seeing I have a plethora of yummy rhubarb in the garden. So this week I baked… and baked.. and baked. A lovely platter of blueberry rhubarb cardamom streusel bars for market, today a rhubarb chutney along with two rhubarb & mixed berry pies ~ dessert for tonight’s cookout, and one strawberry rhubarb bread for a friend. Then I made jars upon jars of my best selling Kennebunk ‘Port’ Wine Jelly for market this week and eighteen pounds went into my freezer for the rest of the season.  And yes, I’ll have more rhubarb potted up for sale again this Wednesday! 

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And just think.. only a couple of more weeks until strawberry season! 😉 

Have a safe Memorial Day and while we all look forward to the official start of summer that Memorial Day brings, I hope you’ll pause during the festivities and join in remembering those that have sacrificed all, so that we may enjoy our freedoms. We owe them a great debt.

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Coming along.. greens for market. they’ll be ready just in time for opening day.

spring greens 20I9

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Spotted at farmers market this summer. This little bandit swiped an ear of corn from one of our vendors and then ducked out of site with it.. so he thought 🙂 LOL

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