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PARSLEY LOVE

Chopped Parsley

Chopped Parsley

On a lemony-fall Sunday morning, this LOCAL breakfast brings out my parsley love. As with most herbs, parsley is packed with anti-oxidants and according to a Chicago Tribune article, “Just two tablespoons of parsley, high in vitamin K and the antioxidant vitamins A and C, pack 144 percent [of the daily recommended amount]…of vitamin K for bone and heart health…. and has been shown to stop breast cancer cells from multiplying and growing.”

Twenty four parsley plants line my front walk. The convenience of having the parsley A FEW STEPS from my kitchen cannot be underestimated. In the middle of cooking delicate eggs, I can pull the eggs off the heat, run outside, grab some

Eggs from Mudlicious Gardens - Grocery Store Eggs Pale in Comparison

Eggs from Mudlicious Gardens

parsley, chop it up, and throw it in the skillet – without compromising the eggs. Every single time we add parsley to our meal, we are kicking up the nutrient level, the flavor, and the visual appeal of the dish. Add parsley towards the end of cooking so the flavor is fresh and green. Dried parsley offers good benefits as well, but in Western North Carolina we are able to eat fresh parsley most of the year – and fresh is exponentially tastier. I use parsley at most meals and even as a lettuce substitute on my sandwiches.

Unprotected, my parsley dies back considerably in the coldest part of winter, but in late winter it revives and begins growing again. If you protect your parley with floating row cover it will flourish in the cold months too. A biennial, it is best to replant your parsley every spring because it goes to seed the second season and won’t produce much foliage. Even most apartment dwellers can grow a little parley in their brightest window, so get growing!

LOCAL Scrambled Eggs

LOCAL Scrambled Eggs

My LOCAL breakfast was fast and delicious. The eggs were from Mudluscious Pottery & Gardens (there was even a green egg in the carton!); the onions were from Gaining Ground Farm; the red pepper and the parsley were from my garden; and the Multigrain toast was from Annie’s Bakery. The cheese was not local, but it was organic.

OTHER HARDY HERBS for winter cooking: Routinely add herbs to your cooking. This age-old tradition is an effortless and delicious way to increase your intake of anti-oxidants.

Rosemary – such a savory addition to potatoes, meats, and soups. Demands good drainage in the soil.

Cilantro – Cilantro loves cold weather, not hot weather. Mine lived outside unprotected last winter.

English Thyme – Often happier in wintertime, demands good drainage in the soil.

Dried Basil (not hardy, but delicious dried) – Dry the leaves and store in an airtight jar. Crush leaves just before using. Frozen pesto is unbeatable.

Gardener/Chef Note: In my opinion, flat leaf parsley tastes even better than curly leaf parsley – but it is not as attractive as an edging to your walkway.

Parsley Plants Lining the Walkway

Parsley Plants Lining the Walkway

IMG_3934The landscape colors shifted while I was at work yesterday. All of a sudden, fall is here. She lulls us with her enticing garment of golds and reds; she softens the blow of the coming cold weather; but just as we are relaxing into the beauty of it all…BAM! Brutal weather will arrive. So I don’t welcome fall with open arms. She is the harbinger of winter, my least favorite season. I admit it. I am a member of the tribe that thinks you can always cool down when it is hot, but it is hard to get warm when it is freezing.

The golds and reds remind us that hard frost will soon be here. That frost will snatch the delicious summer vegetables from our grasp until next year. Soak up the bounty of our markets this week. Like a squirrel, stock up for winter – and do what you can to hang on to summer. Revel in the vitality. Almost every day of the week there is a Tailgate Market in Buncombe or surrounding counties, and many markets are nearing their last market day for this season. So, gather your goodies. Thank your farmers. Be grateful we live somewhere where we can easily obtain food raised in our own mountain soils by sincere farmers.

Visit the Tailgate Markets this week!

Fall Market Bounty

Beautiful weather, the buzz of customers, and lots of LOCAL food – that was today at the North Asheville Tailgate Market. I was enticed to the market by Carl and Julie’s (Mountain Harvest Organics) roasted Italian peppers. Every fall Carl and Julie fill the market with the delectable aroma of roasting  peppers. Peppers are ready hot out of the roaster…but be sure to buy some extras to freeze and use when winter is threatening never to end. The next time they will roast peppers is  on Saturday, October 11 at the North Asheville Tailgate Market. Don’t miss out.

Roasted Italian Peppers from Mountain Harvest Organics - a Real Treat!

Roasted Italian Peppers from Mountain Harvest Organics – a Real Treat!

I got a number of staples and treats this week – some to share at a party next weekend in Chapel Hill ~ salad mix from Full Sun Farm, pears from Bill Whipple, potatoes from Flying Cloud Farm, St. Paulin cheese with it’s lovely crust from Three Graces Dairy, pound cake from Cathy Osada, pistachio shortbread from Sweetheart Bakery (not picture as I already ate it!), roasted red Italian peppers from Mountain Harvest Organics, grits from East Fork Farm (They have a mill on their farm!), crackers from Roots & Branches, butternut squash and onion from Mountain Harvest Organics, wild sockeye salmon and smoked salmon form the Wild Salmon Company, and two milder Habanero peppers from Thatchmore Farm (I hope to trick my friend at work into thinking I am eating a fiery pepper without blinking).

Fall Bounty of Sincerely Local Food - each associated with a particular farmer.

Fall Bounty of Sincerely Local Food – each associated with a particular farmer when eaten.

RAD market dinner photo

The River Arts District Farmers Market is hosting a Summer Farm to Table Feast on September 24th, 7-10 pm

The RAD Farm Dinner will be held at THE JUNCTION ( located at the south end of the colorful Pink Dog Creative building at 348 Depot Street, just south of the Soapy Dog and next door to Siteworks Studios) with a decadent menu created by CHEF CHAD KELLY.

From the RAD Farmers Market: “Join us for our first Farm to Table Dinner in the River Arts District! Chad will masterfully prepare a four course meal from our market’s abundant fresh harvest. The Junction owners, Charles and Tanya Triber, have been long-time market supporters. Their food concept is based on fresh, local food with a fine-dining twist.  Your dinner will include one glass of beer or wine. A vegetarian dinner option is available. There will be a cash bar for additional drinks and creative market-fresh cocktails.”

THE MENU

Course 1:  Housemade Farm Bread with “Snack Pack:” Acorn Squash
Butter,
 Peach Pepper Jelly, Miticrema (sheeps cheese),
Jalapeno Honey

Course 2:  Baked Figs, Roasted Torpedo Onions, Thyme Butter, Greens,
                   Butternut Grits, Pickled Carrot Jus, Blueberry Reduction

Course 3: Roasted Sweet Peppers, Roasted Eggplant Compote, Smoked
 Italian Sausage, Horseradish Emulsion, Cherry Tomato Jam
                   (for vegetarians this will be presented with Italian Seitan Sausage)
                   

 Dessert:   Acorn Squash Frozen Custard, Julienned Peaches,
                   Basil, Salted Carrot Caramel

Individual Ticket – $65
Group ticketing – $62 per ticket for 4 reserved seats together

Get Tickets here:
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/summer-harvest-farm-to-table-feast-tickets-12675830751

Proceeds go toward the growth of the River Arts District Farmers Market (formally the Montford Farmers Market).

ALSO: Remember to visit the RAD Farmers Market for delicious local foods on Wednesdays from 2-6 at the River Arts District Farmers Market located at All Souls Pizza, 165 Clingman Avenue.

 

Keep your lunch affordable AND local. Make your own!

Are you currently buying your lunch every day? If so, you probably spend $8 to $15 for lunch, depending on whether it is fast food or fancy. That factors out to $160 to $375 per month for lunch. That’s a chunk out of your paycheck! With our abundance of Tailgate Markets in WNC, we can eat a splendidly local lunch that easily surpasses the Subway variety sandwich.

Hint! Cover the sandwich evenly with each ingredient.

Hint! Cover the sandwich evenly with each ingredient.

Great bread is essential for building a satisfying sandwich. Artisan bakers offer delicious choices at all our tailgate markets. I prefer slicing my own bread because I slice it slightly thicker than a standard bread slicer. Spread any condiments (mayo, mustard, etc.) out to entirely cover the bread. Slice your cheese/meat and add the first layer to your sandwich. Follow up with layers of homegrown tomatoes, lettuce, and any other inspiring additions (cucumbers, peppers, basil, radishes, onions, olives, walnuts, etc.). Avocado adds a meaty (but not local) flavor to vegetarian sandwiches. Baby kale and spinach kick up the flavor fun. Use the same technique for constructing a gluten-free wrap rather than a sandwich.

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You can turn anything into a sandwich. Slap last night’s dinner between two pieces of bread as you race out the door in the mornings. It is worth taking a few seconds to meticulously cover the entire piece of bread with each addition, so that every bite is equally delicious.

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Wrap it up and head to work.

The nursery where I work sells transplants for white cucumbers, but they never sounded that appealing to me. Yesterday I got some these white cukes from Full Sun Farm at the tailgate market. Labeled pickling cucumbers, they are the perfect size and shape for pickles. I ate them raw, but they would make fantastic super-crunchy pickles.  Try them!

White Cucumber from Full Sun Farm

White Cucumber from Full Sun Farm

Gaining Ground Farm with a Flurry of Customers

Gaining Ground Farm with a Flurry of Customers

QUICK! There is still time to hit the markets today. Don’t miss out. You can NOT get this quality at the grocery store. No way. Ever. My daughter is home for the weekend, so a quick trip to the market was a must this morning. Basically I spent every bit of cash I had. We got flowers for a special friend who is recovering from surgery. And East Fork pork sausage for my daughter and her boyfriend.

East Fork Farm Pork Sausage

East Fork Farm Pork Sausage

Her comment: “Wow. this is so tender you don’t even need a knife to cut it. Yummm. This sausage  is REALLY good! ” 

Last week I got some amazing Pas de Trois cheese from Three Graces Dairy.  Since Julie Claire is home this weekend and an avid cheese hound, I splurged on a Gouda cheese from Three Graces this week (looking forward to tonight’s appetizers).

My friend and neighbor Tom brought us some flounder he caught at Cape Lookout. With Tom’s flounder, we are going to have these Full Sun Farm green beans and Mountain Harvest Organics ‘Red Gold’ potatoes and fresh salad mix.

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