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White rose peaches. A man came by the garden center selling these off his truck – grown in his yard using no chemicals. The essence of summer!

peaches white rose

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sandwich after tailgate 1Fresh + ingredients you won’t find in grocery stores. That is the beauty of our tailgate markets. My sandwich ingredients from today’s tailgate market:  ripe purple tomatoes, crispy white cucumbers, and pan-roasted Italian sweet pepper on a bed of sweet basil, and from the grocery store – organic cream cheese, balsamic vinegar, and local artisan bread.

Yes, you can buy basil and purple tomatoes from the grocery store, but are they this fresh and from people who farm in our neighboring counties? People with kids that they are raising. People with land payments. People we know. Will my meager purchases help send their kids to college? Well, no, not exactly. But each little purchase adds up.

I pray that when they count up their money at the end of each market, it is enough to sustain them and their families. Cause these are some hard working folks. Heros. Their food tastes like it came from my home garden. Just look at the color of that tomato. I mean really look. Soak it in. This food brings me to my knees.

I have missed this food during my recent period of busy-ness. I have missed the people too. Manysandwich after tailgate grilled have been so kind to ask about my recently married daughter. Some conversations have made our eyes well up with emotion. Together, all of us have watched these tailgate market children grow and blossom. Suddenly the baby is a seventh grader is a college student is adventuring in Europe is being married or becoming a parent. Again I am on my knees with wonder, and so grateful that I am sailing along on this lovely planet amid this miraculous journey.

Back to sandwiches. This is important – sandwiches taste so much better when they are made on good bread. It is worth the splurge to get good local bread if you are a sandwich-eater. Pan-roast the peppers. Pile the ingredients to the edge of the bread and grill in a skillet with your choice of fat (I used olive oil).

pistachio shortbread sweetheart bakeryPistachio shortbread cookie for desert from Sweetheart bakery.

Purple tomato from Green Toe Ground Farm. White cucumber from Full Sun Farm. Peppers from Gaining Ground Farm. Basil from Mountain Harvest Organics. Bread from Annie’s Naturally Bakery.

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Yes. Tailgate Market Fan Club has been on a bit of sabbatical.

I bought a house last summer. Much of my time has been occupied with renovating my “new” 1964 red brick rancher. It is amazing how much time every little thing seems to take. Wonderful carpenters have done most of the work, but I am the painter and decision maker. Since the trim is now brand new, all of the trim has received 3 coats of paint. And the new doors are still mostly unfinished. As they might say in Madison County…Oh, law.

On top of that my daughter is getting married this June. Both the bride and groom have lots of extended family members, and then there are the dear friends. So between wedding planning and my house…my extra time is nonexistent. I feel like I have been under water for months. Luckily I have a few really sweet friends who have been extra thoughtful lately.

eggs in carton

Mark’s eggs. Notice caulking gun and paintbrush on counter.

My carpenter friend, Mark, has gifted me with fresh eggs from his hens a couple of times which has resulted in some delicious breakfasts and dinners of breakfast food. Gracious, good eggs are a blessing. To imagine Mark’s hens running about seeing  blue sky and puffy white clouds – compared to the poor little hens penned up in industrial slavery. There is no comparison. In either the happier life Mark’s hens have, or the way his hen’s eggs taste that reflect their happier life.

Things should ease up around mid-July. My daughter will be married and on her way to Switzerland. I will have the luxury of working in my yard, starting a garden, and perhaps taking an adventure or two.

Happy local eating. Enjoy this glorious season of bounty to the maximum. Because, believe it or not, winter will soon

eggs, Mark Anderson

Real good eggs!

return. Most every market is open now with amazing food to be had on each market day. Savor this luxury.

With fond regards, Ruth

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A Few Goodies for A Cold Weather Supper

A Few Goodies for A Cold Weather Supper

The YMCA WINTER MARKET has moved. It is now located at the Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church at 789 Merrimon Avenue from 10 to 12:30 every Saturday morning until April. That is the church with the giant community garden in the front yard facing Merrimon Avenue – most of the harvest goes toward feeding the hungry.

With only a few minutes to shop, I stocked up on grits and eggs from East Fork Farm, two kinds of potatoes from Meadow Cove Farm plus some beautifully dried shiitake mushrooms, AND a beautiful apple turnover decorated with a heart (smile) from Aimee Mostwill of Sweetheart Bakery plus a yummy coconut shortbread cookie.

On this blustery day, doesn’t a cozy soup (based on potatoes and shiitakes) with an warm apple turnover for dessert sound marvelous and comforting?

NOTE: All the greens were gone quickly…I missed them by a long shot. Meanwhile over at CITY MARKET, Missy of Jake’s Farm said she sold out of her veggies within ten minutes. Wow. Asheville City Market’s winter location is indoors at the Public Works Building on Charlotte and Eagle Streets from 10 to noon.

Hint, hint…Don’t lollygag like I did. Get to these Saturday markets at 10 o’clock if you are serious about winter greens!

 

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Super-fresh Green Chard from Full Sun Farm

Super-fresh Green Chard from Full Sun Farm

 

By the time I got to the Tailgate Market last Saturday, Vanessa was out of spinach. She suggested green chard as a substitute, and even gave me a bunch of Full Sun Farm green chard to try out. This chard embodies vitality. You can SEE it – even in the photo.

We sautéed Gaining Ground Farm onions and once they were clear, added this super-fresh green chard. Once the chard cooked down a bit, we added the East Fork Farm eggs and scrambled until the eggs were just tender. What a great way to start a Sunday morning!

Scrambled Eggs with Full Sun Farm Green Chard

East Fork Farm Scrambled EGGS with Full Sun Farm GREEN CHARD

 

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Tailgate Market This saturday - Even Though I Arrived Late

Tailgate Market This Saturday – Even Though I Arrived Late

Fall excelled this Saturday with a perfect market day. Because I was late I missed out on some goodies, but look at this luscious bag-full I gathered before the farmers started packing up.

Spinning Spider Garlic Dill Chevre, and a buttery harder cheese from Three Graces Dairy called Castenets

-My favorite Roots & Branches crackers – Olive Oil and Rosemary – to go with the cheese

McConnell Farms Granny Smith Apples for a rustic galette inspired by Mark Bittman

Cathy Osada’s Pound Cake for a tea party to celebrate my friends’ new home and promote good mojo for the upcoming paper signing

-Ultra-fresh green chard gifted by Vanessa of Full Sun Farm to experiment with in lieu of spinach (gardener alert – she says it is VERY cold hardy)

-One dozen eggs from East Fork Farm (not pictured)

-And…the most essential of ingredients – onions from Gaining Ground Farm, one was irresistible  because of its soft red color

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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.

 

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