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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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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.

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Gaining Ground Farm

Gaining Ground Farm

Spring and summer have been ultra busy with teaching a few classes, my niece’s wedding, my daughters graduation from Chapel Hill, a trip to Italy and France, the busy season at work, and my daughter starting her post-graduation job – thus my market visits this season have been sporadic or a quick dash before work.

Today was my first leisurely Saturday in quite a while. My Saturday plan? The tailgate market of course. So…rain happened…the kind of rain that my friend Stacia would call a “lady rain” – slow, steady, and penetrating.

No. The rain wasn’t going to stop me. I got my raincoat and my wide-brimmed hat (umbrella-like) and set off for the beckoning market. Despite the weather, the parking lot was surprisingly full of customer vehicles. LOVE the hard-core customer base of each tailgate market, because all the farmers/bakers/ venders were there rain or shine – waiting for us to show up.

I had the luxury of visiting with some of my vendor buddies this morning, ate an entire sticky bun (made with Carolina Ground flour), and gathered delicious goodies for the coming week.

Full Sun Farm’s lettuce mix has been addicting. Their mix dramatically contrasts the listless mixes from the grocery store; Vanessa’s mix isIMG_3936 vibrant and fresh for many days. It’s full of life. This is true of other lettuce mixes at the market too. Get the lively stuff! A customer in Gaining Ground’s booth was rhapsodizing about the red onions and how beautifully they cook up. Anne also had sure-to-be-tender baby eggplants. Gorgeous tomatoes splashed their reds across the market, including heirlooms and cherries. Even though I still have a couple of tomatoes from the West Asheville Market on Tuesday, I got a couple more to make sure that my lunch sandwiches have sunshine-y tomatoes as a main feature! Mountain Harvest Organics had ‘Red Gold’ potatoes which I wanted to plant those this year (but didn’t)…so I going to taste them courtesy of Julie & Carl’s farm.

Three Graces Dairy let me sample some of their hard cheese and “Pas de Trois” was my choice – a cheese made from cow, goat, and sheep milk. The amazing cheese shops we visited in Italy and France left a lasting impression – so many choices, so little time. I pray I never have to give up dairy products.

I ate my entire sticky bun while I was at the market. I confess that I intended to cut it into fourths and eat it in parts over the next day. Ha. Plus, from Cathy Osada, I have one slice of the-real-deal pound cake waiting in the wings.

What was most impressive about today was the number of customers who did show up. I heard one farmer say they would probably only make one-third of their normal income because of the weather, but all were in good spirits and the sky even looked a little brighter as I left. Once more, I must underscore how very blessed we are to have beautiful markets so accessible to us throughout most of the week. Giant gold stars to those who are out supporting the farmers and vendors on inclement weather days. If you stayed home and cozy this week, think about grabbing your umbrella next time to ensure these farmers will keep bringing their beautiful foods to our markets and making our dinner tables shine with something money can’t buy.

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Pas de Trois Cheese, baby eggplant, lettuce mix, paste tomato, pound cake, red onion bunch, tomato, lettuce mix, ‘Red Gold’ potatoes

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I wish I was eating this for breakfast right now, but it was “all gone” days ago.

Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Coffeecake

And fabulous. Truthfully everything I have ever bought from Aimee is wonderful. That’s Aimee Mostwill & Sweetheart Bakery, who shows up at area Tailgate Markets every week.

Sweetheart bakes sweets and savories. Everything looks terribly tempting, so it’s always hard to decide what to get. For a while I was sticking with a crunchy spelt scone. Sometimes I get a pocketful of different shortbread cookies. The Pear Hand-pies with little pastry hearts on top…they’re irresistible. A few weeks running, George shared entire Sweetheart Bakery pies with us at work on Saturday mornings. No one that I work with is inhibited about eating homemade pastries, so I can safely admit ~ coffee was brewed and the pie evaporated.

Aimee Mostwill/Sweetheart Bakery can be found on Saturday mornings at the Asheville City Market and the North Asheville Tailgate Market. On Wednesday afternoons she is at the Montford Farmers’ Market.

Aimee isn’t the only baker at the markets though. If fact the array of choices makes my mouth water and I can’t even remember all of them. Joanne Moore has a huge following (you will have to go early to buy from Joanne ~ she always sells out). Blue Heron/ Susan Mallard brings gorgeous tarts and pies every week. Farm & Sparrow and Loafchild have breads and pastries. There is a gluten-free baker. Cathy Osada sells goodies along with her honey (pound cake and wedding cookies are my favorites). Jeanne bakes a great pound cake too. I apologize to any bakers that I left out, but just wander the market with your nose and eyes. You can’t go wrong!

Thanksgiving is coming and bakers at all the markets will be taking special orders. Make it easy on yourself. Order treats, pies, savories, croissants, rolls, and special breads in advance and have a more relaxed Thanksgiving Day. Farm & Sparrow has a whole list of options on their Facebook page, and just ask any baker at the market about placing a special order. Imagine brewing up some coffee after Thanksgiving dinner and biting into a delectable something. Yum, yum, yum!

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Last week I rushed in to the market before work; I was on a mission to get goat cheese for my daughter to take to the beach (she and her friend Marika claim that Spinning Spider’s Rosemary-Fig Chevre is their very favorite, but they will eat others when pressed). I sped over to Anne Gaines Grier (Gaining Ground Farm) and got two pints of strawberries. One went to the beach, one I enjoyed tremendously. We have been eating strawberries for weeks now and that is just heaven. And no, I haven’t made anything like a pie. They haven’t lasted long enough.

And guess what? One or two blueberries in my yard are turning blueish…so blueberries will be coming in soon too. I almost forgot to mention the Currant Croissant I got from Farm and Sparrow Bakery. David made these last year, but I only saw them every now and then. Very, very, yummy and flaky. That was breakfast, and off to work I went.

The previous week, I actually was able to go to the West Asheville Market, the Wednesday Coop Market and the North Asheville Market all in one week. I hadn’t planned to go to The West Asheville Market, but it had been super hot all day long. I started daydreaming about those wonderful Popsicle. By the time I got there after work, she was out. Wah! That left me with a perfect excuse to get a bag of Roots & Branches Rosemary Crackers.

I had a big Tailgate Market list on that Saturday. My friend Nell is recuperating from a hip injury, so we got her a beautiful bouquet from Tuckers Gardens and some of Joanne Moore’s homemade shortbread. We got 2 pints of gorgeous strawberries from Vanessa (Full Sun Farm) and pound cake from Cathy Osada to go along with the strawberries. For our friend Judy’s birthday, we found some earrings that were made from glowing periwinkle-blue sea glass. The jeweler, Victoria Baker makes them with beach glass she collects in her travels.

Bouquet by Tucker's Gardens

Of course, goat cheese chevre was on the list. This is something our whole family adores. Amelia just posted a picture of baby Asher licking every last bit of chevre from a goat cheese container. How cool is that? Asher’s not even two years old yet!

Make a day of it tomorrow. The markets are hopping. The food is fresh and packed with vitality. The farmers and producers care. We live in an amazing spot with multiple great tailgate markets. Revel in our local abundance. Visit one.

 

 

Click here for the market list:

https://tailgatemarketfanclub.wordpress.com/market-list/

CHECK OUT Riceville Tailgate Market’s new location: Grace United Methodist Church parking lot, 954 Tunnel Road, Fridays, 4-7 pm.

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Hobie Ford was at the North Asheville Tailgate Market today with his puppets.  I saw the caterpillar magically transform into a butterfly, the Great White Heron was preening, actually eating fish, and flying around.  Tiny elves were dancing on the fingers of children…and mine.  An otter cracked open a shell on a rock and ate it.  Kids and grownups were transfixed, especially one little boy about 3 years old…from the safety of his mother’s side, his eyes were riveted on the action.

Lots of people at the market this morning, coolish from the overcast skies.  I splurged on a bunch of stuff since my daughter is graduating from high school on Monday.  Yay for Julie Claire!

Today…flounder and scallops from Frank Tenerelli, Spinning Spider Creamery Fig & Rosemary Chevre , plus Lemon Chevre, summer squash (zucchini and sunburst), eggs, cucumber, Sunburst Smoked Trout, Cathy Osada’s family recipe Pound Cake (trying to wait to eat this for company), and fresh organic pasta.  Along with my garden produce, we should be eating luxuriously for the next few days!

Strawberries are pretty much done, but blueberries are coming in.  Missed out on most of the blueberries.  Vanessa (Full Sun Farm) sold all of hers to the French Broad Chocolate Company.  You’ll have to go there to find out what they do with them!

Full Sun Farm

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