Sunday, December 12, 2010

December Stock-up Market

The December stock-up market is almost here and with two weeks left before Christmas it’s the perfect time to pick up some goodies for your holiday meals. Winter can be a tough time for farmers so we’re extra excited that they’re sharing the last of their crops with us. Did you know that the drop in temperatures at this time of year really helps to bring out the flavor of hearty greens and root vegetables? The colder weather will convert starch to sugar, making the flavors in these veggies really shine.

Here is what you can expect at the market this week. Although you should keep in mind that it’s always hard to predict what the farmers will actually harvest that day.

Farms & Orchards:

If it’s fruits and veggies you’re looking for than you’ll want to hit up Phil and Dianne at Pd Farms who will most likely have garlic, onions, potatoes, amazing shallots and perhaps even beef jerky. Derek from Frog Meadow always has biodynamic staples and curiously delicious culinary surprises at a working class price. Paul at Little Gnome Farm is bound to have sneaky little heirloom surprises that will delight the eye and the palette, grown in small scale and close to the earth. The folks at Kiyokawa Family Orchard will likely have beautiful apples and pears. We’re also hoping there will be more winter squash this month.


Nancy at Alsea Acres Alpines will feature a selection of handmade fresh chevres and feta. Terry and Laurie at Fairview Farm will feature aged raw and pasteurized goat cheeses and pork.


When it comes to grass fed beef, you’ll want to check out our friends at PD Farms. If it’s a nice piece of pork you desire then Fairview Farm is the place for you. Olympic Provisions will feature artisanal salami and other dry cured, smoked and fresh pork products created with local organic pork.


The following farms should have eggs this Sunday so fill up while you can; Little Gnome Farm, Pd Farms and Val's Veggies.

Bakers & Sweets:

Decadent Creations is whispered to have sweet Buche de Noel cakes and Gluten Free cheesecake plus much more. Jewelie at Sina Baking will be bringing the Brazilian cheese bread that is naturally gluten-free - look for hot samples too! Amanda at Scoop PDX will certainly have pints, quarts and scoops available in flavors like the uber popular salted caramel plus seasonals of egg nog, peppermint stick and pumpkin - as always, organic, small batch and local.

Ready to Eat:

Lisa at Thai Mama has the best eggrolls in town. Last week she surprised us with pumpkin curry, this week she should be bringing hot lemongrass tea. Yum!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Virtual Thanksgiving Potluck of Recipes

We each have our own cooking style that is as unique and personalized as our fingerprints. We have ingredients that we gravitate towards, others we shun and would never knowingly consume. Even the cookbooks, blogs and websites we frequent influence what we serve for dinner. Personally, I tend to prepare vegetarian, easy on the dairy, relatively uncomplicated recipes. So that's what ends up dominating my blogposts by default.

To celebrate the Thanksgiving season, I thought it would be fun to create a virtual potluck of recipes from each of our board members and key volunteers to give you a better variety of dishes to inspire your shopping at the market this upcoming weekend. (November 21; 10 am - 2 pm - same place as always).

When I think of the things that I will give thanks for this year, one will definitely be an appreciation for the culinary tastes of my fellow MFM enthusiasts. Wow. You'd think we made people take a cooking test before allowing them to give their time to the market! There is not a single recipe on this list that I would not salivate over if it showed up at my dinner table.

So enjoy, fill your baskets, and give thanks that we have access to the food that we do each weekend at our lovely neighborhood market.

The MFM potluck lineup: (recipes below)
Curried Nuts
Curried Sweet Potato Soup
Goat Cheese Drop Biscuits
Vegan Rice Stuffing
Kale with Double Garlic
Caramelized Sweet Potatoes and Walnuts
Beet and Beet Green Risotto
Turnips Braised with Butter and Dates
Fried Marinated Winter Squash
Roasted Turnips with Maple and Cardamom
Scalloped Celeriac and Potatoes
Brandied Cranberry Sauce
Pumpkin-Orange Mascarpone Pie

Curried Nuts

offered by Luby Wind

1 pound whole nuts, (pecans, walnuts, peanuts or pumpkin seeds)

½ cup sweetener (Sugar, honey, maple syrup or a mix)

2 ½ tablespoons oil (corn or vegetable)

Seasoning Mix

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 ¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon chili powder

Preheat oven to 325°.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add nuts and blanch to boiling water and bring back to a boil for 5 minutes. Drain blanched nuts. In a separate boil, mix together sugar, honey and oil.

While drained nuts are still hot, toss them in a large bowl with sugar/honey and oil mix. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Spread nuts on a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake 30 – 35 minutes turning every 5 – 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and toss with seasonings in a large, clean mixing bowl.

Spread on a single layer to cool, otherwise nuts will clump together.

Curried Sweet Potato Soup
From The Essential New York Times Cookbook
offered by Nay Shayan

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup coarsely chopped onions
1 large clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
6 cups chicken broth, or slightly more as needed
salt and pepper to taste
6 to 8 teaspoons goat cheese

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until the onions begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and saute, stirring for 30 seconds. Add the ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric and red pepper flakes. Add the sweet potatoes and broth and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes.
Puree the soup, in batches in a blender or food processor. Season to taste. The soup can be made a day ahead and kept in the fridge. Reheat over a low flame. If the soup is too thick, add a little more stock.
Ladle into bowls and crumble goat cheese on top.

Vegan Rice Stuffing
offered by Kyle Curtis
Some years back I went to my first all-vegan Thanksgiving, and made the following vegan stuffing recipe. I liked it because it didn't rely on any pre-made stuffing mix.

A half loaf of bread
2 cups cooked rice
2 cups vegetable stock (for folks w/ no time, you can pick up packaged stock at any decent grocery store)
1/4 cup sage
1/4 cup poultry seasoning (which can be dropped or exchanged for other seasoning if you want to avoid any chicken flavor)
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 stalks celery, chopped fine, and celery leaves
1 cup button/field mushrooms, chopped
4 green onions, chopped

The night before your Thanksgiving feast, cook the rice and set it aside to cool.
Meanwhile, tear the half loaf of bread into small chunks, about the size of croutons. I love to use whole grain bread, but you can use anything, even day-old leftover bread from dinner the night before.
Sprinkle the sage and poultry seasoning over the bread, and add the chopped celery, celery leaves (use them all!), and cooled rice. Mix well, and leave it to sit overnight.
On Thanksgiving day, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, mix in the pine nuts, onions and mushrooms. Slowly mix 1 and 1/2 cups of vegetable stock into the stuffing, mixing well to evenly distribute the liquid.
Place the stuffing in an baking dish and drizzle the remaining vegetable stock over the top. Cover and bake for 2 hours.

Kale With Double Garlic
Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything
offered by Laura Spidell

serves 4
1 pound kale (can also substitute collards, or broccoli raab), washed, and any thick stems cut away (save stems that are less than ¼ inch thick)
Olive oil (amount to your preference)
¼ cup thinly sliced garlic (about five or six cloves), plus 1 teaspoon or more minced garlic
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup of broth (use any kind of broth or stock you have on hand, or water)

1. Chop up kale leaves and thin stems.
2. Heat olive oil in a large, deep saucepan (medium-high) and add
sliced garlic, pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Cook for about a
3. Add the kale and the broth or water. Cover and cook over medium-
high for about three minutes, or until the greens are wilted and just
4. Uncover the kale and continue to cook, stirring, over medium-high
heat until the liquid has almost evaporated and the greens are quite
tender. Check seasonings and correct to your taste. Add the minced
garlic (substitute fresh grated ginger if you don’t want to add the
extra garlic) and cook for about a minute more. Serve topped with
toasted pine nuts or a squeeze of lemon juice

Goat Cheese Drop Biscuits
From Art Smith’s Table Fifty-Two
offered by Nay Shayan

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for the pan
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted to top the biscuits
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup buttermilk

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven to preheat as well. You can also use a cake pan if you don’t have a cast iron skillet.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. With your fingers incorporate the butter and goat cheese until the flour resembles a coarse, pebbly mixture. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk. With a fork, mix together the buttermilk and flour until all of the dry flour disappears.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small sauce pan or in the microwave. Set aside.
Remove the cast iron from the oven and place one tablespoon of butter in it. Work the pat of butter around, greasing the entire pan, including the sides.
Spoon the batter, by the 1/4-cup into the hot skillet. The biscuits will touch when baked. Brush with melted butter.
Bake for 14-16 minutes, until slightly golden in color. Remove from the oven. Let rest for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Caramelized Sweet Potatoes and Walnuts
offered by Beth Kluvers

serves 8
4 medium sweet potatoes, washed and cut into quarters lengthwise
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place sweet potatoes in a greased baking pan just large enough to hold potatoes in a single layer skin side up. Melt butter in a medium saucepan, remove from heat, and stir in salt, sugar, 1/4 cup water, and vanilla. Pour mixture over potatoes. Cover tightly with foil and bake for one hour, or until very tender. Uncover, turn sweet potatoes skin side down, sprinkle with walnuts, and bake 5-7 more minutes, until caramel melts into potatoes and walnuts are toasted.

Beet and Beet Green Risotto
offered by Quinn Taylor

serves 4
1 small onion
1 pound red beets with greens (about 3 medium)
4 cups water
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup Arborio or long-grain rice
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1 tablespoon bottled horseradish

Finely chop onion and trim stems close to tops of beets. Cut greens into 1/4-inch-wide slices and chop stems. Peel beets and cut into fine dice. In a small saucepan bring water to a simmer and keep at a bare simmer.
In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook onion in butter over moderate heat until softened. Add beets and stems and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in 1 cup simmering water and cook, stirring constantly and keeping at a strong simmer, until absorbed. Continue cooking at a strong simmer and adding water, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding next. After 10 minutes, stir in greens and continue cooking and adding water, about 1/2 cup at a time, in same manner until rice is tender and creamy-looking but still al dente, about 8 minutes more. (There may be water left over.) Remove pan from heat and stir in Parmesan.
Serve risotto topped with horseradish.

Turnips Braised with Butter and Dates
offered by our market Resident Chef Kathryn Yeomans

The turnip is far from a poor, hapless vegetable provided you treat it with dignity. One unlikely but remarkable combination is common turnips and regal dates – opposites melding together each in an effort bring forth the others best qualities. The sugary candy-like fruit lures out the root’s pleasant flavor. Meanwhile, the earthy turnip grounds the rich sweetness of the date. The result is a luxurious serving of humble turnips…or is it an earthy dish of exalted dates? Either way, they are a wonderful accompaniment to roasts, such as turkey.

serves 4
1 bunch of small white turnips (alternatively, use 2 medium or 1 large white turnip
2-3 Tbsp. butter
1 Medjool date for each small turnip or 6-10 dates if using larger turnips
salt and freshly ground pepper

Trim the turnips, removing their leaves and roots. Save the leaves to use as a vegetable. If using the larger turnips or if the smaller turnips have thick skins, peel them. Slice the turnips into ½ inch thick rounds.
Melt the butter over medium heat in a skillet large enough to accommodate the turnips no more than 2 slices deep. Add the turnip rounds and toss in the butter to coat. Season with salt and pepper and turn the heat to low. Put a lid on the skillet, and cook, turning now and again, until the turnips are about halfway done.
Remove the lid and add the dates. Carefully turn the turnips and dates and check the amount of moisture in the skillet. The turnips should release a fair amount of liquid, but this will evaporate as the turnips cook. Add a couple of tablespoons of water if needed to keep the turnips from sticking.
Return the lid to the pan and cook the turnips and dates together until the turnips are done (when easily pierced with a fork - soft, but not mushy). Some of the dates will fall apart into the turnips, some will remain whole. Check the seasonings. Serve hot.

Fried Marinated Winter Squash
offered by our market Resident Chef Kathryn Yeomans

This preparation seems to accentuate the meatiness of winter squash. It is a wonderful and unique side vegetable, and a welcome addition to a vegetarian menu. Fried marinated squash makes a fine antipasto – try it dotted with creamy goat cheese, or add freshly shelled walnut meats to the onions as they cook.
The onions alone are a recipe worth mentioning. I use these sweet and sour onions to marinate a number of vegetables - fried zucchini or eggplant rounds, cooked, still warm beans and steamed broccoli (pitted black olives are a nice addition to the broccoli and onions).

2 ½ pound winter squash, such as butternut, or pumpkin, peeled, halved and seeded
kosher salt for salting squash
olive oil for frying
¾ Tsp. kosher or fine sea salt
freshly ground pepper
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 ¼ Tsp. granulated sugar
5 Tbsp. mild white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
6 sprigs fresh, aromatic mint plus additional mint leaves for garnish

Cut the squash into ¼ inch thick slices. The slices must be small enough so that you can fry and turn them easily, but not so small that they don’t stand up to the frying. A guide to the size would be 2 inch by 3 inch by ¼ inch thick. If using a butternut squash, do not halve the long neck, rather slice it into rounds.
Place the sliced squash in a large bowl and sprinkle with coarse salt. Toss the squash to coat it with salt and let the slices stand several minutes. Blot the moisture that forms on the surface of the slices with paper towels, but don’t press down on the squash. When you are finished frying the squash, season it with the ¾ teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the squash in batches (in a single layer – do not crowd) and fry until golden brown on both sides. Drain the fried squash on paper towels.
Reduce the heat to medium. Pour off all but 4 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onions to the skillet. Sprinkle with sugar and cook until the onions are soft and golden brown, stirring frequently (about 15 minutes). Add the vinegar and 1/3 cup of water. Increase the heat to high and cook the mixture, stirring up any browned bits, until the liquid is reduced by half.
Arrange the fried, seasoned squash on a platter. Pour the onions over the top. Sprinkle with torn mint leaves. Cover and refrigerate. This recipe can be prepared to this point up to 1 day in advance. Let the squash come up to room temperature before serving. Garnish with additional fresh mint and serve.

Roasted Turnips with Maple and Cardamom
offered by Luby Wind

Serves 8
3-1/2 lb. purple-top turnips, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice (10 cups)
3 Tbs. vegetable oil
Kosher salt
1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter
3 Tbs. pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Generous pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh cilantro (or a mix of parsley and mint)

Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 475°F. Line two large, heavy-duty rimmed baking sheets with foil. In a mixing bowl, combine the turnips, oil, and 11/2 tsp. salt. Toss to coat well. Divide the turnips between the two pans and spread evenly in one layer. Roast for 20 minutes. With a large spatula, flip the turnips. Swap the pans’ positions and roast until tender and nicely browned on a few sides, 15 to 20 minutes. (The turnips on the lower rack may be done sooner than those on the upper rack.)
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the maple syrup, vanilla, and red pepper flakes, and then the coriander and cardamom, until the sauce is heated, 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat.
Transfer the turnips to a large mixing bowl. Gently reheat the sauce, if necessary, and stir in the lemon juice. With a heatproof spatula, toss the sauce with the turnips. Add half of the cilantro and salt to taste and toss again. Transfer to a warm serving dish and garnish with the remaining cilantro.

make ahead tips:
This dish can be made a day ahead. To reheat, put the dressed turnips (without the cilantro) in a large nonstick skillet and cover with a lid. Heat gently over medium-low heat until warmed through,stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.Add the cilantro and season to taste with salt just before serving.

Scalloped Celeriac and Potatoes
offered by Rowan Steele

Serves 6
butter for greasing the baking dish
1 pound celeriac, peeled, halved, sliced about 1/8 inch thick
1 pound baking potatoes, peeled, sliced about 1/8 inch thick
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Gruyere or domestic Swiss cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons butter

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-quart baking dish with butter.
2) Place the celeriac and potatoes in alternating layers in the baking dish, seasoning every few layers with salt and pepper. At about the halfway point, add 1/3 cup cheese in an even layer; sprinkle with the thyme. Continue with the celeriac and potatoes until you have used all of your slices (don't go all the way to the top edge; leave a little room to allow the liquid to boil).
3) Pour the stock over the celeriac and potatoes. Dot with butter. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes more. Sprinkle the remaining 2/3 cup cheese over the top layer, add several grindings of fresh pepper, and bake until the cheese turns golden (about 15 minutes).
4) Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
5) Optional: what we always do is press about a bulb or two of garlic (preferably a porcelain variety, like Music or Zemo) on top to melt into the cheese. But, we do that with about everything.

Brandied Cranberries
published in Sunset Nov 2008
offered by Gretchan Jackson

12 oz. cranberries, fresh or thawed frozen
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/3 - 1/2 c. brandy, to taste
2 T finely shredded orange zest

Preheat oven to 325.
Mix ingredients in an 8-9" square baking dish. Bake, uncovered, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 1 - 1 1/4 hours, stirring occasinally.
Make ahead up to one week.
The cranberries shine like beautiful jewels, look amazing on the plate and won't be passed up by anyone at your feast!

Pumpkin-Orange Mascarpone Pie
from Sunset Magazine
offered by Kyle Curtis

2 cups finely crushed gingersnap crumbs (about 32 gingersnaps)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 eggs
1 can pumpkin purée (15 oz.) - or make your own from fresh market pumpkins
2 teaspoons orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup crème fraîche

1. Preheat oven to 325°. In a 10-in. pie pan, stir together gingersnap crumbs with melted butter and press into a crust. Bake until set, about 6 minutes. Set aside.
2. Increase heat to 350°. Beat cream cheese, mascarpone, and 2/3 cup sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each egg. Add pumpkin, 1 tsp. orange liqueur, citrus zests, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Mix until smooth.
3. Pour filling into crust and bake until edges are firm but center still jiggles a bit, 45 to 50 minutes (bake any extra filling in ramekins). Cool to room temperature, then chill at least 6 hours and up to overnight.
4. When ready to serve, beat cream, crème fraîche, and remaining 2 tbsp. sugar and 1 tsp. orange liqueur in a large bowl until soft peaks form. (Optional: Serve pie with orange whipped cream.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Broccoli with Couscous and Walnuts

I made this dish last night for dinner with the intention of it being a side dish for something else. What that something else was going to be was a little hazy. But this recipe, adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian ended up being my main dish. I figured it was pretty well balanced - pasta, vegetable, protein in the form of nuts and a sprinkle of cheese. It's one of those dishes that do well hot and fresh out of the pan, but also the next day as a chilled side dish with lunch. And since I don't know how I would make do without leftovers to get me through the week, that is an important selling point for me. The original recipe (also equally tasty) calls for cauliflower and almonds and a dusting of smoked paprika or pimenton.

Couscous with Broccoli and Walnuts
Makes 4 servings
Time: About 20 minutes

1/2 cup almonds 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot or small red onion, chopped
1 small head of broccoli, chopped (about 3 cups or more if you like lots of veggies)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup whole wheat or regular couscous
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, water, or a combination
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
Freshly grated parmesan (optional)
1. Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium high heat. Or use a toaster oven on a low setting. The nuts will begin to smell fragrant, but not burned. Remove them from the pan and set aside to cool.
2. Return the pan to the heat and add the olive oil. When hot, add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and beginning to color, about 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it is coated with the oil and starts to soften and turn golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the couscous and keep stirring until it too is coated with oil and begins to toast, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the stock and bring to a boil. Cover and turn the heat off. Let rest, undisturbed, for 15 minutes. Chop the almonds as finely as you can. Add them along with the parsley and fluff gently with a fork. Return the lid and again let the couscous rest for another minute or two, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately, garnished with grated cheese if you like, or let cool and serve at room temperature, up to an hour or so later.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower with Currants and Parsley

I had all the best intentions in the world while making tonight's dinner. I realized I hadn't posted a recipe in a week and a half. I had some cauliflower in the refrigerator. Some fresh parsley still thriving in the garden with the bursts of moist warm air we've had in the past few weeks. I was going to get out the camera and take some pictures of artfully piled stacks of florets speckled with bright flecks of green and a few wise little currants peeking out from beneath. It was going to be a wonderful photograph.

I roasted the cauliflower in olive oil at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, added some salt and pepper and a splash of a vinaigrette of equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Stuck it back in the oven for another 15 minutes, then pulled it out of the oven. Threw in a handful of currants and another handful of parsley. Mixed it up. Tasted a floret to make sure it was seasoned well. And then just keep eating. There was something oddly wonderful about the warm oil mixed with the tangy vinegar that was ridiculous. And then it was gone, without evidence to show you how good it looked.

So take my word for it and try it yourself. If you don't care for cauliflower, I can see this method being equally good on slices of delicata squash or beets or other root vegetables that roast well.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Vinegared Beets w/ Greens

I don't think I really cared for beets when I was growing up. I attribute this to the food packaging industry and the fact that they came canned more often than fresh. Lined up next to the rows of mushy grey-green peas and creamed corn that looked more like baby food than an honest to goodness vegetable. And lets not even venture into frozen lima beans and brussel sprouts. Talk about giving vegetables a dreary reputation.
But in my adulthood, I have come to love, love, love them and the way they stain my hands red like food coloring. I have a friend that uses the beet juice to stain natural linen into gorgeous rusty reds that look like pinot noir.
Beets freshly steamed - I can't get enough of them. They have an earthy sweetness that needs very little assistance. I rarely do anything more with them than add olive oil and salt and pepper and eat them diced as a snack. If I can restrain myself I'll save them for a salad with goat cheese and toasted walnuts. Recently, I tried this recipe from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone - a preparation that doesn't really even need a recipe it's so simple. I made it last week, and then went back to the market to buy another enormous bunch to do the same again. Four large beets is enough for me to stretch into to four side dish sized helpings.

1. Trim the greens from the top of the beets, leaving a stubble of stems on the beet root. Trim the root "tail". Through the whole beet in a steamer basket over simmering water. Steam for 30 minutes or until you can slip a knife into the beet easily.
2. Let the beets cool until you can handle them. Slip the skins off the beets. They come off easily with the edge of a butter knife lightly scraped across the surface.
3. Chop up the beets, toss with olive oil or butter, salt, pepper and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
4. If you like the beet greens too, steam those separately, toss with olive oil and salt and pepper.
5. Eat warm or chilled as you prefer.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Gluten Free Crepe Recipes

If you had a chance to watch the chef demo at this past weekend's market, you probably wanted to rush right home and whip up a batch. Crepes are so versatile there is a version for any time of day - breakfast, lunch and dinner. Savory or sweet. Fruit, chocolate, ham and cheese, butternut squash puree with nutmeg and a dollop of creme fraiche on top - I can go on and on. Thanks to the kind folk at Gluten Free Neighborhood, even those who have had to strike all things all purpose flour based from their diets can enjoy these tasty treats. So give it a go and let me know how it turns out and what flavor combinations you make. Bon Appetit.

2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup water
1 cup All Purpose Gluten Free Flour (apgff). I suggest Bob's Red Mill.
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbs butter, melted, plus 2 or 3 tsps butter for coating the pan.

Flour suggestion: Sift the flour and then get the measurement and do not pack the flour down into a cup.

Blender Method:
Blend eggs, milk, water, flour, salt and 2 tbs melted butter until smooth.

By Hand:
Separately, sift the flour and add salt. Whisk eggs until blended. Mix the milk and water into the eggs and whisk this mixture into the flour and salt; stir in the 2 Tbs melted butter.

For Both:
Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or two, preferably 24 hours.
Gently stir batter if it has separated. The consistency should be like heavy cream.
Heat a seasoned crêpe pan over medium-high heat until hot. 6"-7" pan or 9"-10" pan.
Coat pan lightly with butter, lift the pan from the heat and pour in 2 to 3 tablespoons batter for the 6"-7" and ¼ cup for 9"-10", tilting and rotating the pan with the batter to coat the surface of the pan. Cook until almost dry on top and lightly browned on the edges (usually about 1 minute).

Loosen the edges with a spatula or bamboo skewer and/or your fingers. Flip the crêpe over and cook the other side for about 15 seconds or until lightly browned.
Turn crêpe onto towel or plate to cool.
Repeat with the remaining batter, wiping the pan with butter as needed. You can stack the crêpes using waxed paper after they are cooled.

Variations 1: These recipes REPLACE the 1 cup flour with:
Buckwheat Galettes (Galette is the French term for buckwheat Crêpes)
2/3 cup apgff and 2/3 cup buckwheat flour.

Corn Flour Crêpes
2/3 c apgff and 2/3 corn flour.

Cornstarch Crêpes
1 cup cornstarch and add ½ tsp baking soda.

Garbanzo Flour Crêpes
2/3 cup apgff and 2/3 cup garbanzo bean flour

Chestnut-Garbanzo Flour Crêpes
2/3 cup garbanzo bean flour and ½ cup chestnut flour

Chestnut Flour Crêpes
2/3 cup apgff and ½ cup chestnut flour

Variations 2: These recipes ADD additional ingredients.

Herb Crêpes
Add ½ cup minced fresh chives, basil or flat leaf parsley to the batter while blending
For pale green mixed herbed Crêpes, add ½ cup minced fresh chives,
green onion tops, flat leaf parsley, tarragon, marjoram and basil.

Sun-Dried Tomato Crêpes
Add ¼ cup minced, oil packed sun-dried tomatoes to the batter while blending.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Warm Red Cabbage Salad with Sunflower Seeds, Feta and Apricots

I think cabbage gets a bum wrap. Perhaps because it's often overcooked to a smelly, shapeless heap. Maybe because of ridiculous, misbegotten diets that tell you to eat nothing but flavorless cabbage soup three times a day. Or because it is an over-goopy, mayonnaise-y mess on the side of fast food fried chicken places.

I would like to be an advocate for cabbage. It keeps nearly forever in the refrigerator. It's great as a crunchy addition to tacos, tuna salad or lightly dressed with a vinaigrette cole slaw. Or it can be cooked in something like this adaptable salad that combines sweet, salt and sour in a perfect blend. Try playing around with the ingredients - switch the golden raisins for currants or apricots like I did. And any soft, salty cheese would pair well - feta or goat cheese were recommended, but I could also see a queso fresco working just as well. Perfect for the end of the week when the supplies are getting low and it's time to start assembling shopping lists for the market this weekend.

Warm Red Cabbage Salad with Sunflower Seeds, Feta and Apricots
adapted from The Complete Tassajara Cookbook

1/2 cup sunflower seeds (pine nuts would also be good)
1 teaspoon natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
fine grain sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, diced (I used a regular yellow onion)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 pound head of red cabbage or radicchio, quartered and cut into thin ribbons
2 ounces golden raisins (or other plump, chopped dried fruit - I used apricots)
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 ounces feta, crumbled (goat cheese also recommended as an alternative)
Roast the sunflower seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Sprinkle on the sugar, and a couple pinches of salt. Stir until the sugar melts and coats the seeds. Transfer the seeds immediately to a plate so they don't stick to the pan. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and saute the onion for a minutes or two with a couple pinches of salt. Stir in the garlic, and the cabbage, and a few more pinches of salt. Stir and cook for just a minute or so, or until the cabbage softens up just a touch. Then stir in most of the raisins and the vinegar. The cabbage will continue to get more and more tender even after you remove it from the heat, so keep that in mind, and do your best to avoid overcooking it - where it collapses entirely.

Fold in half of the feta, most of the sunflower seeds, then taste. Season with more salt if needed. Serve garnished with the remaining raisins, goat cheese, and sunflower seeds

Serves 4 to 6.

Guest post: Gulten Free Crepes

From the Gluten Free Neighborhood, our guest chef demo this upcoming weekend at the market, where folks meet at the corner of good health and appetizing cuisine.

Crepes 3 ways
and they are gluten free

Kathy Dee Zasloff, founder of the Gluten Free Neighborhood, will demonstrate how to make savory crepes that are scrumptious and happen to be gluten free.
She will demonstrate the use of 3 different batters: all purpose gluten free flour as well as garbanzo and buckwheat flours. Crepes can be frozen and reheated, made fresh and eaten warm, and take just a few minutes to prepare. Serve as main course or dessert, crepes are a versatile culinary staple for gluten free and gluten eaters alike. Recipes provided at the demo.
Where: Montivilla Farmers Market – Portland, OR
When: Sunday, October 17th, 2010 – 10:30 to 11:30am

Monday, October 4, 2010

"Everybody Eats" at Thanksgiving at the MFM

As the economy continues to suffer, 1 in 5 Oregonians are now receiving food stamps. The Montavilla Farmers Market believes that everybody has the right to eat fresh, healthy, local produce and is turning to its devoted customer base to see that more low income neighbors can shop at the market this holiday season.

During the month of October, the Montavilla Farmers Market will begin accepting donations to their new “Everybody Eats” program to ensure that families experiencing food insecurity have access to the best quality, locally grown food. Customers using their debit cards at the market to pay for tokens for their regular weekly shopping can easily add five, ten or fifty dollars (or more!) to their purchase to help other families that might not otherwise be able to shop at the farmers market. Those tokens will go directly to families in need who can then use them to shop for fresh produce, cheese and meat from market vendors for their holiday meal. The first weekend alone with only word of mouth publicity, $155 has been raised.

The market will match the first $500 of donations and will work with St. Vincent de Paul to identify families within the community to receive the market tokens. St Vincent de Paul manages special works programs including a prepared and perishable food recovery program, a food bank and providing emergency food.

Donations will be accepted by cash, check or credit/debit card at the market, or by mail to: Montavilla Farmers Market
P. O. BOX 16238
Portland, OR 97292
Please note “For: Everybody Eats”

The Montavilla Farmers Market’s mission is to create a vital, high quality market that promotes our local farms, producers and artisans in a community-centered gathering place. The market takes place 10 am – 2 pm every Sunday from June through October, plus the Sunday before Thanksgiving in the 7600 block of SE Stark. For the first time ever, the market will also be holding Winter Stock-Up Markets the second Sundays of the month in December-February from 11am - 1 pm at the same location.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chanterelles - a beautiful thing indeed

It's official. I am hooked on mushroom foraging. Today I went out into the woods somewhere west of Portland (a good forager never reveals the exact location of their cache) with a couple of friends for my first ever chanterelle hunt. I've wanted to do this for years but didn't know where to go and didn't know what signs to look for to unearth the fungal treasure. The forest as a lot of surface area to cover and without some success throughout the afternoon, it can quickly become discouraging. But when you do find's like being 5 years old opening presents at Christmas.

The benefits to an afternoon spent mushroom foraging - 1 pound, 2 ounces of fresh chanterelle mushrooms for dinner. The drawback - I could tell you very little about the beauty of the forest we walked through or how far we walked. Head down, eyes scanning left and right, looking for a gleam of orangey-yellow pushing up through the pine needles and moss. Time passes. Just one more rise of the hill to search, maybe there will be the motherlode.

Chanterelles must be foraged from the forest because they do not take to cultivation and are very particular about where they grow. Chanterelles reappear in the same spot of the forest from year to year so it is important when harvesting to bring a knife to cut the mushroom off at the base, leaving the ground undisturbed where the mycelium grow. The underside of the mushroom is what makes the chanterelle particularly distinctive and easy to identify. Delicately ruffled gills running down the entire length of the stem.

Chanterelles have a meaty flavor and every resource I've sought out recommends starting with a simple preparation to fully enjoy and isolate the mushroom flavor. Sauteed in butter or olive oil with a sprinkle of salt and maybe a splash of cream at the end.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day-Old Bread Salad

Yesterday, the Montavilla Farmers Market hosted a community forum to discuss food access and equity issues. Thanks to a donation from Grand Central Baking Co. we had a beautiful pile of rolls and whole grain bread loaves left over at the end of the day. I love bread and can't seem to keep a loaf around long enough to use in recipes that call for day-old bread. Bread pudding, croutons, bread crumbs, french toast. So many uses for something that some people would consider past its prime, but for me is just aging to perfection. This unexpected windfall came at just the right moment.

Today after the market, the board is throwing a thank you potluck party for our volunteers and vendors. I decided to use the bread in a bread and tomato salad. The close runner up was an Apple Cardamom Bread Pudding from the same cookbook, but the unexpected bounty of tomatoes from my garden helped make the decision.

Crouton Salad
adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
8 oz crusty bread (a few days old is best)
1/4 c olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar or lemon juice
2 ripe tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1/4 c roughly chopped basil or parsley
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the bread into large cubes and spread on baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden and toasty. Let cool.
In another bowl, mix oil, vinegar, tomatoes, onion, garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to mix everything well. Add the toasted bread and basil or parsley.

Another twist on this recipe is tossing the bread salad with any kind of greens (kale, chard, spinach) that have been sauteed with onion, red pepper flakes. Toss in a handful of currants or raisins and toasted pine nuts. Sounds like something that would be good for later in the season when tomatoes have faded to a memory.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Confessions of a Cookbook Addict

By Luby

I admit it – I’m addicted to food magazines and cookbooks. Recently I was asked if I have a favorite. That’s like asking a doting mother who is her favorite child.

After many years (and bookshelves) of buying, reading and collecting dozens of cookbooks on pastry, ethnic cuisine and, of course, chocolate (Death by Chocolate) about 5 years ago, my husband and I agreed to a moratorium on our compulsive passion. This act of self discipline, however, did not keep us from feeding our cookbook Jones with weekly sojourns to the downtown library - loading up on every imaginable culinary text, rushing home to test new recipes, and flopping down on the futon to dive into the next treasure chest. But I digress…

One of the last cookbooks I actually bought (on the bargain table at Powell’s, no less) is a real gem! Clearly Delicious, An Illustrated Guide to Preserving, Pickling & Bottling written by award-winning author, Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz (Herbs, Spices & Flavorings) and Judy Ridgway is one of the most beautiful "cookbooks" I have yet to see or own! This is a completely illustrated guide to some of the most delicious recipes I have ever found all in one book. When I’m shopping at the Farmers’ Market, I’m dialing in on recipes from Clearly Delicious. And at home, when I’m thumbing through Clearly Delicious, I’m making mental notes about products I’ll find at the Farmers Market next Sunday.

This is not your grandmother’s version of canning. The writers clearly possess a robust appreciation of the marriage of our seasons on earth and the heady craving of palate pleasing flavor. This collection is chock full of simple step-by-step sequential demonstrations that transform seasonal picked-in-their-prime fruits and veggies into pickles, conserves, jams, jellies, curds, marmalades, syrups, flavored vinegars & liqueurs, chutneys and more! Each chapter begins with a one page summary on the basics – how to make, seal and store and maybe even more importantly (especially to a canning phobic as I) – what can go wrong and why. Thankfully the writers stress the value of careful (a.k.a. safe) preparation as a vital component of successful and delicious results (thanks Grandma). A fantastic chapter on herbs & spices transports the reader around the globe in delightful and dizzying fashion.

The last chapter, Finishing Touches is well… just intriguing. In my opinion, the collection’s ‘cherry on top.’ Who would think a jar of tomato sauce could look so good? Idea packed 7 pages inspires even the artistically challenged to create unique, imaginative gifts that are very high on the WOW meter.

I’ve seen a few copies on line (Amazon, etc.). But be sure to get the edition with the gorgeous canned pears on the cover. Check out Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz’s other cookbooks, especially The Book of Latin American Cooking lauded by James Beard, and The New Complete Book on Mexican Cooking.

My favorite recipes from Clearly Delicious:

Cassis – what else to do with the 3 quarts of black currants exploding with flavor and bending every branch on the bush!

Apple and Ginger Jam – (Hint: use fresh ginger and less sugar)

Pickled Cauliflower with Sweet Bell Peppers

Spiced Apples with Rosemary – no sugar, all honey, very yummy!

Rhubarb Chutney – a perennial favorite (but I tell ya, next month when the almighty beets are sweet and in full swing, I’m trying out the Beet Chutney!)

Perfumed Thai Chili Oil – this is absolutely fabulous to grill tofu, tempeh or veggies or to scent steamed rice.

Blueberry Herbed Vinegar – gorgeous in a thin bottle with a bit of raffia around the neck

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How to Peel a Peach (or Tomato)

Staring at a large box of peaches, having already made a few batches of jam and a galette, knowing that with each passing hour the peaches were ripening, I decided to simply peel the rest of the lot and freeze the slices, buying me time to enjoy the sweetness of the fruit at a later maybe December when fresh, local fruit is but a memory.
I put a pot of water on the stove, filled another big bowl with ice water and got to work.

Peeling delicate produce like peaches and tomatoes is really quite simple and quick. The same principles apply to both. Make a "X" in the bottom of the fruit with a paring knife, drop it in a pot of boiling water for one minute (sometimes longer if the fruit is super-sized). Transfer the fruit to a bowl of ice water. When the fruit is a comfortable temperature to handle, gently slip the skin off of the fruit. Just be careful to keep your hands clean and goop-free as you work through the batch because the fruit and knife can end up a bit slick and juicy. It's easy to send a slippery ball richocheting around the kitchen if you lose your grip.
From here, your options are many. Canning, jamming (or saucing for tomatoes), freezing. Chutneys, preserves, relishes. Breakfast, dinner or dessert. Or maybe all of the above. With as many peaches as I just peeled, why limit myself?

New Vendor Profile: Little Gnome Farm

The Montavilla Farmers Market recently welcomed a few new vendors into the fold mid-season. One of them, Little Gnome Farm hails from Ridgefield, Washington - just a bit north of Vancouver.
Little Gnome Farm has a blog full of information, so check it out and learn a bit more about them before you visit their stand. You can learn about what it takes to start a new, small-scale farm that avoids the use of heavy machinery. You can also stay on top of what produce you can expect to find at the market in addition to their chicken and duck eggs.
If you are curious about duck eggs but not sure how to use them, there are a number of good web resources that talk about how to cook with them. I found one web site that said that duck egg whites have more protein than chicken eggs and thus will whip up higher and lighter. The yolks, too, have more fat that chicken eggs and thus a richer flavor. The most common advice was just to scramble or fry it up like you would a chicken egg and appreciate the rich, eggy flavor.
Welcome, Little Gnome!

From Little Gnome:
1) What types of products do you specialize in?
Heirloom variety vegetables that are organically grown; Chicken and duck eggs.

2) What are your biggest challenges in operating a farm? And what makes it all worth it?

Challenges –
As a first year farm (start-up company)
1. Capital for investment – need three years before eligible for $ assistance
2. utilizing low energy inputs, i.e. not using a tractor
3. working solo –unable to afford extra labor
Worth it –
1. having healthy food
2. meeting great customers who love what we are doing
3. knowing I am offering something people value

3) What food policy issues do you think are critical to the future of agriculture in Oregon?
Land availibility – because housing market increased land value beyond what is sustainable through on- farm income.
Financial assistance to beginning farmers (3 years of records needed before you can qualify)
Farmer’s market fees the same whether you are a small farm with little income or a large farm with large income. Barrier to new farmers.

4) What is your favorite food blog/web resource?
Oakhillorganics. Com
Oregon Tilth

5) What food/agriculture related book, magazine or movie would you recommend?
Anything by Steve Solomon—Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades & Gardening When It Counts
Sharon Astyk, Depletion and Abundance

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day is no joke when you are a farmer

I would harbor a guess that very few people are aware of the origin of the Labor Day holiday (in 1882) and some might find irony in the fact that we celebrate it by taking a day off of work (those that are lucky) and squeezing in a last camping trip or backyard BBQ before the kids head back to school. But if you are a farmer or anyone who gardens with any seriousness, this is hardly the time of year in which one can think about leisure activities. Vegetable plants are bending over heavy with fruit. The trees are heavy with apples, pears, peaches. This is the time when canning and preserving fill the kitchen with billowy clouds of steam.

Even though I've been a slacker with my cooking this summer, I've still carried a torch for anything that can fit in a Mason jar. The knowledge that the window of opportunity is only so wide has compelled me to buy whole boxes of fruit to turn into jams and applesauce. This past weekend I picked up 25 lbs of Gravenstein apples that are good for pie-making and saucing. And I couldn't pass up the 20 lb box of Red Haven freestone peaches for peach jam and more pie.

Applesauce is one of those things that is so simple and quick to make that I can't really bring myself to buy it at the grocery store. I use a apple slicer to core and section the apples, leaving the skin on, throw 6 lbs in a big soup pot with a cup of water, let it simmer for 25 minutes and run the soft, mushy result through a food mill and that's it - done. So easy it doesn't even need a recipe. Maybe I'll add a little sugar or cinnamon or nutmeg. The jars that I process to store in the basement I leave plain so it can be used for applesauce cake or as a replacement for oil in low-fat muffins.
So as you pull that last beer out of the cooler, offer a toast to the farmers that were hard at work today, harvesting the bounty that will keep our pantries stocked this winter. Prost!

Monday, August 30, 2010

September = Reader Recipe Contest Month

I had great ambitions at the beginning of the summer. I was planning on decorating my cookbooks with post-it flags marking the best recipes that highlighted seasonal product, filling these blog pages with mouth watering photos of healthy, savory, awe-inspiring meals, coming home very week from the farmers market with my basket full of new and interesting produce.
But life got in the way and I found myself night after night looking for culinary inspiration that wasn't too be found. I was tired, distracted by other more pressing concerns, happy if my dinner included all the major food groups, much less actually was appetizing or attractive. I did bring home lots of market produce, but often found myself simply steaming or sauteing it with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt. Now don't get me wrong. I think simple is often underrated. I believe that you should actually be able to taste the flavor of the vegetable, not drown it in other overpowering sensations. But creativity and imagination is still a good thing.
My life is approaching normalcy again and I feel a pull back towards the kitchen. It might be the unseasonably cool weather that makes me think of spending Sunday afternoons making bread and soup and filling the windows with steam.
So this is where you, the reader, come in. I am looking for some new inspiration and have seen from past blog and Facebook posts that the people that shop at the Montavilla Farmers Market might very well be the best sort of advice. The month of September is being devoted to a customer challenge. Send me your favorite recipe, complete with enticing photograph and I will post it for all to enjoy. At the end of the month, we will put all of the entries into the running for a reader vote. The person submitting the most popular recipe will win a 2010 MFM t-shirt, men's or women's sizing from American Apparel.
In the meantime I'm going to head to the bookstore for a new cookbook for some nightly reading. If you're anything like me, you too enjoy curling up in bed with a cookbook dreaming up combinations of flavors. If you don't have a recipe to submit, send me suggestions of a great new cookbook to check out.
If you want to submit an entry, send an email to with the words "MFM September Recipe Contest" in the subject line. Make sure to include a photograph, the proper credit to a cookbook or magazine if appropriate, and enough instructions that the average cook can recreate your masterpiece. I will in turn post the entry to the blog and ask readers for the comments and reviews of the recipe. At the end of the month, we'll hold a vote and award the prize. The only defining feature is that the recipe should feature something seasonal and locally available at the farmers market.
I look forward to seeing what this challenge produces. Happy cooking!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Our Market is Green...

... and not just due to the local veggies.

In July we launched the Market Loaner Bag program. With your help, we're hoping to put an end to the "use-it-once" mentality by providing market bags to borrow if you've forgotten yours. The bags have been made from t-shirts that have been donated by the Market community and cleverly sewn by volunteers, including neighborhood home sewers and boutique Union Rose. The jersey t-shirt fabric produces a bag that is soft and a little bit stretchy, which hugs your purchases nicely.

The Market will have these unique bags on hand at the Info Booth (limited to availability) for market shoppers to borrow for shopping for produce & other market goods. The bags may be borrowed for the week & should be returned the next time you visit market, hopefully the following Sunday. Returning them promptly will ensure their availability at market for the season duration.

At the same time we have made a Free Guide on Produce Storage available, so that you won't be at a loss for how to store your produce if you bring it home in something other than disposable plastic bags.

This is not our first project focused on reduction of the disposable in favor of the durable. Our Durable Dish program to reduce disposable service ware launched in 2009. You can read more about it here on our blog.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Vendor Profile: Deck Family Farm

Portland is in the midst of a grand love affair with meat. From restaurants like our own Country Cat, Beast, Simpatica, this celebration of the art of butchery has had many benefits to us, the consumer. I have a number of friends that were once vegetarians but now have ventured back into omnivore territory because of it is now easier than ever to find sources of meat that come with the knowledge that the animals had a happy life, they were fed real food and weren't amped up on hormones like they were a professional sports player. It starts with the first bite of good, quality, pasture raised meat that is flavorful and tender - often bacon is the gateway drug it seems. From there, it's just a taste of this stew, or a slice of this rare-cooked filet. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with being a vegetarian, my almost-husband has been one since he was in college. All I'm saying is that it if you do eat meat, and haven't treated yourself to some "good meat" like Deck Family Farms offers at the market, you don't know what you are missing. The difference is noticeable.
And if you want to see where your meat comes from, Deck Family Farms receives visitors at their farm in Junction City, Oregon. (or see the picture in this post) Their website is also a good resource for recipes and the health benefits associated with grass-fed beef and milk.

1) What types of products do you specialize in?
Deck Family Farm specializes in pasture-raised protein products
including beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and eggs.

2) What are your biggest challenges in operating a farm? And what
makes it all worth it?
Our biggest challenge is competing on price against federally
subsidized, corporate industrial agriculture. Fortunately, our
products have superior flavor, are beneficial to the environment and
directly support our rural economy. This is what makes farming worth

3) What food policy issues do you think are critical to the future of
agriculture in Oregon?
Critical to establishing a healthy network of small farm protein
products is for the Oregon Department of Agriculture to establish a clear and consistent method for interpreting existing policies. Rules and policies are notcommunicated clearly and thus are interpreted in vastly different ways by Farmers Markets, grocery stores, and restaurants. This creates a climate of confusion and uncertainty amongst the growers. Certainly it makes further investment by producers more difficult.

4) What is your favorite food blog/web resource?
Dr. Mercola ( has some great information on all kinds of issues relating to personal health.

5) Do you have a favorite cookbook that you cook from?
Epicurious (

6) What food/agriculture related book, magazine or movie would you recommend?
Forget about the books, magazine, and movies. Most of them vastly oversimplify the complex agricultural food-system landscape. The best thing to do is visit the farms that are bringing food to you at the Farmers Market and see for yourself. Deck Family Farm welcomes visitors Monday through Saturday.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Vendor Profile: Kohlman's Soaps farm direct goat products

Goats might be one of those creatures that you either love or fear. You love them because they have an endearing way of giving you gentle headbutts and trotting comically across a field. Or you fear them because of a childhood petting zoo experience gone awry. But regardless, their milk is a wonderful thing. We at Montavilla are lucky because we have vendors that sell edible goat products (chevre) and those that sell things that make your skin soft and lovely like soaps and lotions. Just because you treat your insides well with organic fruits and veggies, doesn't mean you should neglect the side that we present to the world.
Oh, and don't forget about the farm fresh eggs that Bev sells as well....even if you haven't motivated to build that backyard chicken coop, you can still enjoy the taste of a fresh fried egg with its extra rich yellow yolk.

From Bev Garzon of Kohlman's Soaps
1) What types of products do you specialize in?

Goat milk soap, shampoo, lotion. Organic eggs.

2) What are your biggest challenges in operating a farm/business? And what makes it all worth it?

The longest term challenge have been the predators. Lastest is a bobcat that has nabbed four of our chickens. We have a guard llama, but bobcat climb trees. Other than that, we're most bothered by the rising costs of hay and grain feed.

What makes it all worthwhile is standing at the kitchen sink, washing dishes and having a great view of our little farm. I even love it when the chickens come marching into the house, straight to the cat food bowls. Gives me a chance to grab 'em and give them a kiss before I toss them outside - yet again.

3) What food policy issues do you think are critical to the future of agriculture in Oregon?

Right now for me, it's the fact that raw goat milk cannot be sold to humans in Oregon for consumption. Although it is the most widely consumed form of milk in the world, it cannot be purchased legally in Oregon for anything other than livestock feed and then only if purchased directly from the farm.

4) Why do you chose Montavilla Farmers Market to sell your products?

In the 90's, Montavilla, Mt. Tabor and Hawthorne were my stomping grounds. As soon as I found out Montavilla had their own farmers' market, I knew it was the place for not only me, but my products.

5) Do you have a favorite cookbook that you cook from?

The All Purpose Joy of Cooking (Irma Rombauer and Marion Rombauer/Becker). Not so much for the recipes, but for the basic facts of purchasing, cooking and preserving all sorts of food. It's Martha Stewart meets Julia Child meets Alton Brown. I have the paperback version and keep it all together with a big rubber band.

6) What food/agriculture related book, magazine or movie would you recommend?

Cooks, Illustrated. (magazine)
Chocolat (movie)
Botany of Desire (book)