What's Fresh

Tuna is back for the next two weeks.  This weekend, October 11th fresh Pumpkins will be available through the Pumplin Project-island children selling pumpkins to raise money for Helpline.  Now's the time to take home fresh vegetables to put up for the winter. Bring your shopping bags and stock up!


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Give Thanks for Local Food

By Carolyn Goodwin

This Thanksgiving you can pass on the supermarket asparagus from Peru and indulge in a feast grown right here at home. With the exception of the turkey, you’ll find everything you need for a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner at this Saturday’s Winter Farmers’ Market. Sweet potatoes, check! Fresh salad greens, check! Potatoes, carrots, squash, chard, kale, garlic, onions, leeks, broccoli, fennel, and wine, you can check those off too. Laughing Crow Farm, Leapfrog Farm, and Persephone Farm will offer a great selection of local vegetables and wines this Saturday at Eagle Harbor Church. Make sure you get there early for the best selection; the doors open at 10 am.

Betsey's 1st crop of sweet potatoes
Betsey Wittick of Laughing Crow will be there with a locally grown surprise: sweet potatoes! They’re not commonly grown in these parts, but our resident Spud Queen managed to harvest a delicious crop. You could serve them whipped with vanilla, or combine them with some of Betsey’s other potato varieties in a  flavorful gratin with gruyere. Betsey will also offer a wide selection of boiling and baking potatoes, garlic, and onions for making side dishes like  Asiago and Sage Scalloped Potatoes.

Christine from Leapfrog Farm says she has a good supply of carrots. Of course you’ll need them for your turkey stock, but they’re also great glazed with maple syrup or you can simply  roast these sweet carrots in the oven.

If you’re lucky, you might snag some of Christine’s leeks, with their 2-foot-long stretch of luscious white leek. Leeks make a wonderful stuffing. Here’s an idea for a veggie entrée with leek stuffing in Kubocha squash, which is another item Christine will be bringing to the Market.

Winter squash will be plentiful at Saturday’s Market. Stock up – winter squash will keep in a

Squash - delicata with green stripes
cool place for a couple of months. My favorite is the Delicata, pictured here with other winter squash. It cooks up very sweet and tender, with none of the stringiness that Acorns sometimes have. They make a fantastic soup. Its long, narrow shape makes it a perfect stuffing candidate and an ideal entrée for vegetarian guests. Butternut squash will also be available, and can be a centerpiece of the meal in this winter squash and gruyere gratin, or in a  gratin with goat cheese and hazelnuts.
A trick for peeling butternuts: Take your squash and put it into a pot. You can cut it in half first if needed. Cover it with water, put the lid on the pot, and bring it to a boil (the steam trapped in the pot will cook whatever portion of the squash is above the surface). Simmer the squash for 4-5 minutes.  Allow the squash to cool. Now the skin of the squash is cooked, and so is a tiny bit of the squash under the skin.  These can be peeled effortlessly with any regular peeler.

Fresh local greens will add interest and texture to holiday salads and side dishes. Locally grown salad mixes are a much tastier and safer choice than the California imports. Kale gets sweeter as the weather gets colder. Simply  sauté it with garlic and bacon (or not, it’s still good) for a flavorful side dish with great texture and color. Or mix it up with some corn bread for a vegetarian stuffing.

One could spend days (I have) surfing the Internet for holiday recipes. Here are a few good sources for above-average recipes: LaBelle CuisineFood NetworkEpicurious and, Food & Wine.

So give thanks for our local farmers by celebrating Thanksgiving with their food on your table. The earth, and your family, will be grateful.

© 2008 Bainbridge Farmers Market