Thursday, August 27, 2015

Webb City Sentinel market column - 8-28-15

The seasons are changing at the market. The apples, sweet potatoes and winter squash have arrived and the fall greens won’t be far behind. It’s that happy time when the seasons over lap and we get the best of both so there are still melons galore this weekend and lots of other summer produce, as well as much of the fall produce.

What a fun day we had at the Kids Community Garden this week. Last spring about 200 kids from the kindergarten planted potatoes in the garden (photo below). This week the same children, plus a few new to the district, walked from their first grade class in Webster to watch those potatoes being harvested. It would be hard to have a garden better located for working with students. It is within easy walking distance of the kindergarten, the first and second grade and the middle school.

The children were so excited and we were too. You just never know what you’ll find when you start digging potatoes. Did they grow, did they spoil, how many will there be? Well, they grew and there were a lot and only a few spoiled. We had four excellent master gardeners there to talk about the process, reminding them that in the spring they planted just a small piece of potato, talking about how potatoes are root crops because the crop grows underground and telling them about some other root crops. The children settled onto the big tarp we’d laid since the garden was still damp from the weekend rains and the master gardeners unearthed the treasure. When all nine classes had visited the garden, the potatoes were donated to Watered Gardens, a homeless shelter in Joplin.

The middle schoolers will be invited to help put the garden to bed after school on the next two Wednesdays. The master gardeners will sow a cover crop and the garden will then wait for the next batch of kindergarteners in the spring.

Another wonderful thing that happened this week was during the downpour on Saturday. It rained buckets from beginning of market till a half hour before closing and yet, hundreds of customers came. Of course, many thought they’d be able to park close because who goes out in such weather and many were soaked getting from their car to the pavilion (bring an umbrella!). The pavilion and the concrete floor are a godsend in such weather, and at other times too when otherwise we might be melting in the sun. We are so fortunate and the envy of many other markets forced to shut down in such weather. So thank you Parks Department and Perry Foundation who provided the facility and improvements and thank you customers who braved the weather and made Saturday a profitable day for our farmers and other vendors and a good day for our Cooking for a Cause cause - Camp Mintahama.

Saturday was also the perfect day to wonder why on earth we always block off the best parking right next to the pavilion. It’s for your safety and ours. There have been numerous accidents at farmers market caused by drivers plowing through the market. The worst was in 2006 when a man plowed through a California market, killing 10 and injuring 70. Since 2006 only vendors and volunteers park against the pavilion because they will not be moving during market.

Today Lumpy’s Express and M & M Bistro serve lunch. The Sours are playing.

Tomorrow we have Red Bridge Trio taking the market stage. Cooking for a Cause benefit’s the Inch at a Time campaign at Sarcoxie High School. Supporters began the campaign in September 2012 and have raised $230,000 of the $500,000 needed to resurface the football field and track. The track is in such bad repair now that the team must practice out of town. You may ask why we would support their cause. Because they are our neighbors and we are inspired by our Little League team newly returned from the World Championship where they received the Best Sportmanship Award. Sure, Sarcoxie is not “our” school, but those kids need a good place to play and if we can help, we should. So here’s to wanting the best for everyone, not just our team, and here’s to the kids who gain skills during their time in high school sports that will benefit them and the community for a lifetime, skills like good sportsmanship.

Tuesday the market is open from 4 to 7. Carmine’s will bake artisan pizzas to order. Supper by Trish will feature a full meal for $5. Extension is giving samples of Herbed Baby Eggplant.

The world can be such a wonderful place, come taste it at the market!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Webb City Sentinel market column - 8-21-15

This column is about a couple of hidden happenings at the market.  In other words, some of the things that help make the market what it is but are not normally visible to our customers.

The market received a large packet this week, filled with thank you notes written by students at Eugene Field who had toured the market.  They loved the music and all the veggies.  They especially loved the baby goats and chicks that Penn Acres had brought for them to see.  Their cards included lots of colorful pictures and more than a few "you're awesome"s which, of course, we don’t believe.  But there were a couple that really caught my eye.  Alissa wrote "Thank you for letting E.F. tour the market.  You showed us that healthy food is a way to a healthy life."  She then added a drawing of the USDA's My Plate which shows how much fruit and veggies, grain and meat and dairy we should eat each day for a healthy diet.  My, now, there's a third grader who knows more than most of us.

The second card was from Destiny and was directed to me personally "I hope you will keep the farmers market forever, and you could pass it down to family members."  The thing is, Destiny, that is my hope too, but for the market our family is our community of the vendors, volunteers, customers, supporters, the city and parks and many others.  The market is a legal entity recognized by the IRS but its future depends not on my children - which is a very lucky thing indeed - but on the on-going health and vision of our market community.  That future is very much on the minds of our board who are vendors and community members.  Hard to believe it's already time to start making plans for next year but it is, and not only for next year, but also for this fall and the holiday season and ten years down the road.  The board is especially aware of the need for good planning as the kitchen nears completion, as we end this summer's Free Kids Supper and think about expanding it next year, and as we see the clay cap being applied to the large open area just west of the market.  The opportunities opening up in the next few months could be transformational.  It's an exciting time to be part of the market and part of Webb City.

Something else exciting for me was a vendor asking if she could “deep clean” the bathrooms.  Nancy is a professional house cleaner who, with her husband, also gardens and raises chickens and a few hogs.  They sell at the market under the name Harvest Hill.  Naturally my answer was “please do!” and so when you visit the market this weekend you will find the bathrooms deeply cleaned.  I hope you don’t miss those historic cobwebs.

At almost every market I have some kind soul tell me what a wonderful job I have done with the market.  Please, keep those compliments coming because I love a pat on the back, but the reality is that the market benefits from the efforts and support of many, many people.  We may not be a village but we are certainly a community. (Case in point below - our little volunteer guitarist who literally fronted a charmed William Adkins for much of his gig on Saturday)

It’s going to be another good week at the market.  Today The Granny Chicks liven up the market stage.  They are always such fun!  Lumpy’s Express will have their smoked and barbecued meats, plus sides.  Granny Shaffers serves their catfish and fried potatoes for $3.  With the rain and cooler weather we expect to see the fields perking up and loads of good local fruits and vegetables.

Tomorrow, The Rebecca Hawkins Project plays.  Cooking for a Cause benefits Camp Mintahama, our local Girl Scout Camp.  The volunteers serving breakfast rallied around the Camp in 2013 when the regional council decided to close it.  These former girl scouts wanted it to not only remain open but be improved.  It was a important part of their childhood and of their Girl Scout experience and they wanted today’s Girl Scouts to have the same experience. The camp is 180 wooded acres offering hiking, nature activities, service projects, swimming, canoeing, paddle boating; archery with a wide variety of camping options. It’s a big project, but these ladies are pulling it off with style.

On Tuesday we have a benefit supper for Bright Futures featuring the sloppy Joe recipe that has received raved reviews from the Free Kids Supper diners.  Sandwich, two sides, dessert and drink for $5.  All profits go to help our schools help kids in need.  It runs from 5 till sell out.

Carmine’s bakes up artisan pizzas from 4 to sellout.  Rob Pommert will take the market stage.

The market is open from 4 to 7 pm on Tuesdays, from 11 to 2 on Fridays and from 9 to noon on Saturdays.

Yes, we’re looking forward to another good week at the market, both behind the scenes and on the stage.  See you there!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Webb City Sentinel market column - 8/14/15

OK, I give up. Where has the summer gone?  School’s back in session and fall is not far behind. And though I feel like I’ve been playing catch up all summer, I think I’ll just admit I’ll never catch up and be glad to see pumpkins, sweet potatoes and fall leaves. Maybe things will slow down (though with both of my daughters moving and renting or selling their houses and me being the official family house painter, I have a feeling I’m going to be pretty busy this fall. In case you’re interested, Cora is moving from Perth to Brisbane, Australia, which are about 5 hours apart by air, and Emily is moving from Indianapolis to Denver).

But what you really need to know is that even though school has begun, the market produce is still rolling in and we’ll need lots of customers to buy it. So don’t abandon your healthy, delicious diet and your farmers now. (photos are of the charming helpers at Harmony Hill Farm)

Last week I wrote about the market being a “third place”. Ironically, I received a call this week from Project for Public Spaces. They are an international nonprofit based in New York that promotes great public spaces (in other words, they specialize in creating great third places) and works with cities and towns to develop them. Our market received its first big grant from PPS and it was transformational. It was 2007 and marked the beginning of our extensive farmer education efforts, the expansion and improvement of the pavilion, the structuring of our organization, putting in place a fee structure to make us sustainable and securing our 501(c)3 status with the IRS. We’ve had little contact since 2008 but I get their digital newsletter and apparently they’ve been keeping track of us. 

PPS is developing materials and technical advice for the National Main Street Center which works all over the country helping towns revitalize their downtown districts. The Webb City market is to be one of PPS’s model markets for the program. During our conference call I described various programs and aspects of the market and Kelly, the PPS contact, commented over and over again that our challenges and subsequent successes mirrored exactly what their national consultants had identified as the characteristics of a high-functioning market. Nice to be doing it right, even by accident. It is, however, no accident that the market has tremendous support from members of the community and the market who give solid advice and help us accomplish our goals.

So what are we doing this week?  Today the Sours play traditional music. Lumpy’s Express and M & M Bistro serve lunch.

Tomorrow Cooking for a Cause is served by the local chapter of Bereaved Parents of the USA. Bereaved Parents of the USA was founded in 1995 by a group of bereaved parents from across the country. Their sole purpose was to offer support, understanding, encouragement and hope to other bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents after the death of their children, brother, sister or grandchildren. 

I think most of us would agree that the death of a child is probably the worst thing a parent could face, even if that child is an adult. My own parents lost my older brother, Bobby, the week before he was to enter college. They never faced anything harder and though they went on to lead full productive lives, it was a loss that was always deeply felt.
So, come support this group of people who have faced the worst life can throw at them and who, to paraphrase their web site, celebrate the lives of their children, share the joys and the triumphs as well as the love that will never fade, and offer what they have learned from each other to every more recently bereaved family.

Bill Adkins will play. Music and meal run from 9 to 11. The market is open on Saturdays from 9 to noon.

Tuesday is our last Free Supper for Kids. We’re sticking with the popular menu of sloppy Joes, melon, cherry tomatoes and milk. It’s served from 5 to 6:30 in the Kids’ Tent.  The Tuesday market itself will continue until the end of October.

Carmine’s Pizza is baking in their portable wood fired oven and they’ll be ready for a crowd because the Globe is doing a story on them Sunday. Trish is serving meatloaf starting at 5. Rob Pommert is playing in the pavilion. Cowboy Marshall Mitchell will entertain in the tent.  

Here are a few other things coming up. On Thursday morning, August 20, the first graders at Webster School will walk down to the Kids Garden to dig the potatoes they planted last spring as kindergarteners. Adult volunteers are welcome to supervise as they dig for treasure.

On Saturday, September 19, we celebrate Arts in the Park. We are looking for individuals and organizations to lead children’s arts activities, as well as artists to demonstrate or sell their work. We’re also looking for volunteers to help with Cooking for a Cause that day. It will benefit our own Webb City Parks. If you’d like to take part, stop by the information table or email me at

See you soon at the market!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Webb City Sentinel market column - 8-9-15

It’s national farmers market week and we’re celebrating by giving away $25 in market tokens today, Saturday and Tuesday. Enter your name at the information table. We also have “I love farmers markets” temporary tattoos - and no, you don’t have to be a kid to get one. The National Farmers Market Coalition is encouraging folks to take a photo of themselves with their tattoo and post it to Instagram with the hash tag #MoretoMarket. Maybe now I’ll have to finally figure out Instagram.

In celebration of the week the Coalition provided reasons to support markets. Some of my favorites:

They provide financial security to beginning farmers, allowing them to start small, learn and grow.

Farmers selling at markets receive more for their product. Most selling through wholesalers receive less than 16% of the final purchase price of their product. At our market, the farmer receives as much as 98 cents of every dollar of produce they sell. (In other words, the market charges them 2% to sell at the market - & that 2% goes to pay the musicians, the transaction costs of the credit, debit and food stamp card charges and other shared costs.)

And more successful farmers means more farmland is preserved from urban sprawl and more food is grown and consumed locally and we get to know the people who grow and make our food.

To those reasons, I would add a few more. I like to think that the market also makes us a better community and I love that more and more children know where their food comes from.

I think for many of us, the market is an important “third place”. Third places have been around for centuries but the term was coined in 1991 by Ray Oldenburg in his book “The Great Good Place.” The “first place” is home, the “second” is work or school. The “third” is a community gathering place. It could be a church, a community center, a coffee shop, or in our case a market. Where I grew up, it was the tiny general store where folks would gather round the pot bellied stove in the winter for a game of checkers or to catch the local news from the owner, Miss Pearl. Speaking of which, I’m bringing out the checker and chess sets this week. The high season crowds have thinned a bit and with the addition of our Kids Tent we have room (and time) to play a game or two.

As the EPA finishes their work west of the market filling in the pit and creating a large open lawn, the park board will be exploring improvements in the area. I hope you will share any thoughts you have that would further the market’s role as a third place. What would make it a better gathering place and what would make it a better lingering place - for all ages? What would make it a Great Good Place?

Today we have Granny Shaffer’s serving their popular catfish and fried potatoes for $3. Lumpy’s Express should have pulled pork, brisket, ribs and smoked chicken and sides. Cliff Walker is playing. Extension will be at the market to answer your gardening and landscaping questions.

Tomorrow the Radley’s return to the market stage. Cooking for a Cause benefit’s the Webb City Girl Scout Troop 26433. They’ll serve biscuits and gravy, sausages, eggs cooked to order and orange juice or coffee. Music and meal run from 9 to 11. The market is open from 9 to noon on Saturdays.

Apple Road Farm brings their first harvest of honey tomorrow. I expect it to sell out fast. Owners Mende and Brad Staggs spent the early summer rescuing honey bee swarms. Swarms happen when a hive becomes too large and splits into two colonies, one of which must depart for a new home. Unfortunately their idea of a new home is sometimes problematic, like when it’s on the side of your house or in the tree by your front door. This year, rather than destroying the swarm, folks could call the Staggs who would gear up and lure the bees into a swarm hive. Once secured, the swarm was placer in a new hive at Apple Road Farm.

In the “it’s a small world” category, Brad is the nephew of Resa Amos, co-owner of Amos Apiaries, long-time honey vendors at the market. This spring the Amos’ honey crop failed and they have been sorely missed at the market. We hope to see them again by fall.

On Tuesday, Marshall Mitchell returns to the supper tent. The Pommerts will play in the pavilion. Carmine’s Wood Fire Pizza will bake artisan pizza to order from 4 to 7. Supper with Trish begins at 5 – spaghetti, salad, garlic bread, brownie and drink for $5. The Free Kids Supper runs from 5 to 6:30 and will be sloppy Joes, cantaloupe, cherry tomatoes and milk.

I hope we’ll see you this week at our “third place”. (You’ll look good in a market tattoo!)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

WC Sentinel market column - 7-31-15

My daughter Cora was telling me about medical care in Australia where she lives. She took daughter Madeleine in for her 4 year vaccinations, which was preceded by a 45-minute interview with the nurse. One question to Madeleine was “what is your favorite food?”  “Vegetables.”  “What kind of vegetables?”  “My favorite is broccoli!”  (That's Madeleine being a tiger!)

Cora was pleased. I was too of course, but I told her that I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the children who visit the market have similar responses. 

Last Tuesday we put out a “left-overs” bin for the children eating the Free Kids Supper. Officially the purpose was to let our farmers’ pigs enjoy the leftovers. But we also wanted to see what kind of food waste we had.

The bin was full at the end of the supper, but three-fourths of the “waste” was watermelon rinds (which the pigs love). About gallon was actual food waste, and of that only about six cups was fruit and vegetables. Not bad when each of 85 kids received over a cup of fresh fruits and vegetables. Apparently these kids love their fruits and vegetables, at least the ones they get at the market. It’s so hot that we serve as much cool and raw as we can – cantaloupe, sweet pepper strips, cherry tomatoes. The bonus watermelon slices were a big hit.

When we teamed up with Central United Methodist Church and the Missouri Department of Health to serve the meals, we anticipated buying as much of the fruits and vegetables as we could from our farmers. It hasn’t worked out that way – almost always they insist on giving it to us. Tuesday we served watermelon donated by Owen Detweiler. I told Owen, “you need to let me buy this from you so I can ask you for more without worrying about it cutting into your income.”  He responded, “I want you to ask, but you can’t pay for it.”

So far we’ve managed to spend $55 on produce for over 450 meals – that’s .12 a meal. Owen is just one of five farmers who have supplied produce for the supper. You may get weary of me saying it, but I work with a fine group of farmers. 

And with a fine group of volunteers. Central continues to schedule, train and supervise about seven volunteers at each supper. Some come from the church, of course, but others are not connected to the church. They just want to be part of a lovely community service. And it became even lovelier this week when the market decided to add music to the experience. 

If you’ve been to the market, you know we love our music and our musicians. And we love our new big tent that the Joplin Area Food Action Network bought for the kids supper. But the tent is too far from the pavilion to hear the music so I called Marshall Mitchell (left) who usually plays the first Saturday of each month to come entertain in the tent. Marshall loves performing with and for kids. He’s specializes in cowboy music and comes complete with cowboy hat, mustache and sawhorse pony. He was a big hit and we’ve got him coming back this Tuesday. If we can come up with a few spare tables, we may even break out the checkers and chess sets and the coloring pages that we set out during winter market. 

Today we welcome the Loose Notes to the market stage. The Loose Notes play bluegrass and gospel, with a few cowboy and railroad songs thrown in. M & M Bistro serves lasagna, moussaka, chicken pita wrap, gyro, hummus and tabouleh plates and baklava. Lumpy’s Express will have barbecued ribs, beef and port and smoked chicken with sides.

On Saturday, Cooking for a Cause benefits the Ozark Gateway chapter of the Audubon Society. Interested in birds?  The folks dishing up the biscuits and gravy, sausages and eggs cooked to order are too!  Marshall Mitchell is performing.  (right - that's some croissants from Red Lab Farms.  They come on Saturdays.)

On Tuesday, Marshall returns to the supper tent. The Pommerts will play in the pavilion. Carmine’s Wood Fire Pizza is back baking artisan pizza to order from 4 to 7. Supper with Trish begins at 5 – ham salad or chicken salad sandwich, two sides, dessert and drink for $5. The Free Kids Supper runs from 5 to 6:30 and will be sloppy Joes, cantaloupe, cherry tomatoes and milk.  Extension will serve samples of melon kabobs!

And good news!  The parking north of the pavilion has been restored. It was torn up by installation of a gas line to the kitchen, but Missouri Gas Service has smoothed it out and you no longer need four wheel drive to park there. Life is good at the market. See you there!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Webb City Sentinel market column - 7-24-15

The arrival of watermelon at the market this week (by the truckload) brought to mind a column I wrote in 2001. To quote: “Bill Perry, III, was by the market last week giving me grief for salting my watermelon and telling me that I neglected to mention the very best part of the watermelon in my last column – the rind. Bill’s grandmother made a delicious pickled watermelon rind. So in honor of Bill’s grandmother Tessa Pepper Perry, and all the grandmothers who made us special treats I give you the following recipes.”  There followed several recipes provided by the Cardinal Scale employees because Bill, Jr., had been unable to locate his mother’s recipe. Bill and his lovely wife Marion “made lots of watermelon rind pickles when they were first married. During the Depression every edible part of food was put to good use.”  We still don’t have Tessa’s recipe, maybe someday it will surface. In the meantime, I end this column with a recipe shared by the Columbia, Missouri, Farmers Market.

One of our goals at the market is to create good memories. We hope the hundreds of children coming to the market this year will someday bring their own children to create more cherished family memories. For me, finding that column from fourteen years ago was a nice trip down memory lane. Bill and Marion were such faithful supporters of the market and we have many things still to remind us of them, like the concrete floors, and the handicap accessible parking and picnic table at the market. Marion spent her last years in a wheelchair and despite the difficulty of moving on our pea gravel floor, her family made the considerable effort to get her into the market. That brought home to us how important accessibility was and, with Perry Family Foundation and Park Board support, we now have good access in the market for anyone on wheels – whether adult or infant. It is a legacy I see making a difference at every market.

A memory that we’ve just started creating this year is the Free Kids Supper on Tuesday. As I wrote earlier, Tuesdays have been transformed. We are jam packed with families and we’re loving it. But growth always brings challenges and one of them has been shelter for all the folks eating at the market. It can get mighty hot in the sun on a summer afternoon, and with our crazy weather, it can also pour down rain, and with the crowds we just can’t fit the tables under the pavilion. The Joplin Area Food Action Network (JFAN) came to our rescue by giving us a grant to buy a large tent which we’ve placed north of the pavilion. It will stay up at least until the Kids Supper program is over for the year and is available to anyone wanting to eat sheltered from the sun or rain.

JFAN’s mission is to increase access to healthy, locally grown food. What a great fit for the market. Another grant they gave in the same round was to Feed the Heart, a food pantry in Carterville. The pantry distributes food to 125 families twice a month and the grant will allow them to provide $10 worth of fresh produce from our market farms to each family. Good things are happening in our communities.

Today at the market, M & M Bistro will serve lasagna, moussaka, chicken pita wrap, gyro, tabbouleh and humus plates and baklava. Lumpy’s will have smoked and barbecued meats, plus sides. The Sours will play traditional music.
Tomorrow, members of PEO serve Cooking for a Cause. All profits benefit their scholarship program. 

Brown Moss is playing. We love their eclectic original music, especially the Market Song written for and about our market. You can hear it anytime on our website, Music and breakfast run from 9 to 11. The market is open on Saturdays till noon.

Tuesday we’re open from 4 to 7 pm. The Pommerts will play.

We serve the Free Kids Supper from 5 to 6:30. The menu is chicken strips, cantaloupe, sweet peppers and cherry tomatoes, a roll and milk. Kids that clean their plates will get a bonus slice of watermelon!
Supper with Trish is a BLT sandwich, chips, spinach salad, dessert and a drink for $5. It begins at 5. Carmine’s Pizza is taking this week off.

Come make some memories at the market this week. 

Pickled Watermelon Rinds

1/2 of the rind of a small (5 lb.) watermelon

3 Tbsp. salt

3/4 c. sugar

2 star anise

Remove rind from watermelon, leaving a small amount of red flesh attached to rind. Reserve watermelon flesh for another use. Peel rind, and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 5 cups cubed). Place in a large bowl.

Stir together salt and 3 cups water. Pour over rind. Cover and chill 24 hours. Drain; rinse well.

Combine rind, sugar, next 2 ingredients, and 3/4 cup water in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Cool completely (about 1 hour), stirring occasionally. Cover and chill 24 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Webb City Sentinel column - 7-17-15

There are certain seasons at the market that I love – especially when it comes to fruit – strawberry, peach, and now melon. I hated to say goodbye to blueberries for another year. Seems like that season just flew by. And, of course, strawberries are a sweet memory now. But as the saying goes, when one door shuts, another opens, and the melon door is opening wide. Cantaloupes are coming in by the truckload and the watermelon harvest is starting. I have to admit, watermelon is probably my very favorite market fruit. And unlike many of the other fruits, we usually have plenty so even at the end of market when I do my shopping there are still plenty of melons. It’s not unusual for me to cart home two. Luckily for me, my husband Phil is not a watermelon fan or I’d have to haul even more home. (Sharing is greatly over-rated.)

One of the fun things about the Free Kids Supper is serving seasonal food. We started out hiding zucchini in sauces and serving cucumbers on the side. Now we’ve moved on to fresh sweet corn, heirloom cherry tomatoes, and sweet peppers. Next week I hope we’ll add melon. Our nutrition guidelines require two items of for fruit and/or veggie totaling 3/4 cup for each plate. Now that we’re in high season, that is really easy. The plate Tuesday was beautiful and it was fun to see the kids digging in. The corn was especially popular. And, of course, it was also nice to have the kids come up and say thank you.

The Free Kids Supper is served every Tuesday from 5 to 6:30. Anyone 18 or younger can eat and we are pleased that we’ve been averaging over 90 kids each week. We’ve also been pleased that we’ve had lots of volunteers to help. You’d think that feeding that many kids would be overwhelming, but with all the good help it has gone smoothly. If you would like to volunteer, just stop by the information table at the market.
Today we’ll have a full pavilion with 16 farmers expected, plus kettle corn, baked goods, pork, beef, chicken and goat meat. There’ll be jams and jellies, iced tea and coffee and raw food bars as well.
Lunch today is Granny Shaffer’s ever popular catfish and fried potatoes for $3. Lumpy’s Express will have brisket, ribs, smoked chicken and pulled pork.

Cliff Walker will perform.

Tomorrow will be much the same, but we’ll be missing the pork and goat meat, and adding lamb. Edith Bayless will be there with her sewn goods and Rebecca Bristow with her glass and metal art and jewelry.

The Carl Junction Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star will serve breakfast from 9 to 11. All profits will go to the American Cancer Society.

The Granny Chicks will grace the market stage.

M & M Bistro will serve from 9 to noon – lasagna, moussaka, chicken pita wrap, gyro, hummus and tabouleh plates and baklava for eat in or take out.

On Tuesday, Carmine’s Wood Fire serves artisan pizzas from 4 to sell-out. Supper with Trish is Chicken Spaghetti, salad, roll, chocolate cake and drink for $5. As mentioned earlier, the Free Kids Supper is served from 5 to 6:30. The Pommerts will perform. Extension is demonstrating a hummus and veggie recipe.

Sweet corn and tomatoes seem to get all the glory this time of year, but there are many other veggies to choose from at the market, including eggplant. In fact, there are many kinds of eggplants to choose from at the market, small, big, long, round, purple, green. Here’s a recipe using the large egg-shaped Italian eggplant shared by the Crescent City Farmers Market in New Orleans. New Orleans was home to a large Sicilian immigrant population in the late 1800s. Chef Duke LoCicero remembers his Sicilian grandpa with this dish:

Grandpa’s Sicilian Eggplant

1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Italian eggplants (medium to large), peeled, and then cut into small cubes
2 medium red onions, diced small
2 large bulbs garlic, roasted
2 cups marinara sauce
2 cups sliced black ripe olives
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh basil
1 cup green olives
1 cup diced pimientos
1 cup sweet Marsala wine
1/2 cup capers
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon anchovies, pureed
Scant teaspoon crushed dried red pepper

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add eggplant, onions and garlic; sauté over low to medium heat until eggplant is tender. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well. Continue to sauté until 80 percent of the liquid is gone. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 6 hours.

Serve hot or cold, with grilled seafood or meat. This dish can be used in many ways, including with pasta. Serves 8 to 10.

Just as we have many kinds of eggplant at the market, there are many ways of preparing it. Sautee, bake, grill…  Enjoy!

See you at the market.