Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sentinel Column 9/26/08

We have lots planned at the market this weekend (maybe it will take your mind off the lack of Mining Days).

Today Tammy Roberts, our extension nutritionist based in Lamar, will test pressure gauges beginning at 11. At 11:30 she’ll do a walk-through on canning green beans. This is not the traditional time of year for canning, but the market has such an abundant supply of green beans that it makes sense. And what a luxury to can when it’s not 110 degrees outside.

We’ll have a sign up sheet for people who would like to receive information on the full-blown canning class that Tammy and the market will hold next year. It will be hands on training in a commercial kitchen here in Webb City. The cost will be $15.

We’re also loaded at the market with eggplant, so we’ll do a sampling of Eggplant and Tomato Au Gratin beginning at 11. My daughter Emily emailed this recipe to me. It was one of the top articles read in the New York Times last week and is a low-fat version of Eggplant Parmesan. The culinary arts class at the Southwest Career Center in Monett prepared it for us.

Lunch today is chili with all the fixin’s, chips, crackers, carrot cake and a drink for $6. Bailed Green and Wired Tight will play between 11 and 2. They’re putting in a long session because the third graders from Eugene Field are walking over for a visit at 12:30. That always livens the market up as they explore on a scavenger hunt. They’ll be looking for lemon grass and snake gourds, dark and light honey, various meats, and for the most distant vendor (that’s Pates Orchard from Stockton). Our band plays and teaches about traditional instruments and we finish up with a cookie from the baker.

On Saturday, we should see more kids at the market because we’re painting pumpkins. Every child will receive a free mini-pumpkin to paint. Tables with paints and brushes will be under the south pavilion.

Between the pavilions from 10 to noon, Bob Foos will take photos of adults and kids with Suzy and Sammy Scarecrow among pumpkins, hay bales and corn stalks. There are two photo package options: one 5x7 and 8 wallets or two 4x5s. The cost for either package is $5.

Be sure to stop by our newest vendor, Black Forest House Pastries. They’ll have free samples of linzertorte and Black Forest cake on Saturday. Bert Ott trained in Germany and his baked goods have a European flavor. They include Bavarian pretzels, Danish rolls, apple strudel, bienenstih cake, coffee and cinnamon rolls. Since tomorrow is our last Saturday market, Black Forest will continue on Fridays.

Breakfast will be served until 11 and Coyote Pass will play throughout the morning.

Next Tuesday is our last Tuesday market and therefore our last Cooking for a Cause lunch. It will benefit the Webb City parks, a cause near and dear to our own heart since the King Jack Park is our home. Volunteers will serve up freshly grilled hot dogs, hamburgers and smoked sausages from 11 to 1.

With the last Cooking for a Cause, I want to acknowledge a generous gift that we have enjoyed this year. Shoal Creek Gardens has supplied our tomatoes all season for the hamburgers. Tim Green brings us a boxful of “not ready for prime time” tomatoes every Tuesday that we send over to Central United Methodist’s kitchen for slicing. (Tim is shown above with the remains of his compost pile. We use this picture in teaching our growers how to improve their soil.) The tomatoes may be ugly, but they sure are tasty. And as the supply of tomatoes dwindles, they’re often the only local tomatoes I get to enjoy. The Greens’ generosity has not only given us a taste of fresh and local at Cooking for a Cause, but also allowed more of the funds to go to our participating non-profits. Thanks, Tim and Vi.

In October, the market will be open on Fridays only through the end of the month. That will make our last day Halloween, barring a very hard freeze before then.

The Holiday Market is scheduled, as usual, for the day before Thanksgiving. We have flyers at the information table with details and contact numbers so you can pre-order your Christmas hams or Thanksgiving baked goods.

Today will be the last day for Urban Gardeners and their lovely flowers and herbs. Tomorrow will be the last day for Amos Apiaries until the Holiday Market. But for fall produce, baked goods, jams and jellies, meats and eggs, October will still be a great time to come to the market.