Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sentinel Column - 10/17

Something new to the market, the area, and for that matter, the state, will be at the market today – fresh roasted peppers. Broken Wire Ranch will fire up a roaster at the market and roast peppers to order. It takes about five minutes to roast five pounds of peppers. The cost for roasted peppers is $2 a pound. Unroasted peppers at Broken Wire cost $1 a pound.

Broken Wire raises both sweet peppers, like Costa Ricas and Big Daddies, and hot peppers like Anaheims, New Mexico Sixes, Big Jims and Sandias.

Roasted peppers can be substituted in any recipe that calls for peppers. I’m told that roasting adds a smoky flavor and intensifies the flavor of the pepper. Pepper roasting is hugely popular at markets in the Southwest and on the West coast. We think it will be a treat for us, too.

Once the peppers are smoked, you will need to remove the skin, stem and seeds prior to using. Don’t wash them after roasting or you’ll lose the smoky flavor. Roasted peppers are best used immediately, but will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator.

The regular market season will end on October 31, but that doesn’t mean the end of local food.

The Holiday Market will be held, as usual, on the day before Thanksgiving at the Clubhouse. Baked goods, honey, jams and jellies, peanut brittle and possibly even some tomatoes and other veggies will be inside the building. Our meat vendors will be on the parking lot. Participating vendors are taking orders now from folks wanting specific items like pumpkin rolls, artisan breads or defrosted meat. Just stop by your favorite vendor at the market to place your order. The vendors will have extra items for customers who do not pre-order.

I love the Holiday Market because it seems so appropriate that our Thanksgiving table be loaded with the bounty from our local farms, ranches, bakeries and kitchens.

It will be from 11 to 1 on Wednesday, November 26, at the Clubhouse, 115 North Madison. The Clubhouse is the old health department between Broadway and Daughtery, now owned by the Historical Society. While you’re there be sure to look over the new exhibits on the cartoons of Nic Frising and the book by Jerry Pryor, Southwest Missouri Mining. The book had been unavailable for several years but is now reprinted and for sale at the Sentinel and the Genealogy Room at the library.

But wait! as my daughter Cora would say. There’s more!

There will be a Winter Market this year. Every first and third Friday from 11 to 2 throughout the winter, our meat vendors (and possibly other vendors) will be selling at the market. Of course, we won’t have music or meals, but many of our customers will be happy to know they can still get market products that are available in the off season.
The Winter Market will be under the north pavilion in King Jack Park. The parks department is planning to do some work on the pavilions this winter so the exact location may vary depending on what section is being repaired, but just look for those giant trailers that our meat vendors bring. They’re hard to miss.

In the meantime, the regular market will continue to be open on Fridays from 11 to 3 through October 31. We have pumpkin painting for kids, lunch and music, as well as a good supply of produce, baked goods and fall decorations.

I’ve recently been inspired by fall decorations. I just returned from a quick trip north of Sedalia to visit several small historic towns and saw some wonderful decorations. The small one-story buildings of Blackwater were decked out in fall colors. (see photo below) At each old fashioned lamppost was a pile of straw bales, corn stalks, flowers, pumpkins and a scarecrow. It was only a three-block downtown, but it was delightful. The size of the downtown and the scale of the buildings allowed the decorations to make quite an impact. I wonder if we could do the same as our small old-fashioned lampposts are installed in downtown Webb City.

Lunch at the market today is chicken potpie, garden salad, carrot cake and drink for $6. Pumpkin painting. Gospel Strings plays during lunch.

Next Friday we’ll have all-you-can-eat ham & beans, plus cornbread, fruit cobbler, and drink for $5.