Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Webb City Sentinel - 9/11/09

I get a lot of undue credit for how beautiful the market often is, so I’m expecting a lot of compliments today. Everywhere you look, the market will be filled with beauty.

Bob McLaughlin called yesterday to say that he’s coming to market today even though he’d planned to be on vacation. His flowers are just too lovely to stay home in his garden. The dahlias are always gorgeous in the fall and with this cool, wet weather, they are glorious. So expect a fabulous display of color at the Urban Gardners’ stand next to the information table today.

Heidi Stoller will be at the market with her beautiful mums – a big one is only $8. Heidi has been raising mums for our market since she was a young teenager. She will soon be joined by two other growers, Alexandria’s and Countryside View Greenhouse. Both nurseries had at least 800 mums when we dropped by on inspections last month.

Shoal Creek Gardens and Greenhouse are bringing pumpkins, both the large orange ones and smaller decorative ones with pale skin and orange and green ribs. The Agees have decorative Indian corn and other fall decorations. They also have wonderful flavored vinegars which will make great presents as the holiday season nears.

Of course, the produce is also beautiful – Broken Wire’s brilliant hot and sweet peppers (above), Der and Mai Lor’s lush lettuce, the piles of corn at Circle E and Fairhaven’s stands, John Pate’s baskets of apples, the Troyer’s table loaded with onions, tomatoes, and winter squash, the Vang’s potatoes and green beans.

In fact, we’ll celebrate beautiful stands next week by having a voting station on each market day so customers can vote for the vendor with the most beautiful display. Stop by the information table for your ballot.

Next Tuesday we have our new baker for the first time. Kay McLaughlin of Hazel’s Bakery is cutting down to just Friday, so we advertised for a new Tuesday baker, received some applications and did some tasting trials. I know, it’s a tough job but someone had to try the samples. Our Tuesday baker is Lorraine Yoder. If you’ve ever enjoyed the baked goods from the Stark City Bakery, then you have already tasted her wares. She plans to bring pies, cinnamon bread and country white and honey wheat breads.

Lunch today is Baked chicken, stuffing, mixed vegetables, banana pudding & drink for $6. The Plainsfolk play Irish tunes between 11 and 1.

Tomorrow (Saturday), the always-popular Ninth Hour Quartet performs. The Benefit Breakfast supports the Friends of the Webb City Public Library. Biscuit, gravy, sausage and drink cost $3. Two eggs, fried or scrambled, is $1. You get a free refill on the biscuit and gravy is you’re feeling especially hungry. And there’s butter and jelly if you’re not the gravy type.

Next Tuesday, Cooking for a Cause benefits Healing the Family. The Joplin Exchange Club provides the workers and always match their Cooking for a Cause profits, so the good cause receives twice the benefit when the Exchange Club is involved. Gary Kyger will play and sing during lunch.

If the gardens we saw planted during our second round of inspections last month are any indications, the market will soon be overflowing with green beans. It will be a great time to buy in bulk for preserving. If, however, you want to sit down to green beans now, here is a recipe that I’ll be doing on KOAM-TV next Tuesday morning.

Green Bean Salad with Walnuts and Shaved Parmesan in Lemon Dressing

Serves 4 to 6

1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 pound green beans
1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, thinly shaved (about 1/2 cup)

1. Toast the walnuts in a dry, heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat until they start to brown in spots & become fragrant. (Take care not to overtoast them, as they will burn very quickly once toasted.) Immediately transfer nuts to a dish to cool.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the beans and salt; cook until tender but still firm, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Transfer the beans to a colander in the sink and run cold water over them. Trim the beans if necessary.

4. Toss the beans and walnuts in a large bowl & season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice and olive oil until well combined. Pour this mixture over the beans and toss until well coated. Transfer the salad to a serving platter or to individual plates. Scatter the Parmesan shavings on top.
From: Farmer John’s Cookbook

All right, I’ll confess it. I’ll be sound asleep when this recipe airs on Tuesday. KOAM is kind enough to let me tape several recipes at a go so I only have to do one early morning for a whole month of segments. Bless ‘em.

Don’t forget to check the blog for the latest news – like the visits to market by the Carl Junction high school food and nutrition class, the elephant garlic on Saturdays, the note I received today about our Farmers Market bag in regular use for shopping in Sarajevo, and the TV segments filmed at the market Tuesday.