Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sentinel column - 11-5-10

Today is our first day of Winter Market and with a high of 50 degrees forecast, it will certainly feel like it. It’s the perfect day for our first ever Soup Day. Why Soup Day? Well, for one thing, what’s better on a cold day? For another, we have a new soup vendor – Jimmi’s of Lockwood. And finally, Trish Reed, our regular Friday lunch vendor, is serving soup this year at every Winter Market. We’re really excited about that last news. Trish, and her husband Jim, are wonderful at comfort food, and if this winter is as cold as the last one, warm soup will be super comforting for those of us on site every first and third Friday from 11 to 2. We think our customers will like it too whether they eat it at the market or take it home hot. (That's Carrole Palmer at the market. Sad to say, the zucchini and berries are long gone, but Fairhaven will bring green beans, lettuce, Swiss chard and Carrole's jams and jellies today.)

Lunch today is chicken vegetable rice soup with a roll and crackers for $4. Trish will also have coffee and tea for $1.

Soup Day entails one of our favorite activities – sampling. Sunny Lane Farms will serve samples of Crockpot Tortilla Soup, the recipe for which is printed below. Flintrock Ranch is scheduled to serve samples of Buffalo Stew and Jimmi’s will have samples of Greek Potato Soup and Double Cheeseburger Soup.

This may be our last market for a good selection of produce. With cold weather upon us, many of the tender plants like peppers, tomatoes and eggplants will be a fond memory by our next market on November 19th. Fredrickson Farms will be back at the market today now that their busy season of pumpkin picking and tours at the farm are finished. Tami expects to bring pie pumpkins, decorative pumpkins, winter squash, and pots of oregano, thyme, sage, parsley, chives and peppermint, plus flowering kale for winter color in your beds.

We’ll also have lettuce, boc choy, green beans, Swiss chard and other cool weather crops, meats, jams, jellies, raw milk, and baked goods.

Our vendors are gearing up for the Holiday Market on November 24. An annual tradition for the market, it is held from 11 to 1 the day before Thanksgiving at the Clubhouse, 115 North Madison. Amos Apiaries will be there so you can stock up for the winter. Resa tries to make the Winter Market, but the weather has to be fairly warm or the honey will sugar. That lets today out. Since the Holiday Market is indoors, you can count on buying honey then.

Our bakers, soup makers and jam and jelly makers are taking orders for the Holiday Market. Pick up a flyer at the information table for the contact numbers for all the vendors selling at the market or just place your order with the vendor at the market today.

I resolved last year to give as many locally made products for Christmas as I could. Many I bought at the Holiday Market – honey, jams, jellies, peanut brittle. I found family and friends appreciated the personal touch and I appreciated keeping my gift giving dollars local a little longer.

Crockpot Tortilla Soup – the winter version – we’ll still have fresh peppers today so you can substitute those for the can of chile peppers and also make fresh enchilada sauce if you want.

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth or chicken stock
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
7 corn tortillas
vegetable oil
shredded cheddar
sour cream

Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in corn, beans and cilantro. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours. Remove chicken breasts, shred & return to soup.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Cut tortillas into strips, then spread on a baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. To serve, sprinkle tortilla strips over soup and top with dollop of sour cream and shredded cheddar.