Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Holiday Market this Friday

Our first Christmas Holiday market is this Friday (12/23) from 11 to 1 at the Clubhouse. Vendors we're expecting:

Broken Wire - sweet potatoes (& maybe a little other produce) & eggs
Shoal Creek - tomatoes, peppers, decorative gourds (that's their tomatoes in the photo - being snapped up by loyal customer Marilyn Clark)
Amos Apiaries - raw honey & honey products, woolen products

Black Forest Bakery - American & European baked goods
Arma Bakery - bread
Hazel's Bakery - pies, cakes, & other goodies

Soup du Jour - Glazed Sweet Potato with Ham soup & Italian Chicken Vegetable soup - eat-in with crackers & cobbler - $5 or take home a quart for $8.95

Howard Thompson - handcrafted cutting boards and pottery
Edith Bayless - handcrafted kitchen linens

Need to place an order? - check out the winter market sidebar or call Eileen at 483-8139.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Who's Coming to the Winter Market Friday?

The Winter Market will be open this Friday from 11 to 2 at the Clubhouse, 115 North Madison. Vendors we are expecting:














Produce

Broken Wire + eggs (in photo above)
Fairhaven Gardens + pecans, jams, jellies, peanut & pecan brittle, & eggs
Shoal Creek Garden and Green House + gourd birdhouses

Bakers

Arma Bakery
Black Forest
Hazel's Bakery
Redings Mill

Meats

Sunny Lane
Madewell

Soup de Jour - for eat-in or take-away: Sloppy Joe Soup & Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Small Cottage Roasters - freshly roasted coffee beans and freshly brewed coffee by the cup
Raw Food Bars

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Free Growers Workshop

You're invited to a workshop on Wednesday, December 7, from 2 to 4 pm at the New-Mac Electric Co-op, 12105 E. Highway 86, Neosho, MO 64850. (Use the west door)













Topics -

Patrick Byers, U of Mo Extension horticulturist, will talk about irrigation

Dr. Jaime Piñero, Missouri's integrated pest management specialist, will speak on - you guessed it! - pest management

Shon Bishop, our new 2501 Assistant Program Educator, Horticulture Specialist Cooperative Extension, will be on hand.

We will also be talking about farming challenges of the 2011 season and topics that growers want training on this winter and spring. Hmong translation will be provided.

For more information, contact Eileen at 417 483-1839.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Winter Market - Friday, November 18

We expect the following vendors at the market this Friday. It runs from 11 to 2 at the Clubhouse, 115 North Madison.

Produce

Broken Wire - broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, acorn squash
Shoal Creek Garden and Green House - bell peppers, green beans, turnips
Fair Haven - beets, turnips, green beans, pecans, jams, jellies, eggs

Meats

Sunny Lane - beef, chicken, lamb
Madewell - pork

Baked goods

Hazel's Bakery (that's some of their pies in the photo)
Arma Home Bakery
Black Forest
Redings Mill Bread Company













Other

Small Cottage Coffee - freshly roasted coffee beans from Columbia & Ethiopia, also fresh brewed - enjoy a cup at the market
Soup du Jour - Chicken Enchilada Soup and Greek Potato Soup for eat in or take out
Raw food bars

Crafters
Birdhouses & crosses
Aprons, tea towels & more

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tomorrow - Saturday at the Market

Breakfast benefits the charities of the Andy Brown Memorial Scholarship - served from 9 to 11.

Erik Brown plays from 9:30 to 11:30.

Produce:
Broken Wire
The Lee Family
Mai Lor
Nature Valley Farm
Shoal Creek Gardens

Bakers
Redings Mill
Hazel's Bakery

Raw Food Bars

Crafters -
Edith's kitchen linens
The Other Log Furniture

See you at the market!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

At the Market tomorrow (Friday)

Lunch – Chicken Noodle Soup or Turkey with Wild Rice Soup, plus crackers and cobbler - $5

Music by Bailed Green and Wired Tight

Produce:
Broken Wire + roasted peppers
Fairhaven Gardens + jams & jellies + eggs
Nhao Hang
The Lee Family
Mai Ker Lor
Lucy Moua
Pates Orchard + jams & jellies (they're bringing lots of tomatoes & green beans!)Maria Vang
Nhai Xiong
Nature Valley
Shoal Creek Gardens
Zoua Yang

Meats
Sunny Lane - lamb, beef & chicken

Bakeries
Arma Bakery
Black Forest
Hazel's Bakery
Redings Mill Breads

Soups - Soup du Jour

Webb City Sentinel column - 10-28-11

It’s hard for me to believe that this is the last weekend of the regular market season and that this is the last column for the year. We’ll still keep you posted about Winter Market happenings in the Sentinel’s Neighborhood section.


Perhaps the reason the season’s end has crept up on me is the fact that I was gone two months of the high season, enjoying my new granddaughter (how could that not be a pleasure? Just see the photo of Madeleine with me and my mother taken last month!). That’s also the reason I can’t go through my usual thank yous this year. So many people stepped in to help while I was gone that I’d surely miss someone. But you know who you are – how can our volunteers forget with their market experience seared into their memory by one of the hottest summers on records?

And a hot summer it was. June was over 6 degrees hotter than usual with an average high of 91 degrees. Then came July with an average high of 100, 11 degrees higher than normal. August cooled off with an average high of 96, some 5 degrees higher than normal. Amazingly our farmers and customers soldiered through the heat, presenting a remarkably full market when other markets, especially to the west, were withering and closing.

Of course, our total sales for the year will be impacted by the weather. Losing most of our corn crop dramatically reduced sales for a couple of our farms and almost every farm was touched by reduced tomato sales. (Tomatoes just won’t set their fruit in that much heat no matter how much water you pour on them, and I can tell you from our farm visits that our farmers were running their pumps constantly.) Still when the numbers are in, it looks like our total market sales will only be down about 6% from last year. We had less produce to sell, but market sales were boosted by the return of Hazel’s Bakery and the addition of LOMAH cheese.

What looks to be the most significant factor in sales in 2011 was not the heat and drought, but another weather event that we hope never ever comes again – the May 22 tornado.

Sales in June were down 25% over the previous June. That’s not a surprise with so many of our Joplin customers homeless or in severe distress and no doubt many others caring for friends and relatives and helping with the recovery efforts. So at the market, we tightened our belts and sent excess produce over to Joplin. Our farmers continued that effort through much of the summer and geared back up last week to help Suzanne’s health food store feed the vegetarians involved in the Extreme Build effort. The opportunity to help was a silver lining that we were glad to grasp in such hard times.

Lest you think the season is over because of all this review, let me tell you about this weekend. Today, lunch is a choice of chicken noodle soup or turkey with wild rice soup, plus crackers and cobbler for $5. Bailed Green and Wired Tight play.

Tomorrow we’ll serve our last Saturday benefit breakfast of biscuits and gravy, sausage, eggs to order and juice or coffee. All the profits go to the Andy Brown Memorial Scholarship. His scholarship goes each year to a graduating senior in the Webb City school district who is in need of financial assistance to continue his or her schooling at a college, university or trade school. The scholarship is administered by the R-7 Foundation. Andy graduated from Webb City High and MSSC. He died in a motorcycle collision on September 26, 1998, at the age of 22. Andy was one of my kids at Central United Methodist and I really miss him. I’d consider it a personal favor if you’d support his scholarship by joining us for breakfast tomorrow.

Andy’s scholarship provides an apt end to this season which has been a time of joy, striving, generosity and success, tinged with great sadness. I hope you can join with us in celebrating this year despite the sadness. We look forward to a happy season of Winter Markets, supplying your needs for the table and for holiday giving.
The Winter Market begins next Friday at the Clubhouse, 115 North Madison. We’ll be open from 11 to 2, rain or shine.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tomorrow - Saturday at the Market

Breakfast benefits the charities of the Carl Junction Order of the Eastern Star - served from 9 to 11.

Bill Adkins plays from 9:30 to 11:30.

Produce:
Broken Wire
The Lee Family
Nhao Vue Hang
Mai Lor
Lucy Moua
Nature Valley Farm
Shoal Creek Gardens
Zoua Hang Yang

Honey
Amos Apiaries - will not be at the market next week but will be here tomorrow (Saturday)

Bakers
Redings Mill
Hazel's Bakery

Raw Food Bars

Crafters -
The Shermans with birdhouses and crosses made from materials salvaged from the tornado fields - see photo for a sample.
Made of Clay pottery
two vendors with aprons, tea towels and other kitchen items
The Other Log Furniture

See you at the market!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What's at the Market Tomorrow (Friday)

Eileen will demonstrate a great boc choy recipe at 11:30 and noon.

Lunch – Choice of Irish Corn Beef Dinner soup or White Cheddar Chicken Leek soup, plus crackers and cobbler - $5

Music by the Gospel Strings

Produce:
Broken Wire + roasted peppers
Fairhaven Gardens + jams & jellies + eggs
Nhao Hang
The Lee Family
Der Lor
Mai Ker Lor
Lucy Moua
Pates Orchard + jams & jellies (they're bringing 40 quarts of tomatoes!)
Maria Vang
Nhai Xiong
Nature Valley
Shoal Creek Gardens
Zoua Yang

Honey
Amos Apiaries

Meats
Sunny Lane - lamb, beef & chicken

Bakeries
Arma Bakery
Black Forest
Hazel's Bakery
Redings Mill Breads

Mums
Duvall Farm
Pumpkin Tent

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Webb City Sentinel column - 10-21-11

This time of year we are still doing a lot of marketing, but we’re also evaluating the year and planning for next year. So, first and foremost – we are OPEN on Fridays and Saturdays through October. And we have lots of produce. Of course, the melons and sweet corn are a fond memory but the green beans overfloweth, as do the peppers, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, radishes, greens and lots of other goodies.

In November we go to the winter market – first and third Fridays from 11 to 2 at a new location – the Clubhouse at 115 North Madison. On pretty days, we’ll be on the parking lot, but on not-so-pretty days we’ll retreat to the warmth and dryness of the Clubhouse. When we approached the Historical Society board about hosting the market, they responded enthusiastically. Julie Riley’s response was typical: “The Club House is ideal for the ‘Winter Market’ and it will provide an excellent service to the community and area towns. It is a yea vote!”

This is where planning earlier in the year pays off with a warm location that will allow us to sell and you to buy in comfort. And also thanks to that planning we expect to have fresh produce in addition to our baked goods, cheeses and meats.

Since beginning Winter Market three years ago, we have longed for fresh produce. After all, what is a market without that? And this year we have three farmers who planted specifically for winter. John Pate and Tim Green planted tomatoes in their high tunnels – we’re already seeing the Pate’s tomatoes in the market. (That's Tim's wife Vi in the photo above - drawfed by the high tunnel tomatoes.) Tim expects to bring tomatoes soon and to harvest through December. He’s already bringing huge bell peppers and two varieties of burpless cucumbers from his tunnels to the market and will have green beans next month. Tom Lewis of Broken Wire has tomatoes planted as well, plus some cool weather crops like broccoli. So when the frost decimates the field crops, we’ll still have fresh veggies for you at the market – thanks to our farmers’ planning and our pestering them into taking a chance and giving up some of their winter down time.

Until a hard freeze, of course, we’ll have a wide variety of fall produce including boc choy. You may not be familiar with this vegetable that is almost always available at the market. I started eating it regularly while visiting my daughter Cora in Australia this summer. She eats a lot of veggies (and fish – one of the bonuses of living in a coastal area). Boc choy is often on the menu. I find it makes a great side with sweet potatoes and salmon and works with almost any menu as a nice touch of green. Besides adding color to the plate and flavor to the palate, it’s packed with nutrients. In fact, “nutrient-dense” is how it’s often described in medical literature – it’s high in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate and calcium. And a cup of shredded boc choy contains nine calories! Count ‘em – nine calories!

And talk about easy to prepare. Slice off the end, rinse well, slice cross-ways into strips and prepare to your taste. I like to keep it simple and just steam it till tender. I put the stems in first and then add the leaves. When wilted to my taste I transfer it to the plate and season. If you want to go the extra mile, try the recipe below. Phil created this recipe for Cora while she was home last month and she declared it the best way she’d ever had it. Coming from someone who eats boc choy at least twice a week, that’s saying something.

Boc Choy

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 slices ginger root, about 1/8 inch each, minced
5 bunches baby boc choy, sliced across into strips 1 1/2 inches
La Choy Stir Fry sauce

Sauté garlic and ginger root in peanut or vegetable oil. Add boc choy. Sauté until the boc choy is reduced by one-half (about 5 minutes). Add sauce and sauté until cooked to your taste (one or two more minutes). This recipe serves 2 to 3 people depending on their enthusiasm. (Cora could eat the whole recipe by herself.)

Lunch today is your choice of Irish corn beef dinner soup or white cheddar chicken leek soup, plus crackers and cobbler for $5. Webb City’s own Gospel Strings performs.
Tomorrow breakfast benefits the Webb City High School Band Boosters. Bill Adkins will play golden oldies.

I mentioned at the beginning of the column that we’ve begun our evaluation process so let me share the results of our survey that we conducted with our Tuesday and Saturday customers back in August.

That market day about a third of our customers planned to spend $5 to $10 and another third planned on spending $11 to $20. Most of the remaining planned to spend more than $20. Those numbers are probably a bit low because we all know from personal experience that we almost always spend more than we plan – which is why the market is happy to turn your checks and credit/debit cards into market tokens.

Most customers traveled nine miles or less to come to the market, though several folks came more than 20 miles on the days we surveyed.

Almost half the customers surveyed come to the market every week. Over 10% surveyed were at the market for the very first time – yes, there are lots of folks who haven’t visited the market yet, which brings me to the last statistic. The vast majority of customers said they first learned about the market through word of mouth which means that most new customers come because of recommendations from old customers – that would be you! So spread the word, the market is open now and through the winter.

It was a tough growing season this summer but we’re looking forward to our best fall and winter markets yet. But it can only be the best if we have lots of customers, so see you (and your friends) soon at the market.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tomorrow - Saturday at the Market

The market is open tomorrow from 9 to noon.

Breakfast benefits Walk Now for Autism Speakes - served from 9 to 11.

Cathy Barton & Dave Para play from 9:30 to 11:30.

Produce:
Broken Wire
The Lee Family
Nhao Vue Hang
Der Lor
Mai Lor
Lucy Moua
Nature Valley Farm
Shoal Creek Gardens
Zoua Hang Yang

Mums - Pumpkin tent

Crafters -
two vendors with aprons, tea towels and other kitchen items
The Other Log Furniture
Walk Now for Autism Speaks will have handcrafted items for sale

See you at the market!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

At the Market tomorrow (Friday)

Tomorrow (Friday) The Granny Chicks play. Lunch is a choice of bacon and white corn chowder or buffalo chicken soup, plus crackers and cobbler for $5. Pates and Fairhaven will be sampling their jams and jellies.

Mums - 2 vendors

Produce:
Broken Wire + roasted peppers
Fairhaven Gardens + jams & jellies + eggs
Nhao Hang
The Lee Family
Der Lor
Mai Ker Lor
Lucy Moua
Pates Orchard + jams & jellies (they'll have tomatoes!!!)
Maria Vang
Nhai Xiong
Nature Valley
Shoal Creek Gardens
Zoua Yang

Cheese
LOMAH Dairy

Roasted Coffee Beans
Small Cottage Coffee

Meats
Sunny Lane

Bakeries
Arma Bakery
Black Forest
Hazel's Bakery
Redings Mill Breads

Raw Food Bars

Webb City Sentinel column - 10-14-11

We have some jim-dandy entertainment this weekend at the market, plus today is Jam and Jelly Day at the market (more about that later).
The Granny Chicks play today. They are always fun and with their accordions are especially appropriate for October. Who knows? With a little prodding they might even play the Chicken Dance.

In case you need instructions (and, yes, if they play it for you, you have to dance):

Begin in a circle with everybody facing one another (this is hard to do in the University of Wisconsin football stadium where the chicken dance is a regular part of the event)

When the music starts, shape each hand like the beak of a chicken and open and close them for four counts.

Tuck your thumb under each arm and flap like a chicken for four counts.

Place your hands on your backside with fingers imitating the tail of a chicken and wiggle yourself down during the next four beats.

Stand back up and clap four times.

The whole thing is repeated four times and then there is an interlude during which you can swing your partner or the whole circle can turn or, in some places, everyone pretends to be an airplane flying around the room. In other words – improvise!

Tomorrow Cathy Barton and Dave Parra play at the market. Cathy and Dave live in central Missouri in Booneville and don’t often make it to our part of the state. But when they do, we always try to bring them to the market because they are such a perfect fit. Like our crops, their roots are deep in Missouri soil. They specialize in Missouri’s traditional music and have developed many programs exploring Missouri’s history. Tomorrow at the market you may hear a French paddling song or a steamboat song or any number of Ozarkian songs. You will certainly hear Cathy’s frailing banjo style (Roy Acuff called Cathy his favorite banjo player.) and Dave might even play a leaf!

In the afternoon, they’ll be at the Webb City Public Library opening the exhibit “Divided Loyalties: Missouri in the Civil War”. At 2 pm Cathy and Dave will do a musical program of Civil War on the Western Frontier.

Pates Orchard and Fairhaven Gardens will be sampling their jams and jellies today. Both are on the west side of the pavilion, Fairhaven all the way south and Pates just north of the center. Jams and jellies are a lovely way to preserve the taste of our local bounty for the winter and also make wonderful local gifts for the holidays.
Just like the weather, the produce at the market is beautiful. And the flowers are too. You’ll find lots of bouquets of flowers both days. Something new and perfect for the season will be chrysanthemum bouquets at Duvall Valley Farms. The small bouquets are $2 and the large are $4. They also have huge mum plants.

Lunch today is a choice of bacon and white corn chowder or buffalo chicken soup, plus crackers and cobbler for $5. Tomorrow breakfast benefits Walk Now for Autism Speaks. The volunteers will also have a table of crafts for sale to benefit Autism.
I recently enjoyed a cucumber salad in a tea room in Stillwater, Minnesota. It was refreshing and tasty.

Cucumber Yogurt Salad

2 cups thin cucumber slices (cut in half or quarters lengthwise if not using small English cucumbers)
1 cup non-fat plain yogurt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
Paprika for garnishing.

If the yogurt is soupy, drain in paper towel-lined sieve over a bowl for one hour. Discard the liquid.

Mix all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.

You can also add diced green onions or dill or mint to this salad. This is particularly pretty served on a leaf of lettuce.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Tomorrow - Saturday at the Market

The market is open tomorrow from 9 to noon.

Free Streetcar rides from 9 to 11 just west of the market.

Breakfast benefits Crime Stoppers - served from 9 to 11.

The Loose Notes play from 9:30 to 11:30.

Mai's Chinese & Thai Food serves lunch and takeaway from 9 to noon. Their menu is on the blog.

Art Market - 9 to noon

Fall portraits by Bob Foos - $6 for 1 5x7 and 8 wallets

Produce:
Broken Wire
The Lee Family
Mai Lor
Lucy Mauo
Nature Valley Farm
Shoal Creek Gardens

Baked goods:
Hazel's Bakery
Redings Mill

Honey:
Amos Apiaries (will not be at the market next week)

Mums - 2 vendors

Artists - 3

Crafters -
two vendors with aprons, tea towels and other kitchen items
The Other Log Furniture

Raw food bars - Endless Bounty

See you at the market!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Who we're expecting at Friday's market

Tomorrow (Friday) The Sours play traditional music. Soup du Jour serves our lunch – a choice of Chicken Pot Pie Soup or Braised Spinach with Swiss Cheese Soup, plus crackers and cobbler for $5.

Mums - 2 vendors

Produce:
Broken Wire + roasted peppers
Fairhaven Gardens + jams & jellies + eggs
Nhao Hang
The Lee Family
Der Lor
Mai Ker Lor
Lucy Moua
A Mouchoupao
Pates Orchard + jams & jellies
Maria Vang
Nhai Xiong
Nature Valley
Shoal Creek Gardens
Zoua Yang

Cheese
LOMAH Dairy

Honey
Amos Apiaries

Roasted Coffee Beans
Small Cottage Coffee

Meats
Sunny Lane
Flintrock + eggs

Bakeries
Arma Bakery
Black Forest
Hazel's Bakery
Redings Mill Breads

Raw Food Bars

Don't forget, on Saturday the streetcar will give free rides from 9 to 11 & Bob Foos will take fall portraits - package of one 5x7 and eight wallets for $6.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Webb City Sentinel column - 10-7-11

Now that the market is open only on Fridays and Saturdays, and my visiting family has left (boo hoo), I was able to catch up on the Kerr Center’s fall issue of Field Notes. The Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture is in Poteau, Oklahoma, and their lead story sounds familiar. “Blizzards and record cold, tornadoes, gale force winds, flooding rains, drought and record heat…” What a year. But they also had some good news, as do we. It turns out that sweet potatoes thrive in the heat, which is lucky because demand is up for sweet potatoes.

Until 2007 annual per capita consumption of sweet potatoes hadn’t changed in 40 years, holding steady at four pounds per person. It even trailed consumption of celery! In 1943 we averaged almost 22 pounds per person.

But the sweet potato has been rediscovered. It began showing up on the top ten lists of “super foods” that we should make a part of our regular diet. It’s high in vitamins A and C, potassium, antioxidants and fiber. Though sweet, it’s low on the glycemic index, making it a good choice for diabetics (unless like me you cook it with loads of sugar).

Broken Wire, who come on both Friday and Saturday, and Fair Haven, who usually only come on Friday, have sweet potatoes – and butternut squash. And they say demand will overcome their supply soon. They thought they had planted enough to last through November. Not so, but they’re planning to double their plantings next year. Pates Orchard often comes on Fridays with sweet potatoes.

I’d recommend buying both sweet potatoes and butternut. A few weeks ago I included a very easy butternut squash recipe in this column. I made that dish, as well as a sweet potato recipe. What a good combination. The sweet potato was a big hit, it’s almost like dessert and the squash toned the meal down with a milder flavor. Add some steamed boc choy and a meat dish and you have a nutritious, tasty market meal.

And what a versatile vegetable, the sweet potato is. Foodnetwork.com lists 100 recipes from soups to pies to casseroles to fries and chips to salads to ice cream! I’ve included a sample recipe below.

You may find two different vegetables labeled as sweet potatoes at the market - the kind we’re used to, as well as an Asian variety. The latter is generally smaller around and not orange. It’s also much starchier and not nearly as sweet as the North American version. It’s actually much more like a regular potato.

We have lots going on at the market this weekend. Today, the Sours play traditional music. Soup du Jour serves our lunch – a choice of Chicken Pot Pie Soup or Braised Spinach with Swiss Cheese Soup, plus crackers and cobbler for $5.

Tomorrow, the Loose Notes play. Crime Stoppers will be serving breakfast – biscuits and gravy, sausage and orange juice or coffee for $3.50. Add a dollar for two market fresh eggs cooked to order.

Mai’s Chinese and Thai Food will serve lunch and takeaway from 9 to noon.

The streetcar makes its last market runs for the season Saturday from 9 to 11. The rides are free. And we’ll have the last Art Market of the season.

Bob Foos will take portraits at the market Saturday so bring the kids out for a memorable photo. A package of one 5x7 and eight wallet-sized photos will cost $6.

So come on out and stock up on honey, jams and jellies, meats and lots of fresh produce. We are practically buried in green beans right now and the greens are wonderful. There are radishes, green onions, eggplant, peppers and loads of other local crops coming in. Get it while you can – it’s harvest season.

Glazed Sweet Potatoes

4 tablespoons of butter, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter.

Cut each of the sweet potatoes into 88 evenly shaped wedges (or if you end up with differently sized potatoes which is likely at the market, you can simply slice into about 1/2-inch “coins” across). Lay them out in the prepared baking dish in an even layer.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Mix in syrup and cook until smooth. Pour the glaze over the sweet potatoes and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for about 45 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork but still hold their shape.

If you have any left-overs, which is unlikely unless you make a ton, you can serve them again in a different form. Simply mashed the potatoes until fairly smooth, put in a baking dish to reheat and top with mini-marshmallows about 10 minutes prior to serving. Don’t overdo the marshmallows. They’ll puff up to twice or triple their original size.

Yum, yum - Chinese & Thai food at the Saturday market

On Saturdays you'll find lunch and takeaway at the market in the center of the pavilion from 9 to noon:

Mai’s Chinese and Thai Food

SMALL PORTION -

Combo 1:
Fried Rice, 2 mini Egg Rolls and drink

With ONE small entrée………………...$4.00
• General Chicken
• Sweet Sour Chicken
• Lomein Veg
• Chicken Curry Potato
• Chicken Broccoli
• Vegetable and Chicken

With TWO small entrées………………..$4.00
• General Chicken
• Sweet Sour Chicken
• Lomein Veg
• Chicken Curry Potato
• Chicken Broccoli
• Vegetable and Chicken

LARGE PORTION -

Combo 2:
Fried Rice, 2 mini Egg Rolls and drink

With ONE large entré…………………...$5.00
• General Chicken
• Sweet Sour Chicken
• Lomein Veg
• Chicken Curry Potato
• Chicken Broccoli
• Vegetable and Chicken

With THREE large entrées……………..$6.00
• General Chicken
• Sweet Sour Chicken
• Lomein Veg
• Chicken Curry Potato
• Chicken Broccoli
• Vegetable and Chicken

With a little of ALL entrées……………..$7.00
• General Chicken
• Sweet Sour Chicken
• Lomein Veg
• Chicken Curry Potato
• Chicken Broccoli
• Vegetable and Chicken

A La Carte Small Large

Rice $2.00 $4.00
General Chicken $3.00 $5.00
Sweet Sour Chicken $3.00 $5.00
Lomein Vegetable $3.00 $5.00
Chicken Green Bean $3.00 $5.00
Vegetable & Chicken $3.00 $5.00
Chicken Broccoli $3.00 $5.00

Appetizers

Chicken Egg Roll (1 piece) …………………....$1.00
Mini Chicken Egg Rolls (4 pieces)……………$2.00
Appetizer Special Combo* …………………...$5.00
*3 Regular Egg Rolls & 7 Mini Egg Rolls

Drinks

Peach Tea……………………………………. $1.00
Thai ice coffee………………………………… $1.00
Raspberry Tea………………………………… $1.00

Have a Beautiful Day!

Friday, September 30, 2011

At the Market tomorrow (Saturday)

Vendors we're expecting:

Produce:
Broken Wire
Mai Ker Lor
A Mouchoupao
Nature Valley Farm
Nhao Vang
Nhai Xiong

Bakeries:
Redings Mill Bread

Eggs - Apple Road Farm

Mums - Lance & Josh

Meals -
Breakfast benefits The Civil Air Patrol
The Lor Family serves Asian luncheon buffet

Other:
Amos Apiaries - honey
Raw Food Bars
Daniel Sherman - birdhouses & crosses made from salvaged tornado debris
The Other Log Furniture
Rebecca Bristow - recycled art glass

Music - Red Bridge

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Webb City Sentinel column - 9-30-11

We welcome back a vendor today – Du Jour by Jimmi, otherwise known as soups by Jim and Becky Rogers. The Rogers were well-known last winter for their hearty and creative soups and they’ll be back today with Beef with Roasted Barley and Macaroni & Cheese soups – told you they were creative. They’ll also have fresh salsa. In fact, everything they do is fresh.

Jim looked into getting a canning license, but the state requires that each recipe be individually licensed which means it also must be tested in a laboratory for a nutritional label and since Jim makes over 60 recipes that just wasn’t feasible so he’s sticking with fresh. But that’s OK, because we like fresh at the market.

On Saturday, Linda Williams of Mount Vernon returns with her handcrafted aprons and tea towels. Linda came last spring and dropped out thinking that she would return when her garden began producing. It never happened, the weather did her garden in as it did most backyard gardens this year. So she’s back to celebrate the fall and the upcoming gift-giving season with her crafts.

Speaking of crafts, we’ll have lots of woodcrafts on Saturday. Dan Sherman will be here with his birdhouses and crosses made with wood and hardware salvaged from the tornado debris. We’ll also have a new woodworker with yard furniture and benches.
And we’ll have lots of produce on both days. We think of fall as harvest time and it certainly is here at the Webb City market. Our farmers’ tables are loaded with fall greens, peppers, green onions, eggplant, squash, zucchini, sweet potatoes, radishes, gorgeous cut flowers.

Lunch today is all-you-can-eat chili, plus the fixin’s, cake and drink for $6. This is Jim and Trish’s last day this season as the Friday meal provider. In October, on Fridays, we’ll have soup lunches from Du Jour by Jimmi. The music today is by the Plainsfolk.

Tomorrow our music is Red Bridge, a wonderful bluegrass and gospel group based in Ozark, Missouri. The breakfast is being served by the Civil Air Patrol. We love working with the Patrol. It’s a group of young people planning on careers in the Air Force and aviation and they sure know how to follow instructions.
Mai’s Asian Kitchen will serve lunch tomorrow – a selection of freshly made Asian dishes.

We go to our fall schedule this week. We’ll be open on Fridays and Saturdays through October. In November we switch to the Winter Market which is the first and third Friday of each month from 11 to 2. And we’re going inside this winter! We’ll be at the Clubhouse, 115 North Madison. On pretty days, we’ll set up on the parking lot, but on cold or rainy days, we’ll retreat to the comfort of indoors. Our vendors are very excited about the option of warm Winter Markets and we hope you are too.

Friday at the Market

Vendors we're expecting:

Mums:
Duval Valley Farm

Produce:
Broken Wire + roasted peppers
Fairhaven Gardens + jams & jellies + eggs
Nhao Hang
The Lee Family
Der Lor
Mai Ker Lor
A Mouchoupao
Maria Vang
Nhai Xiong
Nature Valley
Zoua Yang

Meats:
Sunny Lane - beef, chicken, lamb
Flintrock - bison, elk + eggs

Bakers:
Arma Bakery
Black Forest
Hazel's Bakery
Redings Mill

Other
Small Cottage Coffee
Raw Food Bars
Du Jour by Jimmi - fresh soup & salsa

Lunch is all-you-can-eat chili, plus the fixin's, cake and drink for $6. The Plainsfolk play traditional music.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tuesday at the Market

This is our last Tuesday of the season. During October we'll be open on Fridays and Saturdays. The Friends of the Webb City Public Library serve lunch on Tuesday. Bill Adkins plays and sings. Come out and enjoy a beautiful fall day and support our Library!

Vendors we're expecting Tuesday:

Mums: Duval Valley Farm

Produce:

Broken Wire + roasted peppers + eggs
Fairhaven Gardens + jams & jellies + eggs
Nhao Hang
The Lee Family
Der Lor
Mai Ker Lor
A Mouchoupao
Maria Vang
Nhai Xiong
Nature Valley Farm
Zoua Yang

Baked Goods:
Yoder's
Arma Bakery
Black Forest

Raw Food Bars

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tomorrow (Friday) at the Market


Vendors we're expecting:

Mums:
Duval Valley Farm + eggs

Produce:
Broken Wire + roasted peppers
Fairhaven Gardens + jams & jellies
Nhao Hang + eggs
The Lee Family
Der Lor
Mai Ker Lor
A Mouchoupao
Pates Orchard + jams & jellies
Maria Vang
Nhai Xiong
Nature Valley
Zoua Yang

Cheese
LOMAH Dairy

Honey
Amos Apiaries - they'll be leaving early, come by noon

Other
Small Cottage Coffee
Raw Food Bars

Lunch is lasagna, side salad, garlic bread, brownies and drink for $6. Jack & Lee Ann Sours play traditional music.

Webb City Sentinel column - 9-23-11

Every season has its pleasures and fall is no exception. Fair Haven Gardens brought their first load of decorative gourds this week. We’re expecting mums today. The butternut squash and sweet potatoes have arrived, as well as many of the cool weather greens. And, of course, we still have most of the summer crops like eggplant, okra, peppers, cucumbers, green beans and summer squash. (Squash recipe in photo printed below)

We are between tomato crops. The summer heat did in the field tomatoes earlier this month and the high tunnel tomatoes will ripen in about two weeks. Yes, we’ll have tomatoes this fall. Tim Green of Shoal Gardens expects to have tomatoes through December out of his high tunnels, as well as cucumbers, green beans and bell peppers. Finally we’ll have a winter market with actual produce!

Winter market will be the first and third Friday of each month, November through April. During October we’ll be open Fridays and Saturdays and, of course, we’ll have our annual Holiday Market the day before Thanksgiving at the Clubhouse, 115 North Madison. That’s always a banner day, especially for our bakers. You can place your orders at the market now to be sure you get just the pies, cakes, pastries or breads that you want on your Thanksgiving table.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, the recent rains have turned my thoughts to thankfulness. My list is long – I’m thankful for the weather finally turning cool and rainy. I’m thankful that our farmers managed to grow produce in the terrible summer heat and that the market continued to have a remarkably good supply while many markets in Oklahoma closed midseason for lack of produce.

I’m thankful for the friends, family, volunteers and vendors who allowed me to abandon the market for most of the high season to take care of my little granddaughter. And I’m thankful that my little Australian family is visiting this month and that I’m able to experience again that incredibly sweet warm feeling of holding a sleeping grandbaby.

And that’s just the beginning of the list. I think being mindful of the good things in our lives is important. It would be so easy to overlook the good and just dwell on our frustrations and difficulties, but even in trying times there are things to be thankful for. So I encourage you to sit down and make a list. I think you may be surprised at how long it is. And I encourage you to post that list on the market’s facebook page or send it to the Sentinel – especially those thanks that deserve to be public – like the thank you I have for Chuck Surface, the city’s economic development director. Chuck showed up at the market Tuesday with someone who may have a funding source to pave the market’s parking and erect handicapped accessible bathrooms. It may be hard funding to find in today’s economic climate, but how well that speaks of Chuck and the city that he saw a need and is pursuing it. And, of course, we wish him every success!

Jack and Lee Ann Sours play traditional music today from 11 am to 1 pm. Lunch is lasagna, side salad, garlic bread, brownies and drink for $6.

Tomorrow breakfast benefits a cause near and dear to our market’s heart – the Don Lansaw Memorial Scholarship fund at MSSU. Don, our volunteer manager Donna Krudwig’s son-in-law, died during the May 22 tornado protecting his wife, Bethany, from the storm. Because Bethany is an MSSU employee, the university established a scholarship in Don’s memory. We’re supporting it tomorrow and we hope you will too. Breakfast will be served from 9 to 11. The Loose Notes will play from 9:30 to 11:30.

Next Tuesday is our last Tuesday market of the season. Bill Adkins will play and the Friends of the Webb City Library will serve lunch.

This recipe from Whole Foods is simple but packed with nutrition. According to Whole Foods, butternut squash delivers healthy carbohydrates, vitamins A and C, plus potassium. This squash dish can be eaten as a side, or used in soups, tacos, enchiladas, pasta or salad.

Baked Butternut Squash

1 medium butternut squash, peeled (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Halve the squash lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out and discard seeds.

Cut the squash into 1-cubes. Transfer to a large, rimmed baking sheet. Toss with oil, salt and pepper and spread out in a single layer. Roast, tossing occasionally, until just tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Yum – the taste of Fall is here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tomorrow (Tuesday) at the Market

Tuesday - Cooking for a Cause benefits the Alliance of Southwest Missouri. Gary Kyger and his band performs. Lunch and music from 11 to 1. Market from 11 to 2.

Vendors we are expecting:

Produce -
Broken Wire
Fairhaven Gardens
Zoua Hang Yang
Der Lor
Mai Ker Lor
A Mouchoupao
Maria Vang
Nhao Vang
Ma Yang

Baked Goods -
Arma Bakery
Black Forest
Yoder's

Friday, September 16, 2011

Saturday at the Market

Vendors we're expecting:

Produce:
Broken Wire
Der Lor
Mai Ker Lor
Ge Moua
Lucy Moua
A Mouchoupao
Nature Valley Farm
Nhao Vang
Nhai Xiong
May Yang

Bakeries:
Hazel's Bakery
Redings Mill Bread

Meals -
Breakfast benefits the charities of the Cstl Junction Easterrn Star The Lor Family serves Asian luncheon buffet

Other:
Amos Apiaries - honey
Raw Food Bars
Daniel Sherman - birdhouses & crosses made from salvaged tornado debris

Music - Curreykorn

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Who's coming to the Friday Market?


Show Me the Ozarks will sell it's special tornado edition at the market Friday. The price is $12 and all proceeds go to the United Way Tornado Relief Fund.

Produce:
Broken Wire + roasted peppers
Fairhaven Gardens + mams & jellies
Nhao Hang + eggs
The Lee Family
Der Lor
Mai Ker Lor
A Mouchoupao
Pates Orchard + jams & jellies
Maria Vang
Nhai Xiong
Nature Valley
Zoua Yang

Cheese
LOMAH Dairy

Honey
Amos Apiaries

Roasted Coffee Beans
Small Cottage Coffee

Meats
Sunny Lane
Flintrock + eggs

Apple Road Farm - eggs

Bakeries
Arma Bakery
Black Forest
Hazel's Bakery
Redings Mill Breads

Raw Food Bars

Plus lunch - bbq sandwich, oriental Cole slaw, chips, cookies & drink & music - Center Creek Bluegrass!

Webb City Sentinel column - 9/16/11

Show Me the Ozarks will be at the market today (Friday)selling their special edition about the tornado. The cost is $12. All proceeds go the United Way Tornado Relief Fund.

With the arrival of cooler weather we’re looking forward to luscious fall crops. The sweet potatoes, butternut squash and apples arrived last week. Lettuce, spinach and broccoli are also making an appearance. And a walk through the market shows that the summer crops are reinvigorated with beautiful squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and egg plant in abundance.

Within a week we hope to see the first of the local mums and pumpkins. Fair warning on the pumpkins though. The extreme heat of the summer has reduced the crop, so buy them when you see them!

We’re putting in place our plans for fall. For our Saturday customers, the most important plan is that we will do our best to stay open on Saturdays through October. In the past, we have closed the Saturday market at the end of September. Last year we heard from our Saturday crowd in no uncertain terms – Stay Open! Our growers who have enough produce will come both Friday and Saturday. Other growers with only enough for one day will be split between the two so hopefully both days will have a good selection of produce.

We’re still building some aspects of the Saturday market. We were able to secure two ranchers for chicken, beef and lamb in August, but they ran out of meat last week. I don’t think they were expecting such an enthusiastic response and it takes a good long while to raise the animals for slaughter so it will be next spring before we expect to see those Saturday ranchers again. Pates Orchard will only be at the market on Fridays so unless we can find another orchard we won’t have apples on Saturdays. But otherwise we hope to have a good selection on both days.

On Saturday, October 8th, we’ll have our last Art Market of the season and the last runs of the streetcar in conjunction with the market.

We’ll also have fall photos on that day. Several years ago Bob Foos was kind enough to take photos at the market for us and I treasure the photo he took of my parents. There’s just something about the autumn sun, bales of straw and colorful mums that make a memorable scene. I’ll have final details in a few weeks but it looks like the package will be a 5x7 and 8 wallet sized photos for $6.

With the weather finally cool enough to enjoy an outdoor meal, we hope more of you will join us for the Tuesday benefit lunch. Next week the Alliance of Southwest Missouri serves lunch.

I plan to use one of the Alliance’s services next week. Twice a month they have a “safe kids car seat check’ and I want to be sure the car seat I installed for my granddaughter Madeleine is safe. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, three out of four parents do not properly use child restraints. I expect for us grandparents that statistic may be even worse. “Often installation is incorrect or the wrong time type of seat is being used for the child’s height, weight or age.” Given that traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for children and an improperly installed car seat offers little or no protection, this service provided by the Alliance should be at the top of our thank you list.

And that’s just a small part of what the Alliance does for our community. They also work in drug prevention, in child abuse prevention, in underage drinking prevention, and a myriad of other issues for children, teens and adults.

And like many other local agencies they are responding to the needs created by the May 22 tornado:

They provide transportation in the immediate area for those affected by the tornado for FEMA appointments, job interviews, pharmacy runs and other essential needs.
And they offer group play therapy for children affected by the tornado, which is considered particularly helpful in 3- to 11-years dealing with that traumatic experience.

In other words, this is an organization, like all our others, well worth supporting and learning more about – which you can do Tuesday from 11 to 1 at the market which you enjoy a hot dog, chili dog, chili frito pie or barbecue beef sandwich and listen to the music of Gary Kyger and his band.

Today, we’ll enjoy music from a local favorite – Center Creek Bluegrass. They’ll play from 11 to 1 during lunch which is barbecued beef sandwich, oriental Cole slaw, chips, cookies and drink for $6.

Tomorrow we have a rare musical treat – Curreykorn will play from 9:30 to 11:30. This group from Columbia would normally be way over our budget but luckily for us they agreed to stop by on their way home from performing at the Arbuckle Mountain Bluegrass Festival. David and Nancy Currey, and their five children, play a blend of traditional and contemporary bluegrass, plus gospel, roots country and old-time fiddle. They should be lots of fun.

The Carl Junction Order of the Eastern Star will serve breakfast from 9 to 11.

With markets closing for the season all over the state, we are fortunate that our growers persisted through the heat in planting and watering fall crops. We hope you will reap the rewards and reward the farmers as well by making the market a regular part of your fall. See you at the market!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Who's coming to the Tuesday Market

Tuesday - Cooking for a Cause benefits the WCHS Band Boosters. Bill Adkins performs. Lunch and music from 11 to 1. Market from 11 to 2.

Vendors we are expecting:

Produce -
Broken Wire
Fairhaven Gardens
Zoua Hang Yang
Der Lor
Mai Ker Lor
A Mouchoupao
Pates Orchard - last day for peaches
Maria Vang
Nhao Vang
Ma Yang

Baked Goods -
Arma Bakery
Black Forest
Yoder's

Friday, September 9, 2011

Who's coming to the Saturday market?

Vendors we're expecting:

Produce:
Broken Wire
Der Lor
Mai Ker Lort
Ge Moua
Lucy Moua
A Mouchoupao
Nhao Vang
Ma Yang
Nolan Yoder

Meat:
Green Elm - chicken & lamb
Harvest Hill - chicken & beef

Bakeries:
Hazel's Bakery
Redings Mill Bread

Meals -
Breakfast benefits CROP Hunger Walk
The Lor Family serves Asian luncheon buffet

Other:
Amos Apiaries - honey
Apple Road Farm - eggs
Raw Food Bars

Plus 5 artists for the Art Market
Free Streetcar rides from 9 to 11
Music - The Tri-State Kokopelli Flute Circle

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Who's coming to the Friday Market?

Vendors we're expecting on Friday

Produce:

Broken Wire
Fairhaven
Nhao Hang
Ge Lee
Der Lor
A Mouchoupau
Pates Orchard (they won't be at the market Saturday)
Maria Vang
Zoua Yang
Nhia Xiong

Meats:

Madewell Pork
Sunny Lane Farm

Bakers:

Arma Bakery
Black Forest
Hazel's Bakery
Reding Mills (they'll have chocolates, too!)

Amos Apiaries - honey
Fairhaven - herbs
LOMAH - cheeses
Small Cottage Coffee - freshly roasted coffee beans
Raw Food Bars
Lunch - meatloaf, green beans, au gratin potatoes, cake & drink

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Webb City Sentinel column - 9/10/11

Some time ago, I received training from Project for Public Spaces, a New York nonprofit, on placemaking. It keeps me mindful of what makes a place welcoming – like shade in the heat, shelter from the rain, benches for resting, quiet music, things to do. One of their recommendations was “The Power of Ten”. To draw people to a destination, have ten major activities for people to do, each of which should have ten components. In other words, to draw people to the market have produce, meat, flowers, baked goods, jams, jellies…, and have a meal, music, places to sit and watch, vendors to visit with. Several customers take advantage of the trail next to the market and walk or bike. To create a true destination, we should have nine other things folks could do while visiting Webb City.

Well, this weekend, we’re going to come pretty close to the Power of Ten in downtown Webb City. In addition to the market, at 1:00 Ninth Hour will perform at the Route 66 Theater. Profits from that event (it’s is $10 per person) support the R-7 Foundation which provides scholarships to our graduating seniors. At 4:00 and 7:00 the Route 66 Theater is showing Aliens and Cowboys. From 5:00 to 8:00, the Chamber is sponsoring their last Cruise Night of the year. Stop by Bruners at Main and Daugherty. They’re open till 4 on Saturdays and have all sorts of things you might not expect at a pharmacy – especially gifts and cards. And, of course, we have several restaurants downtown where you can enjoy dinner. There’s a new one right next to the Sentinel – Patties & Franks, open 11 to 7 Monday through Saturday with burgers, dogs, chili, and fries – just like the good old days except with more toppings!

At the market Saturday, we’ll have our monthly Art Market and Old No. 60, the restored streetcar, will make runs at the hour and half hour from 9 to 11. Rides are free.

We’re celebrating Market Roots this Saturday. We’ll have a table showing where, in the mists of time, our food originated. For example, peaches were first found in China, corn and squash in the Americas and watermelon in Africa. Each of our vendors and volunteers will have signs showing where they were born and from whence their ancestors came. Right off the top of my head, I can think of vendors who were born in Germany, England, Canada and Laos. Not surprisingly, given our nearness to Oklahoma, many of our vendors can claim Native American roots.

In keeping with the theme, the music will be by the Tri-State Kokopelli Flute Circle. And, after hearing them at the market last Friday, I can guarantee that you’ll want to be at the market sometime between 9:30 and 11:30 when they’re playing. They kept the benches filled with listeners last week.

Breakfast at the Market on Saturday will benefit CROP Hunger Walk. On Sunday, September 25, members of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Central United Methodist Church will join other Catholics, United Methodists, Christians, Episcopalians, Lutherans and Presbyterians for this annual interfaith walk. It raises money for and awareness about hunger. One-half of the money raised this year will stay in our area, feeding folks through Crosslines, Lafayette House, the Salvation Army, and Children’s Haven. The rest will work around the world to feed refugees fleeing natural and manmade disaster and people living with chronic poverty.

Friday, we’ll have meatloaf, au gratin potatoes, green beans, cake and drink for $6. Gospel Strings will play. Now that the weather has moderated, Redings Mill Bakery is expanding into chocolates. Jamie plans to have chocolate-covered peanut butter balls and turtles, in addition to their artisan breads. I told Jamie that “butter ball” was certainly an apt description of what I’ll soon look like with those temptations. But wait!! Didn’t I hear that chocolate and peanut butter are good for you?
See you at the market!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Who's coming to Tuesday's Market

We're expecting*:

The Agees - produce, herbs & flavored vinegars
Fairhaven - produce & eggs
Nhao Hang - produce
Ge Lee - produce
Der Lor - produce
Mai Ker Lor - produce
A Mouchoupao - produce
Black Forest - pasteries
Pate's - peaches/tomatoes
Arma Bakery - breads
Rocky Horse - produce/garlic
Maria Vang - produce
Nhia Xiong - produce
Ma Yang - produce
Zoua Yang - produce
Yoders - baked goods
Raw food bars
Lunch - benefits the Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center
* many of our growers also have cut flowers.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Webb City Sentinel column - 9/2/11

One of the pleasures of visiting a British Commonwealth country, like Australia, is afternoon tea. There are few things I enjoy more than a leisurely tea with a friend (or in my case recently, a daughter and granddaughter) with its delicate sandwiches, small cakes, cups of tea filled with lemon slices and, best of all, scones slathered in strawberry jam and cream. All of which is made even better by a quiet walk along the Swan River to a Tea Room bathed in the brilliant sunshine of Perth, the sunniest city in Australia, with cool breezes and a temperature of about 70 degrees. For me, it just doesn’t get any better than that, although from the many times I caught the weekend train with folks returning from Australian football games, I know that it may not be everyone’s favorite activity but that’s a whole other column.

We can enjoy many aspects of afternoon tea right here in one of the few former British colonies that is not a member of the Commonwealth (we left the Empire about 150 years too early for that).

After scones, the treat most associated with afternoon tea is the cucumber sandwich. Like all tea sandwiches, it should be made with a high quality thinly sliced bread, typically a white bread. The bread is coated with a thin layer of butter or cream cheese, either of which could be flavored with a bit of chopped herbs like dill or chives. The cucumbers should be thinly sliced and you can also add a bit of watercress or sprouts if you like. Other favorite sandwiches use thin slices of salmon or ham and cheese. Ironic, isn’t it that “thin” is a key word when making tea sandwiches – since that is the only connection thin has to afternoon tea? A low calorie meal, it is not!

The crust is removed from the sandwich and it is then cut into “fingers”, four to a sandwich.

The scone recipe I always use is from the Joy of Cooking book.

Scones

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cut into these ingredients, until the butter is of the size of a small pea, using a pastry blender or 2 knives:
1/4 cup butter

Beat in a separate bowl:
2 eggs

Reserve 2 tablespoons of the egg mixture. Add to the remaining eggs and beat:
1/3 cream

Make a well in the dry ingredients. Pour the liquid into it. Combine with a few swift strokes. Handle the dough as little as possible. Place it on a lightly floured board. Pat until 3/4 inch thick (I make them over 1 inch because I like a high scone). Cut into rounds (I use a glass which I first dip in flour.). Brush with the reserved egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the tops are browned.

The standard finish to a scone is to cut it in half, spread strawberry jam, then top with a generous serving of heavily whipped cream.

A litle trivia about afternoon tea:

Afternoon tea is a leisurely meal of elegant delicacies served on a low table. Tea lore tells us that it first developed among aristocratic English women who felt “faint” between lunch and dinner.

High tea refers to the height of the table on which tea is served, in other words, it is served on a regular table like a kitchen table. “High” makes it sounds like an elegant meal, but it actually was an evening meal originally enjoyed by labors and miners when they returned home at about 6 pm. Rather than delicacies, it is hardier fare such as meat and potatoes or egg dishes.

Both afternoon and high teas, along with “elevensies” - a morning tea or coffee break, are still popular throughout the countries associated with the British Empire.

How to pronounce scone depends on where you are. Most of England pronounces it with a long “o” as in bone, while in Scotland pretty much everyone says it to rhyme with gone. Either way, it’s a treat!

Today at the market, lunch is baked chicken, stuffing with gravy, mixed vegetables with cheese, banana pudding and drink for $6. The Tri-State Kokopelli Flute Circle makes their market debut today from 11 to 1.

Tomorrow, the Carl Junction Order of the Eastern Star serves breakfast and the Green Earth Band plays. Daniel Sherman will be at the market with his birdhouses and crosses made from debris salvaged from the tornado fields. Twenty percent of his sales go to the Salvation Army.

I want to say a big thank you to Carolyn Foat who so capably filled in as the column writer while I was in Australia and all the wonderful volunteers, both vendors and community members, who pitched in during my absence. I look forward to seeing you this weekend – I have baby pictures to show you!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Webb City Sentinel colum - 8 - 26 - 11

Come on over, Jared

Remember when Jared made Subway famous by demonstrating healthier eating? Well, come visit the Webb City Farmers Market, Jared. Our market features nothing but healthy food!

For starters, the meat is all-natural. The meat vendors (Madwell Pork, Sunny Lane Farms, Flintrock Ranch and Green Elm Farm) feature grass-fed, free range, and/or hormone free meats. There are eggs available from chickens that are allowed to roam outside.

Even the baked goods from Hazel’s, Black Forest, Arma Bakery, Yoder Baked Goods or Jamie’s Redings Mill are especially healthy. They are made from pure ingredients – no preservatives, artificial colors, or other strange additives.

If you are like me, you love the phrase “all-you–can-eat.” Unless you deep-fat fry your vegetables, the Webb City Farmers Market is your source for low calorie, healthy “all-you-can-eat” vegetables. Market vegetables are superior because they are the freshest, often picked just hours before you take them home. Freshness means the vitamins and nutrients are at maximum levels. Another healthy habit is to use the wide variety of herbs to create excitement in your cooking and lower your need for salt. Garlic is plentiful right now and has proven health benefits.

Our locally grown fruit is a real bonus at the market. Eating 2-4 servings of fruit per day is recommended in a healthy diet. Delectable cantaloupe, watermelons and peaches are currently available.

As I end my last column filling in for Eileen Nichols, I want to personally thank the incredible volunteers that make the market possible. “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat”* deter the dedicated volunteers at the Webb City Farmer’s Market. Many of us don’t realize what a tremendous commitment people like Marilyn Thornberry, Donna Krudwig, Sharon Nations, Ron Walters, Duane Hunt, Cindy LaMere, and Ann Foos make to the market. They arrive 2 hours before sales begin and finish no sooner than an hour after the market closes. That is 6 hours a day, 3 days a week, typically in scorching hot summer weather!! Please stop by the market desk to tell them thank you!

A couple more recipes celebrating some of the current market treasures:

Slushy Peach Drink

Place in blender, 1 sliced large fresh peach, 2 c. pink grapefruit juice, 1 1/2 cups ice cubes. Blend until smooth. Add more ice or peaches to suit your taste. (Optional addition: a shot of Coconut Rum).

A Recipe from Mr. Food

“Summer Fruit Stack is always a popular recipe because it's easy to make it your own. Use whatever fruit you've got on hand, from berries to melon and anything in between.”

Ingredients

* 1 (10- to 12-ounce) angel food cake
* 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1 cup confectioners' sugar
* 1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
* 5 to 6 unpeeled peaches, melon, berries, nectarines (or a combination), sliced or chunked

Instructions

1. Tear the angel food cake into little pieces and place in a large bowl; set aside.
2. In another large bowl, beat the cream cheese, milk, and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Fold in the whipped topping. Add the angel food cake pieces to the mixture; mix well.
3. In a large glass serving bowl, alternate layers of cake mixture and fruit.

Another Quick and Easy Recipe from Mr. Food:

A “garden-fresh Summer Vegetable Salsa is the perfect topper for grilled chicken or fish, or as a zesty homemade appetizer for corn chips.”

Ingredients

* 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
* 1/3 cup olive oil
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 1 medium-sized green bell pepper, seeded and diced
* 1 medium-sized red bell pepper, seeded and diced
* 1 medium-sized yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
* 1 small zucchini, diced
* 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

Instructions

1. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, oil, sugar, salt and black pepper; mix well and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients with dressing and toss until evenly coated. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to use. Makes 4 cups.

Friday, August 26 Events – Lunch features Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes with gravy, peas, chocolate cake and a drink for $6. Enjoy the musical stylings of Bailed Green and Wired Tight.

Saturday, August 27 Events – Breakfast features market eggs to order, biscuits, gravy, sausage, coffee or orange juice all to benefit the charities supported by the Carl Junction Order of the Eastern Star. Music will be provided by Hawthorn.

Tuesday, August 30 Events - Lunch will benefit the RSVP (Retired Seniors Volunteer Program) and the CP Center. Lunch options include smoked sausage, hot dog, chili dog, chili Frito pie or BBQ beef sandwich. Music will be by William Adkins.

*Part of the unofficial creed of the US Postal Service

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Webb City Sentinel column - 8/19/11


You like potato and I like potahto;
You like tomato and I like tomahto…*


Whatever your pronunciation, the Webb City Market currently has a wonderful selection of tomatoes and potatoes. Big ones, little ones, “ugly ones” and more. Same goes for peppers, onions, eggplant, and cucumbers! And they all taste great!!

As you probably know, the tomato is one of the best-loved and most versatile ingredients. We use them in so many ways – freshly sliced or diced, sautéed, stewed, grilled and even baked. Tomatoes are extremely healthy and low in calories. You can literally eat all you want!!

Here’s a favorite vegetable dish that takes advantage of tomatoes along with many of the current market vegetables:

Ratatouille

Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until browned, juicy and cooked through (10-12 minutes). Transfer to a medium saucepan with a slotted spoon.

Add another 2 tbsp oil to the skillet and sauté 1 diced onion, 1 small diced green pepper, 1 small diced red pepper, and 1 small diced yellow pepper until tender-crisp ( 3-5 minutes). Transfer to the saucepan.

In another 2 tbsp oil, sauté 3-5 minutes 2 small or 1 large diced zucchini and 2 small yellow summer squash, diced. Transfer to the saucepan and add 2 diced ripe tomatoes, and 4 diced cloves of garlic. Also add 1, 8 oz can of tomato sauce or puree and a little chopped basil or oregano.

Simmer 15 minutes over medium heat. Season with more salt and pepper. Flavor will be enhanced if cooked ahead and reheated. Try this dish, you will love it. It makes the perfect side dish for any of the locally raised, grass-fed meats sold at the market. This Friday take advantage of delicious bison and elk offered by Flintrock Ranch . On Saturday, Green Elm Farm may still have lamb (it has been selling like crazy).

“There’s no greater summertime pleasure than fresh peaches,” says TV Chef, Mr. Food. Amen!

Peaches are in their prime and Pate’s Orchard is selling them like crazy. You might also find fresh blackberries at the market. And melons are showing up in greater and greater quantities.

Here is a simple but unusual recipe for peaches, kindly provided by Pate’s Orchard.

Easy Peach Cobbler

Slice fresh peaches to cover the bottom of an 8 x 8 baking pan.

Cut crusts from 5 slices of white bread and cut into fingers.

Lace the bread fingers across the top of the peaches.

Mix 1 c. sugar, 1 stick of melted oleo and 2 Tbsp flour. Pour all over the bread fingers and peaches. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until topping is brown.

Market Events

On Friday August 19, lunch from 11-1 p.m. offers spaghetti w/ meat sauce, salad, garlic bread, chocolate fluff & drink for only $6. The urban forester, Jon Skinner with the Missouri Department of Conservation, will be at the market to answer your tree and shrub questions. Granny Chicks will be playing toe-tapping music.

Saturday, August 20, from 9-11 enjoy the benefit breakfast of biscuit, gravy, sausage, coffee or OJ with market eggs to order supporting Crime Stoppers. Dan, the Birdhouse Guy, will also be paying a special visit with his unique birdhouses made from tornado debris. Erick Brown will be our featured musician.

Tuesday, August 23, the Cooking for a Cause lunch benefits Healing the Family Counseling Service. Gary Kyger will provide musical entertainment.

*Song by George and Ira Gershwin, "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off," 1937.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Webb City Sentinel column - 8 - 12 - 11

How to Eat in the Heat - By Carolyn Foat

While we beg Mother Nature to please turn down her oven, we surely want to keep our kitchens cool and conserve energy. Thanks to our dedicated vendors at the Market, we can easily serve wonderful food without “firing” up our ovens.

First of all, with the enticing baked goods from three dedicated bakeries: , Hazel’s, Black Forest, Arma Bakery, Yoder Baked Goods and Jamie’s Redings Mill, we certainly don’t need to be baking!

Salads made with the Market’s gorgeous peppers, lettuce, onions, cucumbers, and zucchini are sure to please, especially with the fabulous cheese from Lomah Dairy sprinkled on top . Cantaloupe, peaches, and of course, tomatoes are cool summer treats in plentiful supply.

Speaking of tomatoes, here are the winners of last week’s Tomato Contest:

Best quality – Fair Haven Farms submitted by Lester Mills

Weirdest –Steven Davis

The tomato judges were: Carolyn Corner, Dee and Gwen Hunt, Karen Latimer, and Nancy Carlson. Prizes were market tokens provided by Granny Schafer’s.

Another way to beat the heat is to skip the skillet and stove and enjoy a delicious meal at the market. This Friday, the menu includes oven fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn, fresh fruit cup and a drink for only $6

Entertainment will be provided by Webb City’s own talented Gospel Strings.

Saturday, feast on a full breakfast to benefit the Civil Air Patrol. Enjoy market eggs made to order, and biscuits, gravy, sausage, coffee or OJ; all while being regaled by the acoustic folk stylings of the Green Earth Band. If you’re in the mood for lunch, stop by the Lor booth for a selection of Asian specialties.

Don’t forget that Saturday, August 13th features free streetcar rides from 9 to 11. And to top off your Saturday market visit, you can take in the talent of local visual artists and artisans at the Art Market.

Again, on Tuesday, August 14, another chance to keep your kitchen cool by eating at the market. Cooking for a Cause will provide a benefit lunch of smoked sausage, hot dog, chili dog, chili Frito pie or BBQ beef sandwich. Proceeds benefit the CP center. Rob Pommert will provide beautiful musical accompaniment.

Here are a couple of “cool” salads to complete your eating in the heat menu.

Mediterranean Potato Salad

2 pounds potatoes cooked and cubed (baby potatoes currently at the market taste the best)
1/4 c lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed or minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano or diced fresh oregano
14 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 c diced sun dried tomatoes (dry or oil packed)
1/3 c. stuffed green or Kalamata olives with their juice
1/3 c feta cheese
3 green onions thinly sliced
As soon as the potatoes are cooked and cubed, while still warm, pour over the lemon juice. Combine the rest of the ingredients and pour over potatoes.
Stir in the green onions and cheese. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Keeps very, very well.

Marinated Vegetable Salad

Marinade:
2/3 c vinegar
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c minced fresh parsley or cilantro
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fresh dill or 2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Put mixture in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well.

Pour marinade over 4 cups of any combination of:
Halved cherry tomatoes or diced regular tomatoes
Sliced carrots
Sliced cucumber
Sliced zucchini
Diced green peppers
Diced green onions

Seal container and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Keeps very well.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Webb City Sentinel column - 8/5/11

Last week I mentioned that eggplant seems to thrive in hot weather, so given the current temperatures, it seems like a good time for an eggplant recipe. This one is from a cookbook by Matt Moran, a well-known chef in Australia. The resulting dish is rich and satisfying and, for the vegetable-loving family I’m currently staying with, serves well as a main course.

Many of our growers have the eggplant and tomatoes called for in this recipe. Chris Sharpsteen of Rocky Horse Ranch who sells at the Tuesday market has shallots and a good selection of garlic. Fredrickson Farms has oregano plants for sale.

Eggplant Parmigiana

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
3 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato paste
Salt and pepper
1/2 bunch fresh oregano leaves, picked and chopped
2 medium Italian eggplants, cut into 1/3 inch thick slices
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat 1/3 cup of the olive oil in a frying pan and cook the shallots and garlic until soft. Pour in the white wine vinegar and simmer until the liquid has evaporated. Take 1/2 of the tomatoes, remove seeds and roughly chop the flesh, and add to the shallots. Stir in the tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes, then add the chopped oregano and check for seasoning.

Sprinkle the eggplant slices with a little salt and leave for 10 minutes to remove the bitter juices. Pat the slices dry with a cloth or paper towels. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan, add the eggplant and fry on both sides until golden brown. Drain the eggplant on a paper towel to remov
e excess oil.
Cut the remaining tomatoes into slices about 1/4-inch thick.
Spoon some sauce over the base of individual gratin dishes or a large earthenware dish. Add layers of sliced eggplant, tomato and sauce until everything is used up, finishing with a layer of sauce. Top with the grated Parmesan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the cheese is golden brown. Serves 4.

While I’m away wonderful volunteers have once more stepped in. Carolyn Foat will take care of the Sentinel columns after today. You’ll see new volunteer managers at the market. We are still looking for volunteers to take donated produce to Joplin for the volunteers working in the tornado disaster area. Suzanne’s prepares them a vegetarian lunch and our generous farmers donate produce, but we do need to get it from here to there. We’d love to have an experienced griller for Tuesdays so we could put hamburgers back on the menu.

Jake Foos recently discovered what my children have known for years. Come home to visit? Be prepared to “volunteer”. Jake’s mother Ann is helping with the market in my absence so when Jake came home from Kansas City last weekend, guess who was dragooned into driving the market cart Friday? Yes, Jake Foos. And I hear he had a blast.

So if you would like to be part of a special community and volunteer at the market, just stop by the information table. I expect we could find something you’d enjoy doing.

Today Patrick Byers, horticulturist with the University of Missouri Extension, will be at the market answering gardening and growing questions. Ask him for me how to grow anything besides okra and egg plant in this weather! Lunch is a market favorite – all-you-can-eat ham and beans, plus cornbread, brownies and a drink for $6. Jack and Lee Ann Sours play traditional music.

Tomorrow breakfast is served by Lafayette House, our regional domestic violence shelter. This special place has touched many, many families for the good. Not only do they provide shelter and safety for women escaping violence, but they also provide alcohol and drug rehabilitation for women, many of whom would otherwise have to leave their children to go into treatment. And often without any support system, that would mean giving the children up to foster care. Unlike most treatment facilities, at Lafayette House they can live in a safe drug-free environment with their children while working towards a healthier, more productive life.
Drywood Bluegrass will play from 9:30 to 11:30 tomorrow.

Daniel Sherman, our birdhouse crafter, will be at the market tomorrow. He uses materials salvaged from the tornado disaster area to make his handsome birdhouses. Twenty percent of his sales go to the Salvation Army. Apparently lots of folks are doing their Christmas shopping early at his booth.

Next Tuesday Cooking for a Cause benefits the Joplin School Foundation Snackpack program. This program makes sure that low-income kids who receive their breakfast and lunch at school, have something to tide them over the weekends. Rob Pommert will play from 11 to 1.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tomato Contests - Saturday, July 30

Enter the tomato contests between 8:15 and 8:45.

Two tomatoes per entry in the Quality categories: Best Red, Best Other Color and Best Cherry/Grape - First place in each category - $25 in market tokens courtesy of Granny Shaffers.

One tomato per entry in the Fun categories: Biggest/heaviest, Smallest, & Weirdest - First place in each category - $10 in market tokens courtesy of Granny Shaffers.

Winners will be announced at about 10:30.

Customers vote on the Weirdest tomato. The other contests are judged by market volunteer.

Webb City Sentinel column - 7/29/11

If this 100+ degree weather is our future, we’d better start enjoying egg plant and okra in a big way. Resa Amos and I made 10 farm visits last weekend. Most farms are keeping their plants alive through heavy irrigation, but water can only do so much in this heat – except when it comes to okra and egg plant. Everywhere I saw thriving stands of those plants. The sweet corn won’t make without rain, the tomatoes won’t set if nighttime temperatures are too high, but okra and egg plant seem unfazed by this weather, which is good news because you can make some mighty good food with those ingredients.

One farm we visited was our new Saturday lamb farm, Green Elm Farm. The farm is near McCune and it’s sure a lot greener in McCune than here. Farmer Daniel is building up his herd, having purchased ten pregnant ewes earlier this year. He kept the female lambs for breeding. The male lambs you’ll find at the market, in the form of chops, ribs, roasts, and ground lamb. (Sorry, boys.) Daniel said that if his first Saturday at the market is any indication, he’ll be out of lamb by the end of August. He was pretty thrilled by his reception. And I’m sure his reception was improved by our other lamb vendor, Nancy Rasmussen, who also raises chicken and beef and does not come to the Saturday market. Nancy, like many of our vendors, knows that when customers are happy we have a better marke.’ Nancy’s response when she learned we had found a farm to compete with her on Saturday - “wonderful! I’m out of lamb for a while. I’ll tell my customers to be sure and stop by Saturday. Get me his product list and I’ll share it with my customers.”

We’re expecting vendors with new products at the market today. LOMAH Dairy is adding two new cheeses (I think Colby and Mozzarella). Hazel’s Bakery is adding Friday to their schedule. Kay, who named the bakery in honor of her mother, returned to the market two weeks ago on Saturdays and when our regular Friday baker, Freda Mae’s, told us last Friday that she was pursuing another career, we were thrilled to have Kay step in without even a single Friday without pies and cakes. We sure don’t want to do without our pies and cakes.

On Saturday, in addition to our new lamb vendor and our many other regular vendors, we’ll have our annual tomato contests. Once again, Mike Wiggins of Granny Shaffers (who is a huge tomato fan) is sponsoring the prizes - $25 in market tokens for the best red, best other color and best cherry/grape tomato. The biggest/heaviest, smallest and weirdest tomatoes receive $10 in market tokens. Entry is free and open to any grower or gardener. Just bring your tomatoes to the market and enter them between 8:15 and 8:45 Saturday morning. Winners will be announced at about 10:30. Entry details are on our blog – webbcityfarmersmarket.blogspot.com. The Weirdest Tomato is selected by customer votes. The other contests are judged by market volunteers.

I am once again on the road – my little Madeleine likes sleeping in 20 minute naps and her mommy needs someone to do the night shift so she can get some rest. When I asked the market board if they could manage without me, they said to a person and immediately – Go! Each of my vendors has taken on a job to help set up and take down the market. I love my vendors. Not only were they happy to help, but almost all gave me a goodbye hug at the end of market on Tuesday.

Several good friends are pitching in, too – but they’ll be new at monitoring the peach line, so please be kind to them. Actually folks in the peach line – and other lines – are generally patient and kind. In fact, I find almost all the people associated with the market to be very generous. I received a call today from a lady in Carthage looking for canning tomatoes. I suggested some possible vendors but was pretty discouraging because the heat is reducing tomato production. Despite my less-than-helpful information, her last words to me were “you folks in Webb City have a fantastic market!” Those are always wonderful words to hear, but when you’re tired, hot, and frustrated by difficult growing conditions, those words really hit the spot.

Lunch today (Friday) is meatloaf, scalloped potatoes, green beans, cake and a drink for $6’ Center Creek Bluegrass plays.

Tomorrow (Saturday), the Carl Junction Order of the Eastern Star serves breakfast. They’ll use the profits for one of the many charities they support like the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association. Greg Krutsinger makes his musical debut at the market tomorrow.

On Tuesday, Joplin Little Theatre serves lunch and Rob Pommert plays.

Hopefully, the weather will break soon. For me, it already has – it’s winter in Australia – 60 to 65 degrees, sunny with a light breeze. I’ll be thinking of you in August!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Webb City Sentinel column - 7-22-11

It’s been over a year since we had a meat vendor serving Saturdays, but tomorrow we’re expecting Green Elm Farm of McCune, Kansas, with lamb. It’s their first day at our market – or any market. So we hope you’ll give them a hearty welcome. They raise pastured lambs that are processed at Golden City Meat. Like our Friday meat vendors, their cuts of lamb will be sold frozen.

Green Elm, which may not be their final choice of farm names, they’re still thinking about it, is owned by Daniel and Kayla Devereaux. Kayla hails from Southeast Kansas, but Daniel will be expanding our international flavor. He grew up near Oxford, England, and came to the United States about nine years ago to train as a ferrier in Lamar, Missouri. He married a local girl and the rest is history - from Oxford to the Webb City Farmers Market. When he was superintendent, Dr. Lankford was fond of saying about our school system “you can go anywhere from here.” Apparently you can also come from anywhere to here!

Another new, but very familiar, vendor at the market this week is Hector Troyer. Hector, whose farm is located near Fairview, is only selling field tomatoes this year and since the spring was cold and wet (ah, we miss the good old days…) the tomatoes have been late ripening. He arrived Tuesday with over 300 pounds and I’m expecting even larger loads from him today and tomorrow.

In fact, it is tomato season at the market. Many, if not most, of our produce growers have truckloads of them. And that means two things – time to can and time for the annual tomato contests.

We’ve got all sorts of help if you want to can, freeze or dry tomatoes. First, talk to your favorite grower. Often they will sell you a large quantity of tomatoes if they have surplus. You might also ask about buying seconds if you’re making salsa or sauce. Looks don’t affect the finished product and the cost would probably be lower.
Stop by the Canning Table just south of the pavilion center for discount coupons for jars and canning starter kits and for free stickers, sample mixes and recipe booklets. You can enter a drawing that we hold weekly for Saving the Seasons, a wonderful book on food preservation from the Mennonite Press. We also sell the book for $25 at the information table. You can bring your pressure gauge to the information table to be checked for accuracy.

We have all these good things because our market was one of 50 nationwide to receive a grant from the Ball jar company. In addition to all the free and discounted things on the canning table, the market can supply a door prize for anyone holding a canning party. Just stop by the information table for details.

Next Tuesday, Tammy Roberts, nutritionist with University of Missouri Extension will give salsa demonstrations at 11:30 and 12:30. She’s also a great source for information on food preservation, whether canning, freezing or drying.

Our annual tomato contests are next week on Saturday, July 30th. There’ll be prizes for the biggest/heaviest, the ugliest and the smallest tomatoes. Those are our fun categories. Our quality categories are rated first by taste, then by texture and finally by appearance. Quality categories are Best Red, Best Other Color and Best Cherry/Grape Tomato.

Entries are free and can be submitted between 8:15 and 8:45 on the morning of the 30th. We need two tomatoes for each entry in the Best Red and Best Other Color. Six tomatoes for each entry in Best Cherry/Grape. And one tomato for each entry in the fun categories.

First prize in each of the contests in the quality category is $25 in market tokens. First prize in the fun category contests is $10 in market tokens. Plus all the fame and glory of winning.

Today we welcome back the Plainsfolk who will play traditional music during lunch, 11 to 1. Lunch is ham or tuna salad sandwich, oriental Cole slaw, chips, cookies and drink for $6. A vegetarian luncheon salad is $4.

Tomorrow, breakfast is served from 9 to 11 and benefits Big Brothers, Big Sisters. The Green Earth Band makes their market debut from 9:30 to 11:30.
On Tuesday, lunch benefits Crime Stoppers and Rob Pommert plays.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Webb City Sentinel column - 7-15-11

Almost every market has something special, new crops, special foods or special events. This weekend is no exception. Today, at 10:45 right before the market opens, the Missouri Department of Agriculture will present our grower Tim Green with the Missouri Market Champion of the Year award. The Champion of the year is selected for their contribution to a local farmers market and Tim certainly is deserving. He mentors our new growers, helps with our Kids Garden, serves on our board, supplies tomatoes for our benefit meals and helps in a host of other ways.

And the big news about tomorrow is that Hazel’s Bakery is coming out of retirement. Owners Kay and Bill McLaughlin retired from the market last year after supplying us with pies and cakes and other baked goods for 9 years. Kay needed to take care of some medical issues.

Last winter Kay took care of the medical problems, but sadly Bill died suddenly of a heart attack, leaving Kay with a terrible hole in her life. We at the market missed Hazel’s and we got the feeling Kay missed being at the market, so we encouraged her to consider returning. And she is!

Hazel’s will be at the market every Saturday. Tomorrow she’s planning to have pies (pecan, rhubarb, strawberry rhubarb, peach, cherry, blackberry, and apple), cakes (carrot, chocolate, coconut and red velvet), cup cakes (plain and fancy), cookies (cranberry oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate chip, coconut whispers, snicker doodles, and chocolate no-bakes), quick breads, banana nut, pumpkin and zucchini), fudge, pecan divinity and scones.

Kay will be in her old spot by the information table.

Folks at the market Saturday saw that the children with the Kids Community Garden are back. I was gratified upon returning from a month’s absence to find the Kids Garden still growing, although plenty weedy. We had to suspend work in the garden while I was gone. The supervisor I had lined up to keep it going lost his house in the tornado and had his hands full, so other than occasional watering by market volunteers, the garden was on its own in June. I expected a disaster upon my return, but amazingly almost all the plants survived. The rows had been mulched in adequately so all I had to do was till between the rows to get the garden back in pretty good shape. A friend gave me a hard time about my tilling the weeds instead of having the children do it, but I’m not too keen on 12-year-olds operating dangerous machinery! And it would have been a mammoth project to pull all those weeds by hand.

The children have been back in the garden this month, weeding around the plants, laying in more mulch and learning about harvesting the flowers. Two children will sell at the Saturday market and another two at the Tuesday market. At the market, the children learn business skills – pricing, display, making change, and interacting with customers.

They also learn about overhead. Two children sell, but the sales are split three ways. Each child receives one-third and the market receives one-third to pay their sales tax and cover some of the costs of the garden. That way the children understand that in pricing their flowers, they need to consider the costs.

Today, the Loose Notes will play from 11 to 1. Lunch is chicken salad sandwich, potato salad, spinach salad, fresh fruit cup and drink for $6. A vegetarian luncheon salad is also available.

Tomorrow, the Granny Chicks play from 9:30 to 11:30. Breakfast is served from 9 to 11. Profits from the breakfast tomorrow support the PEO scholarship program.
Next Tuesday, Rob Pommert will perform and lunch will benefit the Webb City High School Band Boosters.

See you at the market!