Thursday, June 30, 2011

Webb City Sentinel column - 7/1/11

It’s Fourth of July weekend and that means the market will be extra busy. In fact, it’s usually our busiest weekend of the year because:

Folks are loading up for family eating. There’ll be barbecues and family meals galore for the next three days.

Most of the farms are producing large quantities of produce right now

And, our most popular produce – tomatoes, sweet corn and peaches – are coming in season. It’s the beginning of high season when the amount and variety of produce explodes at the market.

I’m still doing some catch up after having been gone for three weeks. I’ve been off in Australia welcoming my granddaughter, Madeleine Elise, to the world – and enjoying the mild winter weather of Perth. (You know it never gets very cold if five foot tall tree ferns are growing by the front door.) Coming back to a Missouri summer has been a bit of a shock.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the columns written by Carolyn Foate while I was away. I know that I did. Carolyn is a dedicated market customer and quite the cook, and, as it turns out, a very good writer as well.

We’ve had a number of farmers come in during my absence. Braker Farm, who originally came to us some years ago as a blueberry farm, has expanded in a big way to sweet corn, tomatoes, and peppers. Shanks Farms is back for the first time in many years with garden produce, including some gorgeous big onions. Marlee’s Creamery is back on Fridays after a brief absence due to family illness. Panhia Vang returned to the market after more than a year’s absence. Panhia was well-known in the past for her copious supply of beautiful green beans.

Agee’s will be at the market Friday with their flavored vinegars and herb blends.
Broken Wire Ranch will have the pepper roaster at the market today and tomorrow.
Sarah Becker, Extension horticulturist from Lincoln University will be at the market today to answer gardening questions. I know many of my growers will be glad to see her. Apparently the Japanese beetles have attacked in full force while I was gone.
Lunch today is just right for this hot weather: Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, macaroni salad, oriental Cole slaw, cake and drink for $6 with a vegetarian luncheon salad for $4. Jack and Lee Ann Sours play traditional music.

Tomorrow we open at 9 am with breakfast of biscuits and gravy, sausage, eggs to order and fresh local tomatoes. Central United Methodist Church is providing the volunteers and donating the profits to Crosslines.

The week of Fourth of July is the market’s week to support our regional food and clothing pantry so Cooking for a Cause on Tuesday will also benefit Crosslines. That day we have a combination of volunteers from Central UMC and from Pathways United Methodist in Alba.

Ron Brown (who has handled the faith page at the Joplin Globe for years) will be at the market Saturday morning selling the Globe. He’ll have Saturday’s edition for 75 cents and last Sunday’s for $1.75. Rich will also have copies of J magazine for sale. The magazine, which just came out, has an excellent review of the tornado and recovery. Part of the proceeds from Rich’s sales at the market will go towards the tornado recovery effort.

What could be better this weekend than homemade ice cream? Here’s a recipe from especially for raw milk which it declares is perfect because the cream that rises to the top of the bottle can be skimmed and used in the ice cream.

3 cup raw milk
3 cups heavy cream
2 whole vanilla beans
4 large eggs
6 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar

Combine the milk and cream in a 2-quart saucepan and mix well. With a paring knife, slice the vanilla beans in half lengthwise. Scrape out the inside of the beans and stir the insides and the pods into the cream mixture. Over medium heat bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for approximately 30 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning.

Combine the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar in a small bowl. With a mixer, beat several minutes until smooth and pale yellow in color.

Remove and discard the vanilla bean pods from the milk/cream mixture. Remove one cup of the hot mixture. While mixing at low speed, very slowly add the one cup of hot milk/cream to the egg mixture. Once completely combined, pour the egg mixture into the cream mixture in the sauce pan and mix thoroughly.

Cook the combined mixture at medium-low heat stirring constantly. To test for readiness, take a stainless steel spoon and dip it inside the bowl. When the mixture is thick enough to coat the spoon, it is done. Place the cooked mixture into another bowl and chill completely.

Complete the ice cream in the ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Then call me and I’ll be right over.