Thursday, October 4, 2012

Webb City Sentinel Column - 10-5-12

Wait a minute – what happened to Fall? Well, regardless of the cold forecast for this weekend, we at the market are just stubborn enough to continue celebrating Fall – because it will be back soon. In fact, we have a banner two days lined up for our customers – so brave the weather and come on out today or tomorrow – or both days!

(at right - Zucchini-Pepper Relish - the recipe is at the bottom of the column)

After all, if the IceMusic Festival in Norway is a big success – held outdoors in January in an amphitheater built of snow in way below freezing weather, I’m pretty such we can handle a little cold. And we can actually drive up to the pavilion. IceMusic Festival patrons have a choice of skiing into the concerts or taking a ski lift and walking 20 minutes.

Today we welcome Hazel’s Bakery back to the Friday lunch slot. Hazel’s will serve Meatball Vegetable Soup for $4. It’s the perfect market food because it includes 12 vegetables – that’s about as good for you as it gets and won’t it be just perfect for a cool day? You can eat it at the market or take it home. Hazel’s will also have drinks and cupcakes available for 50 cents each.

Webb City’s own Gospel Strings plays today from 11 to 1.

Tomorrow we’ll be open from 9 to noon. We have a special treat with Robert Scott Bruce of Indianapolis returning to perform. Robert was at the market last year during his Midwest tour with his Celtic harp. This year he’s partnering with veteran musician Joel Conner to bring us “The Music of Simon and Garfunkel.” Robert sings the parts of Garfunkel. A trained operatic tenor, Robert’s sweet voice should be perfect. Joel will sing the part of Simon and play the guitar, though it will probably be his electric guitar since acoustic guitars don’t do well in cold weather. At least it won’t be an ice guitar like you’d find at the IceMusic where every year they feature several ice instruments. Yes, they’ve had an ice guitar, harp, horn… I bet the concerts give the audience chills. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that.

Breakfast will be served by the local chapter of Crime Stoppers which funnels tips about unsolved crimes to law enforcement using an anonymous reward system to folks who call in the tips. The menu is new – pancakes, eggs, and sausage – all cooked to order so it will be hot regardless of the temperature.

Both the meal and the music run from 9 to 11.

We expect to see lots of produce at the market today – green beans, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, green onions, egg plant, radishes, turnips, Swiss chard and other greens, edible pod peas, sweet potatoes, Asian specialty crops and lots more. We should have a good selection of mums and pumpkins of all sizes, including the minis. Tim Green is bringing his gorgeous green peppers and Broken Wire will have peppers of many colors, sweet and hot. We’re expecting our pork rancher and three bakers.

Tomorrow we’ll have no rancher, but Mohaska Farm House will be at the market with their artisan breads, along with Hazel’s Bakery and Arma Bakery.

On both days we’ll having Fall coloring pages for the kids.

Next week is our monthly Second Saturday so we’ll add artists to the mix and the streetcar will be running unless it’s raining hard. We start our pumpkin crafts for kids next week.

The zucchini should weather the cold over the weekend, so hopefully we’ll continue to have a bountiful supply through October. I made the recipe below this week with Carol Parker on KSN and folks raved about it. It’s a great way to use those really big zucchini which are such a buy at the market. Canned, it would make a great personal Christmas present. We still have free canning recipe booklets, canning labels and coupons off for canning supplies at the market information table.

Zucchini-Pepper Relish

3 lbs. zucchini, seeded if necessary
3 onions
2 sweet red peppers
1/4 cup pickling salt
2 1/2 cups sugar (or substitute 1/2 to 2/3 cup Truvia)
1 1/2 cup white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons cornstarch

In a food processor, finely chop zucchini, pulsing with on/off motion. Put zucchini in large bowl.

Finely chop onions in food processor, pulsing. Add to zucchini.

Remove seeds from peppers and finely chop by hand. Add to zucchini.

Sprinkle with pickling salt and stir to blend. Let stand for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Drain off liquid. Rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Drain, pressing out liquid.

In a large heavy pan, combine sugar (or Truvia)), vinegar, dry mustard, celery seed, pepper and turmeric. Bring to a boil stirring. Add drained zucchini mixture and bring back to a boil, stirring frequently.

Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

Combine water and cornstarch, mixing thoroughly. Add to zucchini mixture. Cooking, stirring for 5 minutes.

Refrigerate and serve fresh or seal in sterilized bottles and process according to canning directions.