Thursday, May 8, 2014

Webb City Sentinel column 5-10-14

It’s another big weekend at the market – especially for our plant folks because it’s Mother’s Day weekend. That’s usually their biggest weekend of the year and rightfully so. The plants at the market are amazing and would make terrific presents for anyone who appreciates beauty. The hanging baskets are show stoppers. The handcrafted planters by Fairhaven are charming. Joe and Carrol always bring small planters this weekend for small children with small budgets. And, of course, they also have the large planters for us big kids to buy our moms.

We’ll also have vegetable and flowering bedding plants. Fredrickson Farms has geraniums, lantana and Gerber daisies. Flagers has an array plants for your flower beds. And the tomato plant selection is huge with Fredrickson, Flager and Green’s Greenhouse having dozens of varieties of hybrids and heirlooms in sizes from just right to plant to potted plants with tomatoes already on them. Fredrickson even has tomatoes plants, called Tumbling Toms, in hanging baskets.

We’ll have lots of plants on Friday and Saturday, but let’s take what else we have one day at a time.
Today, Marlee’s Creamery is back with their raw milk. They’ve been having trouble with their truck, but think they’ve finally got it under control. Speaking of Marlee’s, what a treat it was last Friday when Mark Robinson, the dad of the operation, appeared at the market. Mark was seriously injured last month when he was hit in the head by a softball. His recovery, thus far, has been nothing short of miraculous and it was so good to see him walking, talking, hugging and smiling. 

PT Gardens is making a rare Friday visit today with their flavored salts and sugars – bacon salt, dragonsbreath salt, vanilla sugar, French fry salt, just to name a few. If you like it spicy be sure to try their hot sauces, too. Probably some Mother’s Day present possibilities there, too. 

Another nice gift would be Rosemary McCulley’s handmade vanilla extract. At $12 a bottle it’s a real vanilla bargain. 

Terrell Creek will be at the market today with their award-winning goat cheese.

Mohaska Farmhouse will be at the market today and tomorrow with their artisan breads and pizza kits.
And, of course, every market day we’re loaded with local produce. The high tunnel strawberries are coming in – I should have bought more for Wednesday night fellowship this week. Some folks made the mistake of getting dessert after they ate. They got dessert, but there were no strawberries to be had. There was not a scrap left of the spinach/strawberry salad either. I’ll print the recipe below. Except for the dressing, it is completely market based – and delicious. King’s Kettle Corn will be at the market today, but not tomorrow, and you’ll need one of their products for the recipe. Very mysterious...

Music today is by Some Strings Attached. They’ll be playing a little gospel, a little bluegrass and anything else that strikes their fancy. Granny Shaffers at the Market will have bierocks, side salad, strawberry-spinach salad and chicken salad sandwiches.

Tomorrow Hawthorne Old Time Music plays music from the civil war and other heritage American tunes. In keeping with the heritage theme, Apple Road Farms is bringing lamb’s quarter tomorrow, along with their usual eggs, cut herbs and vegetable plants. Lamb’s quarter is a native plant harvested here since prehistoric times and a common dish in the last century. Lately it’s been making its way back t the table because of its flavor, which is similar to other dark greens like kale and collards, and its nutrition. A single one-ounce serving contains 12 calories and one-third of your daily Vitamin C requirement and two-thirds of your Vitamin A requirement. It can be eaten cooked or raw and Apple Road will have recipes available.
Tomorrow is our monthly Art Market and many of our favorite artists will be there with jewelry, glasswork, metal work, note cards, painted signs and books.

Cooking for a Cause benefits the Ozark Gateway Audubon Society. It’s served till 11.

Next Tuesday, we’ll have our hotdogs with various fixin’s and Frito pie for supper (remember we’re open on Tuesdays from 4 to 6 pm). Bill Adkins is playing. On both Tuesday and Friday next week, Extension will be demonstrating a kohlrabi side dish. This vegetable is in good supply right now but will be gone before you know it, not to return until fall. You’ll be surprised what a treat it is, raw or cooked.
Here’s that recipe with the mysterious King’s Kettle Corn ingredient:

Spinach/Strawberry Salad

About 6 cups of spinach leaves, washed and torn into bite sized pieces
1 pint of fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered or sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onions (or this time of year, use the lovely spring onions)
1/4 cup crumbled feta or chevre cheese (don’t forget, Terrell Creek is only at the market on Fridays!)
3 – 4 tablespoons of raspberry-poppy seed dressing (recipe below)
1/2 cup candied pecan pieces, chopped (that’s the surprise ingredient from King’s Kettle Corn)

In a large bowl, toss the spinach, most of the strawberries, onion and half cheese with the dressing. Sprinkle with pecans and the rest of the cheese and strawberries.

Raspberry-poppy seed dressing 

1/4 cup grated/minced onion or spring onions
1/2 cup raspberry vinegar or raspberry balsamic vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar, to taste
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup poppy seeds

Can you tell I like the cheese?
Mix together thoroughly all ingredients except oils. Whip in oils until well combined. Dressing will keep several weeks in the refrigerator.