Thursday, November 19, 2015

Webb City Sentinel column - 11/20/15

Want to try Crockpot Squash Mac ‘N’ Cheese?  Come to the market tomorrow. We have a new Market Lady, Jordan Nichols, and she has created a recipe especially for the market by ramping up the health benefits – and taste – of macaroni and cheese. She’ll be serving it up tomorrow by the information table from 9 to noon.

Be sure to stop by Fairhaven’s table as well and check out this season’s pecan harvest. They’ll have picked out pecans. Carrole got busy in the kitchen this week and made batches of gooseberry jam and rhubarb jam to add to her already large offering of homemade jams and butters.  Right next door to them, Oakwoods will be giving out samples of a tasty dressing you can make with their roasted peppers.

We have a new honey vendor, Ed Cook, of Cook’s Berry Junction in Liberal. And we can also call him our salt vendor because he makes smoked seasoned salts. The choices are Sriracha, Truffle, Bourbon Bacon, Tequila Lime Dill, Adobe and Wasabi. I’m pretty sure Sriracha and Wasabi are HOT, and so not for me, but some of those others are tempting. They’ll make great stocking stuffers too.

And speaking, indirectly, of the holidays, we’ll be open this Saturday and next as usual, and also this Wednesday from 11 to 1 at the pavilion for our annual Holiday Market. We should have a good choice of produce, baked goods and other tasty treats as well as the wares of many of our Christkindlmarket vendors. If you want to pre-order baked goods, just stop by the baker’s booth this Saturday to place an order.  (That's bibb lettuce growing in one of the Braker Farm high tunnels - photographed yesterday)

We have a new Christkindlmarket vendor who I have been trying to recruit for years. Lee Ann Sours is known at the market as one of our fiddle players, but she is also an accomplished weaver and textile artist. At last she will be at the market with some of her lovely hats and scarves. Her supply is limited so this may be her only appearance. Don’t miss it.

Mark Barger will play his Native American flutes tomorrow. We won’t have a prepared meal, but Hazel’s Bakery will have some tasty muffins – I know because that’s what I had for breakfast last Saturday – and Holy Grounds will serve hot drinks. Enjoy the sounds and tastes of the market while you’re here, and challenge someone to a game. Our game table last week was constantly busy with folks, both young and old, playing checkers, chess and dominos and the little ones coloring. 

This past week we recognized some special people at the market. Each year the market board selects a market Champion, someone who has made a difference at the market. Past recipients include Karen McGlamery, Janet Taylor and Donna Krudwig, volunteer managers, as well as Extension educators Patrick Byers and Shon Bishop. Park Director Tom Reeder and the Perry Foundation are both part of that elite group. This year our Champion is Marilyn Thornberry who has volunteered countless hours at the information desk for over ten years. She is a Champion of the first order.

We also select a recipient for the Golden Washrag Award. The award gets its name from the efforts of the first recipient. About eight years ago, we began asking vendors to pitch in at the market, helping with set up or take down. Robin Green, with Green’s Greenhouse and Gardens, was the first to volunteer and spent that summer wiping down the tables and benches, hence the washrag name. The second year Nancy Rasmussen was the winner after having cleaned the market bathrooms all year. Yes, we have some pretty glamorous jobs at the market. Many other vendors have been thanked with the award – in 2011 all our Hmong vendors were recognized for the tons of produce they donated to feed the volunteers in the tornado recovery effort.

 This year, the award went to Tami Fredrickson and Missy Jones. (Tami's on the left, Missy on the right) Most market days this summer, despite working incredibly long hours at the farm, they stayed and helped close up the market. Now Missy and Tami are putting in hours and hours getting the market’s kitchen ready. If you want something clean, call this team. They do amazing work. So three cheers for Marilyn, Tami and Missy. They deserve thanks from everyone connected with the market and they sure have mine.

We’ll see you at the market tomorrow. It’s going to be another wonderful day!