It is finally that time of the year! The time of the year when the Farmers markets are in action, makes me feel so close to my community and proud to be an Oregonian. I remember going to these markets when I was a little girl with my mom, sampling the cherries and peaches. And now that I am cooking and an adult, I realize how these trips have formed my eating habits for life.
Each time I’m at the markets I try to buy something from a vendor I have yet to try and to try something I normally wouldn’t buy. The opening weekend at this years market came to us with a bounty of asparagus and other goodies. And of course the market always opens right before my mans’ birthday, so I have fun planning his birthday dinner:)
What was in my basket?
Local red potatos
Red skinned potatoes are pretty much a house staple. These have a slighty tougher skin since pesticides dont protect them. This makes them perfect for everything potato, esspecially baking. I will be using these for the birthday meal.
Marionberry Pepper Jelly
This yummy pepper jelly made by the Rose City Pepperheads is great. They have many flvors that range from mild to hot and can be used on anything. The marionberry is one of the most mild jellies that they make. Aside from using this jelly with salmon, my favorite way to easily down a jar of this is with cream cheese and crackers! Check out thier website to order thier award winning jellies and see what you can make with it! Next up, cheesecake:)
Can never have enough garlic:)
I love aparagus! And by is it asparagus season at the market. My first memory of veges has to do with these green stalks. I remember my mom asking me what vegetable I was going to eat for dinner, and I picked asparagus. I love asparagus with pretty much anythiing, but butter and parm will do.
Black Truffle Salt
Oh yes I did!! This is the only purchase that I can justify buying that is in no way local. I purchased this wonderfully stinky bag of salt truffled with Italian black truffles for under $5.00. Yes, I could have purchased a nice and stinky fresh Oregon Black Truffle, but my budget said to stick with the salt that day. And with truffle salt, a little goes a long way. The folks at Misty Mountain Mushrooms have some of the most wonderfully fresh shrooms and truffles, that they are always busy. Not to mention that they have great customer service and are happy to give you any info about their fungus’s. Check out their site as they also do custom orders or items can be picked up at the market.
These lovely crisp apple were purchased from the Draper Girls Farm. They have a great selection of apples, cider and even meats. They have wonderful samples and once you try these apples you wont ever want your waxy supermarket apples again.
Smoked bones for the dogs
The dogs never get left out. And now that dogs are banned at the downtown market, I feel like I owe them. So they each got a wonderfully smoked bone from Pine Mountain Ranch. They have an amazing selection of meats and it was nice to meet the owners, being that I drive by the ranch everyday when I’m with the sled dogs in Bend. I am sure the dogs can smell the meat in the air:)
Dave's killer bread
You haven’t had a real sandwich until you have had Dave’s. And I should know being that I worked as a “sandwich artist” at a deli for 2 1/2 years. If they would have used Dave’s bread, they would still be in business. I am not the biggest consumer of sandwich bread, but Dave’s has showed me a new side of bread. His breads are very well known here in the NW and you wouldn’t argue that since his stand is a constant madhouse of bread fans. My favorite loaf that is versatile is his Nuts and Grains bread. It has all the goodies, but remains moist and chewy. My other favorite killer bread of Dave’s is called the Sin Dog. But because the Sin Dog is so crazy good, I am going to dedicate an entire future post to this loaf and to Dave’s company. In the meantime go online and check out his site Dave’s Killer Bread and order some killer carbs.
Lemon Dill Vinegar
If I could poor a glass of vinegar and drink it straight, I would. Except for the fact that I would be getting yelled at for stinking the place up:) Blossom Vinegars is something that you cant pass up. Her vinegars are all natural and true to their flavors. At the Blossom Vinegars stand you are free to do a vinegar tasting, the same as you would do a wine tasting. She has such a wide variety of flavors that its hard to pick a favorite. We choose to purchase the Lemon Dill to be used with our grilled salmon and to make the best Honey Mustard Vinaigrette(Upcoming post). Check out her site to learn more about the process of making Blossom Vinegars and to drool over the selection.
One thing that I always get every week at the Farmers Market is these earthy purple, yellow, and orange carrots. The carrots at this farmers stand are huge! And there is this cute little old man with his family constantly arranging and cutting carrots. His hands are a wonderful dirt stained color from years of working the earth.
Salmon and veggies birthday meal
This was his favorite birthday meal of the six years we have been together. This time he helped me pick out all the veggies that he liked at the market. So what you see is sweetened carrots, sauteed asparagus, Lemon dill salmon and mashed red taters. To make his dinner extra yummy I used Truffled Salt on the taters and fish!