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Daily Archives: May 19, 2012

To Market, To Market

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Friday and Saturday markets in HoCo were fairly busy, but not to the level they could be. I attended both this week, mainly to see what the local vendors have, and to round out my CSA box items.

Friday was better than Saturday, as I see Breezy Willow isn’t coming until June, and South Mountain Creamery isn’t coming at all. At least that is what their web site says. That’s too bad, because I loved their yogurts, mozzarella, ice cream and other goodies, like their butter. Don’t know why they canceled but it was a disappointment.

Friday I went to the Hospital site specifically to see if Love Dove Farms had garlic scapes. And, yes, they did.

Pesto will be on the menu in a few days. I picked up pine nuts at Costco in anticipation of getting scapes. I also found some lovely rhubarb from Falcon Ridge Farm in Westminster, to go with those Larriland strawberries from my morning picking frenzy.

Strawberry rhubarb compote, pesto for the TLV Tree Farm chicken from Miller Library market and I have a great meal planned for tomorrow or Monday.

This is a good warm up for our next challenge. It’s the Southern SOLE Food Challenge. Ten of us who did the winter challenge to eat locally at least once a week have informally decided to have our own summer challenge to showcase south of the Mason Dixon line cooking with market and home grown goodies. Our challenge will run from June to Halloween. Stay around and see what we cook. I will be putting up a sidebar linking to the nine blogs besides mine. All of us enjoyed learning new recipes and commiserating about finding grains and other difficult locally sourced items in the winter. This informal get together will show what we can find to cook during the high seasons here in the Southeast.

SOUTHERN SOLE FOOD CHALLENGERS
AnnieRie Unplugged – me
Backyard Grocery Northern VA
Bumble Lush Garden near DC
Eat. Drink. Nourish. South Carolina
Eating Appalachia Blue Ridge VA
Eating Floyd Southwest VA
Family Foodie Survival Guide Northern VA
Sincerely, Emily Texas
The Soffritto right up the road in Woodstock
Windy City Vegan North Carolina

Victoria from The Soffrito and I met on line here and found out we live less than 10 miles from one another. Today we met face to face for coffee at Casual Gourmet before hitting the Glenwood market. I did get some nice flowers from Greenway, and some beets and radishes from Zahradka. Plus, a buttermilk cake from Stone House, highly recommended by Lewis Orchards to showcase the local strawberries.

The flowers are already in their pots on the deck. Above the mint and with some chives I picked up at Larriland yesterday. The herb garden is done. The veggies, almost. I need to pull out the greens and put in some rainbow chard seed to get chard later this summer.

Tomorrow we are off to Olney to have brunch at their market and see if they have any dairy sources to replace South Mountain. I don’t feel like driving to B’more to get dairy, or to Frederick. We may have to resort to home delivery once a month. I do love their mozzarella, and their yogurts enough to set up a delivery schedule. It is sad we have lost all the dairies except for Bowling Green in HoCo.

Support the markets. Don’t let them lose vendors due to lack of interest. Today is Food Revolution Day, if you follow Jamie Oliver. Cook with real ingredients and enjoy the local summer bounty.

hocofood@@@

Breakfast Al Fresco

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My favorite time of day. Early mornings before it gets hot outside. The birds are singing, the squirrels and rabbits are running around, and my neighbor’s dog comes by to say Hi, before fruitlessly continuing his rabbit chasing in the meadow.

This week the Kousa dogwoods are blooming.

They are heavy with blossoms and I baby those trees to keep them from having breaking limbs. We have them pruned, along with the Japanese lace maples, and the crepe myrtles every other year, in order to keep them healthy. They are my privacy screen from my neighbor’s driveway and they allow me to sit out in the morning in peace and solitude.

Friday I went out to have coffee and fill the feeders.

No, that isn’t wine for breakfast. It is hummingbird nectar in a wine bottle. My feeder uses a recycled bottle as the vessel with a copper wire and a cap. A little tricky to assemble but easier to clean.

The empty messy feeder. Pop off the cap. Rinse and throw the bottle in the blue bin. Clean the cap. Reassemble with a new bottle and you have happy hummingbirds.

Notice the double sided sticky tape ant trap. I have to get a permanent ant barrier, but so far this works. We have a hummingbird family who comes every summer and hangs out in my flowers, and my next door neighbor, too. We both have feeders for them.

As for the squirrel log, and the suet, we try to keep the squirrels from the bird food, and it usually works. I give them one of these logs and one unprotected suet but keep the high protein good birdfood away from them. The birds are busy feeding babies, and they are very active. I have a couple of feeders full of nuts, safflower and sunflower chips and cracked corn. It goes fast this time of year and then slows down once the trees and bushes start getting seeds and berries.

While there, one of the younger chickadees came to visit.

There was also a very young house sparrow hopping everywhere, but too quick for me to capture. Two days before, a very young sparrow was unsuccessfully trying to fly high enough to make it to the feeder. Unsuccessful then, but eventually they get the hang of it.

I did wander down to check on my garden and found my first blossoms on the yellow plum tomato.

The tomatoes have survived their planting shock and are doing well. I cluster plant them along the fence, with small cages and then use string and poles to keep them aloft. I find that the support system works better than really huge cages. At least in the area where I plant.

I also noticed while sitting out there that the sage and rosemary bushes are spreading so much they are no longer separate. They have been there three years now. They somehow survived snowmageddon in 2010. I am getting huge beautiful sage leaves, big enough to look really nice as fried sage to decorate gnocchi.

Breakfast on the patio. A lovely way to start the day. Cheers!