Tag Archives: old trail school farmer’s market

Farmer’s Market Meals

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Saturday was the last indoor Farmer’s Market at Old Trail School.  While I’m happy that the Farmer’s Market continues outdoors at the Howe Meadow in May, I will miss the challenge of the winter farmer’s market.

What challenge, you ask?  Well, the winter farmer’s market is smaller, which means less vendors, and of course, in the winter in Ohio, there is less produce to be sold.  I’ve learned that to get the best haul, it is necessary to get there early and wait for the market to open.  Here’s my favorite part – they open the market by ringing a cowbell!  As soon as the cowbell rings, all the people eagerly lined up at the door surge forward with one goal – get the carrots!  Or greens.  Or radishes.  Or whatever it is that looks the freshest, the most crispy – and get it before it’s sold out!

I’ve got this down now – as soon as the bell rings, you bypass the vendors on the first floor (coffee, tea, prepared foods), go past whichever musician is providing music this week, and head immediately down to the gymnasium of the school.  This is where the good stuff is!  Ignore the cheese, the bread, the pasta – it’s not going anywhere.  Instead, push (politely) through the crowd to the back of the gym and the produce vendors.

This week, I grabbed Siberian Kale, mixed salad greens, two bundles of tiny beautiful carrots, and a bunch of ramps from one vendor, plump red radishes from another, and lovely bok choy from a third.  Veggies done!

Isn't the bok choy lovely?

Isn’t the bok choy lovely?

Ramps!  I've never cooked with these before, so it should be an adventure!

Ramps! I’ve never cooked with these before, so it should be an adventure!

Next – eggs.  There is no comparing a supermarket egg to a fresh, local egg.  It’s just no contest!  Fresh and local wins hands down every time.  The eggs have better color and unbelievable flavor.

Nothin' beats a farm fresh egg.

Nothin’ beats a farm fresh egg.

This time, I also picked up some brats from Brunty Farms.  They had both beer brats and apple brats, so of course I wanted to try both!  (They were awesome, by the way.)

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I eat and why.  If I look honestly at what I’m eating now compared to what I ate a year ago, I can say that I eat more vegetables and much less processed food.  Whenever possible, I am buying and eating locally grown produce, and spending very little time and money at the conventional grocery store.  Can I get better?  Of course – and I’m continuing to work at it.

One reason that I love the Farmer’s Market and my CSA is that I like to know where my food come from.  I get to meet the people that grow what I’m eating, and what’s cooler than that?

However, I’ve realized that I haven’t applied that same philosophy to the meat that I eat.  I’m not going to lie – I like meat.  But when I buy a steak or a pack of chicken from the grocery store, what do I really know about what I’m putting in my body?  Not much, that’s for sure.  I’m lucky to have places like Brunty Farms to get locally raised chicken, pork and turkey, and like Dumas Meats, where they raise the majority of the beef that they sell.  I need to take advantage of that.

Whoops – made a bit of a speech there, didn’t I?  Let’s get back to what I cooked – and ate – this weekend.  Saturday, we grilled the brats from Brunty Farms.  The apple brats were a little softer, with a slightly sweet taste from the apple that went well with the spicy mustard and hot peppers (the only way to dress a brat!).  The beer brats had that awesome snap! when you bit into it, and the flavor was amazing.  I’ll definitely be buying those again!

The radishes also bit the dust on Saturday – Brian demolished both bunches in one sitting as an afternoon snack.

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Spicy mustard from the Schmit House in Columbus, Ohio.  You have to put German mustard on a brat!

Spicy mustard from the Schmidt House in Columbus, Ohio. You have to put German mustard on a brat!

Sunday, I made Tuscan Glazed Chicken and roasted potatoes, but the star of the show was the roasted carrots.  I trimmed the tops of the tiny carrots and scrubbed them with a vegetable brush, but didn’t peel them.  (I did trim the bottoms,)

I wish I could say this was locally raised chicken, but alas, this was from the grocery store.  Next time I'll be better...

I wish I could say this was locally raised chicken, but alas, this was from the grocery store. Next time I’ll be better…

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Then, I tossed the carrots in olive oil, salt, pepper and some Penzey’s Bonnes Herbes mixture. I roasted them in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes – just until they were tender.  Conveniently, the potatoes took almost the same amount of time to cook.

The roasted carrots were delicious!

The roasted carrots were delicious!

The tiny potatoes were so cute!

The tiny potatoes were so cute!

It was a good weekend for food.

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Tuscan Glazed Chicken

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I love farmer’s markets, and now that my CSA is over for the season, I’m even more grateful that I have a farmer’s market nearby all winter long.  One of the little gems I picked up on my first trip the farmer’s market at Old Trail School was this beauty:

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There was a booth selling all kinds of homemade jams and jellies, but after tasting this one, I had to get it.  Straight out of the jar it tasted wonderful.  Turns out, cooking makes it even better!  Tonight I sauteed a couple boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a skillet and after I had seared both sides, I added a generous dollop of this good stuff on each peice.  It cooked down to a beautiful, caramelly glaze with a deep, rich, flavor- just a little bit of sweetness, but tempered with the rosemary and garlic.  Fantastic!

I served the chicken with a baked sweet potato and asparagus simply roasted in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper.

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Oh and I finished it off with a pint glass of Belgian ale from JAFB Brewery!  Always get a growler to go 🙂

Sometimes a simple meal is the best.  This was very much a basic “meat and potatoes” meal, but the Tuscan glaze elevated it to something better.

Have you ever found an awesome homemade food item at a farmer’s market or festival?  If so, tell me about it!

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Yum!