Friday, September 26, 2014

Taylor Taylor

Yes, that's her real name. I think.(see pic below) Her mother confided that Taylor's middle name is Nicole, so  I inferred that Taylor is both her first and last name. I could be wrong about that. One thing I'm sure of is her music and her love of it, and her dedication to it. This very personable young lady, a senior at Okemos High School, who also play varsity volleyball, has played guitar since age eight. She writes her own songs, and loves to perform. This is her passion and her dream is to make it her career. Remember you met her first here at the HFM blog. Her music is on itunes, youtube and at As I was interviewing her, a market shopper had heard her singing, stopped by and bought a CD because "this young lady is going to be BIG," and wanted to be a part of Taylor's success. I hope so, too, because she is a sweet person who believes that "a philanthropic mind and love for music can change the hearts of those who listen."
Remember that many Saturdays the HFM has live music from 11:00-1:00. Check details on the market's website:

Lastly, I need to let you know this will be my last post for now. My circumstances have changed a bit, not in a bad way, but in a way that changes how much time I have available to do some fun things like this blog. Thanks for stopping by, feel free to view all previous posts below, leave comments there or at and enjoy the market. It's a place where good things happen!and..


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Friday, September 12, 2014

Tips 'N' Tales

 It has been so chilly these past two days, that it doesn't seem right to blog about sweet corn, does it?!! I can only hope there is some corn at the Holt Farmers' Market this Saturday because I'm just not done with it yet! And what about peaches? Tomatoes? I'm not done with summer, either, not that it matters to the powers that be. Anyway, I'll write about corn etc. for the last time this season, and next week get into more about autumn produce.
 TIPS: on storing: store corn in 'fridge in its husk. 
            best time to eat: as soon as possible after picking/buying it
            on safety: keep it away from fresh, raw meat,poultry and seafood both in your shopping bag and at home. Juices from raw meat etc. will contaminate corn...and all veggies...and that's BAD.
             to grill: Peel back husk and remove silk. Replace husk. Soak corn in cold water for 5 minutes (or wrap in aluminum foil if no husk). Put on hot grill for 8-15 minutes. 
MORE GRILLING: Yes, my other half has promised to NOT put away the grill yet, so: 
Grilled Eggplant
Put thick slices of eggplant, seasoned with garlic, herbs and olive oil on the grill for a dish as "satisfying as a piece of meat," says Chef Tsai. "Seasoning is key: salt takes the bitterness out of eggplant and accentuates the sweetness of tomatoes and other produce." 

TALES: Talking about grilling veggies: well, my other half loved eating summer squash, zucchini and peppers. We grilled them with olive oil and garlic salt and he LOVED them. I called the summer squash a "summer veggie" since he doesn't like squash. I think I can grill/roast any veggie, doused in oil and garlic, and he'll eat it. I will, too! They were really, really tasty. Who knew?

One more tale: About kale: so far this year I've eaten kale in a smoothie, liked it, plus I felt quite virtuous in doing so. I've also eaten it in salads where it provides an extra crunch without overwhelming the other flavors, and last night I made kale "chips" which I'm beginning to like. Easy enough: remove stems from kale, tear the leaves into small, chip-size pieces, put on baking sheet guessed it: sprinkled with olive oil and garlic salt. Baked for 10-12 minutes in a 400 degree oven, and voila! a healthy, crispy snack that you, too, can feel virtuous about eating! 
      Thanks for stopping by; hope to see you at the Holt Farmers' Market, if not tomorrow, than soon. You'll be glad you did.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Roast All Those Cherry Tomatoes!!

Since I only planted cherry tomatoes this year, I loved this recipe for roasting them. It's delicious and easy, so I wanted to share it with you (it's from The Washington Post, Jeanne McManus).
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Line a baking sheet with a rack and place the tomatoes on the rack. Roast the tomatoes for 6 hours, until they look like big, red juicy raisins. Makes 1 pint.
Tip: try to have the tomatoes as similar in size as possible.Otherwise the little ones burn while the big ones finish.
Also: Yes, it really takes six hours BUT you can roast them overnight if you have an oven that turns off when you tell it to. The tomatoes will not suffer if left until the a.m.

 Peaches? They have been so sweet and wonderful this season BUT I've been told that our long winter/cool spring weather this year has diminished their numbers! So please get to the market early to find them. I'll post recipes for a peach cobbler on the HFM bulletin board (don't know where that is? Ask a vendor or Misty in the coffee booth in the rear of the main building), and I'll give some to the vendors to include in customers' bags. Also, I'll put up a wonderful hand-out from the MSU Extension about peach preservation,  freezing the delectable fruit and canning them as well. 
Does anyone actually can peaches anymore? Short answer? Yes! Canning is experiencing a come-back! As people are discovering the joys of buying and eating locally grown foods, they want to preserve some of it for those long winter months. It's called "summer in a jar." While my 1950's mom canned peaches, tomatoes and made jam from berries, and I learned how to can by being recruited to help, and I have a water-bath-canner in my basement as I write this, I'm not into canning at the moment. I'm leaving that to others. But, please, if you are canning this summer, let me know your experiences by commenting at the end of this blog, or on the blog email at I'd love to hear from you! And not just about canning, tell us any experience you've had with the Holt Farmers' Market, good or not so much. Any feedback is always welcome! 
This from Judy Tuttle, the demo lady: Judy will be demonstrating how to fix a Watermelon Feta Salad this Saturday. Her recipes and samples are always part of the demo as well. She will be demo-ing at 11:30ish on Saturday. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014


If you haven't met Judy Tuttle yet, Saturday, August 30 is the date to do so. Judy is another volunteer and loyal supporter of the Holt Farmers' Market, and has been from day one. In her previous life, she was an employee of the Holt Fire Dept.(current location of the HFM) for 21 years, so she is a familiar face in the Holt area. So those who know Judy know what a great cook she is. Yes, that's her standing behind the new, mobile cooking unit that the market obtained (through a grant) just this year. On Saturday, August 23, Judy did a demonstration of how to cook one of her wonderful recipes, using HFM products, of course. 

The good news? If you didn't see her last Saturday, she will be demonstrating again on Sat, Aug 30, at  "11:30ish"she told me. She will be showing how she makes her wonderful Tomato, Peach, Feta and Red Onion Salad, using HFM products as available. She will give out the recipes, and have samples to taste. Just another thing to love about the HFM. Here's a heads-up: Judy has promised to share her wonderful Ratatouille soon, so watch for that as well. 

Other info: Judy told me she bought wonderful (everbearing) strawberries at Rowe's Family Farm in the a.m. They were all sold out when I arrived at 12:30. (Hint, hint!) Luckily for me, Nightengale's still had luscious peaches when I got there. Greenman's had some berries, but I can't promise they'll still be there Aug 30. Dennis G.  also had some lovely looking chard, kale and some smaller beets with their greens still attached. I like those beet greens! They seem a little sweeter than some others. 
I'm getting acquainted with eggplant, and enjoying the results. Here's a recipe I really like: tasty, fav type of recipe.

Roasted Eggplant with Warmed Feta and Honey
1 large eggplant, about 20 ounces
6 TBS. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups crumbles, mild-tasting feta cheese
Freshly ground black pepper 
1 1/2 cup honey, or as needed
1 TBS fresh thyme or oregano leaves, chopped for garnish
Preheat oven:400 degrees. Trim each end from the eggplant. With a vegetable peeler, partially remove the skin in alternating strips, creating a striped appearance. Cut the eggplant into 3/4 in.-thick rounds. PLACE  the eggplant slices in rows on a rimmed sheet pan. Generously brush BOTH sides of the slices with oil. ROAST for 10-12 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly browned.  REMOVE the pan from oven, and turn the slices with a wide spatula. Return to the oven and roast for 10 min more until they're lightly brown and tender. Remove from oven and mound a rounded tablespoon of cheese on top of each eggplant slice. ADD a grinding of pepper to each. Return the pan to the oven for about 5 min, until the cheese softens. TRANSFER the slices to a serving platter. DRIZZLE each with the honey and sprinkle with a few fresh thyme leaves. SERVE hot. 

Friday, August 22, 2014


I can't claim today's catchy title is original. (What is BAC anyway?Hint: look at the end of today's blog). I'm copying it from a hand-out from the MSU Extension excellent source for info about safe handling of fresh fruits and veggies. But first, a few fun facts about plain, ordinary cucumbers. Yes! I didn't know they were so versatile! Got this off the internet; claimed to be a reprint from the NY Times, but you never know, right? I've tried some of these, especially the ones that are so whimsically funny, like polishing shoes (yes, it worked!).
 One cucumber has: Vitamins B1,B2,B6,Folic Acid, VitC, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc. Who knew?
    -got a big meeting/interview, and not enough time to polish shoes? Rub a slice of cucumber over the shoes; its chemicals provide a quick and durable shine that repels water!
     -no WD40? Use a cucumber slice on the squeaky hinge and voila!
     -grubs/slugs in your garden? Place a few cuke slices in a  small pie tin and they will go away! The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent you can't smell, but they can and it drives them out of your life.     I love it!
Okay, back to BAC business: For safe handling of produce:
1. Check to be sure the fruits and veggies you bought are free of bruises/any damage.
2. Clean: wash hands with soap and running warm water before handling. Rub firm-skin produce under running tap water or scrub with a clean vegetable brush while rinsing with running water. Dry with clean cloth towel or paper towel.
3. Separate: MSU urges us all to keep all fresh fruits and veggies SEPARATE from raw meat, poultry and sea food in your shopping bags, in your refrigerator and use separate cutting boards for produce.
4. Cook or throw away fruits or veggies that have touched raw meat, poultry or seafood or their juices.
5. Chill: Refrigerate all cut, peeled or cooked fresh fruits and veggies within two hours.
6. Throw Away: fruit and veggies that have not been refrigerated within two hours of cutting, peeling or cooking. Remove and throw away bruised/damaged portions of fruits and veggies when preparing to cook them or before eating them raw. "If in doubt, throw it out."

Do I follow all these steps all the time? Can't say I do. But I sure appreciate knowing these steps and modifying them as I need to. (BAC is the catchy term MSU Extension uses for "bacteria" but you knew that already, right?). 
   Check back next week for interviews, tips, hints, info about produce, the Holt Farmers' Market and maybe a photo or two.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Thanks for coming back!

Because I do want to blog about Otto's Chicken, new to the Holt Farmers' Market this year, but widely known for their wonderful chicken items: from fresh whole roasters, thru packages of chicken legs,breasts,wings etc. down to items as small as chicken tenders, and then another roster of Specialty Chicken such as ground chicken, sausage and smoked chicken Leg Quarters and lots more. 
   The farm is in Middleville, MI (Gun Lake area), where their farm store is located, but they also sell in Holland, Kalamazoo, Royal Oak and the Lansing City Market. 

I was able to catch Pat in a rare moment when she wasn't busy and snapped her photo. "People ask me if these were 'happy chickens.' The answer is YES, because they were raised with no hormones, no growth promotants and no antibiotics,"she told me.Something else new at the HFM is that Otto's is open on Fridays from 2-5:00, and will be open every Friday through the winter as well. You can reach Otto's at: 269-795-7696 and:
      Now that corn and tomatoes are in abundance, and I'm quickly, believe it or not, getting tired of eating them as is, I'm finding easy ways to use them in recipes. For example, what to do with the ear of corn that got cooked but not eaten? SUCCOTASH: mix the corn kernels with cooked lima beans. SALADS: Add the cooked kernels with other veggies in a tossed salad. SALSA: Mix kernels with chopped tomatoes, onions and cilantro to make corn-salsa. MORE: Add cooked corn kernels to corn muffin batter, soups, chowder, chili and casseroles. FINALLY: Microwave Spanish Corn: 2 Tbs. butter; 1/2 c. green pepper washed, with seeds removed, then chopped; 1/2 c. onion, peeled and chopped, 2C. cooked corn kernels; 1 (16 oz.)can diced tomatoes (or fresh!), 1/4 tsp. oregano. Saute pepper and onion in butter until tender. Combine all ingredients in a 2-quart microwave-safe dish. Cover and cook on high power for 2-3 minutes or until bubbly hot. Makes 8 (1/2 cup) servings. AND this is an official 5 A Day recipe! I always feel quite virtuous when I make it. Plus, it is really good.