Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Featuring : A Secret Recipe and New Vendors

Yes, this is Grandma's Secret Recipe Peanut Brittle. And all her children, grandchildren and friends loved her peanut brittle, and she would never reveal the secret ingredients. Luckily for us, the recipe was found after she died, and Jan Bayer is carrying on the delicious tradition of making peanut brittle; she's also carrying on the tradition of NOT revealing the ingredients. Which is fine with me, as long as she keeps making this scrumpdillyisious treat! My personal fav is the pecan brittle, but Jan makes peanut brittle and at least seven other flavors. You will find her at the five winter markets. She gave me a heads-up  to look for chocolate-covered pecan brittle and milk chocolate-covered cashew brittle. I foresee Christmas gifts/stocking stuffers for my "kids" and grandchildren.
     More on the Winter Farmers' Market:
     Dates: December 14th, January 11, February 8th, March 8th, 
                April 12th. (Second Saturday of month).
      Vendors: Many of the vendors you came to know and love during the summer markets will be available at the winter markets. In addition, there will be several newbies: Advanced Cutlery will sharpen your knives and scissors, etc. Break-O-Day Farm will selling free-range chickens, eggs, pork and rabbits (you read that right! I'm told that farm-raised rabbits  are lean and tasty). Corinne will also be selling gluten-free baked goods, which makes me happy since we haven't gluten-free goodies this season. Hillcrest Farms is planning to sell produce and The Granola Tree will have nut butters, jams, granolas and oatmeal. 
I'm hoping you already know that the Market will be open both Friday and Saturday this week-end for the Holt Village Sampler. Plan to stop by and see what our creative crafters have for you in Christmas décor, gift baskets with local/Michigan products (see Rowe's Family Farms for those) and goodies.  
I'm not sure if I will be blogging during the winter. I'm looking forward to spending time tweaking my blog, adding more pics, making improvements etc. so that next market season the blog will be ready to be more widely read. Any suggestions? or input? let me know by email:  And, who knows? I may just surprise myself and do some blogging this winter.  Also, you can keep up-to-date at facebook/holtfarmersmarket.  Have a great holiday season; I'll look forward to connecting with you in spring.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Nearing the end of the season?

Yes, some of the Holt Farmers Market vendors are nearing the end of their market season BUT not all! This Saturday and the following week-end will be the end of the usual season. But this year, the HFM is having a winter market for the first time. To be held on the second Saturday of each month: December 14, 2013;  January 11, 2014; February 8, 2014; March 8, 2014; and April 12, 2014.

So what could a shopper expect in a winter market? A lot! Many of our creative, wonderful crafters will be there and are quite excited about this new venture. Many of the specialty food vendors will continue through the cold weather, and several produce vendors will be there. Not that they will be selling berries and tomatoes, but they will have squashes, potatoes, probably onions and apples and other fall veggies that they've harvested and stored to sell when needed. I will post the names of the vendors who have signed up for the winter market hopefully next week. I'm not sure I'll be blogging through the winter; I'll let you know once the decision is made. But I know for sure that I will be shopping there, happy to buy my root veggies from local farmers.

Speaking of which, last Saturday I got such delicious goodies, I'm salivating as I'm writing this! I bought Chocolate-Honey-Pumpkin Fudge from Lorrie of Willow Blossoms Farm. Totally wonderful! She adds the pumpkin, but you don't really taste it much. You will taste the chocolate and the honey. The pumpkin is added to make the fudge more robust, and to lower the guilt factor in eating it. She has plenty of samples, and you can't miss her stand, because it's all in yellow, and so is her t-shirt. I'm proud of myself that I haven't eaten it all up yet. BUT that could also be because I bought French pastries, and they are almost gone. I have to eat them before my husband does! And I had already bought him a doughnut from Nana's Sweet Treats! I also got Pecan Peanut Brittle, which is safe from my husband who doesn't like pecans; for me, they are to die for!

Yes, I did buy some nutritious items, too. Delicious hubbard squash from Rowe's Family Farm. I love all winter squash, but hubbard is the best tasting in my book. A hubbard is a big squash; one would probably do for a Thanksgiving dinner crowd.  Since hubby doesn't like squash, I cooked the hubbard, and froze what I can't eat. TIP:  Cook the hubbard squash whole, in the oven at 350, for half an hour. Then pull it out, cut in pieces, and return to oven to bake until done. Some say they're done when fork tender, but I like it really soft, so I probably cooked it, in pieces, for another hour or two.

I also bought a quantity of Jonathon apples from Gwen at  Rainbow's End Farm. Gwen is so cool; she always has something new and interesting for me (and all customers, of course) to sample and learn about. Last Saturday she had samples of chicory herbal tea. Yes, she had a thermos of tea to share. She's the one who had free chard leaves to give to anyone who would promise to cook them. This was weeks ago, of course. And of course I took a leaf home and sautéed it as Gwen recommended, and I liked it a lot! Before that experience, I thought I disliked chard!

My last guiltless purchase was from Rowe's Family Farm: I took their last pint of Brussels sprouts...another veggie I thought I didn't like. But fresh sprouts are nothing like the canned versions I'd had before. Now I'm a believer. Rowe's also had several fun varieties of squash, including Jumbo Pink Banana. Yes, a pink squash is unusual, but my French pastry baker raves about it being sweet and tasty, so I may buy one this Saturday.

The HFM is participating in the Holt Village Sampler on Friday, November 22 and Saturday 23, 2013.  Our crafters will have beautiful Christmas and winter items for you. Actually, I bought one last Sat: A beautiful, sparkling, ruffled scarf to brighten up my black winter coat. There also were gorgeous wreaths and candles. And the food vendors will be happy to see you as well. Christmas gift baskets filled with Michigan products...I could go on and on, but I won't. I'll leave it up to you to see for yourself!


Thursday, November 7, 2013


...for not posting last week! Truly, I was in Milwaukee at a conference AND staying with my daughter and grand-son, Devin, age 7. And it was Halloween; Devin was a Jedi-knight. Remember how rainy it was that night? And, although this past summer I did post from their home, I did not have it together enough this time around. Just sayin'.
Anyway, this week I will be posting some tips, recipes for fall veggies and some personal experiences as well.
I've used several recipes for roasted root veggies, and liked them all.. I like that I can "sneak" some veggies into the mix and family will eat them and never know they're eating turnips, or parsnips or whatever. And I will say, I'd never eaten turnips in my life until this venture, and I liked it! The veggies just all blend together, although you can still taste their individual flavors, and the dish tastes wonderful. I first roasted root veggies last Christmas when my "kids" were all home and my oldest, Josh, told me how to do it. Who knew?!!! All three of my offspring know their way around the kitchen. NOT  that they showed that talent when they lived at home!

Josh's Roasted Root Vegetables 
Cube (scrape/peel as necessary): onions, carrots, parsnips, turnips and potatoes. Could use squash, sweet potatoes etc.
 Douse (his word) with olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
 Roast at 350, until fork tender (after 15 min. you can place a steak/roast on top of the veggies and cook until the meat is done. The drippings will give wonderful flavor to the veggies).
Josh's recipe is the easiest; the next is a little more work, but delicious.
Cider-glazed Roots with Cinnamon Walnuts
 3 pounds assorted root vegetables, peeled (see tips below) and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup apple cider
1/4 c. dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt to taste
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1Tbs. butter
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon       Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
If using parsnips, quarter lengthwise and remove the woody core before cutting into 1-inch pieces.
Whisk cider, brown sugar salt and pepper in a 9X13 inch baking dish until the sugar is dissolved. Add the veggies and toss to coat. Cover the baking dish with foil..
Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and stir the veggies. Con't. cooking, uncovered, stirring every 20 minutes or so, until the veggies are glazed and tender, about 1 hour more.
Meanwhile, place walnuts in a small skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2-6 minutes. Remove form the heat and add utter, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Stir until the butter melts and the nuts are coated. Spread out on a plate to cool slightly.
Transfer the veggies to a serving dish and sprinkle with the cinnamon walnuts. Serve and enjoy!
TIPS: Beets, carrots and parsnips are easily peeled with a vegetable peeler; for tougher-skinned roots like celeriac, rutabaga and turnips, removing the peel with a knife can be easier. Cut off one end of the root to create a flat surface to keep it steady on the cutting board. Follow the contour of the vegetable with your knife. (recipe from This recipe tastes even better warmed up the next day.