Friday, July 25, 2014

Blues, Blues and more Blues!

Unfortunately, I'm singing the blues today. My two chronic conditions are flaring, leaving not enough energy to write my usual blog! Bummer! So this will be short and quick. 

You can expect to find blueberries at the HFM. I hope to buy a quantity of them, meaning $20-$30 worth. I did this two years ago, and froze them in aluminum foil packages, in the size I would use at any one time. My husband and I enjoyed them all winter long. I make killer blueberry pancakes, that we both enjoy. This is unusual, because he's diabetic and I'm celiac, so finding something we both can eat and enjoy is "priceless". Last summer, however, I didn't buy in quantity when young Justin, of Nightengale Produce, suggested I do so. I told him I just wasn't prepared to do that, thinking to myself I would bring more money the next week to make my purchase. Wrong! I did bring the extra cash...but the blueberry season was ended! So I had to buy frozen blueberries from the local Kroger/Meijer's. Not bad stuff, but just not the same enjoyment, and I kicked myself all winter. 
Here's a fun recipe for blueberry syrup
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, 1 cup sugar, 9Tbs. fresh lemon juice.
     In a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine all the ingredients. Bring to simmer slowly, stirring until all of the berries have popped, aboutr 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
Next day: remove the mixture from the refrigerator. Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer, or cheesecloth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Blueberry Soda
For one drink, fill a tall glass with ice. Add 3 Tbs. of the blueberry syrup, top with seltzer, and mix gently.

AND, of course, the syrup can be used straight up on your pancakes! Enjoy!
Okay, so this blog isn't very short, is it?! Once I get going, it's hard to stop. There's so much to love at the market. Oh! Did I mention music? One of my fave performers, Professor Geezer will be playing from 11:00-1:00. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Saturday, July 19, 2014 Meat at the Market

Many people don't realize that they could buy their meat at the Holt Farmers' Market as well as their produce. But it's true! Break O'Day Farms sells organically raised chickens and rabbits, the well-known Otto's Chicken sells quality chicken in all sorts of quantities from nuggets to packages of thighs/breasts to whole birds. The newest meat vendor at the HFM is Lonesome Pines grass-fed beef. That's Jackie in the pic, the "farmer's wife" as she calls herself, and she's great to talk to. Theirs is a family business started several years ago when her Dad moved from Arkansas to Michigan. She and her husband owned acreage that had been idle for years, and Dad wanted to put the land to work. So they started with five brood cows in 2006, and now have 80 animals on the farm at any given time. Charley, their bull, is docile and friendly until a cow is in heat, of course. Then he does his job and the cows are inseminated naturally. While not certified organic, the animals are pastured and are not force-fed hormones, nor given routine antibiotics and are treated humanely. They even have names which doesn't happen on factory farms. They live a happy life until they are harvested and sold at farm markets. 

 Being family--oriented, their son is the herd manager, while Jackie and her farmer husband work full-time jobs during the week and sell at farm markets on the week-end. They love to have visitors to show people, both big and little, where their food comes from. They ask people to call ahead to ensure someone is available to give the farm tour.  517-853-1906 or c. 269-838-4395. The farm is located at 6600 Bivens Rd in Nashville, MI 49073.

Many more vendors will be at your service this Sat. Rowe's Farm Market is back, selling their produce, all grown on their farm. Gary told me they planted 4,000 tomato plants this spring!!! And while none may be ripe this week (but you never know ), he's got summer squash and much more to sell in the meantime. Another great guy to talk to; you'll find him on the south side of the bigger building. Plus, Cindy McElroy will be providing music from 11:00-1:00. 


Friday, July 11, 2014

I'm All About Berries July 11,2014

I'm all about raspberries today, so that you won't do as I did last Saturday. I bought a pint of the delicious, red, sweet-tangy fruit, came home and put them in the 'fridge and forgot about them, what with the holiday and all. Got them out on Monday, and they were moldy. None salvageable. So, LESSON LEARNED! Do as I say, not as I did: 
     - don't stick them in the 'fridge "until later"
     - instead: put them in the sink with cold water to cover and add          some vinegar. ratio: one part vinegar to ten parts water. White          or apple cider vinegar probably work best.
     - Math challenged? 1Tbs vinegar to 10Tbs water (which       
       equals 1/2cup+2Tbs.water). You take it from there.
     - Swish the berries in the water. Drain and THEN refrigerate. 
The vinegar kills any mold spores and other bacteria. Raspberries will last a week or more, and strawberries almost two weeks. I'm putting this info on the HFM bulletin board along with some recipes, and more recipes will go in the shopping bags of those who buy raspberries. Remember how delicate they are; think Princess Raspberry.
Welcome to Jennifer of Jennifer's Crafting Creations. This is her first year at the Holt Farmers' Market, and she's loving it. Although she loves all sorts of needlework, she brings to the market items that are knitted or crocheted and likes to sell practical, usable everyday things such as scarves (check out the pic), booties, hats, gloves etc. Self-taught since age 10, Jennifer gets excited about designing items, and looks at her work as a wonderful, fun hobby. You'll find her in the smaller building, across from Fred's Jerky Products (and salads).

And, YES, there is more to the market than what's highlighted here, including more berries! Get put on the email list to get the complete listing every week; some vendors come every two weeks, for example.  
More connections: and


Friday, July 4, 2014

Winners All

I know I've written previously about Corinne with Break O'Day Farm, the one with free-range chickens, and their eggs, and the "laziest farmer around" husband. Right? But I couldn't pass up the opportunity to feature her again because she is such a winner! In many ways, of course, but most recently she won $500 for a recipe for a fruit pizza she submitted to a magazine! Who else do you know who has done this? Can't say I know anyone else. Go to her website and check it out: and click on "recipes".  I'm hoping she will demonstrate making her prize-winning pizza at the HFM on our new kitchen. She also makes a pizza with a cauliflower-crust and a pizza sauce that is made from beets, for people who can't have tomatoes. Both sound intriguing to me, so I hope she agrees to do it. Please help me persuade her; stop by her stand and chat and mention this blog and that you'd love to see her demonstrate. I think she's a little shy and may need encouragement. Thanks!
  Last Saturday, the 28th, I bought wonderful green beans, and had to pass up the lovely asparagus (surprised it was still available!) only because my husband, Den, asked me to. I also bought strawberries (!who knew??), blueberries, raspberries and some chard which will go in the oven to roast with oil and garlic. I am clueless whether to expect strawberries tomorrow...sorry! I can't give a head's up. I think the farmers are just "winging it" with the unusual weather we're having...a cool, wet spring, etc. etc. So be prepared to be surprised...and enjoy what's available. 

Dennis Greenman's stand always has fresh herbs, so here are a couple of helpful tips: since they are sold in bunches, and even the most prolific home chef can't use them up quickly, try cutting the ends as soon as you get them home. Stand them in a container of fresh water in the refrigerator, with a plastic bag with holes over the top. Snip chives over cooked potatoes, potato soup, salads or anything that would like a nice, mild-onion-taste boost. Mint is equally good steeped to make a refreshing tea, or in the bottom of a glass of I'm told. I've never actually had a mint julep, but if you have, let me know how you liked it. 
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