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What's fresh?

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With nearly every climate covered on any given day here, what did you find fresh and locally produced today?

 

The open air market in the "big town" near us still doesn't stray too far from root vegetables most of the time, but in the spring it's alive with seedlings and new starts. This morning I picked up a new hyssop plant to replace the one that died last year. I was also surprised to see a spearmint plant (I've only ever seen peppermint here), so I got one of those. A lovage plant for its intense celery flavor. A couple of "Scotch Basil" plants, because I was intrigued (apparently, a dwarf form). But best of all, strawberries are at their peak, prices are dropping and the fruit is luscious. 1 kilo please. And what's that? Sour cherries? Yes, a kilo of those too, please.

 

What did you find at the market?

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The strawberries at our East Bumfuck farmer's market are incredible, particularly from MacPhail's Farm in bucolic Lynden. Actually, almost all of their fruit is amazing, and gigantic, with some of the juciest, humongusestest marionberries, blackberries, and raspberries I've ever tasted.

 

However, the real treat for us happens when Azizi, the tomato guy, shows up with his heirloom oddities. His Black Krimms are , hands down, the deepest, richest flavored tomatoes I've had the pleasure of eating, and a trip to the market would be well worth it just for them.

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Fresh greens (10 different kinds from Arugula to Romaine), Scallions, Snow Peas, Dill, Cilantro, Chives and Parsley (Italian and curled) here in my garden. There is still some the last of the wild Asparagass available and I'm hoping this recent rain brought out some Morels. I may be able to harvest a stalk or two of Rhubarb yet to make a sauce.

 

It's a great time of the year to be hungry.:thumbup:

 

To stay on topic I was thinking of selling some Snow Peas and scallions at the market tomorrow.

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I've got the best bearing pear tree in my front yard. Not sure what type it is. This tree bears so much fruit that all the limbs sag. The pears are big and juicy. The only other things growing in my yard are a few tomatoes and peppers. I also grow basil because I think the purple leaves are pretty.

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If you're growing basil (and I do), you should be making pesto (and do I ever!).

 

Simple Pesto Recipe

* 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

* 1/2 cup Olive oil

* 3 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts

* 3 garlic cloves, finely minced

 

This is the real reason God made food processors.

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I love pesto. And that's a good recipe for it!

 

If you want to try a bit of a slant on the basic recipe, try adding some parsley. It adds a great freshness and flavor and compliments the basil wonderfully.

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Pesto's great! Strawberries? 4.5 zl to 8 zl per kilo, used to go for 10 zl, so quite a big drop.

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Another week or so and I get to go picking strawberries at a local farm. I love that-1 for me....1 for the bucket....repeat! The season follows with raspberries, loganberries, blueberries next. I love being out in the fields here with mountains and blooming lavender surrounding me.

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Maggie is already cursing the raspberries. She's sure, the more she curses them, the more prolific they grow. It seems to work, too.

 

Our fat cocker spaniel has already proclaimed himself Lord of the Tomatoes. He circles the plants, waiting impatiently for his Love Apples. I've never seen a dog with such a craving for tomatoes.

 

If it continues to rain, I'll be selling basil by the bale. However, I'll take the rain and the out-of-control basil if it means no forest fires in July and August.

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I'd take a bale of that off your hands. I never plant enough. And then it bolts when we're least prepared to deal with it. Could trade you a cord of rhubarb for it. Which reminds me, I think there's the ends of some homemade rhubarb sorbet in the freezer. :g: Oh, and you can send the rains our way, too. We're keeping moist, and the garden looks great, but it was a dry winter and the spring rains have remained a bit lean. And tell Maggie to stop cursing the raspberries. It ain't lady-like. ;)

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The dog would sell the children for a pound of tomatoes. He also loves sweet red peppers, raspberries and huckleberries. Being color blind, he has to sniff the berries out. Last year Maggie was sure the deer were getting into her tomato patch but eventually we saw Danny Dog snuffing around her plants, sniffing for the ripest ones he could find. Smart dog. ;)

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My late dog, Pooka (RIP 6-10-95) would eat blackberries off the vine. Ever so gingerly, so as not to get stuck by the thorns. Very funny to watch.

I've got the best pair in my front. The pair are big and juicy.

Sweet.

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Not much fresh around these parts yet. It seems like it just quit snowing!

I had a Doberman Pinscher that loved to pick grapes off the vine. One at a time,chew it, then another. It was one of the funniest things to watch her pick through them. I think it was like her candy.

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The first sighting of fresh blueberries for the season this morning. :yahoo:

 

And tons of red currants. Anybody know anything good to do with red currants?

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Well, a classic recipe from up here in Scandi-land is "rysteribs" (litteraly, "shaken red currants"), which is simply red currants in a bowl with sugar. Shake them to mix with the sugar without mashing them. Can be used as a dessert with whipped cream or as garnish to meat.

 

Apart from that, I'm sure something could be made with a combination of red currants, honey and yeast.

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My dad has turtles running around in the garden, and tomato plants. I wouldn't mind them eating them occasionally, but those bastards aren't picky and I've gone out to check on the still greenish-orange tomatoes and find them half eaten. We definately need more fruit around here, so far we just have plums. We've got some fig trees and passion vines coming along though. What was it I once heard..."One generation plants the trees, the next enjoys the shade." Something like that.

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Lots of fruit trees produce rather quickly. But I have read "Pears are for heirs". Shade is a matter of time and growth no matter how you look it though.

 

Maybe you should reverse your thinking on the tomatos. Farm the turtles.

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Don't harm the turtles!

 

My pet turtle Gromula died last year. (sigh)

 

Since my pear tree yields a great harvest, I'm bringing baskets of pears to Oscar & Hissykitty's shindig in August. So if you're there, you will have pears thrust upon you. A friend of mine made a tasty pear cordial with them one year. Alas, my expertise does not lie whatsoever in any culinary arts.

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Love some pears......wish we could make it there too. Sigh. Pear tart is mighty nice. Hey Nymph-I will have to post a super simple cake recipe for you that works with ALL fruits. You can try it with pears later. Hope you are feeling better and eating more!

 

Just picked pounds of fresh strawberries at a great fruit farm in Sequim this week.

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You have people selling wild strawberries there, or just your own foraging efforts? I picked a quick handful yesterday and put them in our guest's hand. I love that our guests are never quite sure if I'll have a small interesting creature that I picked up or some inanimate treasure for them. Always good to keep them guessing.

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It could be something you'd regret not accepting.

But I always give a choice.

No offers that you can't refuse.

 

And wild strawberries are absolutely divine.

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Wild strawberries are yummy.....I have a few in my yard but it is hard to beat the squirrels to them!!! The ones I pick are at a great organic U-pick farm that grows all kinds of fruits all season.

 

You may use all your pears at your green events but they would never go to waste here!!! :heart:

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