August 28, 2010 § 6 Comments
Hi there – it’s Saturday! And it looks like it’s going to be a beautiful weekend here in Massachusetts. I hope it’s just as nice wherever you are.
Well, this is my last post in the Loving Local: Celebrating the Flavors of Massachusetts blogathon. I want to again thank Tinky at In Our Grandmothers’ Kitchens for hosting this fun, informative, and I think, really important event. I hope we do it again next year.
And of course I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to all of the vendors at the Beaver Brook Parking Lot Farmer’s Market in Worcester. We truly appreciate all of your hard work and your ability to stay cool and friendly at the market during this long, hot summer. We’ve enjoyed many delicious meals thanks to you, and for that we are very grateful We are looking forward to the fall harvest!
Ok, so today I’m going to share a very easy recipe that my husband calls “Aunt Cindy’s Green Bean Salad.” Unfortunately, my version didn’t match Aunt Cindy’s in my husband’s mind, but I thought it was awesome and Peter ate quite a bit, too.
Did you hear that sound? It was me kicking myself for not getting the name of the farm from where we bought the beans. We bought them last Wednesday when I didn’t have my camera on me. I thought with my photographic memory (NOT) I’d be able to remember the name of the farm. The stand wasn’t there on Friday when I was in full blogger/reporter mode, so now I’m left lacking the name of my source. I will try to remedy this heinous oversight next week by adding the farm’s name in the comment section of this post.
In the meantime, here are the anonymous green beans*:
The smaller garden tomatoes are from the anonymous farm**, but the big tomato on the right, from a different farm, is an heirloom variety called Pruden’s Purple (which I heard coming from the farmer’s mouth as “Purple Prudence.” Thank God for the Internet.) Unfortunately, I didn’t get the name of that farmer either (the blogathon is really ending with a bang for me!) It was the first time I saw him at the market and he specialized in heirloom tomatoes. He was also selling sheepskin. (And he was really cute — sorry husband, but it’s true. I may be 40 and married, but I ain’t dead. Aaand that’s what you get for dissing my green bean salad — ha ha :-) ). If I see his stand again, I will get his information and post it in the comments section. Purely for your edification.
OK, seriously, onto the business at hand. I hesitate to even call this a recipe, since it’s really just tossing vegetables in a bowl with olive oil and seasoning:
Green Bean Salad
2 big handfuls of fresh green beans, washed and trimmed (by “trimmed” I mean the two tough ends are cut off)
1/2 white or red onion, thinly sliced
1 large tomato, or 2-3 small tomatoes, cut into good-sized chunks
1-2 tablespoons really good olive oil
salt and pepper
Bowl of ice water
1. Blanch the green beans by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Add the washed and trimmed green beans to the boiling water and cook for one minute to a minute and a half. Drain and immediately dump the beans into the bowl of ice water to stop them from further cooking. Drain after a few minutes of soaking in the cold bath. You want the beans to have a little crunch to them.
2. In a large bowl, toss the green beans, sliced onion, and tomato chunks with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and a pinch or two of salt. Season with more salt and pepper to your taste. You could also add a splash of balsamic vinegar.
My husband wasn’t too crazy about the salad because I let the beans boil for just 30 seconds. They were a bit too crunchy for his taste. So, you can experiment with the boiling to find your perfect crunch level. I really loved this salad. It was rustic, fresh, and clean-tasting and the juices at the bottom of the bowl should be soaked up with a piece of good bread.
So, that is that. If you live in Massachusetts and you haven’t already done so, please consider making a donation to The Federation of Mass Farmers Markets.
Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a great weekend!
Oh, one last thing. I came across this picture among the pictures I took at the farmer’s market, and the first thing I thought of was “Rapunzel.”
UPDATED 9/8/10: * The green beans came from E. L. Silvia Farms in Dighton, MA: http://www.farmfresh.org/food/farm.php?farm=2146
**and the heirloom tomatoes were from Sweet Water Farm (I believe this is the correct farm http://www.farmfresh.org/food/farm.php?farm=2934)
August 26, 2010 § 4 Comments
I had hoped to post every day this week about the vendors at the Beaver Brook parking lot Farmer’s Market in Worcester, but my computer and children had other plans.
My computer could be used as a torture device, no joke. If the accused is not talking, place my computer in front of him and tell him that in order to be set free he must Google “recipe for pork tenderloin,” and then save and print the best recipe. He may chuckle and call you a fool, but once the random window-popping-upping and freezing begins, he’ll crack. It’s a maddening device, this laptop, and I often find myself muttering incoherently, my fists filled with my own hair. I hope it’s my own hair.
And my children? Well, my child and my nephew? I can’t blame them for anything. As Sheryl Crowe would say – all they wanna do is have some fun. I could sit in front of a frozen computer, or I could take them to Gymboree. I chose Gymboree.
But all of that is neither here nor there. Today is a new day and I have a few minutes to myself, so without further ado, here is Nicewicz Family Farm!
The Nicewicz Family Farm stand is definitely a customer favorite. The line for their produce was long, and the Nicewicz’s seemed to be on a first name basis with everyone in the line, asking each person about family and work. We bought a bunch of peaches and plums, which were eaten so quickly they didn’t have time to be photographed, and also some zucchini that I used in the Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake I brought to a bridal shower last Saturday. I’ll share that recipe below. But before we get to that, here are some shots of the Nicewicz’s stand:
So as I mentioned, I used some Nicewicz zucchini for a Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake recipe I found at Heidi’s 101 Cookbooks. (It’s embarrassing for me to link to her site because it makes my site looks so amateurish in comparison!) It was fantastic: lighter than a quiche, dill-y, and lemon-y. And it was good even though I used a too large pan and it was way thinner than it was supposed to be. Next time I will either get a 7″ springform pan, or double the recipe. I’m just going to link to the recipe here, so you can admire Heidi’s photography and browse her site. Here are some shots of my cheesecake:
In case this is your first visit to this site, this week I’m blogging for the Loving Local: Celebrating the Flavors of Massachusetts blogathon hosted by Tinky at In Our Grandmothers’ Kitchens. Please consider making a donation to The Federation of Mass Farmers Markets - Thanks!Have a great day~
August 24, 2010 § 5 Comments
Hi there! Hope you’re well today! Right now I’m listening to my nephew and son hit plastic balls with a plastic hammer through some kind of plastic ramp contraption. I don’t know if that description effectively communicates how noisy it is in here, but suffice it to say that my ears are ringing.
Anyway, I’m going to try to focus on writing this next installment of the Loving Local: Celebrating the Flavors of Massachusetts blogathon hosted by Tinky at In Our Grandmothers’ Kitchens. I’m having a great time with this so far, and I’ve found so many great, local, food-related blogs that I need more hours in the day to keep up with my reading. Seriously, I have a blog reading problem.
Today I’m shining the spotlight on Daily Bread Bakery Cafe and Shivick Farm!
I honestly cannot say enough about this bread. It is dense and chewy and the flavors are amazing. My favorite is the Olive & Caper loaf. Oh my gosh, it is so, so good. Addictive. I lightly toast it and use it for fried eggs sandwiches smeared with goat cheese and a slice of tomato. Also for a tomato, hummus and cheddar cheese sandwich. Oh, and it’s also delicious dipped in good olive oil or covered with a layer of soft organic butter. I could wax poetic about this bread! I ate my last piece yesterday morning, so I definitely need to pick up a loaf tomorrow! The Garlic Parmesan, Multigrain, plain ciabatta and Monkey Bread are also amazing.
Seeing this on their website makes the bread even better, if that’s possible: “We strive to care for you and the environment we live in. All breads, fillings, and salads are considered for healthy living and without preservatives, growth hormones, and as close to the source as possible. Our containers are made of recycled paper and we try to recycle as much of our own waste as we can.”
Shivick Farm, Oxford, MA (no website available)
Shivick Farm is the home of the “Tomato Queen,” Fran Shivick, who was recently featured in a Worcester Mag article. She is famous for her tomatoes, which we have enjoyed often this summer (with bread from Daily Bread, of course!), so thank you Fran! Take a look at what they have to offer:
Alright, who’s craving a tomato sandwich right about now? I know what we’re having for lunch today!
Tomorrow I’ll show you the goods of Nicewicz Farm, who had the longest line of all the vendors last Friday!
Have a good day!
Please consider making a donation to The Federation of Mass Farmers Markets - Thanks!
August 23, 2010 § 2 Comments
Today’s vendors to be featured in my contribution to the Loving Local: Celebrating the Flavors of Massachusetts blogathon (hosted by Tinky) are…drumroll, please…
Riverdale Farm & Garden and Shady Pine Farm!
The website for Riverdale doesn’t mention that the farm grows vegetables, but the delivery truck does:
Sooo, I’m a little confused, but I don’t think we’ll be heading to the market today to ask for clarification since it is POURING here. It’s supposed to rain all day We’ll go on Wednesday and ask why the vegetables aren’t mentioned on the website.
In any case, I’m pretty sure that their stand is the largest at the market:
I call it the “party vendor” because they always have Spanish music playing. It’s very festive and fun! Their produce is just gorgeous and their displays are a food photographer’s dream come true. Heaps of glistening, colorful vegetables… I could have spent an hour taking pictures there:
Our next stop was the table of :
I don’t care for meat, but my husband and Peter do, so I’m really interested in this farm. I typically buy organic, free- range chicken from our natural foods store. For variety’s sake, I’m thinking that I’ll start buying different meats from Shady Pine. “Livestock raised on natural, hormone-free and antibiotic-free feed?” YES, that’s what I’m talking about! I believe that if you eat meat it’s imperative to eat the best quality meat you can get your hands on, and grass-fed meat is the best meat for you.
We didn’t buy any meat that day, but we did buy a dozen eggs, and they were delicious:
They also offer a 6- or 12-month CSA membership:
CSA shares available now:
Okay, it’s time for me to make some breakfast for me and the kiddo. He’s currently vegging in front of the TV watching “Dora the Explorer.” What? I mean, he’s learning some Spanish, right? It’s educational!
Tomorrow I’ll be featuring: Our Daily Bread and Shivick Farm!
Oh, and please consider making a donation to The Federation of Mass Farmers Markets - Thanks!
August 22, 2010 § 5 Comments
Actually, there are multiple Farmer’s Markets in Worcester county, but the one that Peter and I go to is located at :
306 Chandler Street, Worcester, MA (which is identified as the ”Beaver Brook parking lot” market on the list I linked to above. However, I haven’t seen a sign for “Beaver Brook parking lot,” so for me it’s the market in the parking lot of the Worcester Youth Center. )
So, this is my first post of the Loving Local: Celebrating the Flavors of Massachusetts blogathon, which is being hosted by Tinky over at Our Grandmothers’ Kitchens. (Thanks, Tinky!) As I mentioned yesterday, I’m thrilled to be a part of the blogathon. I truly believe in supporting our local farmers and I hope I can inspire you to visit your local market, whether you’re in Massachusetts or a different state. It looks like most of the markets in Worcester county run until October, so you have nearly two months to enjoy locally produced goodies!
If you are in Massachusetts, please consider making a donation to The Federation of Mass Farmers Markets. As it says on their site “your tax-deductible contribution will help keep farmers’ markets alive and well in Massachusetts, ensuring that all of us, no matter our economic status, get the fresh, local food we value.” How can you NOT want to support this cause?!
Peter and I stopped by the market on Wednesday and Friday last week to stock up on tomatoes, corn, peaches, plums, green beans, bread, and eggs, and also to see what the other vendors had to offer. There’s more than vegetables and fruit at many markets!
Just look at these gorgeous flowers from Stow Greenhouses in Stow, MA:
And there’s also local HONEY:
Jim’s All Natural Honey, from Hillcrest Apiaries, 9 Hillcrest Avenue, Southbridge, MA, 508-765-1349, 508-612-5173 (no website available)
We sampled the light and the dark honey, and although Jim said that the dark is the most popular, I think I liked the light honey better.
Check back tomorrow for coverage of Riverdale Farm and Garden and Shady Pine Farm!
August 21, 2010 § 2 Comments
I’m probably over excited about this, but it’s the first time in my short blogging life that I’ve committed to MOST DEFINITELY WRITING ABOUT SOMETHING THIS COMING WEEK. If you’re a regular checker-inner to purewellnessamy, you’ll know that some weeks I write a bunch of posts and then like a month will go by without one single little post. I’m flighty like that.
Well, starting on Sunday I’ll be taking part in a blogathon to celebrate the flavors of Massachusetts. There’s a farmer’s market in Worcester that Peter and I go to at least weekly. All this coming week I’ll be putting the spotlight on the vendors who sit in the sweltering sun on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to sell their locally produced goods and produce.
I’ll be posting pictures, the names of the participating vendors, and a recipe or two.
I’m just really thrilled to do this. Eating seasonally and locally is important to me and my family, I’d say it’s one of our core family values, and I would love to inspire a few other people to give it a try. I know I’m lucky in that I can go to the market at any time between 9:30 and 2, but even those who work can take a quick run to the market on their lunch break. Right?
My husband and I want Peter to know where food comes from and the work involved in producing it. And we want to introduce him to as many different kinds of foods as possible. Luckily as of now he’s a pretty adventurous eater– he’ll try anything. He loves going to the market, talking to the vendors, and looking at all the beautiful produce (and bread):
So, I hope you check in a few times this week to see what our local market has to offer. And I really hope you search out a market in your area soon and GO THERE to support your local farmers and pick up some delicious, local, seasonal food. You absolutely won’t regret it. As Peter would say, “I pwomise.”