Daily Archives: May 20, 2010

May 22 – Spring Vegetable Soup

Half from my garden, half from the farmers’ market, and some help from the Iberian Peninsula – I barely have to shop in stores anymore! Saute in Spanish olive oil: spring onions cut fine, garlic, cubed golden turnips and a potato, turnip greens, chard stems, and asparagus. Add homemade chicken stock, Portuguese sea salt, and 3 kinds of thyme: Caitlin Reid sold me lime thyme, lemon thyme, and German thyme two years ago and they’re still thriving in my front yard. You are making your own chicken stock from the whole chickens at Groff’s Content, right? Don’t throw away that carcass! Put it in the freezer and wait ’til you’ve collected a month’s worth of bones – bonus items are leek tops, onion skins, carrots and celery (I scavenge these from half-eaten school lunches on field trips). Then put it all in your biggest pot, cover with filtered water, add a splash of vinegar, boil, skim any scum from the surface, simmer for 24 hours.  I let it cool then freeze it in quart containers. Okay, I have no idea where the vinegar is from. The beer was from Vermont – sorry, I forgot that step: crack a Magic Hat #9 while simmering the soup. Serve with big hunks of Atwater’s rye bread.

Tons of salad greens!  Enjoy the tender perfect lettuces of spring while you can. Mike Burner of Smallwood’s has plans for sturdier and bolt resistant lettuces throughout the summer, but there’s nothing like these early months for downright juicy lettuce!

Some folks were asking me about seafood, but I haven’t yet found a small, local fisher willing to take on a whole day of market.  But if you’re interested in oysters, let me know and I’ll get you in on my source for Chesapeake Bay oysters, delivered by Circle C Oyster Ranch of South Maryland to various drop points in the city. I pick up mine on Thursdays in Brookland. The season is hot right now, they are one of those super foods, and you’d be surprised how many a game 5 year old can put away.  If you’re really, really interested, like right away, you should be able to place an order for Memorial Day Weekend and maybe I can help you with pickup or delivery.  How many oysters can an Xtracycle carry?  Jumbos, Larges, and Mediums seem to be what’s available right now, great for grilling.

Speaking of scavenging, keep your eyes out for the telltale purple sidewalk stains from the ripening berries of mulberry trees.  Tiny, black berries come off the branch with a light tug, sweet and strange and free! We ate gobs of them yesterday off the tree in front of the PG Pool, the funnest pool of the summer, in Mt Pleasant’s sister city, Mt Rainier, MD. Worth the commute.

Events at market:

  • DCRA is back this year with demonstrations on the bandstand on weatherizing your home. Save money on energy bills with inexpensive materials available at Pfeiffer’s Hardware!
  • The Farmers’ Market Bike Clinic, staffed by neighbors and random passers-by, can top off your tires, lube your chain, or show you how to maintain your bike..FREE! It always depends on who turns up, but feel free to use the pump and stand.
  • Our favorite fiddler, Gabe Popkin will be playing that bluegrass sound with Paul Brown in the morning set, followed by Chris Ousley on guitar and banjo playing more great traditional music.
  • Stick around and check out the DC Bike Swap in the afternoon!  From 2-4 on Saturday in Lamont Park, you’ll be able peruse your neighbor’s bike parts bin and trade for stuff you don’t need anymore.  RSVP to DCbikeswap2010@gmail.com if you want to participate more actively.

Local Foods:

The Adelante Co-op fundraiser continues! New this week: steak and vegetarian tacos. Also, platos again with grilled borracho chicken or beef,  market vegetables and salad, El Salvadoran arroz casamiento (rice with black beans) or Puerto Rican arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas) and those wonderful thick, homemade El Salvadoran style tortillas. And my favorite  sweet beverage, better than soda: horchata!

Smallwood’s Veggieporium: Baby hakurei turnips with greens, spinach, salad mix, loose leaf lettuce, and head lettuces, radishes, collards, kale, mustard greens (purple osaka and green), swiss chard, cut herbs: parsley, cilantro, dill, mint, and maybe some more of that purple basil. Bedding plants: summer squash (adorable little 1-ball and 8-ball zucchini), cucumbers (my favorite lemon cuke), melons (sakada sweet, painted serpent, and other curious Asian melons), sunflowers, cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers, okra.

Groff’s Content Farm: Family farm raises 100% grass-fed and -finished lamb and beef on organic fields, pastured Berkshire pork, beautiful pastured eggs and chickens. Yummy dog treats and ask for nice big bones. Ask about pre-ordering fresh, farm processed chickens.

Truck Patch Farms: Spring onions, several kinds of strawberries, asparagus, lettuce, salad mix, arugula, Swiss chard, curly kale, cut herbs. Pork and beef, and maybe some chickens, if you pre-order at order@truckpatchfarms.com, plenty of eggs.

Quaker Valley Orchards: Green and purple asparagus. Pink Lady, Fuji, and Golden Delicious winter apples. Applesauce, honey, jam, tomato sauce, novelty popping corn-on-the-cob, dried apples, canned peaches. Pie fillings: cherry, blackberry, blueberry and apple.

Cherry Glen Goat Cheese Company: Handmade, artisanal goat cheese. Fresh chevre and ricotta cheese and delicious crottins and brie-like wedges of creamy, soft-ripened cheese.

Reid Orchard: Pink lady and Fuji apples, maybe some of those Pennsylvania strawberries, and canned goods. Bedding starts for your garden: eight different kinds of hot and sweet peppers, corn, zucchini, squash, eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, and a huge variety of culinary and ornamental herbs.

Richfield Farm: Strawberries, asparagus, spinach, lettuce, spring onions, rhubarb, hanging flower baskets, herb starts.

Atwater Bread: Organic sourdough and yeasted breads: Peasant Wheat, Caraway Rye, Cranberry Pecan, Kalamata Olive, traditional San Francisco Sourdough, Ciabatta, Country White, Chili Cheddar, French Baguette, Spelt, Sunflower Flax, and more. Brownies, cookies, scones, muffins, and granola.

Panorama Bakery: Baguettes, croissants, pain au chocolat, mini ciabattas are great for sandwiches, sliced loaves, danishes, sticky buns, apple turnovers.

Volunteering is fun!  You get a cool button and get to talk to everyone! Check out the Volunteer Calendar.

Facebook? Try Mount Pleasant Farmers’ Market DC. Twit? Try twitter.com/MtPFarMar.

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