August 2008 Weekly Updates

(Please note: Archived material contains some out-of-date information. Check current portions of web site for details on this year's market.)


August 28, 2008    *Get the Harvest Here*

Westside Community Market • Saturdays, April 19 to November 8 • 7 am to 1 pm • Hill Farms DoT Building parking lot • Madison, Wis.

Hi Everyone!

The best of the harvest season, amid the beautiful people and products at the Westside Community Market, keeps us eager to share special items that catch our eye and to highlight the vendors producing them.

First, news that judges at the International Elk Association Meat Contest, held in The Dells a few weeks ago, homed in on the products of Sheri and Joel Espe of Hawk’s Hill Elk Ranch (Monticello). Hawk’s Hill won every category they entered – sliced meat, jerky and snack sticks. Sheri also won an award for a photo she took of Joel sitting reading the newspaper in a field with the elk heard quietly munching around him (see it on their WCM table). Hint to brown baggers and back-to-schoolers: Elk jerky and snack sticks make great lunch-box additions – pack them frozen to keep cool.

Kristen Kordet of Blue Moon Community Farm (Stoughton) now has husk cherries. These delicate beauties really caught our attention for their appearance, but we love their versatility. Husk cherries are not to be confused with their close, larger green cousin the tomatillo. The husk cherry is sometimes known as a cape gooseberry or ground cherry, and is a small, berry-like fruit enclosed in a loose, papery tan-pink husk. Kristen’s are a translucent pink or yellow on the inside and have a rich taste somewhat like a mix of cranberry and currant. You can eat them out of hand or make wonderful sauce for topping ice cream or grilling meat. Jen’s grandpa grew a version of these, and they bring back a lot of delicious memories. Pristine husk cherries can be served as a snack in the husk and eaters peel as they go; if dusty, the cook should husk and rinse before serving.

Lor Chang (Madison) has gorgeous Thai eggplant, the inspiration for one of this week’s recipes. Thai eggplant, also known as Kermit eggplant, is small and round, often green mixed with white. Other eggplant varieties also work in the recipe; the diversity of colors and shapes that eggplants come in is stunning. You can find quite a few at WCM.

Choosing just-picked eggplants at the Market is such a treat because they generally store "miserably," and most grocery store eggplants come from Florida, according to Vegetables (2001) author Elizabeth Schneider. She advises: "Select fairly heavy fruit.... Choose eggplants that are smooth, taut-skinned, and strikingly shiny, not dull.... If possible, don't refrigerate; keep in a cool place in a plastic bag for no more than 36 hours. For longer storage, keep in a paper bag in the warmest part of the refrigerator..." Heaviness is relative, so compare fruits of similar variety and size.

Carrie Flyte (Coloma) tells us that Labor Day weekend will be the last for blueberries; come early to stock up. Flyte Family Farm still has melons of all varieties: musk, water, red, yellow, seeded, seedless.

Sweet corn is still going strong. Did you know a single vendor might sell different varieties over time as harvest progresses field to field? Tomatoes have hit their stride. Whether slicers, cherries, plum, or heritage ("heirloom"), you will find tomato shapes, textures, and colors ideal for salad, sauce, sandwich, etc. Evie commented that sunlit tomatoes remind her of stained glass; what a beautiful image.

You'll find more summer squash and maybe the first winter squash. Eight kinds of new fall lettuce at Green's Pleasant Springs Orchard (Stoughton) alone. Take advantage of WCM's one-stop-shop convenience: Bakery, salsas, meat, poultry, eggs, cheese, dairy, unique bouquets, landscape plants, and more. Moldy Jam band expected back. Sunshine if our luck holds. Free coffee until appx. 11 am and free weekly raffle at Info Tent.

See you Saturday!

The Lynch family for the WCM


Basil Eggplant

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 bunch basil, leaves picked from the stem (Thai basil is recommended, though any kind will work)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 eggplants (the long, thin japanese or Thai varieties work best)
2 chili peppers

Slice the eggplants into irregular shapes for easy turning in the pan. When it is sliced into a small disk, it tends to stick to the bottom of the pan and makes it difficult to flip or turn.

Chop garlic and slice chili peppers. Pick the leaves from the stem of the basil.

Heat a pan or wok over high or medium high. Add oil, chili peppers and garlic. Stir until the garlic turn golden brown. Add eggplant and stir. Add a cup of water and cover the pan or wok with a lid. Keep the lid close until the eggplant is cooked. It should take about 5-7 minutes before the eggplant is done. The eggplant turns from white to translucent when it is done. Almost all of the water should have been evaporated at this point. If the eggplant is still not cooked, add a little bit more water and keep lid closed until the eggplant is ready. Add fish sauce (For a vegetarian dish, substitute soy sauce for fish sauce.) and sugar and stir. Add basil and quickly stir to heat the basil, so that it retains it color. Turn off heat immediately. Serve hot with rice.

WCM Corn Chowder

Beth Niblack-Sykes, longtime WCM customer, wrote in:
“I'd like to share our family's favorite seasonal recipe. It is very flexible to accommodate different tastes. Almost all of the ingredients can be obtained at WCM and my garden!”

Serves 8

6 strips bacon, cut into bite size pieces before cooking
1-2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 diced onions
1-2 stalks celery, diced
1 diced green bell pepper
1 diced red bell pepper
4-5 scrubbed potatoes, diced (peel only if you must)
2-3 cups chicken stock/broth (enough to just cover veggies)
4 cups (appx.) fresh corn kernels cut off the cob- reserve cobs (plan 6-7 ears)
6 cups milk any type/combo from skim to cream
1-2 bay leaves
1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
To taste: thyme, savory leaves, salt, pepper, hot pepper flakes (we like ~1/2 teaspoon)

In a large soup pot, saute bacon, then add oil, onion, celery, carrots & pepper until they just begin to soften. Add potato, then chicken broth until barely covered. Simmer about 5 minutes until potato is almost tender. Add cut corn, cobs and milk & herbs. Heat gently for about 20 minutes,until corn is cooked. DON'T ALLOW MILK TO BOIL! Remove cobs and allow to cool enough to handle. Scrape the remaining bits (some say the best part) off the cobs using the back of a table knife and add that to soup. Discard cobs and adjust seasonings. Enjoy! Can also use frozen corn at other times of the year.


August 21, 2008    *Okra, Kraut, Pickles, more*

Westside Community Market • Saturdays, April 19 to November 8 • 7 am to 1 pm • Hill Farms DoT Building parking lot • Madison, Wis.

Hi Everyone!

Saturday was a perfect market day. This time of year brings us warm, sunny days and cool crisp nights. With the fall equinox only a month away the abundance of harvest is here. And while it is awesome to have amazing food in every stall, it is the people – vendors and customers – that make the Westside Community Market a real community.

We received the nicest email recently from Emmie O’Keeffe. She is an avid Market shopper, originally from Massachusetts. Emmie became a loyal WCM shopper because of the whole, unhomogenized milk from Blue Marble Dairy (Barneveld). Emmie told us that this season’s treat has been the whole milk buttermilk from Blue Marble. I completely agree and drink it almost every morning. Then, I was lucky enough to meet Emmie at the Information Booth last Saturday. Her passion for local food, along with a firm commitment to the Market, epitomize what makes the WCM such an awesome gathering. Both of the recipes below are from Emmie.

Speaking of interesting people, the WCM is extremely pleased to welcome back Andy Hanson of Kindly Kraut (Madison). Andy has traditional cabbage sauerkraut as well as zucchini pickles, summer vegetable pickles and Kimchi. Andy says he got into fermented foods because of their health benefits – both enzymes and probiotics. His delicious preserved vegetables make an excellent accompaniment to a meal or, in my case, a meal unto themselves. I LOVE Kimchi. The formulation of each of his products is different, depending on the produce available. Stop by to ask what he has and what is coming next.

Along with the cooler evening temperatures come some new varieties of produce. Don’s Produce (Arena) has sweet potatoes and a second round of ever-bearing strawberries. Vang Phia Yang (Madison) has okra, and Vivian Green of Green’s Pleasant Springs Orchard (Stoughton) has Starfire musk melons, a sweet, firm melon with a small seed cavity. Vivian also has Pristine apples, the first eating apple of the season and Whitney Crab apples, perfect for pickling and apple jelly. Evie’s pick for “favorite newcomer” is the Sungella tomato from Primrose Community Farm (Middleton). This is a cross between a Sun Gold and an orange-skinned heirloom. The fruit is golf ball-sized with the explosive sweetness of the tiny Sun Golds but big enough to be sliced into a salad. Evie and I were both covered in Sungella juice by the time we left the Market. The Primrose backstory is online at

This time of year also brings about spectacular cut flowers, and the bouquets from Cheryl Mayr of Country Bloomers (DeForest) will take your breath away. The combination of white Alstroemeria, Lisianthus and red Cockscomb is stunning. The zinnias from Kelly Lor (Madison), sold by her grown children, were also dazzling.

Corn is still abundant; buy different varieties from several vendors, and then have your neighbors over for a corn tasting. Fire up the grill for some elk steaks from Hawk’s Hill Elk Ranch (Monticello) and throw on some candy onions and tomatillos from Natalie’s Produce (Oregon), and you’ll have quite a party. From appetizers through dessert, the WCM has it all. We are so lucky to know the people who produce our food.

See you Saturday!

Jen Lynch for the WCM

P.S. Dr. Eric Heiligenstein will be stopping by at 9 a.m. to play some acoustic blues/roots tunes. Moldy Jam at 10 a.m. would be a good bet, too.


Mary's Blueberry Cake (Bavarian)

½ stick butter
2 egg yolks
1 cup all purpose flour (unbleached)
1 T. water
Mix butter and flour until crumbly. Beat the egg yolks with the water, add to the butter-flour blend and mix. Press over the bottom of an 8 x 8 x 2” baking pan. Refrigerate while making filling.

4 cups blueberries
grated rind of one lemon
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 T. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Preheat over to 375 F. Wash berries discarding any squashed ones, and drain well. Mix with the remaining ingredients and place on top of the dough. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F. Bake until berries are bubbly on surface, 25 – 30 minutes. Cover with topping and finish baking.

1 cup sour cream (not light)
½ cup sugar
2 eggs, separated

Mix sour cream, egg yolks and sugar thoroughly. Beat egg whites until stiff, fold into mixture and spread on cake. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes or more. Serve hot or cold.

From Craig Claiborne, the NY Times circa 1970, via Emmie O’Keeffe, loyal WCM shopper

Sweet and Sour Summer Vegetables

3 small zucchini (1 lb) sliced very thin
3 small yellow squash (1½ lbs) sliced very thin
1 red bell pepper, sliced very thin
½ red onion, sliced very thin
1/3 cup sugar
½ cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
½ tsp. salt or more to taste
1 large minced clove garlic

In a 1 quart jar with tight fitting lid combine the zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper and onion. In a saucepan combine the vinegar, sugar, oil and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir in the garlic. Pour over the vegetables, close jar and turn upside down to coat vegetables. Turn every few hours until ready to serve. Drain and serve at room temperature.

from Emmie O’Keeffe, WCM customer


August 14, 2008    *Melons, apples, corn, tomatoes*


Westside Community Market • Saturdays, April 19 to November 8 • 7 am to 1 pm • Hill Farms DoT Building parking lot • Madison, Wis.

Hi Everyone!

With the end of summer in sight, I’ve been thinking about how to pack everything in before we get busy with fall schedules again. With that in mind, I have the phrase “ready to eat” on my mind.

The beauty of late summer is that there are so many things that can be eaten with little or no preparation. Carrots, tomatoes, sweet peppers, early apples, melons, blueberries, late strawberries—all are delicious and don’t need anything done with them. And just as we crowned asparagus the King of Spring, sweet corn is undeniably the Queen of Summer; we have word she is sending envoy Silver King super sweet white to Vree's (Randolph) stand for the second week in a row. Silver King is not quite as sweet as bi-color, which pleases old-fashioned palates. Put some water on to boil, and in a few minutes you are done. Takes longer to husk than to cook. Also look for sweet corn at Flyte's (Coloma), Platt's (Oregon), and County Line Plants & Produce (DeForest).

Eric and Carrie Johnson of Jordandal Farms (Argyle), on the web at, have a lot of meats that can save your bacon (yes, pun is intended) when you are short on time. My favorites are the pork stew meat (chunks) and the pork fajita (strips), which are basically pieces that are trimmed off of larger cuts when they are neatened up for wrapping as roasts, chops, and the like. They’re incredibly convenient if you want to whip up a stir fry, fried rice, stew or chili, or egg rolls (one of my new favorites). Eric also told me that their hamburger patties are super-convenient because you can pop them apart and throw them on the grill frozen—you’ll get a nice sear on the outside and the inside won’t overcook. Try one of my favorite recipes: Pozole, a Mexican pork and hominy stew. All the ingredients are available now.

George and Marlene Platt of Prairie Farm Produce (Oregon) have great supplies for a quick summer meal. Sweet corn is the classic, but they also have gorgeous sweet red onions. Sliced into rings, tossed in olive oil, and cooked on the grill they are absolutely incredible.

Thae Yang (Madison) has long beans, which I had never seen before. You can use them much like other kinds of beans. Cutting them into sections and including them in a stir-fry would be a great way to use them, along with lots of other summer favorites. While you’re there, get some fresh lima beans, too. We’ve included a lima bean recipe just in case you can’t get over the childhood trauma of frozen lima beans.

The Mayrs of County Line Plants and Produce (De Forest) are also featuring a wide selection of the summer’s best offerings—sweet corn and tomatoes, including some great-looking Sun Golds. Round it out with garlic, cucumbers, summer squashes (including pattypan), and onions and you can get a whole meal right there. They’ve also got a large salsa pepper, which has great chile flavor without much heat. Great for salsa, but also for roasting or for stuffing.

I stopped in to say “hi” at Cory Murphy’s stall (Soldiers Grove)—I was curious what flavor of cheese curds was the best-seller. It’s the no-flavor-added variety, which some call plain, but when they’re that good, you can’t call them plain. And if you crave something wilder, they have jalapeño, garlic-dill, and onion-chive to enjoy, plus a great selection of delicious tea breads. And don’t forget their fresh cottage cheese, which makes a satisfying protein-rich snack for kids and adults.

Stop by the info booth for some free coffee and to chat with other market goers. This is a great time of year to exchange recipes.

See you Saturday,

Scott Lynch for the WCM


Summer Succotash

No sufferin’ here—just simple fresh flavors with cream and butter. I’d wager that most people don’t even know that it’s food, never mind the number who have actually tried it.

2 cups fresh lima beans (about 1 pound)
4 cups fresh corn cut from cob (about 6 ears)
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Cook lima beans in boiling salted water about 15 minutes or till almost tender; drain. Add corn, butter, whipping cream, salt, and pepper; mix well. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, 7 to 10 minutes, or until corn is done.
Makes 6 servings.

Corn and Basil Tart

1/3 cup butter, softened
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup half-and-half or light cream
1-1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears)
1/2 cup coarsely snipped fresh basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Chopped tomato and basil (optional)

1. For cornmeal crust, in medium bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Beat until combined. Beat in 1 egg until combined. Add in cornmeal and as much of the flour as you can with the mixer; stir in any remaining flour. Form dough into a disc and wrap in plastic. Chill 30 to 60 minutes or until easy to handle.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pat dough onto bottom and sides of 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Press evenly onto bottom and sides with a small glass (see note). Line pastry with double thickness of foil and bake 10 minutes; remove foil. Bake 4 to 6 minutes more.

3. Meanwhile, in medium bowl whisk together 2 eggs and half-and-half. Stir in corn, basil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Pour into pastry shell. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until set. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove sides of pan to serve. Sprinkle with tomato and additional basil. Makes 8 servings.

4. Note: To assure even baking, lightly press dough on bottom and up sides of the tart pan. Using the side of a small glass, roll the crust smooth on the bottom. Holding the glass upright gently press dough to the sides of the pan for a uniform edge.
from Better Homes and Gardens, August 2008

Pozole Verde

A hearty and refreshing soup or stew that is quite quick to make. The tomatillos give the dish a bright acid flavor that is very summery. You can use red chiles and tomato (in place of tomatillo) for a sweeter flavor, but if you mix red and green you will get a sort of dingy-looking dish (that will still taste great).

1 pound pork stew meat (could use any meat)
1 medium onion
2-3 cloves garlic
2-3 green chiles. seeds and ribs removed
5 tomatillos, de-husked and boiled for 8-10 minutes (find them at Natalie Ortega’s stall)
1 sprig each cilantro, fresh oregano and epazote (ask around at the herb growers, and if you can’t find it, just skip it)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Chicken stock or other broth—3 cups or so
1 28 oz can pozole blanco (white hominy)

Place onion, chiles, tomatillos, garlic, herbs, and some black pepper in the food processor and puree until smooth. In a hot pan, swirl in a bit of oil (or lard, if you want to be traditional) and sear the pork on all side—you’re not cooking it through, just putting some color on it. Remove from pan. Saute the green goo until it thickens and loses its raw green color. Add hominy and pork, then add chicken stock until it has the consistency you want (can be soup or stew). Simmer for about 20 minutes, taste, and adjust seasoning to your liking.
*depending on heat preference, use jalapenos, anaheims, or salsa peppers.


August 7, 2008    *Wow 'Em Here*

Westside Community Market • Saturdays, April 19 to November 8 • 7 am to 1 pm • Hill Farms DoT Building parking lot • Madison, Wis.

Hi Everyone,

We brought Scott’s mom with us to the Market last Saturday. She is from Massachusetts and always comes for a visit at the beginning of August just so she can come to Market. Not that they don’t have markets out East, just none as glorious as ours. If you heard a woman exclaiming “Wow!” about every 30 seconds and then snapping a picture, that was her. She kept saying, “I’ve never seen that!” And this from a woman who farmed for 30 years and is an amazing cook. That’s when I decided that the theme of this week’s Update would be “Innovation.”

Sometimes innovation comes in the form of changing packaging to enhance an already amazing product. Diana Murphy of Dreamfarm (Cross Plains) recently changed her label. The picture that graces the new label hung in her home as a child. The picture was passed on to her, and after an unsuccessful search for the artist, she decided to use the pastoral image on her labels. It is beautiful new packaging for her outstanding goat cheeses.

Stella’s Bakery (Madison) moved their stand to the western end of the row closest to the DOT building on the north side. This means you can grab your morning turnover or bag of spicy cheese bread and collapse directly on the grass and munch in bliss. Just as with produce, the offerings at Stella’s are always changing. If berries are fresh, they then appear in baked form at Stella’s. I am glad that Max's son-in-law and daughter, Brian and Judy Winzenried, have not branched out into radish danishes though!

The Bauman Family of Real Foods (Athens) have artichokes. This member of the thistle family is full of folate and grown more commonly in the Mediterranean region. Artichokes stay fresh for quite awhile after harvest and are completely delicious steamed or deep fried. It is a treat to have this somewhat exotic treat available in Wisconsin.

JenEhr Family Farm (Sun Prairie) is always on the cutting edge of innovation. In fact, their web site, even lists their Market GPS coordinates. The site offers a glimpse into daily life on an organic family farm and a glance at the ever-changing diversity of crops they grow. Responding to customer demand, JenEhr now sells chickens whole or cut up, packages of breasts with the bone in or packages of thighs. All are pastured and frozen solid for your convenience—no need to speed home afraid your meat will spoil in the car.

We reported recently that JenEhr takes credit cards, and now so does Jordandal Farms (Argyle). Jordandal co-owner Eric Johnson said people are deciding to purchase more per visit as a result. For you, one less excuse for running out of their beef, pork, bacon, or buttery-textured chickens mid-week.

Bell peppers, along with Round #2 of radishes, have begun. Many have been asking about hot peppers, as in chiles, and you could be the first to find them at WCM. If so, help Info Tent staff by telling them. Tomatoes, eggplant, summer squash, broccoli, onions and beets in good supply. As always, beef, elk, chicken and pork are available as well as eggs, dairy products and cheese. Blueberries and raspberries won’t be around for long. Similarly, baked goods don’t last long once they’re home (in our house anyway), so stock up on Potter’s crackers or bread from Madison Sourdough and Cameron’s Pastries and the other bakeries.

Corn should be in somewhat better supply this week, but, as with all produce, early birds get the most choice. Last week all three vendors with corn sold out by 10:30 am. Stop by the Info Tent for a cup of coffee with some Blue Marble half-and-half, but be aware that coffee normally runs out by about 11 am (that early bird thing again).

See you Saturday.

Jen Lynch for the WCM

P.S. The Market is lucky to have, count 'em, three musical acts stopping in on Saturday: Starting 9 am listen for an encore by Middleton Sinfonia, composed this time of violinists Naomi Hasan (also coordinates), Heather CouchCameron, and Jamie Puffer; violist Diana Eiler; and cellist Ben Eiler. The inimitable Dr. Eric Heiligenstein will be back for a bluesy spell. And Moldy Jam contra musicians have vowed to return at 10 am.

Recipe Corner

Potato Roesti

This recipe of courtesy of Bruce Workman of Edelweiss Creamery. We were just chatting on Saturday and this wonderful recipe was shared. Talking to the vendors at WCM is always a good way to learn something new.

1 pound potatoes, chilled, shredded (use a cheese grater), and rinsed
1/4 pound onions, shredded
1 cup shredded cheese (Fondue Blend from Edelweiss Creamery)
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine potatoes and onions in a tea towel. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the mixture. In a large mixing bowl, combine this mixture with the oil and cheese and divide into four equal parts.

In a 10-inch non-stick saute pan melt 1/2 a tablespoon of butter. Season one part of potato mixture with salt and pepper and spread into a thin layer in the pan. Brown (without stirring—you’re going for a pancake here) for 5 to 7 minutes. Invert the roesti onto pan lid or plate and remove pan from heat. Add additional 1/2 tablespoon of butter to the preheated pan. Slide roesti into pan raw side down and brown for an additional 5 to 7 minutes. Repeat with other three batches of potato mixture. Serves 4

Beet Salad with Goat Cheese

4 medium beets - scrubbed, trimmed and cut in half
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
3 tablespoons maple syrup
10 oz lettuce or salad mix
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces goat cheese

1. Place beets into a saucepan, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender. Drain and cool, then cut in to cubes.
2. While the beets are cooking, place the walnuts in a skillet over medium-low heat. Heat until warm and starting to toast, then stir in the maple syrup. Cook and stir until evenly coated, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice concentrate, balsamic vinegar and olive oil to make the dressing.
4. Place a large helping of greens onto each of four salad plates, divide candied walnuts equally and sprinkle over the greens. Place equal amounts of beets over the greens, and top with dabs of goat cheese. Drizzle each plate with some of the dressing.
Serves 4