Next to Last

If you’ve been waiting to pick out the best Halloween pumpkin, this is your weekend!  Country Bloomers lines them up for your inspection and easy selection.  They’ve brought a few warty ones; check out Countyline Produce for even stranger pumpkins that make us wonder what’s going on out there in the squash patch.

Chef Kevin Appleton from Vom Fass will be with us one last time this season beginning at 9:30 am; he’ll stroll the market to choose ingredients for his signature recipes. Don’t miss this chance to talk foodie with the Chef and sample his creativity.

Some vendors offer you the chance to pick your own brussel sprouts from fat stalks like these at Real Foods. (Other vendors have them nicely packaged in grab and go bags if you prefer.)  Here’s the link to that honey mustard glazed roasted brussel sprouts recipe from Edible Madison magazine in case you missed it a few weeks ago.

Have you tried kale chips yet?  Even the most kale resistant  people will love them…really!  I give my bundle of kale–and other organic greens–a dip in a sink full of salted water to remove any wee beasties, then dry and tear into pieces.  (Remove the stem of course; it’s good chopped and sauteed later.)  A light spray of cooking oil or a toss with a tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with crunchy salt and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  I put parchment paper on the baking sheet because I’m a busy(lazy) cook.  (Also, my baking sheets are decades old and now look like something I couldn’t put under the dog’s dish without camouflage.)

You certainly could use a seasoned salt–I tried a batch with garlic and celery salt…yum.  I saw 4 ounce bags of kale chips for $6.79 at one swanky grocery store this week.  Shameful, given how inexpensive kale is at all the veggie vendors right now.  (Sandy at Dolci’s Italian American Sweets brags that her convection oven finishes kale chips in 10 minutes.)

Black Earth Valley gets bragging rights for this beautiful celery with stalks big enough to stuff with cheese from Edelweiss, Schroeder’s or Dreamfarm.  (This is will be Dreamfarm’s last market day, so be sure to visit the stand one more time.  Dreamfarm cheeses can be found at Willy Street co op, east and west, through November; after that, you can add Diana’s goat cheese to your spring anticipation list.)  Or you could make a celery-scooping dip with cottage cheese from Murphy’s or Sugar River Greek style yogurt.

Don’t forget to stop by Dolci’s, Stella’s, Madison Sourdough, or Honey Bee Bakery and ask which which of their sweet treats freeze well.  You’ve got some freezer space for goodies between Vivian Green’s cider and Wetherby cranberries.

One of the topics in spring bird chatter is the housing shortage; stash a few of these gourds in the basement, and they’ll be dry enough for making bird condos by the time you feel a rush of cabin fever crafting.

This is the next to last Westside Community Market for 2011 at the Sheboygan and Segoe site; several WCM vendors will be at the new MadWest Market inside the Lussier  Community Education Center, 55 S. Gammon Rd.  More details about that in next week’s newsletter and a definitive list  of where to find your favorite vendor during the winter months.  Meanwhile, do take a minute and ask the management of your regular grocery store to carry your favorite vendor products.  Create a little buzz and encourage them to support your local foodshed.

Dolci’s Italian American Sweets are also available at:

Fraboni’s, both the Monona and Regent St. locations; Gino’s Deli on Verona Rd; & Metcalfe’s.  Sandy also takes special orders: call her at 241.5445

Jordandal (link  for upcoming events) is also available at: Dane County Farmer’s Market, (Monona Terrace and the Senior Center); Metcalfe’s; Hy-Vee; and the new MadWest Winter Farmer’s Market.

Making a Meal of the Issues?

The New York Times reports on another way to get fat on Wall Street  here.

Emily Dickinson fans probably know all about her baking talent.  NPR blog, The Salt, story here.

Did we have to have the British tell us  it’s the deep fat fryer that gets us into trouble, not the potato?  BBC story here.

There’s a lovely audio essay from poet Katharine Jagoe and Wisconsin Life called “Fall Leaves” that you absolutely shouldn’t miss.  Listen here and let the words lift you up where you belong.

Recipes!

Several of us having been working on Flyte Family Farm’s pinto bean flour recipes.   We have developed some great ones…so many that I’ll put them in a special blog post soon.  Meanwhile, you’ve still got time to have yours included : send to  cravingsymmetry@yahoo.com.  (Or any other recipes using vendor products that you want to share.)  The pinto bean flour sold out quickly last week…hurry!

Sandy Hunter  (Dolci) sent in these recipes…and another… sweet potato pancakes… that will be in the blog posting

GOAT CHEESE AND BEET RAVIOLI 8 servings

For the Filling:

6 to 8 ounces beets, scrubbed

¼ cup fresh goat cheese (choice of your flavor) (Dreamfarm)

1 small egg lightly beaten

1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2-3 tablespoons finely chopped leeks (Happy Valley)

1 minced garlic clove

Salt and ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.   Wrap the beets in heavy-duty aluminum foil, place in a shallow pan, and roast until fork-tender, 45 minutes. Remove and let cool. Peel the beet, cut it into small chunks, and puree in food processor along with the goat cheese, egg and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble the ravioli:

Beet Filling

1 pound Wonton Wrappers (or RP’s pasta sheets)

Brush the edges of wonton wrapper with water and spoon 1 tablespoon beet filling into the middle .  Place another wonton wrapper on top of filling then; press the edges lightly together with a fork.  Set aside.  Repeat with remaining wonton wrappers.  NOTE: to make smaller ravioli’s — brush edges of one wonton and spoon a little less than 1 T beet filling in its middle then, fold the wonton in half making a half circle; pressing the edges lightly together with a fork.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the ravioli, quickly return to a boil, and cook until tender yet firm, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving the pasta water.

1/3 cup fresh tarragon leaves coarsely chopped

1/2 cup unsalted butter cut into 8 equal pieces

Just before the pasta is done, ladle 1 cup pasta water into a large sauté pan. Add the chopped tarragon and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the butter, one piece at a time, whisking until melted before adding the next piece. Continue until the butter is mixed well together making a creamy sauce.  Slide the drained ravioli into the warm sauce. Toss gently into the sauce, adding more pasta water if needed.


FRIED APPLE PANCAKE RINGS 4 servings

To make hot apple cider syrup:

2-3 cups Apple cider

1 Tablespoon Lemon juice and 1 Teaspoon Lemon zest

½ Teaspoon Cinnamon

Stir apple cider, lemon juice, zest, and cinnamon in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the liquid by half, to a syrup consistency.

1 Cup Bisquick Baking Mix

1 Egg

1/2 Cup Milk

1 Teaspoon cinnamon

Zest of 1/2 Lemon

Beat baking mix, egg and milk until smooth. Add cinnamon and lemon zest to batter mixing well.

2 Medium (unpeeled) Apples, core & cut apples crosswise in 1/8-inch slices

Using a toothpick dip slices into batter. Cook on hot griddle until golden brown, turning once. Serve hot with apple cider syrup.

Web Extras!

Try a  borscht recipe from Kitchen Gardeners International to use some of the beautiful market beets.  While we’re thinking of beet soups, here’s the link to a charming cooking series on You Tube called Feed Me Bubbe.  Bubbe is not at all like my grandmother(s) and somehow exactly the same.  After a long day in the hard old world, it would be so nice to sit at Bubbe’s kitchen table…  I bet you will like her too.

The Splendid Table features two soup and two dessert recipes here.

Want another bit of advice about perfecting a cup of coffee?  The Serious Eats blog wonders about cleaning coffee filters here. The paper ones.  Yes.

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