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Last Farmers Market of the Season!

From Attitude of Gratitude website

Thanksgiving approacheth, and it's worthwhile to remember our causes for gratitude, as I sit typing this with dinner unmade and my 7th grader in tears beside me over her math. I am grateful for free public education. I am grateful that, prepared or not, there will eventually be food on the table. I am grateful for a three-day week next week, followed by family time and the tastiest meal of the year, in my humble opinion.

For the umpteenth annual time, we can pledge to eat at least one local food at Thanksgiving. Piece of cake, considering the riches of our local produce. Last Saturday at the Bellevue Farmers Market, I found different potato varieties, brussels sprouts, winter squash, apples for pie, cheese for the cheese plate, bread to cube into stuffing, fresh parsley--even first-course soups! Eating local captures the original Thanksgiving spirit, when shipping exotic viands thousands of miles was simply not an option. Eat what you could find or whatever had been put by earlier, throw in your lot with your friends and neighbors, and give thanks.

Enjoy the following links to some of my favorite seasonal recipes:

Elena's delicious Butternut-Squash-Apple Soup. I made this the other day with squash I'd already roasted. So easy and happens to be vegan, if one of your guests is!

Cook's Illustrated Green Bean Casserole. I love this dish in any form, even the open-a-can-of-cream-of-mushroom kind, but this one is over-the-top yummy.

If you don't do mashed potatoes, try this simple Gratin Dauphinois from Cooking Light. (I do substitute whole milk for the nonfat business.)

And, a repeat from an earlier post, the dinner rolls I make ahead and freeze every Thanksgiving and Christmas, adapted from Betty Crocker's Best Christmas Cookbook.

Besides grabbing your feast fixings, be sure to stock up for the long dry spell. Loki Fish offers a discount when you buy 10 lbs, so I'll be loading up on Sockeye filets. If you have a favorite sausage or other meat from Olsen Farms or Samish Bay, now's the time. Artisan bread from Ble or Snohomish Bakery freezes beautifully. Depending on how I plan to serve it, I either slice and freeze (for sandwiches) or throw it in whole.

And if you've managed to dodge hosting Thanksgiving or Christmas, hostess gifts abound at the Market. I've shown up with Jonboy caramels, Pete's Perfect Butter Toffee or a jar of Handmade by Rome jam--the fig with vanilla is fabulous on a cheese tray.

My blog will continue weekly during the off-season, but this Saturday will be our last chance to run into each other live and in person! See you at the Market.

First the Bad News

Okay, I've just polished off lunch, my favorite-sandwich-du-jour (roast beef with cucumbers and Ladysmith with Chives on whole wheat) and a Bosc pear, and it's time to deliver the bad news: this is the last Thursday Market of the Season! Who knows where the time went, but it's true. This Thursday, October 14, from 3-7. Don't miss it!

In the balance, I also have good news for you this week:

  1. Saturday Bellevue Farmers Markets continue until the Saturday before Thanksgiving. That means you can still stock your feast with local potatoes, carrots, brussels sprouts, and so on. And your Skagit River Ranch turkey, if you remembered to pre-order.
  2. We'll still have meat, chicken, and eggs on Saturday. Sky Valley pastures their Rhode Island Reds, White Barred Rocks, and various cross-breeds on organic pasture where possible--clovers, dandelions and glorious bugs! They supplement this diet with organic local grains, depending on availability. Good stuff.
  3. If you haven't tasted the fresh cider from Johnson Orchards, now is the time. Their apple mixture varies by week, but it's always guaranteed delicious. Last Saturday's offering blended Jonathan, Jonagold, Elstar, Empire, and Standard Delicious apples, and around my house we've been portioning it out in precious sips because I came too late to buy the bigger bottle.
  4. Autumn Martin of Hotcakes has added apple-cardamom-ginger pocket pies to the range of offerings. If you were lucky (and informed) enough to attend the recent "Mobile Chowdown" at Quest Field, you know these pocket pies went like--well--hotcakes at the event, as did the ever-popular molten-chocolate cakes regularly available.
  5. And my final bit of exciting news, Elizabeth Tasche of Blé not only makes a mean loaf of whole-wheat bread that goes wonderfully with Golden Glen's butter-garlic-sea-salt-parsley spread, but she's also a children's book author! Her work Mimi's Shoes is available exclusively at J. Crew's Crew Cuts store and online. Food for the body and food for thought. Enjoy.

See everyone on this last Thursday and then on Saturdays thereafter!