Five Reasons to Hit the Market Before It's Over for the Season

Only two Markets left for the 2016 season, and they'll be held, rain or shine. In fact, the only time I can remember the Market being cancelled was that one Saturday Market with the huge gusty winds which blew canopies away, turning them into projectile missiles... As the sun and pleasant temperatures give way to that monoseason which lasts from October to July, I thought you might need a little motivating to get out there two more times:

ONE: The apple pie contest was moved to this week, October 20! It's not too late to turn out and have your mouth water while you look on.


TWO: It's time to stock up. Last year I experimented with "cold storage" for apples. I put a cooler outside and put a couple bags in and then just ate them at a regular rate. Worked just fine. This frees up refrigerator space for the bags of pears and Asian pears! Potatoes also keep fine in the fridge, and we let squash go all winter just sitting on the floor in the pantry.

THREE: Disaster preparedness! In our home I've been assigned gathering canned/boxed food in case of The Big One. Clearly last Saturday's storm was not The Big One, which means it's still out there. If this nameless disaster were to hit today, based on the current pantry ingredients, my family would be thrown back on lots of tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, tuna, a can of coconut milk, and some strange parsley sauce that was on clearance at QFC. Our Market offers tuna, of course, in more flavors and varieties than the grocery store, as well as pickled foods in jars, beef and tuna jerky, jams and honey, and beverages. Because if the power is going to be out or you've been pinned under a fallen bookcase, you might as well live a little.


FOUR and FIVE and FIVE-POINT-FIVE: Because walking and vegetables and wine will improve your health. Read a great book this week, which I'll write more about later, but the author's main point was that "healthy habits matter more than weight." And, according to author Sandra Aamodt, "four health habits predict much of the risk of dying over the next fourteen years, regardless of weight." These silver bullets are: (1) not smoking; (2) exercising at least twelve times a month; (3) eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day; and (4) light to moderate drinking. The Market can't help you with your smoking habit, but walking the stalls can be part of your exercising, and there are fruits, vegetables, and wine bottles galore. (FYI, "light to moderate drinking" was defined as a glass of wine per day for women and two glasses for men.)

So you see, I've turned the last couple weeks of the Market into a life-or-death situation for you. So please--choose life!

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Somebody stole summer. I don't think I was alone in imagining (unrealistically, but nevertheless) that the sun and warmth would last till October 1.

But no.

The clouds have returned, and I am thinking of trying to interest Tim Eyman in backing an initiative for a High-Pressure Tax. That is, all of us Washington taxpayers pony up to construct an enormous contraption that raises air pressure over the state and blows all the clouds and crud into Canada and Oregon, where they will be better appreciated.

Call me a genius, but I'm picturing something like this

In the meantime, I shivered my way through the Saturday Market for the first time last week and made some discoveries worth sharing.

This poor woman was selling ice cream sandwiches. I've been a sucker for ice cream sandwiches from the first It's It and cheap 7-11 Neapolitan versions of my childhood, but not on days when my hand would turn blue as I held the thing, and drizzle drizzled into it. However, I tuck this info nugget away because the day will surely come when the sun beats down again, and my only fear will be if I can finish it before it melts.

Artificial warmth could be had, however. If you haven't noticed, the number of wine and cider vendors at our Markets has increased, and they're offering samples! I noticed Eaglemount, a near neighbor of last year's Finnriver, had quite the array of hard ciders.

Beautifully bottled--great hostess gift!

I would have stopped to sample, but that too will have to wait for another day, because I was drawn irresistibly to the vendor right beside Eaglemount, lured by the savory, luscious, sausage-and-garlic scent.

The WiseGuy was indeed wise, to whip up such a batch of hot, aromatic yumminess on such a cold day. What better than a meatball sandwich wrapped in nothing but some foil and a napkin? It was a combination lunch/handwarmer!

First he stirred up the goods...

and then he jammed it inside a baguette, the innards of which had already been pressed down to the bottom by a special, baguette-rammer device. Amazing. I think we are witnessing the cool-weather equivalent to the invention of the ice cream cone. Yes, I did still manage to drop some down my front, but nothing that a little cold water and soap couldn't get off. And it was SO worth it.

Once my stomach was full and my hands were warm, I was then able to stop and smell the peonies (and daisies and other flowers).

And to linger over the

and the

Confession: this pic is from Thursday, but you know what I mean.

No matter the weather, this Thursday and Saturday the Market offerings can warm your insides or cool your fevered brow. We may even come to be grateful for the meteorological variations, for allowing us to try everything the Markets have to offer!