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.

Last Market of the Season!

Stolen from someone's blog because they have better presentation

It's that time, folks. Time not only to pull out all the food stops for Thanksgiving, but also to stock up for the long, Market-less winter. Tiny's Organic had a helpful retweet this week on market produce that will keep and how to keep it, from old standbys like squash and potatoes to cabbage and cauliflower!

On my to-do list this week: make homemade rolls to stick in the freezer and fresh cranberry sauce. (Have to--ick!--buy a can as well, for my stepfather, 'cause it ain't cranberry sauce unless it has rings in the side and can be sliced.) Other than those items, I hope to eat local this Thanksgiving. Have you taken the Pledge yet? Puget Sound Fresh has aimed really low, and only asks that you purchase one teensy item locally, so with my Skagit River Ranch turkey, I'm already good to go. The brussels sprouts and potatoes I buy this Saturday are pure frosting. As are any pie pumpkins from Hedlin Farms.

Stumbled upon two luscious things this week that I want to share with you, as well. The first was the Braeburn caramel apples at Jonboy. You have not had a caramel apple until you've had one of these suckers. I had to share it with my daughters (the boy, thankfully, didn't want any), and the 7-yr-old even caught me later in the kitchen sucking every last milligram of caramel off the eaten-down core. Sigh. I can only hope there'll be more this Saturday...

My other tidbit was an appetizer I invented. Usually I'm a recipe modifier, but this one is my own brainstorm: Ladysmith Cheese with Slivered Prunes. Uh huh. Take one slice of Samish Bay's Ladysmith cheese (plain or flavored) and top it with a sliver of those canned pitted prunes. Mmmmm...Getting your fiber never tasted so good. Cracker optional.

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Starting next week, the UrbanFarmJunkie goes into off-season mode, meaning I'll be bringing you the latest nutrition and food news I've garnered from trolling cyberspace. Stay tuned.