Youngquist Farms

Feed Your Cravings for Fresh

SugarTime, and the living's easy

Whew. Now that we got that 4th of July holiday out of the way, we can get back to our Thursday/Saturday Bellevue Farmers Market pattern, and everything's just peachy. Speaking of which, with the holiday last week and Collins not being able to take credit cards on Saturday, I've had to go peach-free. It has been a true first-world problem, and one I plan to remedy this week. I'd be interested if anyone has ever tried those recipes you see every summer for grilled peaches? We haven't yet, but I bet it'd be good with this:

Yes, sir--raspberry syrup, for which the only ingredients on the label are "raspberry puree" and "sugar." Just try finding that in the store! I had to get some while I was picking up my half-flat of strawberries because, a few summers ago, in the cafe of the Orsay Museum in Paris, I had a "raspberry juice" that was basically sweetened puree. Oh my goodness. It rivaled anything hanging on the walls of the museum for pure wonderfulness. I have high, high hopes that this syrup will take me back. So if you see me sucking it down straight from the bottle, you'll understand.

The strawberries weren't bad either. Forgive me if I can't remember if I bought Hayton or Youngquist on Saturday--I've bought from both before, and I want to announce that SUGAR BOMB SEASON HAS OFFICIALLY OPENED. You know what I mean. The season of tiny strawberries that just explode in your mouth with sweetness and flavor. Get 'em while they last.

After you've had your fill of fruits, it's time to hit the vegetables. I've spotted snow peas now--perfect for stir fries:

You can even throw in some bamboo shoots from Rockridge (ask Wade how to prepare them):

Feed your inner panda

Those cucumbers on the right would make a great Asian Marinated Cucumber Salad to go on the side on a hot day. My mom slices them thin and drizzles them with a mix of soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and sugar. Delicious.

Summer is the season of fresh, so put down the can of cream of mushroom soup or Trader Joe's curry sauce. Get out of the drive-thru line and treat your family to some real, fresh food.

Summer is Here--No, Seriously

The Chelans!

Yes, indeedy. Clouds and gloom notwithstanding, we know summer is nearly upon us by the fruits beginning to roll in. Last week I picked up this tasty, earliest cherry variety from Robbie at Collins Family Orchard of Selah, Washington. He expects the first Rainiers this week and his personal favorites, Titans, in early July. For those not quite ready to let go of the fall-winter feeling, Robbie has plenty of Pink Lady apples which still crunch satisfyingly.

The man himself

Strawberries appeared in greater number, provided by Youngquist Farms, Hayton Farms, and Alm Hill. My pint container lasted exactly five minutes once I got home, so it looks like a half-flat will be in order this week.

In the vegetable department, the perfect sugar snap peas continue. We eat these raw with our Homemade Ranch Dressing, steamed with sesame oil, or added to stir-fries.
And Kai at Hedlin Farms was selling little bags of baby artichokes last week! If they're still there this week I plan to get some, having run home to consult my favorite vegetarian cookbook, Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. She suggests a simple Baby-Artichoke-and-Scallion Saute, a recipe this blogger did a post on.

Get a napkin, 'cause you're gonna drool reading this

For those of you who eat your way through the Market, I made my first visit of the season to Crepes and sampled their seasonal savory bestseller, the Copper River Salmon Crepe with Caramelized Onions and Creme Fraiche. Uh huh. (Only around for another week or two!) And washed it all down with their "mojito-style sweet tea," a minty-citrusy, refreshing concoction that Marketgoers swig rain or shine. If sweets are more your thing, Crepes' bestselling sweet offering is the Salted Caramel with Bananas, Almonds & Whipped Cream.

Not that the crepe stopped me from swinging by The Box again. I wanted to try the Mini Bagel Burger that I couldn't get my kids to order last week. De-li-cious. And at its modest slider size and price, you still have plenty of stomach and wallet to head over to the next stand.

With all the wonders of the new Market season, I haven't been able to keep you up to date on the latest food-horror books I've been reading, but I'll have a doozy for you soon. It's Barry Estabrook's Tomatoland, and, suffice to say, when my family is on the East Coast this fall for a little vacation, I'm not letting anyone eat the Florida-grown tomatoes. Be thankful we're on the West Coast, and we have lovely tomato options.

Speaking of lovely tomato options, Tina at Big Spoon Jam recommended her Golden Tomato & Citrus Marmalade when I asked what would be great on cheese and crackers to serve at book club. She was right. Piquant and very tasty. Tina says it's also her most local current offering, having been torturously and lovingly made with all those teeny, fiddly, local golden tomatoes.

So get thee to the Market this week! Pick up some old favorites and try something new.