shopping list

Get Your Thanksgiving On -- Only Two Markets Left!

Has it been driving you nuts, all the Christmas ads playing already? As a major Thanksgiving fan, I don't need the stress of worrying about Christmas this early. Let's take our holidays in order, people. Which means I should acknowledge Veterans Day before I get on with this post.

Thank you, veterans. May you be celebrated with a home-cooked meal today, which in no way makes up for your service, but it's more than lots of folks get, nowadays.

If you don't happen to have any veterans in your life, here are a couple books I've recently devoured about our soldiers (and the hardships they've faced!):

Now onward to Thanksgiving. With only two Markets left, we have to plan ahead. So this would be the week to buy your usual favorite items, as well as ingredients for a couple make-ahead side dishes. Since we'll be headed over the Pass to see my in-laws, I'm in charge of several side dishes and hope to put a couple in the freezer this weekend: rolls, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce (which keeps forever in the fridge), and possibly the base for butternut squash casserole.

If you've been invited to a friend's and only have to bring beverages, consider some fresh cider from Martin Family Orchards, or a bottle of Washington wine. And don't forget that hostess gift! Maybe some toffee or a pie? Definitely flowers.

Here--I've made your shopping list for you:

apples (I might just get a whole box. The ones in the store are so not crisp.)

pumpkin (for the daring among you. I imagine you could whack it in half and cook it on LOW in the slow cooker, just like I do for butternut squash. Super easy.)

winter squash

green beans

onions

cranberries (hoping we'll see Bloom Creek...)

wine

cider

baked goods (if you don't like to make your own rolls or pies. Buy now and freeze.)

eggs (I'm getting a couple dozen, at least. Eggs keep forever in the fridge, although we blow through them at our house. I'll miss those thicker egg whites all winter!)

And with all the preparing for Thanksgiving, you might be too tired to make your own dinner, in which case I recommend some of the delicious prepared food. See everyone Saturday!

Your Opening Day Shopping List!

Fresh Vegetable love, baby!

Glory hallelujah, it's finally Opening Week for the Bellevue Farmers Market! Imagine when, on Monday afternoon, I saw Market Director Lori Taylor's startling update on Facebook: "Lori Taylor is at the Bellevue Farmers Market." Say what? What was she doing there, when she'd told all of us that Opening Day was Thursday, May  10, from 3-7 p.m. in the parking lot of First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue! I think a time machine must have been involved to get her there, but I'll chalk it up to the vagaries of technology. Have no fear, Marketgoers, we haven't missed Opening Day.

What better way to celebrate the start of the fresh-and-local season, but with a recipe and a shopping list? I discovered this one for homemade Ranch Dressing, the perfect thing to dunk fresh vegetables into, or to slather on your bazillion kinds of picked-that-morning lettuce:

Bellevue Farmers Market Crudite Platter with Homemade Ranch Dressing
(Some of the vegetables below can be eaten raw or lightly cooked, depending on how you like them)

Broccoli
Cauliflower
Sugar Snap Peas (if we're lucky)
Radishes
Asparagus (definitely pre-cook)
Beets (ditto)
Parsnips (ditto)
Rutabaga (ditto)
Carrots
Jerusalem artichokes
A variety of lettuces!
Halves of hard-boiled eggs

Slightly-adapted Ranch Dip/Dressing (see the link for the original; Market ingredients marked with an *):

1 small clove garlic, minced*
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I prefer one without soybean oil)
1/4 cup sour cream (full-fat sour cream contains fewer bizarre ingredients)
2 Tbsp Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, minced*
1 Tbsp fresh dill, minced, or 1 tsp dried
1/2 Tbsp minced fresh chives*
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1/8 teaspoon paprika
Dash cayenne pepper
Dash hot sauce

Mash garlic with salt. Add to rest of ingredients. Thin with milk or buttermilk to desired consistency. (For a dip, I didn't thin it at all. Chill it for a couple hours to blend flavors.
Delicious. Serve up your platter with an omelet of farm-fresh eggs* or a grilled steak* or salmon.* Throw in a loaf of artisan-baked bread* spread with specialty butter.* Finish off with a lovingly-baked pie*! You can't go wrong. And if, somehow, this menu didn't appeal to you, remember there's plenty, plenty more at the Market, including prepared foods. And you gardeners remember--there'll be plant starts on offer.
See you all Thursday, and let the good life begin!