Growing Washington

This is It! Market Opens Thursday

If you're at a moment in time where you find yourself saying, "Tell me something good," I'm delighted to come through. Because, hot diggety, folks, the Market opens tomorrow, Thursday, May 17th!

[Photo by  Luca Upper  on  Unsplash

[Photo by Luca Upper on Unsplash

If you're on the mailing list, you've gotten all excited by the "vendor reveal," full of old friends and new:

A thrilling combo of favorites and new temptations!

A thrilling combo of favorites and new temptations!

I always kick off the season with a personal shopping list, so feel free to print this out if you find yourself craving the same things:

  • Greens, greens, greens! Spinach, beet greens, chard, what-have-you. It's hard to think of a food that's more universally recommended as good for you, and I've landed on the ways all members of my family will eat them. In smoothies. In salads with very flavored dressings. Sauteed into a potato-onion hash.
  • Jam. Now that my mother-in-law can no longer make her homemade strawberry freezer jam and we've run through the jars of jam other jammers have bestowed on us, we are desperate for some Market jam. Made with that good Washington fruit. You might have noticed that, just as storebought fruit pies are terrible--almost all crust and goo-- storebought jams never taste anything like summer in a jar. We love Growing Washington's raspberry jam, so this year I'll stock up and give some other flavors a go.
  • Asparagus. You haven't had asparagus till you've had local. Nutty, fresh.
  • Meat and tuna. We're down to one can of Fishing Vessel St. Jude's, and it's not even my new favorite, Jalapeno. And, as for meat, it'll be nice to have more cuts and offerings of pastured meat available than I can find in the grocery store.
  • Plant starts? Can't remember if these are around the first week, but my youngest, who is our little farmer, has promised to plant and tend an herb garden for me again this summer, if I buy her the starts.
  • Peas. Nothing says spring like peas! Raw or steamed or in a stir-fry. Never met a pea I didn't like.
[Photo by  Jessica Ruscello  on  Unsplash

And while we gather these goodies, I'm sure we'll be grabbing a snack. Always so hard to choose at the beginning of the season! An old favorite, like Veraci Pizza or a bao from The Box? Will it be warm enough for ice cream? Or should we try something altogether new?

See everyone this Thursday! Same Bat time (3-7pm), same Bat place (parking lot of Bellevue Presbyterian Church)!

Strawberry FOMO and Market Consolations

Did you arrive at the Market last week to this sign?


Yeah, me too. I knew 4:15 p.m. was going to be too late to catch the very first local strawberries of the season, but it was still a blow. This week I plan to get there at opening. And won't it be nice when we reach the part of the season (approaching rapidly) when there are multiple berry farmers with different varieties and we don't have to view our fellow marketgoers as adversaries?

Of course there were consolations for missing the first strawberries. For one thing, Alvarez Organic Farms had the sweetest, crunchiest sugar snap peas, which we've been eating raw in salad or steamed all week. Just try them with a little homemade Green Goddess Dressing!

Green Goddess Dressing

(from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone)

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp tarragon or cider vinegar
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 Tbsp chopped chives or scallion
1-1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon (or 3/4 tsp dried)
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1/4 tsp salt
Mix everything in a blender until smooth and pale green. You can add a couple tablespoons of water to thin, or leave it thicker and "dip-like."

Other consolations? Well, Martin Family Orchard brought a new batch of Fuji apples and Anjou pears out of cold storage, and they are the best we've had since last fall! I bought a bag of each, but I think I'm going to need another two bags this week to tide us over because it's all downhill on apples and pears until the next crop this fall.

And then, given the heat last week and the line at Seattle Pops (where we bought our treat the week before), we opted for a Shave Ice from new vendor La Panaderia.

La Panaderia by

La Panaderia by

I'd put the ice consistence as in between shaved ice and a snow cone

I'd put the ice consistence as in between shaved ice and a snow cone

The proof is in the punch--or the genuine fruit puree and juice, I should say

The proof is in the punch--or the genuine fruit puree and juice, I should say

Not only was the Mango shave ice luscious and refreshing, but La Panaderia also offers giant lemon, cinnamon and orange cookies and tamales. Wowza. They hope to earn money to open a brick-and-mortar store in Seattle, possibly near the Olympic Sculpture Park, so I hope we'll all take one for the team and sample the goods this season.

Don't miss out this week on strawberries or other goodies! Hit the Market this week early and often.