Niño Blanco

Thursday = The Smoke Leaving, at Last

This Thursday brings a double helping of rejoicing, if the meteorologists are correct and if you've been one of the millions of people trying to decide if it's better to die in your house of heat stroke or to open a window and die of smoke inhalation. (We broke down and went for smoke inhalation. But we tried to buy ourselves more time by doing the build-your-own-air-filter, buying the last four smoke-filtering air 16x20x1 air filters at Home Depot.)

[Photo by  Jaroslav Devia  on  Unsplash ]

[Photo by Jaroslav Devia on Unsplash]

At least we were able to provide some Schadenfreude for the rest of the country, to the tune of, we may have to deal with humidity/crazy temperatures/hurricanes/thunderstorms, but at least we can breathe our air. Not to mention how Beijing must feel: See? You try to put on an Olympics with air like that!

No. Thursday our blue skies will begin to put in an appearance, and I doubt a single complaint about the temperature dropping to 70F will be heard anywhere in the region. And where better to rejoice than at the Market?

All that smoke in our lungs makes us yearn for something crisp and healthy.


Or how about...


Bring it.

Have you noticed it's tomato time? And temps in the 70s mean you could even have a warm tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich and salad for a perfect meal. And don't forget your homemade pico de gallo with Niño Blanco tortilla chips!

See everyone tomorrow, mask-free and breathing more easily.



What's in Your Basket?

If you're a regular at the Market, you know you run into the same faces a lot. Since my youngest and I have been coming like clockwork for years, we've passed through the adolescent stage where she said, "Oh, no! There's that person from school!" to where she can actually smile and say hello without the asphalt cracking open and swallowing her, mortification and all.

So, if you're not a mortified adolescent, you've begun to enjoy running into friends and acquaintances and asking them, "What's in your basket?"

Our greatest discovery of last week: 


Yes, I'd had Niño Blanco's excellent fresh salsas (their pico de gallo is the best I've had, outside of our homemade, Deborah-Madison-recipe version, which we can't make till my husband's tomatoes come in, in August), but I'd never even noticed the chips until a friend said they were the best, and they bought them every week. We took their recommendation and bought our first bag.

There is no going back.

For one thing, they're organic, and, for the same price or less ($4 for 14 ozs), they taste so much better than any organic tortilla chips at the store. They're crisp, flavorful, perfectly salted. The only problem is, they taste so much better that we ate the whole bag in less than a quarter of the usual time. Especially because we paired it with fresh pico. Yowza. That still won't stop me from getting another bag this week.

Those same friends also hit up the gluten-free baker, but, as we are blessedly gluten-tolerant in our house, I passed on trying it this time and will have to report back later. Nevertheless, a pic for you:


Then there were the friends who raved about the "yellow beans" at Alvarez Organic Farms. Frustratingly, I totally forgot to take a picture or even get the beans' real name, but the testimony is, "The beans are so flavorful and hold their shape well and puff up nicely in soup." They also cook up as quickly (for beans) as black beans--maybe an hour or two on the stove. 

I did make a new acquaintance last week, a mushroom-lover hovering by new farmers Skagit Mushroom Company.


These fellows from Mount Vernon farm various mushroom varieties, including Shiitake and these ruffly kind, which my new acquaintance sautés in butter. I don't happen to have mushroom-lovers in the house, so we opted for the darling quail eggs.

Check out these miniature fried eggs!

Check out these miniature fried eggs!

I've discovered quail eggs make excellent fried egg "sliders" and leave you with this decadent little recipe:

Quail-Egg Huevo Ranchero "Sliders"

2 quail eggs
2  Niño Blanco tortilla chips
2 spoonfuls Niño Blanco pico de gallo
Fry the baby eggs in butter. Put one fried egg on one tortilla chip and top with one spoonful of pico. (Makes 2.)