Celery loves rain, a black-dirt country farmer once told me. It stuck. And so when it rains, as it has relentlessly the last few days, I always make sure to buy lots of celery at the market. It's always so much more flavorful than supermarket celery.
4E Farm has some lovely, crunchy bunches of celery this week and what's great about buying celery at farmers markets is that it comes with leaves attached. Do not discard those leaves under any circumstances! They are extremely aromatic and can be used as a substitute for parsley in most recipes, or pureed into your favorite soups for added flavor or tucked into tabbouleh. Stuff them in your chicken or your whole fish.
Find out everything you need to know about celery leaves and how to use them here. And of course, make celery soup with the stalks. Enjoy with some 123 Dough sourdough bread. And save some celery to make mirepoix (carrots, onions and celery finely chopped, then sweated). Also known as the “holy trinity,” mirepoix is the aromatic base of almost every classic French stew or soup recipe.
What does Sam Alicia, farm manager at Fresh Meadow Farm do on a rainy fall day?
“To be honest the cold rain is giving me a day to luxuriate inside and cook all the veggies we grow for others to enjoy," she says. On Tuesday, she braised napa cabbage, roasted eggplant, made some silky soy- glazed bok choy, and was putting a hearty bean, kale and squash soup into the freezer.”
Do what Sam does. Buy lots of soup fixings at the market and devote a day or two to making soups and stews and curries you can then defrost mid-winter when you’ve got the “miss the market blues.”
Have you gotten a whiff of the sweet, sweet Concord grapes at the Caradonna Orchard tent? You can smell them from 20 feet away. So deliciously heady! What can you do with Concord grapes beyond using them as eye candy on your cheese board? For starters, make grape jelly to elevate your pb & js.
Or make a Concord grape shrub, which you can then use as a base for a Concord grape cocktail, as David Lebovitz, one of my favorite food writers does.
Newell Farmlands joins us this week and we are going to put them right near FARMEATS grass-fed beef because they are armed with herbaceous meat marinades all made with local ingredients, with some vegan options, too. (Next time, we'll put them next to SOVA or R&M Farms because their marinades are also perfect for those tender chicken thighs and lamb loins and chops, too.)
We are so happy that the DoughNation pizza truck is returning this week to add some wood-burning fire to your market shop. Talk about heady. It's worth getting to the market early just to enjoy the campfire aroma as they fire up the oven.
Last week another reason to get to the market early was to get a DoughCo. bagel before they sold out at 10 a.m.! Worry not, Josh Small will return on Oct. 15th with plenty more of those just baked, hand-rolled bagels kept fresh and crisp in brown paper bags - as they should be. Plan accordingly.
Need a gift this week? Fleur Piton Candles will be here. Don't forget to bring you carving knives for the knife sharpener... remember: there is pumpkin carving in your future!
Also, we are so happy to announce that our Halloween Pet Parade is back this year and will be held on Saturday, Oct. 29th. We're giving you plenty of notice so you have time to plan out Rover's costume. And we have some really good prizes this year.
See you at the market!