Sunday, December 21, 2008

Last Sunday Market of 2008

Despite an icy morning, we managed to get to the last Sunday market this morning. A lot of the regular vendors were missing and the crowd was sparse. There were lots of wreaths, garlands and trees available today. We talked to one of the people at Gardener's Gourmet who told us that the drive down to Baltimore from Westminster was very scary with all of the ice on the roads. They left at 3:00 a.m. to get to Baltimore by the 7:00 market opening. They had some interesting looking radishes, which were called watermelon radishes.
Here's what the watermelon radishes look like inside.
I am still completely fascinated with the Romanesque broccoli.
After the market, we went to Gertrude's at the Baltimore Museum of Art to celebrate six months of Sundays at the Market. At the gift shop, I saw this hand-knit scarf which reminded me of the broccoli!
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you have/had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of laughter, family, friends, football and great food!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Birthday Dinners

I am extremely lucky that I have such incredible friends. My two long-time best friends, the Blonde and the Redhead took me to dinner at The Milton Inn, which was spectacular. My two neighbourhood best friends Cat & Dog, made dinner for me last night. They're both chefs, so I knew this would be a real treat.

Here's the menu:

Aged Cheddar and Onion Marmalade Crostini

Gonzo Boneless Short Ribs (Made with Gonzo Imperial Porter by Flying Dog Brewery) with Roasted Onions and Red Peppers

Goat Cheese Herbed Polenta

Braised Brussel Sprouts and Baby Carrots
Poached Pears, Cardamom Spiced Cake, Zinfandel Consumme and Caramel Creme

To say it was fantastic would be an understatement. It was just such fun to watch Dog put together the first part of the meal and then to watch Cat assemble the second part. They were gracious enough to let me take step-by-step photographs of them working.
  • Whipping the cream Painting the plates with the caramel and the wine reduction
    Plating the cake
    Poached Pears
    Quenelles of Caramel Creme The End.

Thanks Cat and John, and Blonde and Redhead! You all are the very best!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Market Report - November 9

It was a beautiful morning at the market, a little chill in the air, and the sky was just as clear as a bell. There's a definite decline in the level of the produce at the market, with root vegetables and apples and pears predominating. Kitchenography and I were joined by our friend Strawberries in Paris, whose blog you should check out.
One of the things we all noticed was the size of the cauliflower and the kholrabi, which were all as big as your head! There were also fresh brussels sprouts, still on the stem. They're not my favourites, but they sure are interesteing looking.

See you next week!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Market Report from London

Fulham, the neighbourhood where I stayed in London, had its own daily street market filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as some house-hold goods. All of the produce was in bowls and you just pointed to the bowl you wanted and they bagged it and weighed it for you.I loved the fact that the old barrows that they used to carry the goods looked like they could have been around for more than 100 years.
Some of the produce was similar to what we have here, but there were things that I couldn't identify. Because of the Afro-Carib mix in the neighbourhood, there were plantains and coconuts, as well as habanero peppers and local apples and pomagranates. Next to the coconuts, there was something that I couldn't identify at all. Although they look like they might be sea-based, I think that they're plant-based. Any hints?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Market Report - October 19

It was in the 40's when we got to the market this morning, and there was no sign of any of the summer fruits and vegetables, save for a small batch of the last raspberries.
I got some apples and then we had a lovely chat with the man who sells the irises and dahlias. His purple and white dahlias just glow in the early morning sun.
As Kitchenography was buying some greens, I took a picture of one of the farm-workers putting out more Rainbow chard. A shaft of light caught her perfectly.
As we checked out the incredible range of gourds, pumpkins and squashes, we saw the smallest little things nestled between them. When we asked, the farmer told us that they were little spiny cucumbers.
As I've mentioned before, I don't like odd coloured fruits and vegetables, and the purple cauliflower is no exception. It's very purple and if you were making soup for the Ravens game, it would be perfect.
This wee shopper seemed to be struggling under the weight of some greens, but was making a valiant effort!

I will be at a different market next week, so will see you the first weekend of November!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Garibaldi Biscuits

My older sister and I both remember having Garibaldi biscuits, made by Sunshine Bakery, when we were little. These biscuits, or cookies, are basically raisins or currants, sandwiched between two layers of pastry. Our father used to make something similar with leftover pie pastry, too, which are known as fly cemeteries.

When I lived in the UK, I could find these biscuits in every store and was delighted that they only cost about 70p per packet. The little bake shop down the road also had Eccles cakes, which are similar, but larger and flakier.Recently, a colleague of my sister's told her that she could find them at the Vermont Country Store, a purveyor of all things old and forgotten. I've also seen them at World Market.

I decided to make an abbreviated version using pre-made pie crust and the currants that I had found at Fresh World last week. They turned out pretty well. Perhaps a little tweaking, maybe soaking the currants before, and adding a dash of salt and more currants, but otherwise, a success.I found this picture on the interwebs, and I have no idea what it is, but it's funny!

Market Report - October 5

I am realizing that it's getting harder and harder to take pictures without a flash. The mornings are really dark and this morning's fog didn't help with the lack of light.

Tons and tons of apples everywhere. I bought a honey crisp apple that weighed almost a pound.

Again with the beautiful gourds and pumpkins. Here's a great idea for a fall table from my friend Eddie Ross, who works for Martha Stewart.

I was never a big fan of dahlias, until I started photographing them. This morning, there were some spectacular colours, including this purple-rimmed one, which almost glows.

We were talking to one of the farmers about the spiral broccoli and the yellow cauliflower and she told us that they were both old varities. She also said that the more "perfect" the produce is, the more likely it is to be a new variety, since we can breed out the imperfections. Hmmm.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Market Report - September 28

I never posted the pictures from the Market last week, so this will be short! It was a gloomy, rainy morning, so not great for taking photos.

It's really fall now and the fall produce is crowding out almost all of the summer stuff. Pumpkins are everywhere. They seem to be knobbier and bumpier than I've ever seen them! There was one that looked like it was covered with peanuts, and what was so funny was that I was at a Obama party later in the day, and there it was as the centerpiece of the table!
Some of the broccolis and cauliflowers are coming in, and the varieties are amazing. One looks like a middle eastern ziggarut!
See ya tomorrow!