Yesterday’s Farmer’s Market drew big crowds to shop local farmers and vendors and to listen to the smooth country sounds of Craig Wilkins. Craig, from Akron, spent some time cruising the crowd before the performance to get requests and find out what singers the visitors liked. While not a huge country fan, I love the music of Kris Kristofferson and Craig didn’t disappoint. “Sunday Morning Coming Down” is one of Kristofferson’s best and Craig did a fine job! His between-song banter made him a crowd favorite and we hope he’ll come back to entertain soon.
It was the perfect summer evening and folks of all ages munched on fresh cherries or ice cream treats and of course, a hot dog or two. As soon as I park myself at my usual spot, the little ones start sidling over in anticipation of getting a balloon sword, dog or other creation. It’s hard to miss the balloon lady! One thing I’ve noticed the last few weeks is that while the kids naturally go for some cotton candy or snow cones, there are just as many toting bags of cherries or eating blueberries right out of the green cartons. One little guy came and offered to share his snack- fresh peas in the pod! It’s wonderful to see children loving healthy foods and enjoying the local harvest. It’s refreshing to see parents promoting healthier lifestyles than perhaps they lived themselves. Fruits and vegetables have so many possibilities in the kitchen, but none better than a crisp bite right off the vine, stalk or tree. Judging from the number of little ones with red or blue sticky faces, local parents deserve a gold star for turning their kids on to nature’s own sweet snacks!
Due to a glitch, the fresh corn recipe sheets I promised were absent on Thursday, but you can pick them up next week. The sheet has recipes for the Buffalo Corn Ears (blogged earlier), Rich Corn Chowder and a lower fat version, Fresh Corn Pie (a rich, quiche/custard concoction), Southern Style Corn Fritters, Grilled Corn Salsa, Country Fried Corn and Garlicky Summer Squash and Corn. All make use of those fresh, crisp kernals from the cob.
Every week we’ll have some new recipes to take advantage of the latest harvest and yes, I will even get together some favorite ZUCCHINI recipes! My aversion to zucchini is somewhat of a joke in my circle of acquaintances. When I wrote in a Chatterbox column years ago that I disliked it, zucchini growers came out of the woodwork to try to convert me! We did a funny feature article about it and photographer Dennis Stierer even took a photo of me answering a zucchini phone at a US&J desk. For a long time, the green things would show up when least expected…left on my car seat or at my door. 🙂 My friend Kathy Schumacher and her sister Nancy secretly conned me into eating a zucchini dessert at a church function and I LIKED it, so I’ll be sure to get that recipe for market goers.
We’re lucky enough to have fresh produce from around the world at our supermarkets year round, but with the current gas crunch and rising shipping costs (not to mention food contamination scares), our choices may soon be limited or cost way more than we can afford. Maybe we ought to be thinking of ways to make this season’s farm bounty last through the long winter! It might mean taking the buttons and loose nails out of the canning jars. In the meantime, enjoy the harvest!