Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fall at the Farmers' Market

Even though it's 80+ degrees outside, it's still officially autumn, and--alas!--in only a few more weeks the Evanston Farmers' Market will be but a memory. Until next spring, that is.

This summer we have been almost religious about including the farmers' market in our round of Saturday errands. We try to get as much of our produce there as possible. It's all very fresh, reasonably priced, and delicious.

This year, our biggest discovery has been the fingerling potatoes:

These are about the yummiest potatoes I've ever tasted, thanks to Jeff's deft culinary abilities.

First, he carefully selects the spuds:

As you can see, there are several varieties available.

Then he chops them up, sprinkles some salt and a healthy dose of Old World Central Street spice blend from the Spice House on them, and fries them up in some canola oil. Heaven!

Now that we've gotten hooked on these buttery and wondrous taters, we were a bit worried about how we'd get through the winter without them. However, we are happy to report that our local Jewel has them--for more than those at the market, and not as fresh, certainly, but they have them! Yea!--so we will not have to forego them. Ever. Whew.

For now, we're just availing ourselves of the autumn harvest and basking in the sunshine...

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Blogger G. W. Ferguson said...

Oh! OH! Mmmmm!

Sounds like something I'm going to have to try! The local grocery stores are starting to carry all kinds of potatoes beyond yer basic Russets and reds (the blue ones being particularly intriguing!), so it's entirely possible someone carries the fingerlings. Maybe the natural foods store a block away...

Talk to me about the Old World Central Street spice blend--I'm always up for new flavor sensations!

9:18 PM  
Blogger Cathy VanPatten said...

Ah, Old World Central Street! Yum!

It's supposed to be a Polish-inspired blend, I think, but it really is lots of spices all mixed together. The Spice House is in Evanston, on Central Street, but it is the second in the "chain" (of two). The original Spice House is in Milwaukee, on Old World Third Street, so THEY sell the same blend, but call it Old Worth Third Street blend. Go figure.

Anyway, here's the run-down from the Web site:

Hungarian sweet paprika, coarse flake salt, ground celery seed, garlic, sugar, black pepper, onion, ground dill seed, ground fenugreek seed, ground caraway seed, turmeric, scallions, dill weed, powdered bay leaves, cumin, coriander, ginger, cinnamon, fennel, nutmeg, white pepper, basil, chervil, marjoram, parsley, savory, tarragon, thyme, rosemary, cloves and cardamom.

It's kind of like a seasoned salt, but without so much salt... and plenty of everything else!

Are you coming to the FFF? If so, I can bring you some!

9:52 PM  
Blogger G. W. Ferguson said...

I'm saying YES! to the FFF! Has it really been an entire year?

11:34 PM  
Blogger Cathy VanPatten said...

Yes... an entire year! Hard to believe, I know. I mean, we can't be getting old(er) or anything? Right?

I'll be staying at my mom's--the number is the same as ever it was, lo these many years!

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmmm...fresh produce! There is a small farmer's market in Fishersville where I get all of our tomatoes and now, apples (love those Cameos!) As to my own, personal "farmer's market" I raised the best Chinese long beans this summer..and they're still producing. They can get 3' long though they actually taste best when picked at about 14-18". I thought by now they'd be all "beaned out" but nope, they're still coming in. I have a bunch in the freezer. I'm guessing they won't grow out in my little bamboo-pole tee-pee much longer, though. I mean, it is October, right??

And I will see you guys at FFF!


9:07 AM  

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