Friday, June 27, 2008

Farmers' Markets Report June 27 - July 4

Here is what you can expect to find at local farmers’ markets this week. Things do change due to weather and other factors, but as of the time of this post this is what the vendors at each market think is likely they will be bringing this week to market.

Oxford Uptown Saturday 7am – noon
Uptown Oxford

Last week I overhead one of our farmers say that we may have tomatoes in 2 weeks. He has 150 plants with small, green tomatoes. I can’t wait. So if the weather stays warm with just enough rain…..
Just as the gardens are producing more we will soon see more farmer vendors at the market. So stop by tomorrow for all the usual produce; organic eggs, organic meats, lettuce, goat cheese, plants, cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini, strawberries, cherries, backed goods, and our usual artisans.

Today and tomorrow in Uptown Oxford we are having the Oxford Wine and Art Affair. 3:00 to 9:30. We will be having a ton a fun. Stop by the market tent. See for more details.

Last week one of our shoppers stopped to renew their membership. They also wanted to give extra $20 to sponsor a SPROUT membership. I thought it was a great idea and we found a wonderful family that benefited from their generosity. See the details at:

See you at the market Saturday and Tues for our Mini-Market.

Findlay Market Farmshed & Grow West Saturday 8am-6pm
1801 Race St

The 2008 farmers’ market season is underway. Farmers, growers and producers come from Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky to sell locally grown produce, bedding plants and cut flowers, cottage produced goods and more.
Neltner Farms- tomatoes, lettuce

Kist Greenhouses- bedding plants

Northgate Greenhouses- bedding plants

Linda’s Luxuries- soaps, lotions, lip balms

Wildey Flower Farm- seasonal flowers

Scott Farm-spring produce

Charles Moore Farm-hostas and other plants

Bauer Farm-arugula, baby lettuce mix, zucchini, summer squash, Easter egg radishes

Donna’s Cookies- gourmet cookies

Shady Grove Farm-fresh herbs, vegetable starts, green garlic

IMPACT Eco- Garden- micro- greens, early lettuces

Thistlehair Farm- Chemical and Pesticide Free Broccoli, Swiss Chard, Knob Onions, Green Onions, Beets, Spinach, Variety of Summer and Zucchini Squashes, Rhubarb, Sugar Pod Peas, Sorrel, and Honey. Starting next week, we will begin picking our Blueberries.

Back Acre Farm- farm fresh eggs, USDA processed Meats, farmhouse cheeses & ice
cream, zucchini, yellow squash

Nay Nay’s-Breads, rolls and sweets

Batesville Village Green Saturday 8am-11am
George & Main Streets Batesville, IN

Simon Kenton
Saturday 8:30am-2pm
Simon Kenton High School
1132 Madison Pike Independence, KY

Anderson Saturday 9am-1pm
Anderson Station
7832 Five Mile Rd.

B&D Goats - We will have a few loaves of Rosemary Raisin Sourdough Bread and Chocolate Goat's Milk Fudge and as always our award winning Goat's Milk Lotion and Rich Goat's Milk Soaps, check out our special 4th of July treat next week - Goat's Milk Ice Cream!

Back Acres Farm - Call in your special cuts of Meat and Pick-Up at Market Day! Call Jim: 513-305-3340. Due to freezer capacity we can not bring to market all we have to offer but call us anytime before Saturday and we'll have your order ready with us on market day. Available via order - leg of lamb, rack of lamb, stew meat, ground lamb, lamb chops, beef sirloin roast, rump roast, steaks and ground beef. At the market this week - Homemade Ice Cream (pints), Hamburger Patties, Hog Sausage, Raw Milk Cheeses, Zucchini, Butternut Squash 2"-3" onions.

Belie's Bites: Gourmet Dog Delicacies - We've gone Organic and eliminated all wheat from our baking! Effective this week our treats are now made from organic brown rice and oat flours which come to us from a farm in northern Ohio. We also have our Hypoallergenic Biscuits: Belly Bean and Banana split made with potato as the base ingredient - they are wheat and Gluten free.

Bergefurds Farm Fresh Produce- Strawberries, Black Raspberries, Blueberries in limited quantity, pickling cucumbers, slicing cucumbers, snap peas, snow peas, red beets, radishes, yellow squash in limited quantity, zucchini in limited quantity.

CAN-DU- Cucumbers, Beans, Garlic, Carrots, Eggplant in limited quantity, yellow, white and red sweet onions, ornamental pepper plants, herbs.

Flour Power Baking Company - we are on vacation this week.

Dean Family Farm- Break out the rotisserie this weekend! Enjoy our delicious Fresh
Cage Free, Pasture Raised Chicken. Reserve your turkey for the Holidays! We are now taking orders. This year we are raising 2 breeds, the Mammoth Bronze and the Broad Breasted White. Our Turkeys will be ready for pickup on November 22nd. There is a $10 deposit required to hold your order.

Fair Ridge Farm: Certified Naturally Grown Produce- Green Beans, Cucumbers, Zucchini, Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, Fresh-cut Basil. Also...Local Raw Honey, Sugar Peas, Snow Peas, Eggs.

Sweet cakes - Cupcakes: Vanilla-Vanilla, Chocolate-Chocolate, Lucky-in-love Lavender, Key Lime Devine. Cookies: Lemonade Drops, Raspberry Delights.

West Chester
Saturday 9am-1pm
The Square at Union Centre

Saturday 10am-2:30pm
Milford Shopping Center 1025 Lila Ave (Rt. 50)

Hyde Park
Sunday 10am-2pm
US Bank parking lot 3424 Edwards Rd

Special Event this Sunday! Dennis Buttelwerth - Flowers for the Fourth: Floral Demonstration by the incredibly talented Dennis Buttelwerth of Buttelwerth's Florist from 11am - 1pm.

Blue Oven Bakery- Brand new to market! We will have wood fired artisinal breads. We use local wheat (when/ where available) from Weisenberger Mills Ky., and we use organic seeds/ nuts/ fruits.

B&D Goats- New this week, B&D will now be offering Vista Grand Buffalo Meat for Sale at the Hyde Park Farmer's Market. We will carry 1 lb. packages of ground buffalo and buffalo patties. Vista Grand Buffalo is locally grown in New Richmond, Ohio. We will have our award winning goat's milk lotions - come check out some of the new fragrances. And if you haven't tried our chocolate goat's milk fudge, you are missing a real treat! All of our goat milk products are locally grown and locally made.

Bergefurd Family Farm - Due to the cooler than normal spring and first week of summer the overall growth and maturity of our berries, melons and vegetables has been and is very slow and harvest is being delayed due to these cool temperatures. However, with this slow growth our crops size is larger and the sugars in the fruit are much higher, for under high temperatures sugars are burned off. This we experienced from our strawberry harvest, one of the sweetest crops this year. We are winding down strawberry harvest; we may have a few to bring to market? Harvest of blueberries has begun on a limited scale and we hope to bring some to market. Snow pea and snap pea harvests are increasing. We are hoping to bring some early red beets and radish. We continue to harvest a few pickling cucumbers and slicing cucumbers and hope to have enough to bring to market. Harvest of yellow squash and zucchini continues on a limited scale.

Jan's Jellies - This week at market I will have Black Raspberry, Blackberry, Strawberry, Blueberry and Cherry jams and jellies among with my other flavors. Hope to see everyone Sunday!

Coffee Emporium - Will have fabulous coffees as well as the wonderful desserts from Embrace Sweets.

Running Creek Farm - Lettuce, fresh green garlic, squash, green beans, flower arrangements, basil, 100% cotton, reusable produce bags, and more!

Organic Farm at Bear Creek - Gazpacho Soup in 16 oz jars. Bundled Lavender, fresh cut Oregano and Cilantro, Certified Organic Spring Mix Lettuce and all of our Salsas, Sauces, Soups, Dressings and Jams.

Leah and Polly's Cheese - will have amazing goat cheese from Capriole, a really great aged gouda from Oakvale and some spicy habanero gouda from Oakvale.

Can-Du Farms- Cucumbers, beans, yellow, white and red sweet onions, garlic, carrots, a few eggplant, our herbs, and ornamental pepper plants.

Mohr's Animal Acres- This week we'll have samples of BBQ Beef using our meat and Bear Creek's Barbeque Sauce.

Taste of Belgium - The wonderful authentic Belgium Waffles are back and this year Jean Flechet will have some available in take home bags as well.

Madisono's- will be offering ready to eat gelato and sorbet cups. Red Raspberry seems to be very popular this year and it is 100% fat free!
Rising Sun Farm - lots of fresh eggs and honey
Home Grown Bazaar- potted veggie and herb plants in hand-made containers, and herb starts.

Farm Beach Bethel - This week we will be sharing leaf lettuce, head lettuce, greens, a variety of heirloom vegetable varieties, and homemade whole wheat muffins.

RJ Veggies- Fresh home grown veggies, plants

Walnut Ridge Acres- Gourmet Lettuce Mix, Micro Greens, Assorted Lettuce Heads, Romaine Lettuce, Bok Choy, Garlic, Zucchini Squash, and pickles.

Sheltowee Farm- will have Blueberries on Sunday. The blueberries come from Homegrown Blueberries in Ashland, KY. Shelotowee Farm helps fellow farmer Don Davis by distributing his wonderful berries to points beyond his reach. We will also have our organic shiitake, oyster and lion's mane mushrooms, along with our shiitake hazelnut pate. We will have a selection of European style breads that include German Rye, Raisin, Pecan, Bohemian beer, 7 Grain, Spicy Mushroom Focaccia. The Focacia sold quickly last week so come early.

Linwood Sausage Company - will have delicious sausage sandwiches as well as our take home packs for your freezer or Sunday night supper.

Martin Hill Farm - Micro Greens, Mottistone Leaf Letttuce, Deer Tongue Lettuce, Tiede Leaf Lettuce, Broccoli, Carrots, Snow Peas, Swiss Chard, Microtom, Summer Squash, Cherry Belle Radishes, Pickling Cucumbers.

Tuesday 3-7pm
Wyoming Ave and Van Roberts Place

Sayler Park
Tuesday 4-7pm
Town Square Park Parkland and Monitor Avenues

Sayler Park will have TWO new farmers with greens, spinach, lettuce, Swiss chard, onions, garlic, peas, carrots, herbs, and beets and, hopefully some tomatoes! Fresh-picked gooseberries and tart cherries from Theresa Young! Homemade granola, Breadsminth bread and local honey... See you at the Market!

Wednesday 2-5:30pm
Milford Shopping Center 1025 Lila Ave (Rt. 50)

Wednesday 4-7:30pm
Hamilton and Lingo

The Northside Market is committed to your health + local growers, so we offer only locally produced products. We're also about growing community + providing useful information to enrich lives. Organizations present this week: SPCA Cincinnati

The Dixie
Thursday 2:30-6:30pm
Erlanger Baptist Church parking lot 116 Commonwealth Ave Erlanger, KY

The Dixie Farmer's Market has fruit, vegetables (kale, onion, zucchini, tomatoes, yellow squash and more), flowers (annuals and perennials), baked goods and honey.

College Hill
Thursday 3pm-7pm
5742 Hamilton Ave

Hamilton Main Street Marketplace Farmers' Market
Thursday 3pm-8pm (NEW as of 6/12)

Fresh baked breads and desserts, locally grown produce, all natural meats, goat cheese, BBQ sauces, honey, bedding plants and more. Shop teh Artisan area of the market for handcrafted jewlery, plush toys, and pottery from a rotating group of local craftspeople.

Friday 3:30pm-8pm
110 Main St behind Curves Brookville, IN

Due to the Bicentennial events inBrookville, which many of our vendors and patrons are involved in, we will cancel the Farmers' market this Friday, June 27th, only.

Boone County
Daily 9am-6pm
Burlington Pike Burlington, KY

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Just Cured Salmon

When I passed Michael Brown sampling his Just Cured salmon across from Luken's Fish, Poultry & Seafood at Findlay Market last month, I backed up to grab a sample. After I tasted it I wanted to grab a second, but that seemed greedy. So instead I introduced myself.

Michael, who lives in Western Hills even though neither he nor his wife grew up on the West Side, is curing some of the best salmon I’ve ever tasted onsite at Findlay Market in a sparkling clean custom-built smoke room across the street from the Lukens stand. It’s a dream of his and his wife’s, both lifelong foodies, to build a long-time hobby into a second career. When he recently left a big local law firm, they decided the time was right to see if his recipe for handcrafted salmon had legs.

I caught up with him one day while he dry-cured 25 pounds of his wonderful European-style cold-smoked salmon.

Michael sources his fresh fish from one of two Scottish purveyors of organically and sustainably-raised North Atlantic salmon that he found after careful research. (In contrast, what’s usually found in supermarkets and even in specialty grocers is an intensively-farmed product that is not sustainably or organically produced.)

His raw product arrives packed in ice in full-side filets. He’d like to buy the salmon whole and do his own fileting, but so far the shipping costs to airfreight whole fish (because so much of the weight of a whole salmon is head, tail, innards, or other waste) are prohibitive.

First he carefully presses a gloved hand over every inch of each filet, checking for stray pinbones which he removes with a pliers. When he’s satisfied he’s gotten everything, he picks up a bottle of bourbon, sticks a thumb into the neck to control the flow, and sprinkles a few drops over each filet. Literally just a few drops, as the bourbon is added only to counteract the bitterness of the salt required for curing. Many producers use sugar for this, but Michael prefers to use something that brings a bit of flavor to the table. Scottish producers of handcrafted smoked salmon often use malt whiskey for the same reason, but Michael uses locally-distilled Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon both because he likes the taste and because it contributes to the local flavor.

He rubs the bourbon over the surface of the filets to make sure they’re evenly coated. Then he smoothes on a thick layer of kosher salt, which pulls excess moisture from the salmon.

The salted filets go uncovered into the refrigerator to dry-cure for ‘several hours’ (the exact length of each segment of the process are part of his secret, but the full cure is less than two days) and then he briefly rinses off the salt, chills and air dries the filets for a final few hours, and finally slots them into the smoker.

When the salmon comes out of the smoker, he slices it wafer thin in preparation for sale at the Luken's stand at Findlay. You can find it around the side in the case at the far south end of the stand ($ per pound). He gave out samples several weekend days in May, and each time Luken's (currently his only distributor) ran out of product. He’s gearing up, but for now it’s helpful to know his curing schedule generally places a supply into Luken's cases late Friday afternoons. I’d get there by Saturday if I were you.

Unlike the chewy, salty-sweet stuff you’ll find at supermarkets, his salmon is moist and very subtly flavored. It tastes primarily of salmon rather than of salt, smoke, or even excellent Kentucky bourbon. It’s firm yet butter-tender, almost spreadable but not mushy. This is salmon for people who like salmon, and it’s some amazing stuff. I bought a half pound and shared it with my father and son on slices of cucumber one afternoon. Next time they can buy their own. We finished it in one sitting and were not being very polite over the last few pieces.

In addition to distributing through Luken's, Michael is working out the details to distribute the salmon at local groceries and specialty markets. For his second offering he’s planning a gravlax -- dill-cured salmon -- which he cures with cognac. Eventually he may include other seafoods, poultry, and hot-smoking methods in his product line.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Urban Locavore: But where do you buy groceries?

Guest blogging on CincinnatiLocavore today is Brianne Fahey, who lives downtown and blogs at LiveGreenCincinnati about green building, energy efficiency, and environmental lifestyles in the Greater Cincinnati area.

Downtown Cincinnati has been a great place to work for years. Over the past decade a revitalizing Cincinnati has started trending toward becoming a real livable new urbanist neighborhood. New residential developments have increased the population in both the Central Business District and Over the Rhine. When I tell people that I live downtown, the number one question I am asked is “But where do you buy groceries?”

My answer? The same way people in Cincinnati bought groceries 100 years ago.

During the week when I am in a bit more of a rush, I stop on Court Street at lunch to visit the butcher store for a fresh cut of something tasty and hit the bakery for some rolls or a baguette. I buy fresh and stop regularly because I can only carry one small bag home with me on foot before I have to get back to my office. After work, if the corner store on my block is still open, I can stop in for some cereal and toilet paper. If I’m feeling under the weather, I can walk an extra 2 blocks to the pharmacist.

On the weekends I have time to walk or take my bicycle up to the local farmers' market where there is a lot more to choose from. I can meal-plan for the week and stay on budget when I buy just enough from each vendor. Once my backpack is full, I’m finished shopping and I can say hi to the neighbors and enjoy some fresh air on my 10-minute trek home.

When I learned to adapt to my neighborhood and rely on the local businesses for my needs, I became a member of the community. As a side effect, I also became a locavore, an urbanist, an alternative transportation advocate, a budgeter, and an avid walker. I’m healthier, less-stressed, within my budget, and enjoying knowing my neighbors.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

How did you learn to cook?

A lot of us learned to cook from Mom (or maybe Dad) and Grandma. Some of us learned in school, or in 4-H. I hit the trifecta -- I was raised by scratch cooks (thanks, Mom & Dad!), went to school at a time when every student was required to take Home Economics, and had a great neighborhood 4-H group, Penbrooke Pots 'n' Pins. Our long-suffering leaders, Mrs. Wokasien and Mrs. Bartol, probably did as much to drill into my brain the basics of cooking, baking, and canning as any other source, and I'm grateful to them to this day.

I love to hear how others learned to cook. Did you learn in school? An organized program like 4-H? Are you self-taught? Did you pick it up at your mother's knee?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lavomatic reviewed at Queen City Survey

There's a new review of Lavomatic (which sources locally) at Queen City Survey.

Monday, June 9, 2008

CORV Local Food Guide fundraiser grill

Central Ohio River Valley Local Foods Initiative (CORV) is holding a grill of local foods tomorrow (Tuesday June 10th) at the Whole Foods Rookwood farmers' market (2nd & 4th Tuesdays 4-7pm, Whole Foods Rookwood parking lot). Proceeds from the grill will help pay for the publication of the CORV 2008 Local Food Guide. Organizer Deborah Jordan says, "This could put us over the top for fundraising for this edition."

If you haven't yet gotten your copy of the 2008 guide, volunteers will be distributing it.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Cincinnati Locavore on semi-hiatus until June 28th

Cincinnati Locavore is going on walkabout from June 6 - 28 for a family vacation. We're taking our laptop with us, and we hope to report on various local eating scenes as we work our way through our planned itinerary. However, as we're staying in several National Parks' lodges, we aren't sure when we'll have internet access and we're never sure of our email connection when out of town. So over the next three weeks, if time passes with no posts, no worries. We'll be back at the end of June. We've done a bit of research on local eating in the areas we'll be staying in and we hope to hit a few farmers' markets and restaurants that focus on local foods, and we'll be reporting on those either during our trip or when we get back.

Northern Kentucky Wine Festival

Over at My Wine Education, Winegirl has some advice on what not to miss at the Northern Kentucky Wine Festival tomorrow.

Farmers' Markets Report June 7 - 13

Here is what you can expect to find at local farmers' markets this week. Things do change due to weather and other factors, but as of the time of this post this is what the vendors at each market think is likely they will be bringing this week to market.

Oxford Uptown

Saturday 7am - noon
Uptown Oxford

Strawberries, spinach, lettuce, spring mix

Findlay Market Farmshed & Grow West

Saturday 8am - 6pm
1801 Race St

Back Acres Farm: Pastured eggs, grass-fed beef, pork whole-hog sausage, farmstead cheeses and homemade ice cream made from unprocessed milk from grass-fed cows. Please Note: this week Turner Farm returns to market and Back Acres Farm move to the Plaza.
Bauer Farm: cut flowers
Greensleeves Farm: tomato & pepper plants, limited lettuce, radishes, greens
Kist Greenhouse: full selection of Spring bedding plants, both flowers and vegetables, hanging baskets
Margaret's Garden: herb plants, forget-me-nots, perennials, rosebushes & cut flowers
Neltner's: hanging baskets and bedding plants, butterhead lettuce, the earliest tomatoes, strawberries
Northgate Greenhouse: Spring bedding plants, hanging baskets, planters, perennials and landscape plants
Shady Grove: Squash blossoms, last of the green garlic and garlic scapes, arugula, lambsquarters, sorrel, baby kale & mizuna, herbs including dill & cilantro, field-ready tomato plants, basil (Sweet, Thai, Opal, Lemon, Lime, Cinnamon & Lettuce) & edible/ornamental hot pepper seedlings. Also, fragrance roses - for 2 weeks only! - Lavender by the bunch, field daisies.
Thistlehair Farm: Garlic scapes, spring mix, spicy spring mix, Swiss chard, spinach, arugula, scallions, rhubarb, honey, radishes, last of the asparagus, heirloom tomato, herb, hosta and perennial plants.
Turner Farm: Lettuce, green garlic, green onions, spinach, rhubarb, herb plants including salad Burnet, basil, summer savory, and milkweed plants for monarch butterflies

Batesville Village Green
Saturday 8am - 11am
George & Main Sts
Batesville IN

Tomato stars, flowering plant starts, strawberries, lettuces, spinach, eggs, rhubarb in limited supply.
Also: Breakfast at the Farmers' Mkt. served on site 8 - 10am featuring local products.

Saturday 9am - 1pm
Anderson Station
7832 Five Mile Rd

B&D Goats: Ricotta cheese, spreadable goat's cheese, baked goods, soaps, lotions
Flour Power: Baked goods
Fair Ridge Farm: Mixed lettuce, cherry belle and pink beauty radishes, parsley, eggs, honey, tomato transplants, homemade unsweetened grape juice
Dean Family Farm: Pastured chicken

West Chester
Saturday 9am - 1pm
The Square at Union Centre

Simon Kenton
Saturday 8:30am - 2:00pm
Simon Kenton High School
11132 Madison Pike
Independence KY

Milford Opening Day
Saturday 10am - 2:30 pm
Milford Shopping Center
1025 Lila Ave (Rt. 50)
Spinach, carrots, beets, yellow squash and zucchini, potted plants, hanging baskets, cut flower bouquets

Hyde Park
Sunday 10am - 2pm
US Bank parking lot

3424 Edwards Rd

Homegrown Bazaar: plant starts (herbs, veggies), potted plants (herbs, veggies), container gardens
Running Creek Farm: Lettuce, fresh strawberry jam, garlic scapes, fresh green garlic
B & D Goats: Ricotta Cheese, fudge (chocolate and peanut butter), Chevre.
Organic Farm at Bear Creek: Spring mix lettuce, salsas, pasta sauce, soups, salad dressings, jams.
Bella Luna: Fresh Pasta
Bergefurd Farm Market: Maybe strawberries
Eaton Farm: Maybe strawberries
Farm Beach Bethel: Lettuce
Hazelfield Farm: Cut flowers
Leah and Polly's Cheese: artisanal cheeses from small US producers
Linwood Sausage Company: Sausages, sausage sandwiches
Madison's: Gelato, carry out dishes from local produce
Martin Hill: Baby greens, lettuces, spinach, jams, salsas, mushrooms
McGovern Bee Company: honey, chap stick made from honey,
Mohr Animal Acres: Pork, beef, lamb
Rising Sun Farm: Eggs, honey
Sheltowee Farm: Mushrooms, German noodles, bread
Walnutridge Acres: Microgreens
Plus: Embrace Sweets, Fromeyer Breads, Jean Paul's Pleasures, Taste from Belgium

Tuesday 3 - 7pm
Wyoming Ave and Van Roberts Place

Sayler Park
Tuesday 4 - 7pm
Town Square Park
Parkland and Monitor Aves

Carrots, beets, Swiss chard, leaf lettuce, radishes, herbs.
Also: live music from the Waterman Project

Whole Foods
2nd & 4th Tuesdays 4 - 7pm
Rookwood Commons
2693 Edmondson Rd

Baby greens, lettuces, spinach, jams, salsas, mushrooms
Special Event: CORV fundraiser grillout

Wednesday 2 - 5:30pm
Milford Shopping Center
1025 Lila Ave (Rt. 50)

Spinach, carrots, beets, a few yellow squash and zucchini, potted plants and
hanging baskets.

Wednesday 4 - 7:30pm
Hamilton & Lingo

The Dixie
Thursday 2:30 - 6:30pm
Erlanger Baptist Church parking lot
116 Commonwealth Ave

College Hill
Thursday 3 - 7pm
5742 Hamilton Ave

Friday 3:30 - 8:00
110 Main St
Brookville IN

Rex Rosenberger: Live Guinea fowl, Muscovy ducks, and Canada geese, eggs, veggies. Currently taking orders for cut-up chickens and whole turkeys for Thanksgiving.
John Dendler: Spinach, broccoli, lettuce
Bill and Norma Rudicil: Early spring veggies.
Pennington Hollow Farm: Head lettuces, triple-washed salad mix, heirloom pepper and eggplants, handcrafted lye soap and more.
We also expect new vendors at the market this week.

Boone County
Daily 9am - 6pm
Burlington Pike

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Resources for the travelling locavore

In planning for an upcoming vacation I wanted to find food bloggers in the places we'll be travelling and staying. I was surprised to find that not every town's bloggers are as likely as Cincinnati's to link to one another in blogrolls so that when you've found one, you can find dozens. But I did find a couple of resources to help.

Placeblogger is a search engine that allows bloggers who focus on certain locations to register their blogs. Then when travellers (or just anyone interested in that place) want information about that location, they can easily find blogs about it. I was searching for bloggers in Chicago, Salt Lake City and San Francisco recently and found a few food bloggers in each place who were happy to respond to questions in their comments sections about their areas' local farmers' markets and restaurants that source locally.

As an aside, if you have a placeblog -- a blog that's primarily about a single place -- it's a great way to allow folks from out of town to easily find your blog when they visit to learn what's going on, access restaurant reviews, etc. I've registered CincinnatiLocavore there, and I see that Building Cincinnati (Kevin LeMaster has even been profiled on the site), Cincinnati Beacon, Cincinnati Blog, Make Cincinnati Weird!, and View from Cincinnati are also registered.

Plus, I like their description of their mission:

[Placeblogs] are about the lived experience of a place. That experience may be news, or it may simply be about that part of our lives that isn't news but creates the texture of our daily lives: our commute, where we eat, conversations with our neighbors, the irritations and delights of living in a particular place among particular people. However, when news happens in a community, placeblogs often cover those events in unique and nontraditional ways, and provide a community watercooler to discuss those events.

Placeblogs spring from a fiercely non-generic America that's not about big-box retailers or the type of polarizing discussion about politics, culture, and the economy that's the product of journalism that happens at the 30,000 foot level. Often, they are a delightful and vivid look at cities, towns, and neighborhoods from an insider's point of view.
I also found, to which bloggers not only must submit their blogs but also must follow certain rules in tagging their posts to get the posts picked up. Of the two, Placeblogger is more focussed on blogs and also includes other information. Both worth checking out if you're travelling and want to get your local on.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Strawberry Preserves (no-pectin recipe)

I wasn't planning to put up any food this month -- we're headed out of town for three weeks on Friday, and I've been so busy with travel plans that I promised myself no major gardening or preserving projects -- but the strawberries at Findlay farmshed Saturday morning just looked too wonderful. So I decided to do one batch of strawberry preserves.

I don't like added pectin in my preserves. The texture seems rubbery instead of gooey, and I'd rather do a little more work and get exactly what I want. Ripe strawberries don't have much pectin of their own, so most people either add pectin, add a fruit that does have pectin and make a combination preserve, or enjoy their yummy if runny preserves. But there's another way.

When I bought three quarts of gorgeous berries from Neltner, I was careful to select quarts that had a few berries with green tips -- this is the first secret to making no-pectin strawberry jam. There's pectin in unripe strawberries, and those with a little green left on them have plenty of pectin. The berries in this picture still have some green on them. You only need a handful of berries with green tips in each quart to provide enough pectin to gel your preserves.

I wash, hull, and roughly mash the berries -- leaving a lot of big chunks, as in my opinion that's what preserves are all about -- and then after I've brought it to a full rolling boil for five minutes, I pour the whole thing into a sieve to strain the berries from the syrup and put the syrup back into the pot for further cooking. That's the extra work part, but it's also the second secret to making no-pectin strawberry preserves. Cooking and cooking and cooking the entire thing down until it's reduced will also work to prevent runny preserves, but it also tends to produce a 'cooked' taste. Which is still good, but I want a fresh taste. So I reduce only the syrup, then add the berries back in after the syrup has reached the gelling point.

Yield: approximately 3 8-oz jars of preserves per quart of berries

Strawberries, a few slightly unripe, slightly mashed
1 c sugar per cup of mashed berries
1 T lemon juice per cup of mashed berries (optional, but I find the lemon juice brightens the taste.)

Fill canning kettle with water to cover 1/2-pint jars by 2 inches, cover, bring to a boil, and keep it there.

Set 1/2 pint (8-oz) jars and lids into a pan of hot water over lowest heat. You'll need 1 jar per cup of mashed berries.

Wash and hull strawberries. Mash to big chunks and measure by the cupful into a large heavy non-aluminum pot. Add 1 cup of sugar per cup of mashed berries, cover, and leave for several hours. Bring to a full rolling boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent the sugar from sticking and burning. Remove from heat and strain through a sieve into a bowl, allowing syrup to drip through sieve for a few minutes. Set the sieve aside, return syrup to pot, add lemon juice, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly and boiling on high heat until candy thermometer reads between 220 and 222. Return contents of sieve to pot and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and ladle into hot 1/2-pint jars, leaving 1/2" headroom. Wipe jar rims with damp cloth, cover with hot lids and screw on lid rims without tightening. (The lid rims are only there to hold the lids in place during processing; tightening them can both interfere with processing and cause you to dislodge the lids when removing the lid rims before storing your preserves.) Set jars into canning rack and drop into boiling water in kettle. Cover kettle and process 10 minutes, remove from water, and set on rack to cool. Once cool, check seals (press gently in the center of the lid -- if you feel a slight pop and the center flexes down and then back up again, the lid didn't form a seal and that jar should be refrigerated and used within six months), remove lid rims and label.

Now to make some cream biscuits to put it on.