Mitchell and I make a date of food shopping. We have a bite at the market and wander and taste and buy our groceries.
Mid-August we tried the farmer’s market at PSU because we were picking up our first order of humanely killed (on site) poultry and from Deck Family Farm. (Now we have had their amazing chickens and they are wonderful; we will buy from them year round! More on that later, and what I have learned from Christine Deck about chickens. Sabina is selling at PSU!)
The PSU market is amazing. The grounds are pretty, and more farmers come from farther away to sell their product in the city.
Breakfast first at Salvador Mollys, a local restaurant on a side street in Hillsdale with a stand at the market. Mitchell and I both grew up on So Cal, and eating Mexican food for breakfast is normal for us. I regularly make quesadillas or some sort of breakfast burrito for us. We had their Yucatan tamales, a yummy mixture we ordered hot.
We have three favorites from this week to share. Mitchell (at my urging) tried Ground Works Organics orange watermelon: Tangerine Dream. Heavenly, crisp and sweet. We came home with two of them, and the best corn we had this summer.
Denobles Farm is not certified organic farm, but uses organic sprays when necessary. One of the owners was wonderfully helpful and explained how to sue the colorful heritage carrots. She told me the purple carrots were best when grilled and caramelized. We bought them and used them both that way, and found they were amazing in our Pot au Feau (fancy for Chicken in a Pot.)
She also changed the way I cook artichokes. I have always steamed them, but she told me to pop them in a pot of boiling water for about 30 minutes and there would be more plump flesh on the leaves — which turned out to be true. I know I will shop there again because they were so helpful, took the time, AND their veggies were great!
Now for my all-time favorite. If you have not had a Ronde de Nice squash you have not had really great summer squash. People try to pass off 8-balls for this lovely squash, but 8-balls are nothing more than the same supermarket squash (a good grower and shipper) with a thick and often bitter rind. Ronde de Nice (see in the last image cooked) is a variegated round variety that when cooked is like butter in your mouth. I love summer squash, and this is my absolute favorite summer vegetable. This year I have found it at Persephone Farms (maybe I should not tell you . . . . )
On market days in summer I usually cook a time consuming meal of pan fried veggies and roast chicken. Mitchell and I do this together, and it is one of his favorite meals too. As the veggies come out of the pan, he gets tastes, which he loves. (Doesn’t everyone love being fed!?)
This week we had fresh purple onions, purple carrots (cooked together the longest time so as to caramelize, below), and a medley of squash to do a taste test.
By far, our favorites were the sweet onions and purple carrots, beets, and Ronde de Nice (which I assume means round and nice) squash. Yum.
We have a new favorite place to eat breakfast or lunch, Verde Cucina! Since discovering it, we never miss it and are now going to the physical restaurant in Hillsdale. We order the chicken plate special; below Mitchell is order Chicken Adobo for us to split. Fresh corn tortillas that I want to buy to cook with (Cucina here are pleas!), great grilled veggies and fabulous chicken.
And though I grill my own peppers for the year each summer, I now will buy at least some of my peppers from the Organic Roasted Chili Pepper stall from Westwind Gardens in Forest Grove. I tried their Sugar Chilies in my Roasted Sugar Chili Chicken Stew and they were heavenly. At $5/bag that is not bad to be able to mix and match many types of hot chilies! Mitchell and I both say, Yum!
Next update will be October!