I have been busy working at Kennedy Meadows fours days a week and then coming home and getting ready for the farmers market on Friday and being at the market by 6 a.m. on Saturday. We all seem to be extra busy these days, but I still find time to cook. My favorite days for dinner are Saturday and Sunday after Ralph and I bring home all the wonderful bounty from the market. There really isn't a whole lot of cooking, maybe grilling some fish, chicken or beef with a few squash brushed lightly with olive oil and a salad with a variety of tomatoes that are just bursting with flavor and always some corn on the cob. For dessert it's a mixture of fresh berries or sliced fresh peach.
Ralph's been working at Smith and Smith Farms one day a week. He's one of the official "weeders" and after that back breaking task you get the opportunity to harvest. Anyone who complains about food prices should try just an eight-hour day out there, it would cure any whining because you would be too tired to talk! I've been preaching for years in this column to know where your food comes from and who prepares it. The best way for everyone to do that is to shop locally when they can. The best place to talk to the person who grew your food is at the market. Ask the food vendors at the market where they get their food source and if they buy their produce from the farmers at the market and if not WHY? I see Charlie Abowd from Adele's shopping there every week, talking to the farmers and checking on produce for the next week to see what will be available. Jerry Massad from the Cracker Box and J's Bistro has been a regular.
I'm going to leave you with this quote from a poster hanging out in the harvest shed at Smith and Smith Farms.
"If you love to look at farmland ... you've got to EAT THE VIEW OR LOSE IT!"
The recipes I'm going to share with you this week are a quick fix and the main ingredients can be bought at the farmers market. I made the Frozen Blackberry-Cream Pops and there were yummy. Both of the recipes come from Epicurious.com.
Frozen Blackberry-Cream Pops
2 baskets blackberries
6 tablespoons sugar
11Ú2 cups half and half
1Ú2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Puree blackberries in processor until smooth. Pour into strainer set over bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much puree as possible (1 cup to 11Ú4 cups). Discard solids. Transfer puree to a bowl and add sugar till dissolved. Whisk in half and half and lemon juice. If not using an ice cream maker, pour into six frozen pop molds or I just put mine in small Dixie cups and we eat them like sherbert. This can be made one week ahead, keep frozen. Serves six.
With the tomato and jalapeño pepper scare and the government mess up of the whole affair; eat in season and locally and you won't have to worry about the food you eat making you sick.
Fresh Tomato Salsa
2 pounds vine ripened tomatoes
2 fresh Serrano or jalapeño peppers
1Ú4 medium white onion, finely chopped
1Ú2 fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon sugar
11Ú2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Quarter and seed tomatoes, cut tomatoes into small dice and transfer to bowl. Wearing rubber gloves, seed and finely chop peppers. Stir peppers, onion, garlic and cilantro into tomatoes, add lime juice and sugar. Makes about 21Ú2 cups.