Fall cooking and shopping tips

Kevin Clifford/Nevada Appeal

Kevin Clifford/Nevada Appeal

Boy I'm glad it's September and summer is on the downhill slide. I'm so ready for fall.

We have five more farmers markets left, and if you haven't been there yet, shame on you.

There is going to be lots going on there in the next four weeks. We have wonderful music every week, you can register to vote, get tips on fall planting, recipes, and every week we give away a basket filled with goodies from all the market vendors.

It's a great place to have a bite to eat and enjoy a cup of coffee. We are going to be selling tickets to the Basque Festival and this week in keeping in tune with the Salsa Y Salsa Festival, Esmeralda, a longtime employee from Adele's, is going to be giving a demonstration on how to prepare her two favorite kinds of salsas at 11 a.m.

The Salsa y Salsa Festival will be taking place on the Curry Street Promenade, just a few blocks down the street from the farmers market in the parking lot between Proctor and Telegraph streets.

I will be giving a cooking demonstration at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20 on how to make 12 jars of raspberry jam (with reduced sugar) in less than 45 minutes, and on the 27th at 10 a.m.

Charlie and Karen Abowd from Adele's will give you a demonstration on how to make your menu work from the Saturday market. Our last market will be Oct. 4.

I know people don't like to hear the "C" word in September (Christmas), but if you want to skip the crowds and save some gas, here are my suggestions for some different and great gifts you can purchase at our market. Who wouldn't like a gift certificate for a massage?

We have a masseuse and sometimes two at the market every week. You can buy some hand-crafted board games like scrabble, checkers, parcheesi and yo-yo's.

Comma Coffee is selling Alpen Sierra organic fair trade whole coffee beans. Calolea Olive Oil has some gift boxes, or buy one of their bottles of olive oil and put it in your own gift basket.

Their little olive oil soaps are wonderful and reasonable.

Pick up a jar of honey, and you will be amazed at the flavor " orange blossom is my favorite.

You can pay a visit to the Bag-la-deez and get some re-gifting bags and feel good that they will get used again and again.

For a little gift that keeps on giving throughout the year, get a sachet from Garden Scents or buy some of the dried lavender, oil or sprays from Campie's Lavender Patch.

Buy a gift certificate for a cooked meal or a breakfast in bed for that special someone from our food vendors, Absolutely Michelle's, Dinner is Served and Molly's Gourmet Catering.

We have some really fabulous fair trade market baskets that would hold any or all of these gifts.

For the Nevada fan on your list, pay a visit to L.B.J. Pottery for lots of items in the shape of Nevada. If you are shopping for a diabetic, there is some chocolate at the market that they can eat and is good for them.

Whatever you do, peaches, tomatoes, melons, corn and berries won't be here for much longer, so come down to the market and get them while you can!

These next couple of recipes I'm going to share with you come from one of my farmers market cookbooks called Cooking Fresh.

Corn Spoon Bread

3 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons butter

1 cup plus 2 tablespoon cornmeal

6 eggs slightly beaten

11⁄4 cup buttermilk

1⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cream

11⁄2 cups white sweet corn, cut from cob

Preheat oven to 375. Combine the water, salt and butter in heavy pan and bring to boil.

Turn the heat down and stirring constantly, slowly pour in the cornmeal. Cook for three minutes stirring vigorously.

Remove pan from heat and add the eggs and buttermilk, mix well. Stir in the cream and the corn and pour the batter into a lightly greased 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes.

Spoon it out while it's hot or let cool and slice.

Late Summer Salad

Citrus Vinaigrette (I used 4 tablespoons Calolea Orange Olive Oil and 2 tablespoons Trader Joe's Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar) These are both great products to have in your pantry.

2 handfuls of baby greens or whatever lettuce you prefer (Hungry Mother Organics)

1 small melon (I used a Heart of Gold available from Lattin or Workman Farms)

8 to 10 ripe figs (from Chuck's Vue Farm)

Fresh raspberries (Rodriquez Farms)

2 oz. creamy mild goat cheese (Trader Joe's)

Wash greens, cut melon in half, scoop out seeds and slice thinly, keeping contour of melon. Rinse figs under cool water, pat dry and cut in halves or quarters.

Spread lettuce on serving platter and arrange melon and figs freely on top.

Dot with raspberries drizzle vinaigrette over the fruit and crumble the goat cheese over all.


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