Thank goodness fall is finally here. It felt like a really long hot summer to me, and I’m looking forward to a little cooler weather, not the snow flying just yet, but a nip in the air is good. It seems like it takes forever for summer to get here and then once it starts it goes by so fast. I hope everyone has gotten their share of peaches, plums, nectarines, strawberries, raspberries and the abundant produce the farmers market has to offer.
Saturday will be the last market of the season and it’s time to stock up. I can’t believe we’re finishing up our 10th year. With the spring market and an 18-week season this summer, that’s 22 weeks of bringing local and seasonal produce to downtown, quite an accomplishment for Northern Nevada. That’s almost half a year.
Now is also a good time to pay the rest of the vendors a visit. I know no one likes to hear the “C” word in September, but with a little foresight now you can have some of that shopping out of the way.
Rich Castle, our new jewelry vendor, has some fabulous one-of-a-kind pieces and so does Infinite Glass Art. Buy some soaps, lotions or candles from Campie’s Lavender, Desert Plains Soap Works or Hidden Valley Honey.
The Toy Dudes have some great wooden hand carved toys and Woodworks by Fox also has one-of-a-kind crafts. Sierra ParaCord offers handmade survival products and the Wine Chimes booth has unique products.
Now is the time to stock up on olive oil from Calolea and jams and jellies from Lattin Farms. Going to miss those Hearts of Gold? Buy a jar of their jam and you won’t. Casa Bonita has some beautiful metal art that looks good in anyone’s yard. At Sierra Flower Farms booth Jessica’s husband, Graham, makes these wonderful wooden bowls, check them out. Stop by and see Freshway Fish and freeze some for later, you’ll be happy to have that stockpiled.
Pay a visit to our farmers who sell meat and see what’s available from them year round; Bentley Ranch, Black Rock Bison, Eagle Valley Farms and Holley Farms.
Let all the vendors know how much you appreciated them coming every week. And a big thanks to all those in our community who support the farmers market.
The recipe I’m going to share with you this week is a great way to use those fresh tomatoes from your garden or the market. It captures the taste of summer and says hello fall.
Fresh Tomato Sauce
Score tops of tomatoes, 2-3 pounds or however many you have, with an “X” and drop them in boiling water for a minute or two till the skins come off easily, then transfer them to a bowl of cold water.
After I remove them from the bowl of cold water I always put them on a cookie sheet because the next step gets messy and this will keep most of it contained. You can use your hot water over again but I always change out the cold water.
You can also choose to do this part by cutting your tomatoes in half, tossing them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roasting them in the oven till the skins come off easily, little different flavor with roasted tomatoes but still good.
Peel the skins and seed your tomatoes, at this point you can freeze them as is for use later or make your sauce. I like to zip my tomatoes in my Cuisinart to chop them a bit.
Finely chop half a white or yellow onion and saute in a pan with some olive oil. When they start to become translucent, add 4-5 cloves of minced garlic, more or less to taste.
If you have a lot of tomatoes, use the whole onion and more garlic. I add a splash of red wine, a handful of fresh chopped basil, salt and pepper to taste and reduce the liquid in the sauce at this point so I cook it for about a half hour more.
Right before it’s done, I add a big pat of butter, about 2 tablespoons, and cook it for just a little longer. Julia Child said she always did this to help thicken the sauce and bring it all together. If you have a lot, you can freeze this for use in the winter.
Linda Marrone, a longtime Carson resident, manages the 3rd & Curry Street Farmers Market and is the director of Nevada Certified Farmers Market Association.