Chattanooga Market

Sunday Market! 7-15

Cantaloupe, watermelon, and potatoes – farmstand without a name

Okra – Hazelrig Farm

Blueberries, zephyr squash, zucchini, peppers, and celery – Signal Mountain Farm

Corn – Flat Top Mountain Farm

Those melons are beyond what a house of two can possibly eat in a week but I have no self-control this time of year at the market. Once the cantaloupe and watermelon is gone for the season it’ll be a whole year before I get any more! I must stuff myself silly eat a reasonable amount now, right? Sigh…I suppose there are worse things I could bring home than 2o lbs of melon, eh?

The market haul will now no longer fit into 1 basket and it also no longer fits into 1 picture. Not a bad problem.

Cherry Tomatoes AKA The reason I am able to suffer through the heat of summer – Signal Mountain Farm.

I recommend keeping these on the kitchen counter and eating handfuls every time you walk through the room. I remember walking through the garden with my grandfather when I was little and eating tomatoes straight off the plant. This was against the instructions of my grandmother that I wash the dirt off first. Who has time to wash the dirt off when there are tomatoes to eat?!? There is just nothing better than a sun warmed tomato straight off the vine.  Luckily my grandfather never told my secret 🙂

October beans – from a farmstand without a name. Really, how can you resist a hot pink speckled bean?

Not pictured is my now weekly purchase of goat cheese from Bonnie Blue Farm. I was buying the garlic herb variety but now I get the plain because it not only makes a fabulous addition to tomato salad but it also is a great substitute for cream cheese. I also tried a new variety this week – raw goat milk gouda. It’s hard to take a picture of cheese when you tear into it before unloading any of the other produce. crazy good!

I’m taking the week off from canning. I made Champagne Mustard from Food in Jars last night (it’s actually supposed to be white wine mustard but I had the champagne and, well, that’s just how it went down). It takes a month to cure so we’ll see how that turns out. It smelled delicious going into the jars last night but was crazy bitter. The recipe notes say the bitter flavor will mellow.

I had lots of plans for freezing and canning today but I just couldn’t do it. I needed a day of reading in a room far from the stove and canning pot, you know?

cheers!

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Sunday Market! 6-24

I would have done well to have had a grocery cart today! Lots of gorgeous, delicious meal inspiring produce today!

Cantaloupe and peaches – Hazelrig Farm

Orange and Red Beets, Blueberries, patty pan squash, zucchini, golden zucchini, Brussels sprouts, purple bell peppers and green beans – Signal Mountain Farm

Goat Cheese – Bonnie Blue Farm

Finn style Sausage – Link 41 Sausage

 

I received a reply from the market director addressing my concerns about a vendor that was rumored to be reselling produce. He said:

They are exclusively employees of Watsonia.  We also insist in producer only presence, but many of our vendors employ others to assist with the businesses.
As near as we can tell, it’s a qualified and legitimate relationship and they are eligible to vend at the market. 
Thanks for your note. We mulled over this issue for some time, but came to the realization that its no different than several other long-term vendors and there staff. 
 Feel free to continue to ask questions/etc – we are committed to maintaining our high-quality market
I’m still not sure how I feel about the situation. I don’t think it is the same as other vendors who have staff working for them. This produce is being grown 298 miles from Chattanooga which seems a pretty far stretch to be called local. They sell it to a man in Atlanta who then drives it up to Chattanooga. It just doesn’t sit well with me so I’m sticking with the produce that I know and enjoying my weekly chats with the farmers themselves who remember me and ask how the peach jam turned out.
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Sunday Market 6-17

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! (ha! now you have a Christmas carol stuck in your head as well!) It’s the time of the year that the basket gets so heavy it seems unsafe to use the handle; you have to use 2 hands to support it from the bottom. This is not a terrible problem to have.

Blackberries – Flat Top Mountain

Blueberries, Fennel, and Cheddar Cauliflower – Signal Mountain Farm

Corn, Purple Hull Peas, Butter Beans, and Basil – various vendors

Cantaloupe and Peaches – Hazelrig Farm

Peaches – Rainbow Hill Farrm

Honey – Sale Creek Honey

Pizza Dough – Fresh Flour

Yes, we got peaches from 2 different vendors. Sometimes you need to share the love.

The peas and beans were a bit pricey at $4/pint bag but, they were already shelled. I’ve not had the best luck buying purple hull peas in Chattanooga and that is terribly disappointing to me. When we lived in Mississippi I would buy a bushel and stock the freezer. Last year was the first time I really found them around here and the quality was poor at best. These look great and I can’t wait to have my first peas of the season!

I bought a very large bunch of basil for a special project this week. The best way to store basil is to keep the stems in water. It stays nice and perky and you might even get some roots to develop.

I would love to have had blackberries to preserve as well as for snacking, but this week there will be no preserving, canning or putting up. This week I’m tackling my largest cooking endeavor yet…ice cream for 70 people! It’s a graduation gift for a very dear friend. Hopefully I’ll still be sane enough to enjoy the party!

I heard a troubling rumor at the market this week. There is a new vendor this week and I heard today that they might not actually be growing what they are selling but buying and reselling. The Chattanooga Market has a producer only policy which means that you must be the producer, grower, and/or creator of your goods. I appreciate this policy because I like to know my farmer and I like knowing that their product is as important to them as it is to me. I’ve emailed the market director for clarification so I’ll keep you posted…

cheers!

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Eat Up, Chattanooga!

Eat Up is a new local cookbook series produced by Gaining Ground. It is a 4-part, seasonal cookbook and the spring edition is available now.

It is gorgeous! The pencil sketches on the front are fabulous and the photography inside is stellar. It is available (for free!!) at the local markets and there are also a few cooking demonstrations scheduled to showcase the recipes. Check out the schedule for those dates.

One of the recipes I’ve seen talked about the most is the beet brownies. I’ve not made this particular recipe but I have made the Beet Cake from Fine Cooking. I can attest that beets + chocolate = fabulousness. Crazy, but true! Everyone that tasted this cake said it was the best chocolate cake they had ever had. I would love to attribute that to my cooking skills but it was the beets, really.

Make sure you pick up a copy of the Spring edition; there are some great recipes to try!

cheers!

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Sunday Market! June 3

Nectarines, Peaches, and yellow squash – Hazelrig Farm

Strawberries – Flattop Mountain Farm

Squash blossoms and green beans

Garlic Scapes – Sheerlark Farm

Garlic and Chive Goat Cheese – Bonnie Blue Farm

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Sunday Market! 5-20

Strawberries – Tidwell Berry Farm – I’m pretty sure these are the best strawberries I’ve ever had!

Broccoli – Sheerlark Farms

Napa Cabbage, Kale, and Swiss Chard – Signal Mountain Farm

Collards

The theme for the market this week was Strawberry Festival but, I think the theme for my basket was greens! The phrase “grocery budget” seems to cease to exist to me when I get to the market and see all the lovely produce. I suppose there are worse vices 🙂

The menu for the week:

Beef Rendang

Braised Lamb and Collards

Chard Tart with broccoli

Kale and Cabbage Gratin with Sausage

 

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Sunday Market, May 13

It’s Market Day!

Strawberries – Flat Top Mountain

Garlic Scapes – Sheerlark Farms

Sugar Snap Peas and Onions – Signal Mountain Farm

Carrots and Potatoes – both came from new vendors that didn’t appear to be named farms. I’ll try to double check next week.

Aren’t those purple carrots gorgeous?!? Stay tuned for lots of yummy meals to come this week!

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Sunday Market! April 29

Its market day again! What a difference a week makes. There was so much more produce available this week! Strawberries (yea!), broccoli, snow peas, red leaf lettuce, carrots, radishes, kale…oh my!

Broccoli and red leaf lettuce – Rainbow Hill Farm

Snowpeas and kale – Sheerlark Farm

Strawberries – Tidwell Berry Farm

Radishes and carrots – unfortunately, in the excitement of finding purple carrots at the market, I didn’t notice the name of this new vendor. I’ll be sure to make a note next week!

Spelt Millet Bread – Bernhard’s Bread Bakery (home to the best pretzel and my favorite Sunday snack)

Half of the strawberries have been put in the freezer to save for sorbet. The snowpeas have almost all been devoured (oops!) and there are exciting things on the menu for the rest…stay tuned!

A Pure Sodaworks  apple pie soda and a Good Dog hot dog topped off the market trip this week.

cheers!

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Taco Sherpa

The food truck phenomenon has taken off in Chattanooga! Taco Sherpa is the latest addition, offering up Korean style BBQ tacos. I opted for the galbi (pork) bowl version today at lunch – minus the corn tortilla and add brown rice. A lavender mint soda from Pure Sodaworks was the perfect complement!

The flavors were great! The pork was juicy and the soy marinade melded perfectly with the vinegary-ness of the vegetables. I was worried the Sherpa Sauce might be a bit spicy but it was just right!

I’m a bit enthralled with food trucks. The overhead costs are lower, allowing more people to jump in the game and offer unique options. The ease of mobility is definitely a plus and exposes more people to good food – always a good thing!

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Market Day!

After a long, cold winter (ok, not so cold this year but really, really long without my Sunday market!) the day has finally arrived…Opening Day of the Chattanooga Market!

Early season produce from Rainbow Hill Farm:

Link 41…best bacon ever!

Gorgeous spoons and utensils – adding these to the market wish list!

Sad face…all the strawberries were sold out in 30 minutes! A second delivery came but the line wrapped around and around the booth. Sigh, maybe next week!

I missed out on the strawberries, but I did get…Asparagus! I might actually be more excited about that fabulous find anyway!

It’s still early days for the produce but it was great to be back in the market groove!

What fabulous things found their way into your basket this week?

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