These three-day weekends during the height of market season are great opportunities for you to practice what I preach and put your money where my mouth is: You too can make a commitment to celebrate your country by supporting its small farmers and small-businessmen and women. Our market will have everything you need to do just that.
Blue Dog BBQ encourages you to pre-order, and we encourage you to check out all of our great recipes on our website or at the Smart Market tent at the market and buy and use fennel from Montoya’s Produce, bread and English peas from Heritage Farm and Kitchen, strawberries from Tyson Farms, beef from Angelic Beef, sweets from Peachtree Sweets, and you know you cannot beat Betty’s Chips and Salsa for snacking. For a meal in hand, pick up some pasties from Celtic Pasties. And don’t forget chocolate from El Ceibo to soothe the soul.
Be safe and have fun. See you at the market!
From the Market Master
I do hope that no one missed my missive last week, because I must admit that I did not miss writing it. I was on my once-a-year vacation in the lovely little community of Wrightsville Beach, N.C., which is just near Wilmington.
I am happy to report that the Buy Local movement is alive and well in many ways, even in small-town America. We saw it in the active promotion of local beers, at a wonderful locally sourced restaurant called the Kitchen, and even on a sign at a hot dog trolley on the beach touting the fact that their T-shirts were made in the U.S. It was heartening to see, but it did make me wonder why we do not see more of that grass-roots pride and activity in our area.
I did buy myself a precious collection of eight little "cookery" books by Thomas J. Murrey, published in the mid-1880s. They are packed with nifty ideas, some hilariously arcane, for cooking and serving everything from melons to mutton, with much general advice on the side. I am going to have fun picking some of that sage advice from the pages of the books over the summer.
Mr. Murrey had a most interesting career in hotel kitchens and for a while served as head chef of the kitchen in the basement of the House of Representatives. The books were originally owned by a lady with calligraphy-like handwriting named Eliza B. Eagle. There are stories there to be sure, and I will let you know about those, too.
Here is a little tip about keeping eggs from Breakfast Dainties, published in 1885: “Eggs may be kept for a long time by covering them with beeswax dissolved in warm olive oil or cotton-seed oil. Use one third wax to two thirds oil”. I thought you would appreciate knowing this in the event we lose power for several days this summer.
And about those farmers’ markets — we are now seeing spring cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage, which do taste different from the fall crops. Don’t ask me why. I did learn from my new books that melons should not be grown near squash and pumpkins though — they will taste as “insipid” as those other varieties do when they are raw. Maybe those spring versions of what we normally consider fall veggies are influenced in the same way by their warm-weather neighbors. Ask your farmer about that. I am only guessing.
We have a new recipe on our website to help you enjoy the short pea season while you can.