This Week at the Smart Markets Oakton Farmers' Market

Be sure to try the hot chocolate from Kylie's Pop Shop this week — it's the best we've ever tasted!

This Week at our Oakton Market
Saturday 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Hosted by Unity Church of Fairfax
2854 Hunter Mill Rd.
Oakton, VA 22124

No Uncle Fred or Kettle Korn this week. But everyone else will be there with your favorite produce, meats, and baked goods. And I will write up and hand out a Beef Stew recipe for you too! (See below for more about that.)

Celtic Pasties will have Beef & Guinness, Cottage Pie Style, Chicken Alfredo, Late Thanksgiving, All Day Breakfast, Sweet Potato & Apple, and Cheese & Onion.

Tasty Tips

Kylie’s Hot Chocolate now offered at her Pop Shop! Made with Trickling Springs 2% milk, great chocolate, and wonderful marshmallows that you can buy to take home. My husband and I both agreed it was the best we had ever tasted.

Beef stew served last weekend for a birthday dinner, made with homemade beef broth from Angelic Beef soup bones and Angelic Beef chuck roast cut into larger chunks than their stew beef. For slow braising, and particularly with Doug’s beef, the beef should be cut into 1” x 2” cubes for perfect results. The stew was enhanced with local onions, carrots, and potatoes from your very own market.

I have also been playing around with a quick and easy way to serve apples as a dessert that does not require pastry or cake batter to fatten it up. I sliced one large apple very thin and sauteed it in about a teaspoon of bacon grease (butter would be fine here too, but not oil). Once it began to soften, after about 5–8 minutes, I added a tablespoon of maple syrup and 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries and stirred over medium heat for about 2 minutes to soften the berries and coat the apple slices with the syrup. Then I added about 2 tablespoons broken pecan halves and cooked for another minute or two.

It was great all by itself, but of course it could be served with yogurt or low-fat whipped cream, or if you are looking for a fancier dessert, over cake or ice cream once it has cooled down. Increase the ingredients as necessary. One big apple made two small but intensely-flavored servings.

News of the Week

The Virginia General Assembly is considering two bills that will make it easier for farmers to sell directly from their farms and will also strengthen the existing Right to Farm laws in Virginia. Learn more about it here.

Scary news from the American Academy of Pediatricians this week: Due to the alarming rise of Type 2 diabetes in young children and the high failure of oral medication for children, pediatricians are now recommending insulin injections for these children. Imagine what that means for their lives; their chances for living a normal life with a predictably normal life expectancy are doomed by the time they are ten years old. And one bill we can’t seem to get past the General Assembly is one that would require 30 minutes of school-based exercise every day. Not to mention the lagging interest in improving school lunches.

I don’t think we need to be feeding kids at school food they do not or will not eat, but we can feed them healthier versions of the foods they will eat while we work through a variety of ways and means to educate the parents and realign the taste buds. More next week on the latest research on how addictive sugar and other foods that are not good for us can be.

Smart Markets in 2013

We are looking to put together larger and more interesting markets next year. We will have more sustainable farmers and more variety in our fruits and vegetables and hopefully more home cooks and bakers bringing us the fruits of their labors, too.

Please remember that in Virginia you can cook and bake from your own home kitchen to sell directly to customers at farmers’ markets. If you or your friends and neighbors want to know more about how to make that happen, just visit this link and email me with your questions at jean@smartmarkets.org.

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