Friday, June 4, 2010

The First Market and Newfangled Hamburgers

It was a fantastic first farmers' market on Saturday in Joseph. What a great festival! From the petting zoo with goats from Sally B. Farms, lambs and the world's cutest calf from Arrowhead Ranch to the Kettle Corn and the Prairie Creek Girls' music, it was a mighty good time for everyone.

Of course, there were the vendors selling the county's finest produce and beef. I had a great time using all the greens, herbs and other early spring goodies I could find to accompany two exotic hamburgers I made in front of the crowd: a Greek-style and a Thai-style. It was a demo I called Burgers Without the Bun.

My grill took a long time to warm up, but you couldn't say the same thing about the crowd. People came to shop the market crowd, visit with friends and live it up on a lovely Saturday morning. It was the best market ever.

Greek-style Grassfed Hamburgers I served these with a lemon-yogurt sauce along with grilled asparagus and fresh spinach with a lemon-olive oil vinaigrette.

1/2 pound ground beef
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1/4 cup crumbed feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup plain yogurt,
1 small garlic clove, minced
pinch sea salt
zest of 1 lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Break up the ground beef and add the garlic, red pepper, tomato paste, feta, olives, parsley, salt and pepper.Gently work the ingredients into the ground beef with a spatula. Pinch off a tablespoon or so and grill, broil or fry it and taste to make sure it's just the way you like it. Adjust the seasonings to suit your taste. Shape the ground beef mixture into patties.

To make the sauce, stir together the yogurt, garlic, salt, lemon and chives until well blended. Let sit for 15 minutes to let the flavors develop. Serve with the cooked hamburgers.

Thai-Style Grassfed Hamburgers
I served these with grilled bok choy, mustard greens and sliced salad turnips with a sesame-ginger vinaigrette.

1/2 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
1/2 teaspoon chili sauce or more to taste
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Break up the ground beef and add the fish sauce, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, chili sauce, sesame oil and cilantro. Gently work the ingredients into the ground beef with a spatula. Pinch off a tablespoon or so and grill, broil or fry it and taste to make sure it's just the way you like it. Adjust the seasonings to suit your taste. Shape the ground beef mixture into patties.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Spring Planting Festival kicks off the 2010 market season

I don't know about you, but the recent warm weather has left me scrambling to get my garden in. With our short growing season, the more days my tomatoes and peppers have to grow and ripen, the more likely it is that I'll have a harvest.

That's why the Spring Planting Festival couldn't be better placed. On Saturday, May 29, the farmers' market is kicking off its season with a celebration of gardening. We're going to have lots of plant starts for both vegetable and flower gardeners, as well as gardening books and tools, crafts, live music, kids' activities, and a seasonal cooking demonstration to help you get in the mood for growing FOOD (and flowers, too)!

Oh, and did I mention a petting zoo?

The Spring Planting Festival will run from 10 am to 2 pm in downtown Joseph, at the corner of Main and Joseph Streets. Come check it out, and then get ready to don your gardening gloves!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Let the 2010 market begin!

Hi everyone! Well, it's been a long winter (as usual) and an almost non-existent spring (also as usual) but we PROMISE summer is right around the corner. And that means it's time for the Wallowa County Farmers' Market to put out its tables and pitch its canopies for another season!

I can already smell the kettle corn and taste the sweet springtime spinach...not to mention TRULY free-range eggs, fresh-baked bread, grass-fed burgers, luscious fruit, and all kinds of other goodies that will be for sale at the market.

In another post, I will tell you all about the brand-spanking-new event we have planned to kick off the growing season. But first, I wanted to let you know the schedule of events is now posted for the upcoming season. The calendar features a return of some favorites from past years, as well as a few new ideas. Just click the "events calendar" tab at the top of the page.

Two particular things to note. The Joseph market is moving ever so slightly, and will now be in the middle of Joseph Street, just west of Main Street (between the Baptist church and the Library). This will give us more room to breathe, and much more visibility. Also, you can sleep in a little later on Saturdays and still catch us at the market; Joseph market will shift an hour later this season to run from 10 am to 2 pm.

No surprises for fans of the Enterprise market, though. It will stay on Thursdays, 4 to 7 pm, on the Courthouse lawn and still in conjunction with the free courthouse concert series organized by the wonderful and hard-working folks of the Wallowa Valley Music Alliance. (Phew!)

Hope to see you there!!