Friends of the Everett Farmer’s Market it’s time to rejoice! We’re in the peak of summer and the produce is more varied and delicious right now!
If you’ve strolled through the market as a weekly patron or as a curious first-timer, you may have experienced something called “produce anxiety” (not a clinical term). It’s that feeling you get when you see so much good food and have no idea where to start or what to do with all that you may buy. We put together a few guidelines and we hope it takes some of the edge off and helps you make the best of your Sunday shopping at the Marina (seriously, we are so lucky!)
1. Stroll through the market once when you first get there: This will give you an idea of what’s in store for you on that particular Sunday. We post a vendor map on Facebook (“Like” us to stay updated) and on our website the day before the market, on Saturday if you prefer being prepared in advance.
2. Ask the vendors questions: Most of us know what a cucumber looks like but what exactly is a lemon cucumber? The farmers that grow the food have this wealth of knowledge that they are more than happy to share. Not only that, they will also be able to tell you how they cook in their own kitchens with the food they grow. This can give you many ideas that you can try and copy in your own homes. By the way, lemon cucumber are yellow, round, can be pickled, have a milder and less bitter taste than the green cucumber. They taste nothing like a lemon.
3. Look for food pairing ideas: Tomatoes and basil go together raw or cooked. Garlic and onions are the base of many stir fries, soups and sheet pan meals. They can be paired with almost every vegetable, mushroom (Cascadia Mushrooms), meat or fish. Kale can be turned into chips and other leafy greens – if stored properly – can make a week’s worth of salad using berries, stone fruit, cheeses, and the wonderful vinegars (Olive Branch), honey, sauces (Four Sisters Gourmet Sauces, Menno’s Sauces) and mustards (Aldrich Farms). Dips (Bubba’s Salsa) and (Serendipity Artisian Dips), plus seasoning blends (Grandma Edna’s) that can be mixed into yogurt are also great to pair with carrots or other crunchy vegetables.
4. Keep it simple: If you feel overwhelmed, seek out the food that feels familiar to you. Green beans, for example need little more than to be cooked till tender and eaten with a simple vinaigrette. Seasonally grown food tastes wonderful on its own so just a little salt and pepper can do wonders for it. Herbs are great for adding additional layers of flavor. Nuts (Holmquist Hazlenuts) add great texture. Cheese adds love from (Mt Townsend Cheese, Gothberg Goat Cheese, Golden Glen Creamery plus Acme Jack at Mt Jack Cured Meats). We have it all laid out for you.
There you have it! Did we mention that we have flowers too? They go well with almost any table arrangement. If you have any food or market-related questions, post them to our facebook page to start a new discussion. You can also share your EFM photos or food creations with us there. We’d love to see what you’re cooking up with your purchases.
We hope to see you at the Sunday Everett Farmer’s Market 11am to 4pm, feeling more like a pro. If you are out of town on Sunday be sure to stop by the Friday Farmers Market Everett Mall 3pm to 7pm before you leave.
Edlyn G D’Souza is a writer and the more she says that, the truer it becomes. She has her roots in Goa and Mumbai in India, where she worked as a journalist for 5 years. She now lives in Washington where she writes in her blog egeedee.com, draws cat stuff, never tires of seeing Mt Rainier and dreams about changing the world through her stories.