Farmer’s Market Finds
This past Saturday was the first time I’ve been able to go to the Dane County Farmer’s Market since the season started on 17 April. The day was wet and cold (38 degrees) but full of goodness. Spring in Wisconsin doesn’t yield much in the way of produce, but it’s my absolute favorite season. I love the blooming trees, the special colors, and the delicious array of green veggies that appear. Sorrel, rhubarb, hoop house spinach (which, sweetened by frost, are the most tender and delicious spinach leaves in the world), arugula, scallions, watercress… mmm! Asparagus, morel mushrooms, and a heavenly array of cheeses make for fine local eating. Here are some of our finds from this weekend.
The remains of a loaf of Stella’s Hot Spicy Cheese Bread. AMAZING indulgence that I limit to once per season. They are best when the weather is cool, and the steaming bread warms you to your core.
I LIVE FOR THIS JAM.
Since the very first time I had it, back in 2005, I have obsessively loved Hedgerow Jam. The Summer Kitchen makes a huge selection of jams and jellies, but I have yet to find any that sway my allegiance to the Hedgerow.
Sunflower oil from Cherokee Sun. This is our first time trying their sunflower oil, since we usually get ours from Driftless Organics. This stuff is delicious! Sunflower oil isn’t a very good cooking oil (it doesn’t do well with heat) but it 1.) has a nutty, light flavor, 2.) is packed with vitamin E, 3.) is a key component for a variety of divine salad dressings, and 3.) will take you on a trip to tasty town via its use as a popcorn topping.
Arugula from Snug Haven Farm. Best arugula ever. I was actually at Snug Haven via my Farm to School responsibilities early in April, and saw this arugula as a wee little plant. Spicy, crisp, delicious. Arugula is officially one of my all time favorite veggies.
What else did we get? Well….
Last but definitely not least, I found some sorrel at the market. Sorrel is a plant that grows wild during the very beginning of spring. Much like morels and watercress, it’s only available for a short while, which makes it extra special to me. Sorrel has a lemony, sour flavor that you just don’t find in greens that often. It’s amazing raw in salads, added to salad dressings, thrown in to stir-fry, etc. And it’s beautiful.
Tonight is the East Side Farmer’s market, which (despite the weather being once again cold and rainy) I plan on attending. Can’t wait to see what special foodstuffs will be waiting there.
Thanks for reading.
P.S. This is what the market looked like- ah, May in Wisconsin.