This Week at the Covington Farmer’s Market with Charlene LeJeune

Well, friends, here it is 2016. I hope all is well with you in this new year. Funny thing, this year looks remarkably similar to last year. We still have great music. We still have great food such as Kandy’s chicken porridge, creamy and delicious, or Jeff’s pulled pork with cheese grits. Grits taste even better when topped with a portion of smoky pork, don’t you think? It will be a bit chilly tomorrow and a bowl of Nanette’s chicken soup will warm you from head to toe and chase away the blues as well (incredible feel good powers there). Hold on to your hats (and tummies), Frankie is baking cherry vanilla chocolate chip cake. I definitely heard some resolutions breaking just then. No worries, a pint or two of fresh strawberries and a pint of raw honey and you’ll be back on track. Hopefully, the feathery ladies have been plenty happy and Mr. Houston will have more yard eggs.

Equipped with a few of her new songs and some old favorites, Michaela Lauer will sing us into the new year on Saturday. So grab your coffee (or one of Amanda’s or Simply Pure’s fresh juices) and visit the vendors while Chomper’s BBQ stokes up the flames on the smoker where his fabulous pulled pork is the star. Try it for yourself — and don’t forget the cole slaw!

At least one of your New Year’s resolutions should be to visit the Farmers’ Market more often….and bring your friends. It’s the perfect place to meet old friends and make new ones. It’s also the perfect place if you’ve made any of those New Year’s resolutions. Who can beat freshly picked veggies for that new plan to eat healthier?

With all the holiday fare available, I was eating far too much. So eating light was on my mind as I was shopping. I thought at first to just make just a very light broth from green onions with maybe a few noodles in there. Well, I’m standing at my table watching my green onions and thinking of that nice broth, and another thought struck. Wouldn’t some carrots go nicely in there?

So I head off in search. John had some wonderful carrots with the tops that would be great. The tops can substitute for parsley if needed but not to worry both John and Nick had fresh parsley. Nick also had carrots — smaller with the tops cropped. He told me they are awesome sautéed in a little butter until just tender. Oh wow! Then I looked over at the kale and voiced the thought that maybe some kale would go well in my soup. So Nick pulls out Tronchuda kale for tasting. This is a rare heirloom variety that is very tender, kinda like baby spinach. It would be terrific in a salad as well (even the stems which were nice and crunchy like celery and not at all tough and chewy).

Polenta tart with Spicy Garlic Tomato, Mozzarella and Herbs Bear Creek Road, LLC
Polenta tart with Spicy Garlic Tomato, Mozzarella and Herbs
Bear Creek Road, LLC

Then over to our newest vendor – the tomato lady – Ann. The problem here is that there is an enormous selection of succulent tomatoes – small cherry tomatoes (yellow, chocolate, and red), larger tomatoes of red, green, and chocolate. Put her on your list to check out. She’s right next to John where you’ll find not only carrots but beets, raddichio, fennel, and radishes. I used the tops of the fennel in my soup. It adds a surprising flavor that doesn’t taste like the bulb at all.

Walking back to my table, I stopped by Emily to get some broth (you know, just to help my soup along). She didn’t have vegetable but she did have duck bone broth. There goes another thought – I really should get my mind under control. (Nah!) Since I had leftover duck (from my son-in-law) plus turkey and chicken, I decided to make turducken soup. Another hit! It didn’t take much…just a healthy portion of chopped onions, parsley, the leftovers and duck broth in the crockpot and Voila! turducken soup! (OK, maybe it took a few hours of simmer time.)

No matter what your New Year’s resolutions, or lack of, this is the place to be. Whether it’s kombucha and cultured veggies or cookies and pies, you can’t go wrong at the Covington Farmers’ Market. See ya there!

Lots of love,

Charlene LeJeune

Abundant Life Kitchen

The Covington Farmers’ Market is open each Wednesday, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Covington Trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire and every Saturday from 8a.m. to 12p.m. on the side lawn of the Covington Police Station, 609 N. Columbia St. Call (985) 892-1873 for information or visit