This Week at the Farmer’s Market by Charlene LeJeune

Oyster Mushrooms - Screaming Oaks Mushroom Farm - James Shoop
Oyster Mushrooms – Screaming Oaks Mushroom Farm – James Shoop

Hi, friends and Happy Tuesday! We’re already gearing up for tomorrow…this rain will be gone and the sun will be shining. It will be a day to get out and enjoy that sunshine and a great lunch. The grandkiddies have already decided what they will order. I will decide when I get there.

Music will usher in our Saturday morning with the contemporary folk tunes of Reed Alleman. So grab your coffee and spend a relaxing morning with us. Chef Robert Vasquez of Opal Basil on the Trace and Café Vive will delight us with a menu that he creates from the specials he buys from our market. With all the choices before him, I’m wondering where his creativity will take him.

Will he make crepes topped with fresh fruits like peaches and blueberries or even a scoop of Althee’s new low sugar Mulberry Jelly? Personally, I’d be just as happy with Mauthe’s yogurt or cream cheese topped with any or all of those. But, delicious as that is, it certainly doesn’t require the creativity for which Chef Vasquez is known. Perhaps he will choose eggplant (yes, we will have them this week) for his canvas, roasting them with carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, and onions for a quick and easy ratatouille. Maybe he’ll really be daring and surprise us!

We have a few new vendors at the market. First, on both Wednesdays and Saturdays, Sacred Earth makes meal replacement bars. Made with organic ingredients, these bars are gluten, dairy, soy, and nut free but definitely not taste free. They are delicious. Stop by and check them out. Next, we have Emmanuel Pig Farm featuring pasture raised pork. Their meat is aged for 7 days before being frozen.

Jessica of Two Kids Farm has homemade stevia extract along with an assortment of fresh veggies. Cucumber pickles decorated Norma Jean’s table for a little while before she sold out. She says she will also feature a different variation on lentil salad each week. While you’re over there, check out the gorgeous gladiolas from Alton and Sandra. I know a bouquet of glads make certainly make me glad! (OK, I’ll stop.)

Gina and I were discussing different ways her customers use her dressings, such as using Roasted Garlic and Tomato in a shrimp salad or drizzling Bleu Cheese over roasted veggies right before they’re done and back in the oven just long enough to let the cheese melt. Our discussion turned to how nice it would be to have Angel’s artichoke stuffing to use to stuff pork chops or chicken breast. Angel said she would be happy to take orders….hmmmmm…I’m thinking Angel’s stuffing, sandwiched between thick rounds of fried eggplant, finished with a “sauce” of Bleu Cheese dressing. And then, slice up a few of Nick’s heirloom tomatoes – so exquisitely simple. They need nothing else.

I’ve been babbling on and on and haven’t mentioned a third of the delights you’ll find at the Market. You’ll just have to come out and see for yourself. Just remember to stop by and say, “hello”. Personally, I can’t wait to find out what’s new this week!

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