This Week At The Farmer’s Market by Charlene LeJeune


Eggplant from Bartlett Farm
Eggplant from Bartlett Farm

Good afternoon, friends, and Happy TuesdayI have high hopes for a great day at the Market tomorrow. Can you hear the music of the Farmers’ Market String Band enticing you to the Market for a lunch of Rebecca’s authentic Honduran food, reminding you that Kandi’s cream cheesy shrimp rolls await, inviting you to partake of one of Nanette’s crisp vegetable wraps or an exotic Mediterranean salad or tempting you with prospect of Cynthia’s tasty Italian cuisine? If not the music, then perhaps it’s the scent of Jeff’s smoker drawing you to the smoky sweetness of a pulled pork sandwich? You’ll get there and be thrilled with the variety of Frankie’s fruit breads and cookies or the organic goodness of a meal replacement bar from Jennifer. Doug will be there as well with fresh blueberries and Natalie is back with yellow squash, zucchini and cucumbers. Mr. Houston has sweet cherry tomatoes that are snack ready.

Saturday morning will roll around (as it usually does at that time of the week), just as bright and lovely as ever – I don’t care what the weatherman says. Prepare yourself now for the delightful tunes of Dave Bandrowski and Friends coming from the gazebo, not to mention the aroma of Chomper’s smoker happily grilling the perfect pulled pork.

Beans have joined Nick’s table and, unfortunately, I did not get a chance to ask him about them. John has long, slender okra and Mr. Houston, Brandon, and Jessica all have fresh corn on the cob. Bardwell’s has some long red bell peppers. Here we have a quartet of ingredients, that cannot sing and are seemingly unrelated, but when combined offer a tasty side dish. You may want to roast a few extra ears of corn to have just for this dish and others. After enjoying some, freshly grilled, and nicely buttered (or not – fresh corn is sweet enough without butter) simply cut the corn from the cob and put it on the side. Save some to add to your stuffed pepper mixture. Chop your okra and pop it into a nice hot pan to sauté with onions, chopped red bell pepper, and garlic. While that’s sautéing, shell a carton of Nick’s beans, add them to the okra and continue to sauté for a few minutes. Season with salt (preferably Himalayan pink salt) and a little of my Rub Me Tender or All N Sundry seasoning, pour in a can of vegetable or chicken broth and the rest of the cut corn and let it cook until the beans are tender. Serve as is or add a diced tomato when you add the broth. Delish!

Jeff Miller is at the market with Creole tomatoes, blueberries and he is hoping to have more Chanterelle mushrooms. Get ‘em while you can ‘cause they won’t be available for long. I plan to stuff the rest of those bell peppers with seasoned ground pork (Jubilee Farms) and corn (we saved some earlier, remember?) and my own version of Rice a Roni.

Did any of you happen to stroll past Lolly Marie’s chocolates last week? How did you manage to walk away without one of her new creations? Pam has frozen banana “pops”, lovingly coated with creamy chocolate and rolled in nuts or sprinkles. And if that wasn’t enough, she has a healthy slice of frozen cheesecake, chocolate dipped and dressed in sprinkles or nuts…a delightful frosty dessert on a stick! Betty Rue has been experimenting with her gluten-free version of Oreos (we’ll just call them Betty-O’s) – a double helping of creamy center sandwiched between two small circles of rich chocolate cookie. Stop experimenting, Betty…they are perfect!

I bought a lovely bouquet of bright red celosia and Nancy mentioned that they will last 2 to 3 weeks. Aw, man! I’ll be out of town next week. No problem, she says, just hang them upside down in a dark closet to dry them. Isn’t that wonderful! I’ll have a bright bouquet of joy to welcome me home and sit on my table for a good while…or at least until the sunny yellow marigolds start to bloom. Life is good. As you can see, we have everything you need for a perfect morning at the market. The music and the food are calling. All we need is you.

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