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Healthy Living Local Events Shop Local This Week at the Farmer's Market

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

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Wed Farmers Market signGood afternoon, friends and great news – it’s Tuesday again! That means just one more day to a tasty lunch, sweet breezes, and relaxing music – perfect for summertime lunching. Now I know you’re thinking it’s gonna be pretty hot, and it is, but there always seems to be a fair breeze whipping up under the Covington Farmers market pavilion.

But it’s more than fair breezes enticing you to the Market for a lunch of Rebecca’s authentic Honduran food. It’s our amazing vendors and their love of food that has you dreaming of Kandi’s shredded cabbage salad with its crunchy bits of carrot, chicken, red onion and herbs and inviting you to partake of Nanette’s savory summer Minestrone soup with lovely chunks of squash, green beans, tomatoes, and great northern beans swimming in a savory broth seasoned with oregano and basil or tempting you with the prospect of Jeff’s pulled pork and a side of cheese grits and a luscious new creation – ranch macaroni salad.

WatermellonYou’ll get there and have trouble deciding between Frankie’s bread pudding with rum sauce or the new egg custard pies with eggs so fresh you can see the yellow. Don’t forget the veggies – zucchini, bell peppers, squash, potatoes, and watermelon. Our vendors are offering some incredible dishes that are hard to pass up, which is why I usually pick up several and enjoy them throughout the week. Sometimes, I even let Mr. Wonderful share in the bounty.

Saturday morning will roll around (as it usually does at that time of the week), just as bright and lovely as ever. Prepare yourself now for the delightful tunes of Joe Barbara coming from the gazebo. Pat Lester’s Food Wagon will be parked at the curb on Columbia Street. Make sure you get here early to get your coffee and enjoy the morning, the music, the many market delights.

Bartlett Farm has heirloom tomatoes galore!!

Bartlett Farm has heirloom tomatoes galore!!

New vegetables are joining the ranks each week. Nick has a selection of heirloom eggplant with names that are as inviting as the vegetable, such as Ping Tong, Pandora Striped, Louisiana Green, and L’il Sailor. They could get you in trouble, though. “Hey, John and Mary, how ‘bout joining us for dinner tonight? We’re cooking up a batch of L’il Sailors – so nice and tasty!” (OK, OK, I’ll stop.) Mr. Houston has 2 varieties of watermelon – traditional and one called Moon & Stars. You may even get lucky and get a few of Natalie’s ghost eggplant.

purple hull peasEddie has yard-long beans and purple hull peas in the shell and you’ll find cuccuzzas hanging around Bardwell’s table. The Clecklers have sweet Alabama peaches and Pink Lady peas. John has a tasty mix of fuzzy yellow tomatoes, bright orange and long skinny reds that look more like a red pepper than a tomato. Didn’t matter to me; they were real good. Fancy names or not, there’s still lots of good eats on the tables.

A Rainbow of kombucha from Kombucha Girl Living Beverages

A Rainbow of kombucha from Kombucha Girl Living Beverages

Althee tells me she is adding no sugar added jams to her repertoire starting with mango and blueberry and will soon add strawberry as well. Hot Tamale Mama is stunning the tamale world with her latest creation – red beans and rice tamales! I haven’t tasted them yet but Pam has a knack for making the ordinary extraordinary. She also has a new oyster mushroom and lentil soup. With all this great food hanging around, please tell me you’re not planning to sleep in. We’d hate for you to miss out.

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 www.covingtonfarmersmarket.org

Local Events Shop Local This Week at the Farmer's Market

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

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Wed Farmers Market signHi, friends and Happy Tuesday!  Are you ready for a great lunch? Well, tomorrow’s almost here bringing all kinds of goodness from your market vendors. I usually go with a plan…what do I want for the rest of the week? Wednesday’s lunch – maybe a Mediterranean salad with pita bread and hummus. Since Frankie is serving fresh fruit kabobs with sour cream & brown sugar dipping sauce, I’ll get that for breakfast on Thursday with a delightful pan seared salmon salad from Kandi for lunch. Friday morning will see pork with hash browns (I’ll have to do those myself) on the breakfast menu (I’m very non-traditional) and a Creole tomato sandwich for lunch – YUM! I believe that Natalie will be back with fresh veggies so I may add a few slices of crunchy cucumber “chips” on the side.

Cat Lane & Reaper Cheaters will play at the Covington Farmer's Market this Saturday

Cat Lane & the Reaper Cheaters will play at the Covington Farmer’s Market this Saturday

Saturday morning will awaken with the lively music of Cat Lane and the Reaper Cheaters flowing from the gazebo. So grab your coffee and spend a relaxing morning with us. Wildcrafter Smoothie and Juice Bar in Covington will be in the demo tent sampling and selling their delicious and healthy drinks. Can’t wait to try those!

corn-corn-on-the-cob-corn-kernels-food-eatMake a fresh salad with chunks of cucumber, zucchini, yellow squash, banana peppers, and tomato with a splash or two of one of this markets amazing salad dressings such as Gina’s Roasted Tomato & Garlic or Nanette’s Spicy Raspberry Vinaigrette. You’ll need a healthy beverage with that, so try Sam’s ultra-fresh coconut water, Amanda’s new green juice, Simply Pure’s Tiger Stripes, or Susan’s Peach Kombucha. Good news! Kombucha Girls has their Master Tonic available again! Can’t beat fresh juices on a warm spring day! Cool off with a refreshing fruit popsicle from Amanda or a hand-shaved snowball from Stephanie.

Liz told me this past weekend that Jubilee Farms will have organic, non-GMO corn available this week and next. So take advantage and get lots of ears while you can. Newly-picked corn grilled in the husk sharing your plate with sliced zucchini and green onion sausage right off the pit – uh-huh, I know you’re smilin’ too. Your veggies are great roasted as well – tomatoes, onions, peppers, squash, and eggplant tossed with olive oil and a salt-free seasoning (Spicy Lady, me) and popped into the oven until they reach perfect deliciousness. Serve with a smile.

BlueberriesI haven’t even mentioned a fourth of the delights you’ll find at the Market like Lolly Marie’s creamy caramels, Bear Creek Road’s soft pretzels stuffed with seasonal fruit, coffee milk from Mauthe’s, blueberries, peaches, or plums. 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 www.covingtonfarmersmarket.org

Healthy Living Local Events Shop Local This Week at the Farmer's Market

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

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Wed Farmers Market sign

Happy Tuesday, friends! There’s a lovely day at the market for you tomorrow, full of music and fresh veggies and wonderful food. Take some time to have lunch with us. Feast on a new creation from Kandi – a shredded cabbage salad with shredded carrots, chicken, red onions, cilantro, mint, and Chinese cilantro all lightly seasoned with a side of fish sauce. And so tasty too! Nanette is making a refreshing watermelon gazpacho to lighten your meal. Add one of her remarkable chicken salad wraps to go. Jeff is preparing that crunchy broccoli salad that’s so delicious to go with his smoky pulled pork. Maybe a few chicken tamales would be more to your liking. Finish with a slice of lemon blueberry bread from Frankie (and save the rest for during the week). And then I suppose you do have to get back to work…heavy sigh. But wait! Don’t forget your veggies! Pick up some new potatoes and bell peppers from Mr. Houston or a few Creoles and peaches from Greg Miller. Natalie will be back next Wednesday with zucchini, cucumbers, bell peppers, and yellow squash.

I am planning for a lucky Saturday with the Lucky Dogs bouncing out their tunes from the gazebo while gentle breezes and friendly smiles sprinkle your morning. Grab your coffee and stay awhile. Norma Jean Marcon of Norma Jean’s Cuisine will demonstrate how to make the perfect Salade Nicosia using the bounty of the Covington Farmers’ Market.

Fresh picked chanterelles at the Covington Farmers Market

Fresh picked chanterelles at the Covington Farmers Market

And bounty we do have! Last week, Nick put out baskets of heirloom tomatoes – tiny orbs of yellow, pink, red, and chocolate all sharing their pint of space. There are tomatoes a plenty from JR Bardwell, John Bartlett, the Clecklers, and Greg Miller. Yes, Greg is back and he also has peaches and Chanterelles. Yippee! But he’s not the only one. Chanterelles also joined James’ lions mane, oyster, and shiitake mushrooms and I found them on Nick’s and John’s tables as well. I’ll have a new seasoning on Saturday that will take those mushrooms on a magical mushroom tour (or somewhere close to there). Or, you can try one of Spicy Lady’s seasonings. Cheryl is sure to have one to go with any veggie at the market and still keep your taste buds hoppin’.

Potato Yukon Gold from Bartlett Farm

Potato Love – Yukon Gold from Bartlett Farm

You will find many varieties of squash around the tables and I’m sure you’re looking for unique ways to prepare them. I came across a couple of sandwiches that would fit the bill perfectly. I’ll post the photos below. The first one comes from our terribly missed friends at Slice of Heaven (now inconveniently located in Oregon). Brandon and Marietta used sautéed greens, which may be a little hard to find at our market these days but sprouts (Sam) or shoots (Nick) will be a wonderful substitute. He then added cheese (Mauthe’s or Farmhouse Dairy), onions, pesto, red peppers and grilled for a very tasty veggie sandwich. Nur sautéed tomatoes and zucchini and spread her bread with hummus. You know that we have the best bread around so no matter which you choose, you will come out a winner. Each sounds so delicious and simple and you can vary the veggies to suit your tastes.

Those aren’t the only veggies gracing the tables. Mr Houston has purple bell peppers, JR has eggplant, John Bartlett has Yukon Gold potatoes (and the red ones too), Eddie has fresh garlic, Nick has cute little heirloom squash, and Natalie is back with zucchini, cucumbers, squash and more.

Screaming Oaks Mushroom Farm table last Saturday - mushrooms, blueberries & chickens!

Screaming Oaks Mushroom Farm table last Saturday – mushrooms, blueberries & chickens!

What will make your market merry? Mushrooms, raw honey, avocado salsa, Japanese maples, fresh juices, Kombucha, special treats for your pets, muffins, fresh bread, and cookies all wrapped up in a glorious Saturday morning!  I know, I know…I can hardly believe it myself. If you’re not there, you’re gonna miss out.

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 www.covingtonfarmersmarket.org

Healthy Living Local Events Shop Local This Week at the Farmer's Market

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

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Wed Farmers Market signHappy Tuesday, friends! We’re looking forward to a great day tomorrow full of music and fresh veggies and good food.  Mr. Houston’s garden has been bloomin’ with cucumbers (eatin’ and picklin’), green potatoes, squash, bell peppers, and he may even have some tomatoes and eggplant. Come and join us for a relaxing lunch. Kandi’s pan seared salmon salad and a glass of sweet jasmine tea make a perfect lunch. Bring home dinner with a pound of Jeff’s pulled pork, cole slaw, Mac N Cheese, and baked beans. Or try Nanette’s refreshing cucumber yogurt soup which will go very nicely with her summery Mediterranean salad. A Honduran hot tamale (they are pretty big), salsa and chips and you have lunch for Thursday or even Friday. And, of course, you can’t be without dessert and Frankie’s gotcha covered with strawberry dream pie or her incredible Marguerita pie. Ooh my!

Make plans to come out on Saturday and enjoy the toe-tappin’ melodies of Chris Talley coming from the gazebo. So grab your coffee or one of Sacred Earth’s new caffeine bars and enjoy the music while you do your shopping. Oh, you heard me right. Enough caffeine for a full cup of coffee, balanced with fresh herbs and oats in a scrumptious breakfast bar. Then, get ready for some barbecue because VooDoo Foods will have their rig parked on Columbia Street, ready to dish out some great BBQ. They will also have homemade Worcestershire Sauce and Twangy sauce. Not sure what Twangy sauce is but it does sound tasty doesn’t it?

Summer Squash from GROW.farm

Summer Squash from GROW.farm

I took a slow walk around the market last week and it surely has blossomed this past week. I guess it’s all the rain we’ve been having. But even a quick stroll around will reveal a treasure trove of veggies. Eddie’s Veggies table was filled with golden wax beans, Maxibell green beans, yellow zukes and banana peppers (soooo good sautéed with onions and Italian sausage and served over spaghetti – easy peasey). The Clecklers not only had tomatoes but peaches as well. I cut up a peach to add to my tea for a flavor boast. Mr. Houston told me he would have tomatoes and possibly eggplant for this week along with squash and. J.R. said he will have cherry tomatoes, potatoes, rattlesnake snap beans, zucchini, yellow & white squash, and cucumbers.  John promised bell peppers, eggplant, red and Yukon Gold potatoes, great juicing carrots, and , if you get there early, some heirloom tomatoes.

Carrots from Bartlett Farm at the Covington Farmer's Market

Carrots from Bartlett Farm at the Covington Farmer’s Market

Don’t forget about grilling! We’ve got a smorgasbord of meats and veggies that are ready and waiting for a few grill marks. Marinate your chicken in Bechac’s Roasted Garlic & Tomato Dressing for an hour or so before grilling for tender tasty chicken. YUM! Careful, a dab of goat cheese in the middle of your burgers will have you crowned Master Griller and you will be in charge of the pit from then on.

I had a chance to try Spicy Lady’s Wasabe Seasoning on Saturday and I’ll admit to a bit of trepidation since I always associated wasabe with lots of heat. It was delicious, not too hot, and I thought that it would be really great mixed with a little of Cheryl’s oils and tossed on grilled veggies, potatoes, mushrooms, shrimp, or what have you.

Breads love it on the grill. Suzie will have Spinach Feta this week which probably won’t work too well on the pit but her Health Grain bread or French baguettes toast up wonderfully, especially with a little of Vincent & Mauricio’s Skordalia spread over it. Lena’s home ground wheat breads just dying to get toasted and Crystal’s gluten free sourdough breads are sure to please even those who are not concerned about gluten. Spread some of Bear Creek’s garlic and herb butter on several slices and pop those babies on the grill. Or just toast ‘em plain and add a little Meaux Mustard for a jazzy sandwich. With four flavors – Local Honey, Creole, Green Heat, or Blueberry – you may have a tough time choosing.

Bear Creek Road Pie of the Month: Dark Chocolate Strawberry Pâté Tart with Lavender Meringue

Bear Creek Road Pie of the Month: Dark Chocolate Strawberry Pâté Tart with Lavender Meringue

You won’t want to stop there. After all, Lolly Marie is boasting those yummy caramels, white ginger truffles, and chocolate raspberry truffles plus caramel apples. There’s so much more out here – a beautiful spring breeze, delightful music, great food. What more can you ask for?

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 www.covingtonfarmersmarket.org

Local Events Shop Local This Week at the Farmer's Market

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

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Market_Menu-02-18-15

Happy Mardi Gras! I hope you’re enjoying your day today and are making plans to join us for lunch tomorrow. It may not be Christmas but you can still make your list and check it twice:

Cup of cream of mushroom soup (Nanette)
Chicken salad wrap from Nanette for later in the week
Chicken porridge from Kandi for later in the week
½ lb Smoky pulled pork to chop up in my eggs for breakfast
Lemon olive oil from Nuccio’s (‘cause I’m out)
2 mini apple pies (‘cause Mr. Wonderful loves them)
Frozen stuffed peppers from Veggie Meals 2 Go (Oh! Did I forget to mention they are making their Wednesday debut) Check out the menu.
1 pint of red ripe strawberries
1 pint of Earl’s raw honey for my coffee

Ah! Aren’t Wednesdays wonderful? And Saturday will be just as wonderful with Ed Whiteman faithfully and graciously serving coffee and tea from the pavilion (thanks, Ed!), Chris Talley with lovely melodies in the gazebo, lovely fresh breezes sweeping the market, and Lola Deux pulled up to the curb on Columbia Street. Enchanting!

LOLA Deux, LOLA Restaurant's food truck will be at the Covington Farmer's Market Saturday

LOLA Deux, LOLA Restaurant’s food truck will be at the Covington Farmer’s Market This Saturday

I don’t want to “throw” all our thrills out there at once but we have a special surprise for Saturday. Okay. Okay. I’ll spill the beans – the Covington Farmers’ Market will have its own ATM machine! I know it was supposed to be a surprise but it’s kinda like catching all your beads and dubloons in the air. You just have to shout about it!

Jasmine Aubert has created a new organic coconut “everything” soap. It cleans everything from you to your clothes. Whaaaat! Everything???!! But will it do the dishes? Yes!  While you’re over there, take a look at her shampoos – organic green tea shampoo and wild rose cream shampoo for colored and fragile hair.

I hope you had a chance to taste Bear Creek Road’s airy meringues, macaroons, and marshmallows last week. Jennifer also had a caramel pecan chocolate bar that she says will be on the menu again this week. She’s also featuring Potato Rosemary Boules and Mushroom Onion Focaccia. If you need more reason than that to get here, try a sample of Betty Rue’s new chewy, chocolaty, grain-free brownie or her chocolaty, nutty Rocky Road cookie! Sam’s Sprouts has been adding loads of new things to his sprout line. I tasted a ginger peanut butter coconut bar that was out of this world and the coconut chips are crunchy and perfect for snacking.

Bartlett Farm's own Braising Mix - fresh baby Bok Choi. Mizuna , and Tat Soi mixed and washed. Ready to go for salad or sauté or soup!

Bartlett Farm’s own Braising Mix – fresh baby Bok Choi. Mizuna , and Tat Soi mixed and washed. Ready to go for salad or sauté or soup!

Our produce vendors haven’t been slacking. Nick (Grow.Farm) has broccoli rabe, Tuscan kale, heirloom turnips and bags of mixed chards. He also has those flavorful sweet potatoes. John’s (Bartlett Farm) table includes carrots, beets, mixed bags of lettuce and beautiful floral bouquets. Mr. Houston (Father & Son Farm) has Brussels sprouts, red sails lettuce, a variety of kales, collards, oak leaf lettuce, and mustard. Ken has huge heads of cauliflower and broccoli, greens and a yellow variety of carrot that I’m told is quite sweet.

All of this is only 1 and 4 days away. Set your countdown clocks, your alarm clocks, your biological clocks, whatever clocks you have to. You don’t want to miss out!

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 www.covingtonfarmersmarket.org

Farmers Market Recipes Healthy Living

Farmer’s Market Recipe: Hearty Barley Soup

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Fresh recipes inspired by local ingredients found at the Covington Farmer’s Market

January is National Hot Soup Month! Enjoy this hearty vegetable barley soup filled with delicious winter vegetables from our local farms!

Get your carrots from Bartlett Farm!

Get your carrots from Bartlett Farm!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pearled barley

1 zucchini, diced

1 yellow squash, diced

2 carrots, chopped

Screaming Oak Mushroom Farm has shiitakes!

Screaming Oaks Mushroom Farm has shiitakes!

1/2 cup shiitakes, chopped

1 radish, chopped

1/3 head of cabbage, chopped

3 tomatoes, diced (use juice too)

1/2 onion, chopped

1 stalk of celery, chopped

3 toes of garlic, diced

Plenty of winter radish! Grab some from Houston at Father & Son Farm

Plenty of winter radish! Grab some from Houston at Father & Son Farm

4 cups broth of your choice

2 stalks green onion, chopped

fresh parsley, chopped

rosemary, thyme, oregano, to taste

course sea salt, to taste

fresh ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoon butter
Directions:

In a large pot, Dutch oven or crock pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and let simmer until soft, then add the celery, carrots and garlic. Cook for a few more minutes until all is soft, stirring occasionally. Stir in the seasonings (herbs & spices).

Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil (if using a crock pot, put on high for about 15 – 20 minutes, stirring often). Reduce heat and let simmer until all vegetables and barley are tender. Adjust seasoning as needed, and enjoy!

Local Events Shop Local This Week at the Farmer's Market

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

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Blessings of the season to you, friends. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I know you’re all getting ready for family and friends and lots of great food. Stop by for some of Frankie’s goodies, Earl’s raw honey (makes a great gift) and fresh veggies from Mr. Houston.

Crispin Schroeder will play at the Covington Farmers Market this Saturday

Crispin Schroeder will play at the Covington Farmers Market this Saturday

Saturday will be the last market of 2014. Weren’t we just celebrating the 4th of July?  Come and enjoy a refreshing cup of coffee with us while you shop for the goodies you’ll need for your New Year’s party. Chrispin Schroeder will sing out the old year from the gazebo while Jeff and Kristen get the rig into place to smoke up some amazing pork. Make sure you get extra for sandwiches. Lena and Suzie have wonderful breads to make that sandwich perfect.

Chompers BBQ - food demo this Saturday at the Covington Farmers Market

Chompers BBQ – food demo this Saturday at the Covington Farmers Market

I thought we’d finish out this year with the reason you all come to the Farmers’ Market – the vegetables! A quick perusal of the tables last weekend shows that the veggies are not taking a holiday, so much the better for us. I saw the first beets of the season on John’s table along with turnips, carrots, radishes, chard, spinach, kale, tat soi, bok choi, broccoli and iceberg lettuce (sounds like we may need a little dressing too.)

Beets from Bartlett Farm at the Covington Farmer's Market

Beets from Bartlett Farm at the Covington Farmer’s Market

Dinosaur kale, collards, mustard, chard cabbage, spinach, broccoli, carrots and green onions were loaded onto Mr. Houston’s table and a few feet away Ken Savage offers huge, gorgeous cauliflower, oranges, sweet kumquats, red navel oranges, grapefruit, and satsumas. While you’re over there, check out Spanish R Us. Soriedad is baking a fantastic Tres Leche cake, almost too pretty to eat – almost. She’s making coconut flan too.  Remember to get refried beans and salsas for your party!

Baby Swiss from Grow.Farm at the Covington Farmer's Market

Baby Swiss from Grow.Farm at the Covington Farmer’s Market

Fortunately, Nick still has those fabulous Evangeline sweet potatoes. You’ll also find heirloom turnips, chard, curly mustard, flat leaf kale, and persimmons plus quail eggs. Don’t forget your New Year’s cabbage from Natalie and some strawberries too! Johnadale Farms is back again with their strawberries – we’ve got goodness all around! Dennis has pure cane syrup made from his own sugar cane fields. Stop by and check it out!

Alton and Sandra have some absolutely gorgeous camellia bushes that will not be available for long. Look over their table for the most fragrant herbs for your garden – rosemary, lemon thyme, chocolate mint and more.

We hope you’ll join us for the last market of the year. By next Saturday, a whole new year will have begun along with the hopes and plans that a new year always brings. We wish you peace and prosperity in 2015. Thank you for your patronage, your friendship, and your recipes; we look forward to another year with 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 www.covingtonfarmersmarket.org

Local Events Shop Local

This Week at the Farmer’s Market by Charlene LeJeune

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Cucumbers from Bartlett Farm

Cucumbers from Bartlett Farm

Good afternoon, friends, and Happy Tuesday! Vacations are wonderful but it’s great to get back into a routine again. After two weeks, I feel so out of touch but I’m sure there will be great lunches – crispy egg rolls, lovely raw salads and wraps, a few Honduran tamales, delicious pulled pork and perhaps Jeff will even surprise us with smoked chicken salad. Enjoy your lunch with a refreshing cup of jasmine tea, strawberry fruit pinch, or blueberry lemonade. Don’t forget to pick up your fresh veggies. Squashes are perfect to stuff with a little pulled pork or chicken salad and bake. Or fill with Nanette’s corn and black bean salad for a vegetarian flair that will even satisfy meat lovers. Enjoy raw or baked. Make your own “spaghetti” with zucchini. I usually cut the zuke lengthwise into ¼” thick (or so) slices, then cut each of those slices into ¼” long pieces. You can stir fry it before adding sauce or use it raw.

Saturday, lovely Saturday, will be another great market day with fresh watermelon slices from Jubilee Farms in the cooking tent. I know one slice won’t be enough but don’t fret, they will have some for sale as well. We will also be treated to the vibrant tunes of Linnzi Zaorski. Her sassy 1940s style brightens up our morning. So grab your coffee, put your dancin’ shoes on and have a great time with us.

I’m looking forward to seeing if there are any new veggies to be had. I am certain there will be eggplant. Bread and fry eggplant rounds and top them with some of my O-luv Artichoke sauce, Cynthia’s Bolognese sauce, or with Bechac’s Bleu Cheese dressing. Yum!

I know there will be fresh beans, okra, squashes, heirloom and Creole tomatoes, blueberries and peaches, tomatillos, and peppers. I was kinda strapped for a great recipe when I came across Marietta’s recipe for spaghetti squash from Slice of Heaven Farm. Thanks, Marietta, this sounds wonderful!

Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds. Place open side down in a baking sheet with a half inch of water in it. Bake for 40 mins at 350°F.  Once the squash is done, take it out and scrape out the inside “noodles” with a fork and spoon.  Prepare a pan on medium high heat and melt a tablespoon of butter with a tablespoon of minced garlic. Add the “noodles” and toss in the butter and garlic. Add a splash of dry white wine. (If you’re not big on wine, I’m sure that vegetable or chicken broth will work.) Sauté until the wine is evaporated, about 4-5 minutes. Finish with minced parsley and grated parmesan. Serve hot. Doesn’t that sound delicious?

Another good idea I came across has to do with okra. Lots of our vendors will have okra this week and I know many of you stay away from it because it tends to be slimy. Slice your okra, place in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes on each side. It can then be put in recipes for gumbo, or whatever you like. Best yet – NO SLIME!!

I can’t wait to get back to the Market, to the brightly colored flowers and green plants, cool summer soups, freshly baked breads, a cookie selection to delight the most discriminating tastebud, sweet honey, jars of beautifully fermented veggies, your friendly faces, laughing children, the scent of herbal soap wafting on the breeze along with Tabasco’s endearing cock-a-doodle-doo. It’s so good to be home!

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 www.covingtonfarmersmarket.org

Wednesday Market Menu 7-9-14

Farmers Market Recipes Shop Local

Farmer’s Market Recipe: Summer Harvest Farmer’s Market Pizza

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Fresh recipes inspired by ingredients found at the Covington Farmer’s Market

Fresh Veggie Pizza, photo courtesy Slice of Heaven Farm

Fresh Veggie Pizza, photo courtesy Slice of Heaven Farm

Homemade Whole Wheat Crust

3 & 1/4 cups organic whole wheat flour (Bob’s Red Mill)

1 & 1/2 cups warm water

1 tablespoon premium yeast

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon raw local honey

1 teaspoon turbinado sugar (brown)

1 teaspoons course sea salt

In a large mixing bowl dissolve the sugar in the warm water (about 105 – 115 degrees F). Add the yeast and lightly stir in. The yeast should begin to foam – if it does not, it is dead, and you will have to start over with new yeast. As it foams, let sit for about 5 minutes to set.

Add the olive oil, honey and salt. Stir in the flour, mixing to avoid clumping. Mix with a large spatula until the mixture becomes dough-like.

Lightly powder a surface with flour, and place the dough in the center. With floured hands, knead the dough. Lightly dust the dough with more flour as needed. Once done, the dough should be soft but not sticky, smooth and elastic.

Shape the dough in a ball, and lightly coat with olive oil. Place in a large mixing bowl (note: the dough will rise over twice its size!) cover with a warm damp cloth and place in a warm spot, not in direct sunlight. Let sit for about 1 – 2 hours.

One risen, press down on the dough to deflate, and cut in half. Roll each half into a ball, and let sit separated for another 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 475 degrees.

After the dough has sat, place again on a lightly floured surface. Start by pushing in the middle of the ball, and then gradually pushing out in each direction. I like to do this by hand, but it can be done with a roller too. Shape to desired size and crust thickness. Create a lip around the edges to keep your tasty toppings in. Once shaped, brush lightly with olive oil. Your crust is now ready for toppings!

Suggested Toppings For A Summer Harvest Farmers’ Market Pizza:

Fresh Veggie Pizza, photo courtesy Slice of Heaven Farm

Fresh Veggie Pizza, photo courtesy Slice of Heaven Farm

Summer squash, zucchini, red onions, green onions, leeks & Swiss chard from Slice of Heaven Farm

Chicken & mushrooms from Screaming Oaks Mushroom Farm – James Shoop

Bell peppers & other goodies from Bartlett Farm

Tomatoes, eggplant & greens from GROW.farm

New at the Market! Emmanuel Pig Farm featuring pasture raised, aged pork

Goat cheese & feta from Farmhouse Dairy

Base: try a red sauce base from Abundant Life Kitchen, or a basil base from Basically Basil. Or go for a gourmet flavored olive oil from Nuccio’s.

Layer on your toppings and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until golden!

Local Events Shop Local

This Week at the Farmer’s Market by Charlene LeJeune

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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 www.covingtonfarmersmarket.org