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Farmers Market Recipes

Farmers’ Market Recipe: Crowder Peas & Stewed Greens for a Local New Years Tradition

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Seasonal recipes inspired by fresh ingredients found at the Covington Farmers’ Market by Chelsea Cochrane

For many of us here in the South, New Years day would be incomplete without the compliments of black-eyed peas and greens. This tradition is said to bring prosperity and good luck into the new year.

The recipe has inevitably changed over the years, but probably not by much. The standard ingredients generally remain the same: peas (usually black-eyed), pork, rice and greens. You can’t go wrong with a dish like that. Some folks make it all in one pot – I prefer to cook my rice separate, and ever since I tried this stewed greens recipe I can’t have them any other way. You can add a local twist by using Nick’s crowder peas from the Farmers’ Market in place of the black-eyed peas! After all, traditionally we used what was around us. The Market has plenty of fresh greens for you to choose from too, and as always, hormone and nitrate free bacon from Jubilee Farms.

Crowder Peas & Stewed Greens

(serves about 4 people)

Ingredients for the peas:

  • 6 – 8 ounces bacon, cubed in 1/2 inch chunks, from Jubilee Farms
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb crowder peas from Nick at GROW.farm
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 – 4 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • cayenne, salt and black pepper to taste

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4 cups cooked rice of your choice
1/2 cup chopped green onion for garnish
optional: homemade hot sauce

Directions for the peas:

  1. Sort and rinse peas before use.
  2. In a large pot, bring peas and 6 cups of water to a boil. Let it roll for about 5 minutes, then turn the pot off and let them sit for 15 minutes or so. Strain into a colander.
  3. In the same large pot rinsed out and dried, cook bacon until it begins to crisp. Add onions, bell pepper and celery with a little salt and pepper. Once fragrant, add garlic. Stir and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Add peas back in with 4 cups broth. Bring up to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer. Mix in bay leaf, herbs and spices. Add water a 1/2 cup at a time as needed. Cook to desired consistency.

Ingredients for the Greens:

  • 4 – 6 ounces of bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 lightly packed cups chopped greens of your choice – collards or mustard
  • 1 cup broth or water
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • red chili pepper flakes to taste
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions for the greens:

  1. In a large skillet, cook bacon until crispy. Remove and pat off excess oil. Set aside.
  2. In the same skillet, saute onions until they are translucent. Add garlic and stir.
  3. Add the greens in batches, about a cup at a time. Pour in the broth and bring to a light boil – reduce heat and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes, until a good bit of the liquid has cooked out. Add the apple cider vinegar, honey and spices.

Serve with cornbread & have a Happy New Years!

Farmers Market Recipes

Farmer’s Market Recipe: Black Bean & Crowder Chili

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

Nothing welcomes in the first few cool fronts of Fall like a nice homemade chili.

Fall is my favorite season for a lot of reasons, top among them being soups, stews, and chili. Another favorite thing about the first cool snap is breaking out all my baking tools I so sparsely use during the hot summer months. Not that I needed much more than a bowl, a whisk and a pan for this fantastic apple spice cake mix from Henderson’s Hearth at the Covington Farmer’s Market. The recipe called for a sprinkle of powdered sugar on top – not having that handy, I can say that it was quite delicious on its own.

Henderson’s Hearth also has some delicious soup mixes, like potato, hearty barley, and the black bean soup mix we used for this recipe. Crowder peas from Nick at Grow.Farm is a nice addition that gives this chili a hearty, rich flavor and serves as an excellent meat replacement. Of course, you can add some ground beef from Jubilee Farms. I find the full flavor of the beans, peas and veggies are a perfect balance for an early Fall chili!

Black Bean & Crowder Pea Chili

Ingredients:

Crowder Peas from GROW.farm
  • Black Bean Soup Mix from Henderson’s Hearth
  • 1 cup fresh crowder peas, hulled & rinsed from Grow.farm
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 – 4 cups water
  • optional – 1 lb ground beef from Jubilee Farms
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper – Faust Farms is back with some beautiful produce!
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 ear of corn, shucked
  • 1/2 cup chopped arugula – fresh from the market!
  • 3 heirloom tomatoes, diced – fresh from the market!
  • 15 oz can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes and chilies
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • optional – a couple of hot peppers, minced, or hot pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • salt & black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • a splash or two of fresh lime juice

Directions:

  • In a large pot bring bean mix and peas up to a boil in broth and 2 cups of water. Boil for a few minutes then reduce heat to medium-low – let simmer covered. Add bay leaf and a little salt.
  • If you are using meat, brown it first with some spices in the same skillet before cooking the veggies and set aside for later
  • In a large skillet over medium heat sautee all veggies up to the canned tomatoes with a little salt and pepper
  • Add the canned tomatoes, garlic and hot peppers if you are using them. Add all the spices, too
  • Once the beans are tender add all ingredients to the pot. Allow this mix to cook together for 15, 20 minutes, up to an hour on low.
  • Depending on how you like your chili you may need to add a little more water. Adjust salt & spices accordingly.
  • Stir in the fresh cilantro and lime juice right before serving.

Farmers Market Recipes

Farmer’s Market Recipe: Crowder Peas & Duck Cassoulet

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

An example of a traditional cassoulet from the Toulouse Office de Tourisme, France

Usually I share quick and easy recipes with you, designed to whip up in under an hour. This is not one of those recipes.

Cassoulet traditionally is a rich, slow-cooked casserole that originates in southern France and usually contains water fowl, pork and white beans. In the classic French style, this is typically a two-day ordeal. As a general rule for optimal flavor and consistency you want to cool the dish down completely twice and cook it three times. This can get a bit tedious. I’ve modified this recipe slightly to fit my own cooking style, but have included options to expand upon for a more traditional flavor.

Purple hull Crowder Peas from Nick at the Covington Farmers Market

One cooking tradition I like to uphold is using locally sourced ingredients. Historically most long-established recipes would change slightly from province to province depending on what crops and game were available in that area. Why buy food from halfway across the country when you can get it fresh at your local market?

This recipe uses fresh crowder peas from Nick at Grow.Farm. If you see them there, don’t pass them up. Shelling peas together as a family is one of those life-long memories you don’t want to miss out on. Grab extra to dry and have year-round! Crowder peas are very close to black-eyed peas in the cow pea family, known for their rich nutty flavor and versatility.

Crowder Peas & Duck Cassoulet

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz uncured bacon, cubed, from Jubilee Farms
  • 10-12 oz quartered duck legs from Backwater Duck Farm
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup minced carrot
  • 1/2 pound oyster or other favorite mushroom, chopped, from Screaming Oaks Mushroom Farm
  • 6 – 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound shelled fresh crowder peas, rinsed, from Grow.Farm
  • 6 – 8 cups chicken broth from Credo Farms
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Heat a large dutch oven or other oven-proof pot on the stove-top at medium-high heat.
  • Once pot is hot add bacon cubes. Let sit for a few minutes before stirring, then sit again. Try to get an even brown on all sides. Remove from pot and cool.
  • Repeat process with the duck legs. Once evenly browned set aside to cool.
  • Reduce heat slightly to medium and sautee onion, pepper, celery and carrots in debris and fat left from the meats. Add a little salt and pepper.
  • Cover & cook until veggies are soft. Add mushrooms and garlic. Cover again.
  • There are two options here. You can add the peas, meat and stock back in, bring it up to a boil for a minute then soak overnight, ready to cook in the morning. Or, you can remove the veggies from the pot and cook the peas in the stock for 30 minutes, then add the veggies and meats back in. Either way works. Slip in that bay leaf here at some point, too.
  • And either way once the peas have cooked enough to soften you’ll want to cool the dish down completely, one last time, before it goes in the oven. This can be accomplished by a.) being patient or b.) placing the whole pot in an ice-bath in your sink.
  • Once cooled fish out any bones from the duck legs. The meat should have fallen off by now. Add your herbs and nutmeg. Salt & pepper to taste.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place your dutch oven or large oven-proof pot in the middle of the oven, uncovered.

I bet you think because it’s going in the oven the hard part is over, right?

Truth is, this classic French recipe requires a little more doting to achieve a true traditional flavor. You see, as this dish cooks it creates a delicious crust on top. Original recipes call to occasionally pierce this crust, gently scoop out some of the liquids underneath and pour it over the crust, returning it back to the oven to form another fantastic layer of crust. Traditionally this step is done seven times! I think a few times suffice, but definitely don’t skip it. Those layers add a wonderful richness and depth to this dish, and it would surely be lacking without them.

Continue baking until much of the liquid is cooked out and several layers have formed a nicely browned crust, about 45 minutes. Serve with a vinaigrette salad, red wine and a nice toasted fresh bread.

Bon appétit!

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This Week In Downtown Covington

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Rockin’ the Rails begins this Thursday at the Covington Trailhead with Louis Prima Jr. and The Witnesses! Food and beverages are available for purchase at the concerts, the Trailhead is located at 419 N. New Hampshire Street.

After Rockin’ the Rails at the Trailhead, Covington Brewhouse (226 E. Lockwood) hosts live music from 7 p.m. until close. Stop by the Tasting Room and try an Amp’d Up Amber! covingtonbrewhouse.com

The St. Tammany Art Association’s Covington Art Market returns Saturday, October 7, 2017, with a new location! The Covington Art Market is now located in between the St. Tammany Art Association and H.J. Smith & Sons, in the Art Alley! sttammanyartassociation.org

This weekend at the Saturday Covington Farmer’s Market, Jubilee Farms will be out for the food demo and the Dirty Rain Revelers will play beautiful music in the gazebo on Saturday morning.

Marsolan’s Old Feed Store Music Series continues this Saturday, October 7 with New Orleans Strathspey and Reel Society performing from 12 – 1 p.m., with an open jam session after the show.

St. John’s Coffeehouse hosts an Open Mic the first Saturday of the month, beginning this weekend, Saturday, October 7, 2017, from 7 p.m. – till. Featuring a special menu, plus your favorite drinks. 985-893-5553 for info.

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

This Week at the Farmer’s Market

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Here is Charlene LeJeune’s weekly email for the Covington Farmer’s Market. The market takes place today (Wednesday) at the Covington Trailhead from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The market is also held every Saturday at the Covington Police Department (600 Block of Columbia Street) from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.

Welcome, Tuesday! Just one more day and Wednesday will arrive with promises of delightful temperatures, scrumptious food, and great music. Mama Lea promised me she’d have chicken salad wraps this week. I soooo enjoyed mine last week, all dolled up with spinach leaves and such. YUM! Of course, I can’t say that I’ve had a Wednesday market meal that I haven’t enjoyed. Our cooks are amazing! For example, take your taste buds on a culinary adventure with Kandy’s shredded cabbage salad with shrimp. As many times as I’ve eaten it, I am never, ever disappointed.

While you’re over at Lucy’s table getting your all purpose cleaner, you may notice a little something extra. Jessica will be there with Boba Tea! Last week I tried the peanut butter and jelly flavor – loved it! Can’t wait to see what they come up with this week! Take home one of Jeremy & Natalie’s fermented creations — just the thing to get that good bacteria back into your system. More goodness from Frankie…meatloaf, baked sweet potatoes, lima beans & roasted tomatoes, and cornbread. Another glorious day in the neighborhood!

Just the anticipation of Saturday morning at the market makes the weekend seem as though it will never arrive — and I’m about to make that wait unbearable. This Saturday, our gazebo will be filled with sound as the Dirty Rain Revelers flood the market with music. Only music, mind you, for the weatherman promises bright, blue skies and lovely temperatures. That’s not all — Paul & Liz of Jubilee Farms are planning to sample and sell grilled sausage sandwiches. I wonder which sausage they will choose, green onion, Italian, Cajun, hot, or smoked sausage??? Does it matter?

Happy Flour Bakery is making pumpkin spice scones, available throughout the fall. They are a wonderfully delicious addition to their menu. For more pumpkin goodness, try Suzie’s pumpkin pie crunch — amazing combination of pumpkin, pecans, butter, cream, crunchy topping. And maybe, she’ll even have her famous pumpkin Ooey Gooeys! Norma Jean is well known for her tasty carrot bread. Keep your eye on Norma; she promises to have tasty new creations may with seasonal favorites.

Betty Rue has developed a unique flour blend of ancient grains which she uses to create her gluten-free masterpieces -incredible pizzas, delicious cookies, and the most marvelous doughnuts — oh YUM! Bear Creek Road’s weekly fare will include a gateu breton (filled with fruity jam), the daintiest little macaroons morsels with incredible filling, single serve boule which, with a few strokes of a sharp knife, makes a very tasty soup bowl. Frankie fills her table with wonderful quick breads – lemon poppy or blueberry or fig or banana nut, fruity mini pies, and cheese straws.

The veggie tables are starting to bloom with fall veggies and the selection is only just beginning. Currently, Bardwell’s is boasting Japanese and Fuyu persimmons as well as cooking pears. There are still a few peppers around as well as eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes and very soon (I’ve been promised) we’ll see kale, mustard greens, baby turnip greens, and winter squashes. Oh, the wonder of it all! Whether you’re at the Wednesday Market or Saturday’s, a stroll around the market is sure to uncover something tempting and terrific. But you’ll never discover our treasures by sleeping in!

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 This Week at the Farmer's Market

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

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Covington Farmers Market LogoWhatta Tuesday, friends! Lotsa great food on tap for tomorrow so make your plans to join us. As many of you know, Nanette’s last day with our market was on Saturday but have no fear. Her faithful apprentice, Lea, is debuting her first solo market meal with asparagus and brown rice soup. I can’t wait to taste it! But let’s not forget the other goodies available. After all, you’ll need something for the rest of the week. Take home a dinner of Chomper’s pulled pork, green beans & cheese grits. Enjoy a crunchy beef tostado topped with lettuce and tomato and salsa. Kandy’s pan-seared salmon salad is a lunchtime favorite. And, of course, dessert. Frankie has cherry cheese cake bars and blueberry buttermilk pies. You’ll be sooooo glad you came!

Tabasco, the Covington Farmers Market mascot Roux-ster

Tabasco, the Covington Farmers Market mascot Roux-ster

The P-town Ramblers will get things started on Saturday, crooning out snappy tunes from the gazebo. But even better than that awaits you in the cooking tent. Chompers BBQ will drive the smoker out to the Market for an old fashioned BBQ! Get your pulled pork and fixin’s for the 4th (it saves cooking) or pick up your favorite sauce for your own backyard/lakefront picnic! We will have a special 4th of July treat for the kiddies…Peters Farm & Fun Mobile Petting Farm will be at this Saturday’s market!!
It’s so easy to grill corn on the pit. Just soak in water for 15-20 mins and lay them on the grill! Jubilee Farms will have lots of Silver Cream corn but this is the last week. They will have plenty of watermelon and what’s a 4th of July celebration without watermelon?
summersquash-groupWith all of the squash we have available at the market these days, I thought I’d put my new spiralizer to use. I found several recipes for “zoodles” and I thought I’d marketize them. First, a simple saute of zucchini zoodles in Spicy Lady’s crushed red pepper, mustard & dill olive oil – lots of flavor with little effort. How about a salad made with squash (zucchini or yellow) zoodles, 1 -3 carrots (zoodled) depending on size, green onions (sliced), Norma’s muffaletta veggies (as much or as little as you like), cherry tomatoes sliced in half? Toss together and enjoy! Use thin strips of squash or eggplant in place of noodles in your lasagne. Grill slices or zoodles and then dress with skordalia (Vincent & Mauricio) or Bechac’s Roasted Garlic & Tomato dressing.
Norma has a crustless quiche for gluten-free folks. You’ll also want to stop by Betty Rue’s for gluten-free pizza, cookies, muffins and doughnuts! Hot Tamale Mama is offering creamy roasted tomato basil soup, slow cooked yellow waxed beans, or stuffed shells with Parmesan cream just in case you really don’t want to cook.
There really is nothing like a farmers’ market when the veggies are at their peak of flavor and variety. And they grill up so nicely while you’re grilling your burgers or chicken. You did pick up meat, right? No worries. We have a number of fine vendors of pork, beef, lamb, shrimp, and chicken – Mr. Two, Jublilee Farms, and James. If you can’t find anything to go on that grill, you must have slept in. We will be here celebrating the 4th. Hope you will join us!

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 http://www.covingtonfarmersmarket.org/

Healthy Living Local Events Local News Non Profit Spotlight This Week at the Farmer's Market

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

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Happy Tuesday, friends! I surely hope you were able to get out to the Farmers’ Market today for the Give NOLA Day celebration. Our Farmers’ Market String Band’s melodies were enveloping the Trailhead with great music and other great bands will take over this afternoon and evening. Our regular vendors were there plus lots of worthy causes like the SPCA, Basket of Hope, Danielle Inn, Boy Scouts, and more. To donate or peruse a list of the non-profit organizations that will benefit from your donations go to givenola.org.

Now don’t worry if you didn’t make it, our market vendors (minus the worthy causes) will return tomorrow with lots of good eats and great music. I got a sneak peek at what is on the menu for tomorrow and even brought home some tasty morsels like Lilie’s teacakes. I know you’ll love Kandy’s fantastically crunchy egg rolls but today I opted for the spring rolls with lemongrass chicken, noodles, and special dippin’ sauce. How about a delicious pulled pork sammie with cheese grits, baked beans and cole slaw? Just puts a song in your heart doesn’t it?   May is National BBQ Month after all, so make sure you get a jar the best BBQ sauce available anywhere so you can have that wonderful flavor anytime! Nanette’s gotcha covered with a choice of tuna or chicken salad wraps and lentil cilantro soup. Frankie & Johnny’s is  offering beef toastados or bean burritos WOW! My heart’s singing….my feet are swinging… and Frankie has cashew brittle. ‘Nough said!

First of the Radishes! Bear Creek Road

First of the Radishes!
Bear Creek Road

As we head into Saturday, thoughts will naturally turn to Mother – after all her special day is almost here. Last Chance Bluegrass Band will start us off with toe-tappin’, happy face music swinging from the gazebo. Then, get ready for Chef Robert Vasquez of Opal Basil on the Trace in Mandeville (Boy, I sure hope you brought mom along) and samples of his Breakfast Burritos made with pork from Jubilee Farm and select produce from our very own Market! Thanks, Chef Robert for incorporating so many products from the market in your cuisine.

There’s a gift for Mom growing over at Dennis’ “grove on the corner”. Create a patio oasis for Mom with Cigar plants, beautiful Verbena, and purple Fire Spikes (the hummingbirds love them, too).  Add Rose Yarrow, Blue Plumbago, and Gardenia plants from Trudy and lacey Maiden Hair fern or purple Bougainvillea from Miss Betty for a touch of elegance.

Well, Mom, no matter what “music” is in your heart, we’re sure to have something to help it sing – a colorful bouquet of wildflowers from Nancy, a Cajun buttermilk tart from Pam, a pound of international coffee from Coast Roast, a plum almond tart from Bear Creek Road (this is her last week until after baby comes), Althee’s fig preserves, a pint of strawberries or blueberries, Aunt Bee’s fragrant soaps, …. how my heart sings!!!

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 This Week at the Farmer's Market

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

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Chef Robert Vasquez will provide the food demo this Saturday with Jubilee Farms

Chef Robert Vasquez of Opal Basil will provide the food demo this Saturday with Jubilee Farms

Hi, friends, July is quickly fading and August is arriving on Saturday and the kiddies are getting ready to return to school. No matter, after all the market goes on regardless of the day, the month, or the weather. So, get your tasty buds ready for some incredibly delicious food and meet us at the market.

Kandi is offering several lovely salads that are summer perfect. Jeff is preparing smoked chicken salad sliders and Nanette has sliced turkey and also a crunchy vegetable wrap for us tomorrow. And, there’s music and dessert and fresh veggies and dessert so why would you go anywhere else?

Jimmy Robinson will play at the Covington Farmer's Market Saturday

Jimmy Robinson will play at the Covington Farmer’s Market Saturday

Saturday will start with a bang as Jimmy Robinson strums out a little bluesy, a little folksy, some classical, even a little jazz from the gazebo. Then get ready for amazing as Chef Robert Vasquez of Opal Basil and Vive Foods in Mandeville, teams up with Jubilee Farm for a Farmers’ Market tailgate party. This is a day you won’t soon forget!

We still have lots of great veggies but you have to get here early. Last week, mostly everything was gone by 10 am! But, don’t fret. We’ve still have lots and lots of wonderful if you get here later. Try some of our prepared dishes, such as Angel’s bountifully stuffed artichokes. Hot Tamale Mama has a new dish – Mushrooms in Parmesan Cream with crawfish ad andouille sausage. Oh my! Just makes want to dive right in, doesn’t it? Norma Jean always has some delightfully different quiches to try like her deliciously flavorful Southwest quiche. Nanette has several sauce starters just waiting for your cooked chicken or meatballs or shrimp or chunky vegetables – just vary the ingredients for a unique dish every time.

Well, I know this is short but I’m running behind schedule today. But don’t let that stop you from coming out to explore on your own. The tastes are fantastic; the flavors abundant and he smiles are everywhere. How many more reasons do you need to be at the market each 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

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

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! I know you’re counting down the minutes to fresh vegetables, lively music, and tastes to delight your tummy. Our Wednesday vendors are busy as I write, preparing delicious mouthwatering meals for tomorrow. The day will be lovely, one of those “I-need-to-get-out-of-the-office” kinds of day. So mosey on down to the Trailhead where Rebecca’s tasty Honduran hot tamales await. Kandi’s grilled salmon salad and a cold glass of sweet jasmine tea will hit the spot on a warm spring afternoon. May is National BBQ Month so I’ll celebrate with some slow-smoked pulled pork which will make a wonderful lunch on Thursday. And (sine I like to plan ahead) for Friday, a cup of Nanette’s potato leek soup and a Mediterranean salad! Frankie is busy cooking up cashew and peanut brittle along with lemon ice box pies and key lime mini pies for tomorrow! There’s so much more, but you won’t enjoy any of it unless you’re there.

Sweet Jones will play at the Saturday market this week

Sweet Jones will play at the Saturday market this week

As we head into Saturday, thoughts will naturally turn to Mother – after all her special day is almost here. And we have a special morning in store! Listen to Sweet Jones’ sweet melodies dancing out from the gazebo. Take the time to stroll around the market to see what’s new. Visit a few vendors that you haven’t yet visited. In the meanwhile, Jubilee Farm will grill up samples of their grass fed pork sausages for tasting and sale. Yes, it’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood!

With the rain taking a little break, we’ll be seeing more and more veggies on the tables. Those veggies love the rain – but even they are ready for a break. Sunflower shoots are back! You’ll also find broccoli, cucumbers and heirloom squash sharing Nick’s table. I saw white squash, beets, cucumbers, and carrots on Mr. Houston’s table. And wouldn’t a bouquet of Nancy’s lilies make a wonderful Mother’s Day gift?

New vendor Big Branch Soaps - Facebook.com

New vendor Big Branch Soaps – Facebook.com

We have a new vendor at the market – Big Branch Soaps. They offer a delightful assortment of non-toxic products such as, laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, aluminum free deodorant (great for sensitive skin), and linen air freshener. That’s not all they offer, so you’ll just have to get over there (next to Robin’s pepper jellies) and visit. Take your time over there, we have many great vendors in that area and they are kinda bunched together. Wouldn’t want you to miss anyone.

Landscape your patio into a showplace with small trees and bushes from Dennis or exotic bushes and plants from Trudy. Or color your patio brilliant with the soft yellow and pink blossoms of Ms. Betty’s bougainvillea. Mom may also enjoy picking blueberries or blackberries from her own bushes from Stone Creek Nurseries.

Pie of the Month: Ricotta Lemon Meringue with Walnut from Bear Creek Road Bakery

Pie of the Month: Ricotta Lemon Meringue with Walnut from Bear Creek Road Bakery

Well, Mom, where do your fancies lie? Off in a luxurious bath with sweetly scented soaps or lounging on a shady patio of bright colors and deep green with a cup of coffee and (OK, do I really have to say it?). Yes, along with my coffee there will be treats! And I may be partial to a few but let’s face it – THEY ARE ALL FABULOUS! Lemon squares, almond bars, granola bars,  and lovely macaroons (I’ll take one of each, please), delicate meringue with cream filling, grain free brownies, large rounds of oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip, crunchy dipping biscotti, wedding cookies, Frankie’s famous nut brittles, Amanda’s popsicles…. what’s on your Mother’s Day wish list?

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