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Farmers Market Recipes

Farmers Market Recipe: Slime-Free Okra Creole

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I, like many people, was immediately thrown off okra the first time I tried it. It was stewed, maybe even from a can, and the slimy consistency made me want to gag. For years I put off okra as one of those “gross” vegetables – until I happened upon pickled okra (probably in a Bloody Mary). I never knew okra could be so delicious! Crisp skin, little flavor seed bombs – I was hooked. And I wondered, how could I make an okra dish taste this good?

So I tried, recipe after recipe. Some said the acidity of tomatoes will cut down the slime, others swear that you need lemon juice to do the trick. I have found a splash of apple cider vinegar to be the secret to a truly slime-free okra dish. Finishing off in the oven gives a nice crisp texture and helps to cut back the acidic bite. You might add a bit of honey, too. We just add a couple spicy peppers, such as cayenne or tabasco. PS, this is a great recipe to pull out the cast-iron skillet!

Day’s harvest at Sam’s Sprouts

Okra is all the rage at the Covington Farmers Market these days! Check out this bountiful harvest from Sam’s Sprouts!

Ingredients:

high-heat cooking oil
1-2 # fresh okra, sliced 1/4 inch, tops removed
1/2 medium yellow onion, rough chop
2 – 3 medium creole tomatoes, diced
2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs fresh basil, chopped
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dark chili powder
2 tsp paprika
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar (Braggs is awesome)
Juice of 1/2 lemon, about 1 1/2 Tbs
Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper
Optional: a tablespoon of honey, a couple hot red peppers or pepper flakes

Directions:

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

Heat a large oven-proof skillet on high, add enough oil to lightly cover the pan. The trick here is to keep this dish as dry as possible by cooking off liquids. A good flash sear on the okra first will do it.

adding onions to lightly seared okra

When the skillet is hot (drop of water sizzling away hot) toss in okra with a little salt and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes, then add onions. Saute until onions are tender, then add tomato, garlic, herbs, spices and apple cider vinegar. If you are adding hot peppers, do so now. Mix evenly with a little more salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for 5 – 10 minutes, until vinegar has absorbed and tomatoes have cooked down.

Toss in lemon juice and pop it in the oven. Roast for 10 – 15 minutes – until okra and tomato tops begin to get crispy and a good bit of the liquid has evaporated. If you are adding honey, toss in now and let cool slightly before serving.

This Week at the Farmer's Market

This Week at the Farmer’s Market

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What a wonderful Tuesday, friends! I hope you’re enjoying your day today and are making plans to take advantage of these spring-like temperatures and join us for lunch tomorrow. Frankie is busy preparing a southern-style smothered chicken dish with rice, green beans and cornbread. Yum! Kandy and the girls are also bustling about the kitchen lovingly creating those amazing salads, wrapping sensational spring rolls and traditional egg rolls. OOOHHH! what shall I choose??? One of each, please. Double K Farms hens are hopefully producing more and Kristen will be able to join us on Wednesday again. Greens will grace Mr. Houston’s table and Jerry’s bees have been very diligent in the honey department. Ah! Aren’t Wednesdays wonderful?

Join us as The In-Laws sing us into Saturday from the gazebo. That touch of spring last Saturday promises to be just as wonderful this week. I know, I know. I’m just as thrilled; it really makes me want to get my garden ready for planting. You, too? Great! Naturally, your first stop should be to Matt with Northshore Natural Solutions. Try out some worm tea to get your seeds off to a great start! Matt will have composted horse manure as well. Perfect to get that garden going! You can also talk to the Master Gardeners’ vegucators on the first and third weeks of the month about your specific needs. Check with Double K Farms for composted chicken manure.

Your next step is Alton & Sandra. They were back this week with merliton plants and blueberry bushes and a huge variety of herbs — catnip, rosemary, oregano, thyme, chives and more. Alton promises yellow cherry tomatoes, chard, and lettuces for next week.

Neptune’s Garden offers hydroponically grown herbs and lettuces. Just take a bunch home and pop it in a short vase on the counter and you can “pick” your salad/herbs as needed. Lots of nutrient-rich vegetables crowded Nick’s table including Lucullus chard, Rainbow chard, Tuscan kale, green onion, spring lettuce mix, turnips and next week, he promises Italian dandelion. Tomato Ann’s tomatoes are absolutely gorgeous and taste just as amazing. She also has beautiful bell peppers and eggplant.

I see chard a lot at the market, so I looked for an easy recipe. You’ll need 1 bunch of rainbow chard (leaves & stems separated and chopped), 1 large onion chopped, a good olive oil, and 4 ounces of feta cheese crumbled. Preheat oven to 350º and grease a baking sheet with olive oil. Toss the chard stems and onions in a bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil. (I’ll bet Spicy Lady has a unique herbed olive oil to make your dish special.) Season with salt and pepper to taste, and spread onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the chard stems have softened and the onion is starting to brown on the corners, about 15 minutes. Toss the chard leaves with 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle the leaves over the stem mixture, then scatter the feta cheese over top. Return to the oven, and bake until the stems are tender, the leaves are beginning to crisp, and the feta is melted and golden, about 20 minutes. Nothing left to do but ENJOY!

Kristen is back with Vegan Eats. Enjoy a delightful, roasted carrot “dog” with all kinds of fixins’ available. And, of course, you will find her signature almond, cashew, and hemp milks too. Set your clocks to delicious. 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

This Week at the Farmer's Market

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

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Bear Creek Road, LLC October Pie Of The Month:  Pumpkin and Spice Swirl Cheesecake with Pecan Praline

Bear Creek Road, LLC
October Pie Of The Month: Pumpkin and Spice Swirl Cheesecake with Pecan Praline

Hi, friends and a perfectly happy Tuesday to you! We’re looking at a lot of happy little suns showing on the forecast for the rest of the week so bring your happy little smiles and enjoy a great lunch with us. Kandi is sure to have pan seared salmon salad on a crunchy bed of papaya noodles – goes really great with a glass her jasmine tea. Chomper’s is back with firecracker au gratin potatoes and green beans to go along with smokey pulled pork. Put Nanette’s Mediterranean salad on your lunch list but be sure to get a cup of her creamy split pea soup for later in the week. Then indulge in a piece of decadent piece of chocolate cake with raspberry and chocolate icing for dessert. Yummee! And don’t forget your veggies!

Gal Holiday will sing us into Saturday with catchy tunes cascading from the gazebo. And on Columbia Street, the Coffee Rani Food Truck will be pulled up to the curb with lots of their specialties. So grab a spiced pumpkin latte from Coast Roast and enjoy the morning with us!

Well, there I was perusing the produce and found some lovely new things on the tables. We have lots of persimmons around and are they sweet, sweet, sweet! I found the following recipe online and it calls for 3/4 cup of sugar. It may be too sweet (can you believe I’m actually saying that?) so taste the “batter” before adding the sugar.

1 cup very ripe persimmon pulp • 3/4 cup sugar • 3 eggs (market eggs are best), beaten

1cup flour • 1 tsp baking powder • 1 tsp Spicy Lady’s cake seasoning • 1 cup Mauthe’s milk

1/4 lb Mauthe’s butter, melted

Combine persimmon pulp with sugar (or hold the sugar til last). Beat in eggs. Mix in milk, then butter. Sift or stir flour with baking powder, and Spicy Lady’s cake seasoning. Mix with persimmon mixture. Pour batter into a well greased 9-inch square cake pan. Bake in a 315-325°F oven for approx 60 minutes or until knife comes out clean.  Doesn’t that sound too good (and simple) not to make? If you’re planning on doing any baking over the holidays (yes, they are right around the corner), check out the seasonings at Spicy Lady. She has Cake Seasoning, Apple Pie Seasoning, and Pumpkin Pie Seasoning.

Nick had some Silverskin peas and red crowder peas in the shell. I got some of both and decided to roast them. So with a little olive oil, a sprinkling of salt, and a dash or two of my Rub Me Tender Seasoning and a short 20 minute stint in a 350 degree oven, I had the most wonderfully crunchy snack. Of course, if you don’t want to shell beans, Eddie has some already shelled.

Lillie’s Daughter Tea Cakes made her market debut last week with delightful little rounds of shortbread that are perfect for dipping in coffee. The only problem you have now is trying to decide on the tea cakes, or Teresa’s biscotti, or Susie’s lemon squares to go with Coast Roast’s coffee of the week.

Every week I discover something delicious here at the market. I tried Norma Jean’s black bean wrap with black beans, avocado, and cheese. Oh! So good! Bear Creek has caramel pecan sticky buns that you really can’t pass up (and I really tried hard). Reed (of Rockin’ Robin fame) says he is making his sassy remoulade sauce again. It makes a great salad dressing as well as a tangy dipping sauce for shrimp.

No matter what your favorites are, I’m sure you’ll find an added bonus at the market. Game day sure would be nice with a stuffed artichoke to enjoy and a few of Tasha’s pralines wouldn’t hurt either! So let the day greet you with music and smiles, lots of good food and good friends. See you 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 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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Hi, friends, and an absolutely amazing Tuesday to you! Just looking out the window you can feel those cool breezes. Of course, it would be so much better to be out there delighting in bright blue skies, familiar melodies drifting from the gazebo, and loads of smiles and good food. And the only place to get all of those is at the Wednesday Covington Farmers’ Market.

Chompers BBQ will sample and serve at the market Saturday!

Chompers BBQ will sample and serve at the market Saturday!

Jeff promises his famous BBQ pulled pork tomorrow along with cheese grits, cole slaw, and broccoli salad. Kandy will have wonderful Vietnamese style salads and crunchy egg rolls (which #3 granddaughter has requested). Nanette is stirring up a pot of pumpkin soup which go deliciously with her chicken salad or tuna salad wraps. Frankie is baking everyone’s favorite bread pudding with rum sauce. Earl’s honeybees have been working overtime for golden sweetness to add to your morning coffee. Mr. Houston’s table will be filled with end of summer/beginning of fall veggies and all is right with the world.

Reed Alleman performs in the gazebo Saturday morning at 9:30!

Reed Alleman performs in the gazebo Saturday morning at 9:30!

Saturday’s dawn will take your breath away…that’s if you get up that early. No matter, we’ll do our best to keep you in tunes and tastes. For starters, we have Reed Alleman in the gazebo beginning at 9:30 with lots of toe tappin melodies.  And to keep things moving right along, Chomper’s will have the smoker parked on the curb dishing up his world-famous pulled pork and fixings.

This may be the last week that Jubilee Farms has a selection of smoked sausages. Their uncooked sausages are great too. I browned a couple of links of Italian and added it to a crockpot along with chopped onion, bell pepper, garlic, and peeled tomatoes (JR still has some) and just let it cook its little heart out. I added some salt and seasoning for a real delicious pasta “sauce”.  With the leftover links (it’s only me and Mr. Wonderful) I stuffed bell peppers. Don’t tell Paul but I had to take the meat out of the casing to do this. But it was so easy. I just browned the sausage, added chopped onion and cooked rice (you could also add shredded squash – yellow, butternut, zucchini). I stuffed Nick’s colorful mini sweet peppers and they made perfect bite sized nuggets of deliciousness. If you don’t want the meat, try stuffing with Norma Jean’s Spring Cheese or Nur’s Tabouli. The peppers are thin-skinned so they only take a few minutes under the broiler and WOW! what flavor!

Bear Creek Road September Pie Of the Month Plum Brandy Almond Upside-down Torte

Bear Creek Road September Pie Of the Month Plum Brandy Almond Upside-down Torte

Fall is definitely in the air and we are seeing it on the tables. John has radishes, baby kale, and arugula, and Nancy had to give her sunflowers an extra week to grow. JR’s green onions are making their fall debut. And if you see pie making in your future, JR has Asian pears and Mr. Houston has perfect pie pumpkins. See Spicy Lady for a little cinnamon, nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice. Robin’s making her Cranberry Pecan pepper jelly again and it makes a terrific glaze for roasted pumpkin, butternut squash, or sweet potatoes.

Hot Tamale Mama will have vegetable or chicken pot pies this Saturday but get there early. Norma Jean’s wraps have been a big hit, especially her spinach wraps with fresh spinach, avocado, tomato, chopped egg  and garlic mayo. Lemongrass stalks (Nick) and whole head of garlic give an amazing flavor to one of James’ chickens – just fill the inside and roast as usual.

The next weeks will be incredible as new veggies are harvested and brought to the tables. Alton will have a wide assortment of plants for you to start your garden (if you haven’t already). We’ll have music and veggies and delicious food and lots of smiles. Hopefully, we’ll have 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.

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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Chanterelles from Grow.Farm at the Covington Farmer's Market

Chanterelles from Grow.Farm at the Covington Farmer’s Market

Howdy, friends! Great news! I checked the weather channel and it appears there is a glorious day of sunshine for Market Day tomorrow. We’ve got lots of great food for you to enjoy so come out and join us. Frankie says she will have old fashioned banana pudding this week. Jeff is offering ready-to-serve meals for your Labor Day picnic or party (or even for a day off). You may want to check with him about what’s included. What the heck! Check with all our vendors to see if they offer pre-ordered meals. What can be easier than that?

Eddie Arnold and Friends will provide our musical entertainment on Saturday. So grab your coffee and stay awhile ‘cause Chomper’s BBQ smoker will be puttin’ out some good eatin’ in the demo tent. Along with that delicious pulled pork, you can choose your favorite BBQ sauce or rub for your own grillin’ adventures.

OK, I haven’t discussed goodies in a while so I think it’s about time. You know my heart will always belong to Teresa’s Orange Almond Biscotti but many times I turn to a raw alternative and enjoy one of Nanette’s raw almond bars. We each have our favorites whether it’s a frozen fruit Popsicle from Amanda, cream cheese ice cream from Mauthe’s, or a chocolate covered banana pop from Lolly Marie. Perhaps your heart lies with Frankie’s cashew brittle, one of Suzie’s velvety smooth lemon bars, banana nut bread from Lena, or gluten-free Oreo sensations from Betty Rue! We have lots of goodies from which to choose. Trust me….it’s a subject I am WELL versed in.

If you’re ready for fall planting, Alton will have lettuces, beets, kale, Swiss chard and pole bean plants. Trudy has a frilly Brazilian petunia that the hummingbirds just love. Dennis has fig trees (some even with green fruit). There was a gorgeous selection of bromeliads at Ms. Betty’s. There are a few fall veggies already hitting the tables. Mr. Houston had mustard greens and just a few bundles of kale. This week, Nick will have Evangeline sweet potatoes! YUM! So, why don’t you come and spend the morning with us. It will definitely put another smile on your face.

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

Wed Farmers Market Menu 8-27-14

Local Events Shop Local

This Week At The Farmers’ Market By Charlene LeJeune

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Radishes found at the Slice of Heaven Farm table

Radishes found at the Slice of Heaven Farm table

Happy Tuesday, friends! I know you’re counting down the minutes to fresh vegetables, lively music, international flavors and tastes to delight your tummy. Our Wednesday vendors are busy as I type 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 Cynthia will have meatball sliders and other delightful Italian fare. Perhaps the scent of pork slow cooking on Jeff’s smoker will draw you in. I thoroughly enjoyed Nanette’s corn and black bean salad drizzled with a yummy lime cilantro vinaigrette – from real limes! It was sooooo gooood! Kandi’s pan seared salmon salad hits the spot on a warm spring afternoon, especially accompanied by a cool glass of sweet jasmine tea. Frankie will be cooking up an old-fashioned banana pudding. That’s right, real cream, milk, and bananas – no box! There’s so much more, but you won’t enjoy any of it unless you’re there.

As we head into Saturday, thoughts will naturally turn to Mother – after all her special day is almost here. So, Mom, perhaps you should take things in hand, grab your coffee and a muffin or two and take a stroll around the Market. You can drop subtle hints as you go….or you may just have to come right out and tell them… or (my personal favorite) just buy it for yourself. Our special treat in the demo tent is Ox Lot 9. Chef and owner Jeffrey Hansell of this new restaurant, housed in the new Southern Hotel in Covington, will be preparing something wonderful from the menu. The lively tunes of Joe Barbara coming from the gazebo is icing on the cake. Icing…hmmm.

I hope you all enjoyed last week’s Wellness Day. Thanks to all our wellness participants for making this a very special market. As I walked around the grounds, I was blown away by the beautiful bounty lining the tables. Vegetables such as fennel, heirloom squash, sunflower shoots, radishes, red spring onions, new potatoes, bright orange  carrots, cabbages were more than photogenic, they were downright nutritious! In fact, I caught Southy perusing the tables for this week’s soups (heirloom squash; sunchoke). Robin tells me that she is making Mayhaw Pepper Jelly for this week. I didn’t get a chance to check out other new flavors she may have but she is always developing new jellies and has recipes to go with them.

Thinking of mayhaw jelly puts me in mind of Rick Webb and I am saddened by his loss. He left us this past Thursday when he went home to the Lord at the age of 92. He had an interesting life as a radio operator, working at several local radio stations, but many of you remember Mr. Rick and his world class mayhaw jelly – both fixtures at the market for many years. He enjoyed being at the market and I enjoyed seeing his smiling face on Saturday mornings. Mr. Rick has left us a wonderful legacy through his son and daughter-in-law, regular market goers Russell and Priscilla, and his great granddaughter, Rebecca (Tabasco’s best friend). We have missed him dearly.

I stopped by Mauthe’s for butter last Saturday and walked away with a pint of Creole cream cheese; it was all Jamie’s fault. She described a medley of green onions, boiled & chopped eggs, and boiled shrimp dancing in a cream cheese sauce and served over new potatoes or pasta (Cynthia’s and Lena’s pastas come to mind.) She also mentioned that she stuffs chicken breast with her garlic & herb fromage before baking. I was in heaven. I love new ideas. It’s amazing what wonderful recipes our vendors have on how to use their products. You’ll find a heavenly new pizza at Betty Rue – a savory, dairy- and gluten-free dough, spread with arugula & basil pesto and topped with hearts of palm, kalamata olives, and sundried tomatoes.

Back to Mom…Take a stroll over to the street side of the oak tree where Trudy’s selection of house plants will give you some great gift ideas that will surely add to your home or garden. Then you can wind your way around to Alton and Sandra who have happy-faced sunflowers plants plus an assortment of aromatic herbs. You’ll certainly want to check out the bougainvillea that Ms. Betty has – lovely shades of pinks and yellows. Dennis has some beautiful hydrangeas and Nancy’s colorful cluster of zinnias will brighten up even the gloomiest days. How about a fresh bouquet of wild fig & cassis or lemony Gardener’s Grits soaps from Aunt Bee or treat mom to natural ingredient lotions and skin care.

But you know me; my mind is not tiptoeing through the tulips, or the bougainvillea, or the fresh veggies, but tripping down Cookie Lane with large rounds of oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip cookies, crunchy dipping biscotti, wedding cookies, lemon squares, ginger cookies, pecan squares, anise cookies and those lovely raw almond butter cookies….oh, my! Mother’s Day does have its perks, doesn’t it? I’ll definitely need help getting back to my table. Just push me past (but not too fast) Lolly Marie’s white chocolate and ginger truffles, Frankie’s famous nut brittles, Tiffany’s goat milk and chocolate candies she’s making especially for Mother’s Day, Amanda’s popsicles…. there goes my diet (surprise, surprise)!!?? Never mind. I’m going to have a really delicious Mother’s Day!

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 CF 5-7-14

Healthy Living Local Events

This Week At The Farmers Market – It’s Wellness Day! By Charlene LeJeune

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This Week at the Covington Farmers' Market 5-3-14Happy Tuesday, friends!

Blue skies smilin’ at me…nothin’ but blue skies do I see. Good food singin’ a song…nothin’ but good food all day long (sorry I couldn’t help bursting into song – it’s gonna be a fantastic week!).  OK, so technically our good food doesn’t sing; that’s our magnificent Wednesday Gazebo Band at the Covington Farmers’ Market. Why not stop by for a little of both? It’ll put a song in your heart and a smile on your face.

We will have the usual line-up of deliciousness on Wednesday – smoky BBQ from Chompers, excellent raw food delights from Nanette, Kandi & Joe’s exotic Vietnamese dishes, Cynthia’s outstanding Italian raviolis and pastas… Frankie has been experimenting with quick breads and muffins with varying flavors each week. (My grandkids went for the chocolate ones last week.) Pam (Lolly Marie) has been playing with a new favorite – chocolate bourbon balls with dark chocolate or vanilla centers. No worries, you’ll still pass the breathalyzer with flying colors and a smile on your face. Chocolate has been known to do that, you know. A box of red, ripe strawberries and a dozen yard eggs and you’re set for the week (or at least until Saturday.) Is it any wonder why those blue skies are smilin’?

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Yes, that’s right. I know it’s been a while since we’ve had a Wellness Day but I’m so excited about it.  Many, many, many thanks to Jan and Nanette for organizing and inviting participants. Their efforts have yielded a variety of health and wellness advocates to share their knowledge with you. Floating from the gazebo will be the melodious music of the Bad Penny Pleasuremakers – kinda makes you want to get up early just for that. BUT…there’s more. Market vendor, Nanette Schoenewe, will present A Taste of the Farmers’ Market in the demo tent using only the bounty of our market vendors. I believe she is planning to show you how to make those lovely wraps without using bread!

Our Wellness Fair area will set up in front of the Police Department on Columbia Street. Take some time to see the wealth of information on staying fit and healthy. Heading up the “cast and crew” is the Covington Mayor’s Council on Healthy Lifestyles, who will provide information on living a healthier lifestyle. Also featured are health care practitioners, fitness clubs, chiropractors, yoga instructors, massage therapists, Juice Plus vitamins, how to use essential oils, and our incredible local health food stores! It’s a great day in the neighborhood!

​Once you’ve strolled through and absorbed more information than you can possibly process (don’t forget to get business cards and handouts in case you have questions), you’ll want to peruse the Farmers’ Market regulars. Now, we have a lot of wonderful things in store but for brevity’s sake, we’ll just talk about the produce. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words (which is good since I don’t think I could come up with that many.) Thanks to Michaela Lauer who took lots of great photos for me last week – about 9,000 words worth.

As you can see, we have a plethora of spring vegetables to tantalize you.  Oooouuu!  Aaaahhh!

pink oysters rainbow chard Red Onions

(Just a few of her lovely pictures) Need I say more? There’s a wealth of health and wellness at your fingertips (or rather, your footsteps) on Wellness Saturday. Come by and spend the morning with us. You can sleep on Sunday.

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

Farmers’ Market Recipe: Shish Kabobs With Tamarind Glaze

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Shish Kabobs are fun because you can use just about anything you can fit on a stick. This can be meats like chicken, beef or shrimp, and vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, eggplant, squash, radishes, brussel sprouts and broccoli. Cut into cubes, triangles, hearts, what have you, just as long as they are big enough to stay on the skewer during grilling. Like most things, the secret is in the sauce. Marinated meats are always good for kabobs, but sometimes you really want a good glaze.

Tamarind Kabob Glaze

shish kabab tamarind glaze1/2 cup tamarind pulp with seeds (6 ounces)

1/2 cup boiling water

3/4 cup honey

1/4 cup Asian fish sauce

1/2 tsp Cumin

1/2 tsp Ginger

2 Thai chilies, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

Course salt and fresh ground black pepper

Directions:

In a medium heatproof bowl, blend the tamarind pulp with the boiling water to make a paste. Pass the paste through a coarse strainer, pressing with a firm rubber spatula to remove the seeds and fibers. Stir in the honey, fish sauce, cumin, ginger, chilies and garlic. Salt and pepper to taste.

Make ahead of time – this recipe will keep for one month in the refrigerator.

Handy Grilling Tips:

If you’re grilling outside, soak skewers in water for a few hours before assembling the kabobs. This will prevent them from catching fire.

Sweet glazes are susceptible to burning! Add the glaze when meats or veggies are just about done. When the sauce begins to sizzle and pop, it’s ready.

Local Events Shop Local

This Week At The Farmers Market By Charlene LeJeune

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This Week at the Saturday Covington Farmers Market 3-15-14Happy Tuesday, friends! Yes, another week has come around and Market Day is almost here. (I know. I’m smiling, too.) You’ll smile even more as you survey the luncheon menus on the tables – pulled pork sandwiches, incredible veggie wraps, Asian inspired noodle salads, and fresh pasta and sauces that Cynthia learned to make while living in Italy. And then…there’s dessert. I think you all know my feelings on that subject.

Saturday will roll around soon enough and you can enjoy the delightful tunes of Cassie Krebs floating from the gazebo. So grab your coffee and orange almond biscotti from Teresa’s Italian and spend some time with us. It may be a little early for St. Joseph’s Day, but why wait? Teresa always bakes up a treasure trove of Italian cookies – seed cookies, anise cookies, fig cookies, biscotti – perfect for dipping. Man, they’re good enough to make you forget all your troubles. But, if you’re still chasing the blues after that, Southy’s Soup will be in the demo tent serving up a Lenten favorite, Gumbo Z’Herbes.  Then, check out Coast Roast’s international coffee of the week – just the thing for dipping cookies.

Miss Betty’s back at the Saturday market and she brought her lovely bougainvillea bushes with her. Staghorn ferns, spider plants, bromeliads, all conspire to bring a smile with their bright colors and blossoms. Soon Dennis’ trees and shrubs will begin blossoming as well, after all, winter can’t last forever, can it? (Pu-leeeeze don’t say yes.) Alton and Sandra had tomato bushes last week and should have Creole and Roma tomato plants ready soon…maybe even this weekend. I guess tomatoes are like lemons; just mentioning them immediately brings that taste to your senses.

Produce tables seem to bloom as well with the spring crop of veggies coming in. Nick’s baby carrots were a big hit last Saturday and cabbages on John’s table reminds us St. Patty’s Day will soon be here. With Brandon and Marietta visiting family, Jordan will be taking care of the farm. He had an assortment of salad flowers (tendergreens, baby broccoli, and arugula) AND dandelion greens. Doesn’t he know that people try to rid their lawns of that invasive plant? He rattled off all the benefits but I’m afraid I just stood there, not writing anything down. So, I had to look it up. Dandelion greens offer enormous health benefits providing more calcium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K than broccoli, more iron and riboflavin than spinach, and make for a very delicious green in your smoothie. Who knew….well, now we both do!

Norma Jean will be honoring Louisiana foods by adding several new items: a Muffaletta veggie wrap (her marinated veggies w/ herbed cheese in spinach tortilla) and small bags of decadent Louisiana style sugared bourbon pecans (as if the Italian cookies weren’t enough!). Right next door, Sam has a sprout & greens salad with a delightfully light dressing. He also mentioned he will have sprouted pea and bean flours and bags of golden pine pollen. I don’t have to say much about the Kombucha Girls. I see jars of that effervescent liquid stroll past me all the time. Still, it’s well worth taking the time to speak with Susan and Liz about why you should be strolling past with a jar as well.

Everything seems to be blooming these days. Tiffany (Farmhouse Dairy) tells me that with all the new baby goats born this February, she will have feta and goat’s milk again. Althee’s table is blooming with fruity jams and jellies – mayhaw, kumquat marmalade, mango jam, fig preserves and canned figs (why wait until the end of July?). Rebecca (Spanish R Us) is back with spicy salsas, empanadas, and tamales. The market landscape is again dotted with Amanda’s popsicles of strawberry, pineapple, coconut, chocolate…. To top that off, more than a few of Lolly Marie’s candied apples passed me by, all dripping with chocolate and caramel and… (I’m sorry; give me a minute). Now that I’ve destroyed all MY resolve, can YOU possibly resist a day at the Market? Join us, won’t 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

Wednesday Covington Farmers Market 3-12-14

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This Week at the Covington Farmers Market by Charlene LeJeune

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Oyster Mushrooms from James Shoop, "Chickin' Jim" at the Covington Farmers Market

Oyster Mushrooms from James Shoop, “Chickin’ Jim” at the Covington Farmers Market

Hi, friends and happy Tuesday! Is it Tuesday? The days and weeks have flown by so fast, it’s hard to remember. And there aren’t too many shopping days left and sometimes just thinking of all the holiday activities is exhausting.
But, Wednesday is on the horizon, and even though sleigh bells are jingling (somewhere in the world), you need to take some time to treat yourself to a lovely lunch at the Market. Indulge in a delicious soup, hot tamales, smoked turkey or crispy egg rolls. Enjoy your meal with a steamy cup of coffee from Frankie or save the coffee to have with your dessert – peanut brittle, cashew brittle, chocolate caramel truffles, or Raspberry Oreos. It’s OK to indulge; Mr. Houston and Marietta will have the most luscious greens and greens just kinda make everything healthy.
NO snow falling outside but friends will be calling you on Saturday to come and enjoy the music of Linzzi Zaorski. Then get set for The Kombucha Girl in the cooking tent. Susan and Liz will serve samples of their holiday kombucha and show you ways to enhance this special tea with bitters and other ingredients. So grab your coffee and do some Christmas shopping with us.
The scent of fresh brewed coffee is sooooo inviting (like popcorn popping) and Kevin always has an amazing gourmet roast for us. What an awesome gift! How wonderful it would be to have fresh herbs on the table fragrantly waiting to be snipped and added to your dishes! Alton and Sandra will make a special basket of herbs (or anything else) Oh! Go ahead and order two – one gift, one for your table. Fresh goat’s milk cheeses (Farmhouse Dairy) or cow’s milk cheeses (Mauthe’s) on a tray, a jar of any kombucha flavor plus a bottle of bitters (Kombucha Girl), a basket of seasonings and herb blends (Herbs N Spice), a bag of all natural beauty products – more awesome gifts with one thing in mind, to make someone smile. Why stick with traditional? Dennis’ winter plants include Cassias, Confederate Rose, Clumping Bamboo, Candelabras, and fig trees. Think outside the stocking!
Aside from having great gifts, it’s always great to see old friends and new appearing at the market. Betty Rue is back with their famous gluten free cookies, cookie mixes, and ancient grain flour. Crystal has developed dairy free egg nog that is absolutely fantastic! Gotta try it. You may or may not be aware that we have some special food and treats for your four-legged buddies. Tiger Bait (don’t ya love it?!) is offering raw pet food. I’ve read their pamphlet and you will be amazed at the love and thought going into their pet food and treats. You have to stop by their table so you can see for yourself. While you’re over that way (toward the corner of Theard & Columbia), you can see that strawberries are back! What a lovely treat for a Christmas dinner – or any dinner – for that matter.
Another great stop is at Sam’s Sprouts. He has a few unique sprout blends and a few light & tasty dressings to add to them. He also mentioned a few ways that he uses sprouts in his own cooking. Sprouts make a fabulous addition to scrambled eggs or delicious stir fry. Sam uses his lentils, peas, and beans blend in a sprout-tastic chili. Who knew?! The ladies at Rosalie Alley Apothecary have several wonderful tea blends. The hibiscus-mint medley, rose orange spice, and dandelion chai all sound (and smell) so soothing. But what really caught my eye is their Carob Café with roasted cacao nibs, roasted dandelion root with carob and a hint of clove. Their mulling spice tea will have your bells ring-ting-tingling too.
The Covington Farmers’ Market is a remarkable place to be on any morning. C’mon…. it’s lovely weather to spend a market day together 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

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This Week At The Farmers Market by Charlene LeJeune

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Globe Eggplant from Slice of Heaven Farm

Globe Eggplant from Slice of Heaven Farm

Hi, friends and happy Tuesday! I’ve requested an especially nice day for tomorrow. So if you are beginning to be stressed by the thought of holiday shopping, join us for a delicious lunch and let the music and the warm sunshine soothe those cares away. In fact, why not bring home a little something so you won’t have to cook, such as those marvelous shrimp and cream cheese rolls, pulled pork sandwiches, crispy chicken taquitos, red cabbage salad… You may as well put in your order for next week while you’re there. Now you’ll have plenty of time to fix your contribution to the Thanksgiving meal and build your Black Friday shopping list/strategy.
Saturday will roll around and you’ll be tempted to sleep in. Black Friday can be exhausting. RESIST THAT URGE! Sweet Jones will be in the gazebo providing great music for our post-Thanksgiving market. We have a lot to be thankful for particularly that Mr. Houston is now home. According to Terese, he is back in the garden and may even be at the market on Wednesday and Saturday. Now that makes me very, very thankful!
I know you’re thinking what you’ll do with all those leftovers and you are in luck! Beck and Call will be in the demo tent with samplings of what do to with Turkey Leftovers. I have a few ideas of my own (naturally) and they will involve your incredible Covington Farmers Market vendors.
Start off with a jar of Chompers BBQ Sauce – 3 Pepper Sauce, Honey BBQ, or Original. Simply pour the sauce over leftover turkey (or roast), heat in the oven and it’s certainly not leftover any longer. Serve with a side of Mac N Cheese. Whether it’s made by Chompers BBQ or you make your own using Herbs N Spice’s Mac N Cheese mix, leftovers will never be the same. Add a couple of spoons of Robin’s cranberry pecan pepper jelly to leftover broccoli, green beans or sweet potatoes and change the flavor dramatically (and deliciously).
You’ll be thankful for Spanish R Us and their authentic Honduran foods and Dong’s Korean food – a welcome change since you’ve probably eaten all the delicious food you picked up on Wednesday. If you have leftover ham (and who won’t?), why not add a few eggs? Simply coat your muffin tin with Nuccio’s Cajun Olive Oil, crack an egg into each muffin cup (or use those cute little paper ones), add salt, pepper, or one of the many seasonings available from Melanie or me, and pop in the oven for 12 – 14 minutes. (Thanks, Monica, for the recipe.) You can warm the ham in the oven while the eggs are baking for a relaxing Sunday brunch. Scrambled eggs and a side of creamy cheese grits (Hot Tamale Mama) – another breakfast done! Prepare a package of Herbs N Spice’s cream of anything soup, then add a tablespoon of her ranch dressing mix and ½ cup of milk or mayo and combine well. In a baking dish, combine leftover turkey and freshly steamed broccoli and slowly incorporate the cream of anything mixture. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes and Bingo! – Hamburger (Turkey) Helper on steroids!
Then, just when think you’ll have some breathing room, you realize we are about to enter the season of parties – Christmas parties, office parties, football parties – oh my! Now before you get your knickers in a knot, close your eyes a minute and picture planning a party and having all the hors d’oeuvres ready and all you have to do is put them out. Get out the good trays (those festive paper ones work even better). One tray for Frankie’s (The Peanut Factory) cashew, pecan and peanut brittle and those little cheese straws that are party perfect. Angel’s overstuffed artichoke will need a tray to itself. Surround a dish of Nur’s chipotle hummus with toasted bread rounds (7Grain.) Spread some of those toasty rounds with Nur’s eggplant, tomato and garlic dip and others with Spinach Artichoke Dip (Hot Tamale Mama.) Are your holidays happy yet?
Don’t worry about buying dips when you can put out a bowl of avocado and/or tomato salsa (Spanish R Us), Black Bean Salsa (Hot Tamale Mama) or Ranch Dip (Herbs & Spice) with a bag of toasted tortilla chips (7Grain) for dippin’. Of course, a dish of Mauthe’s cream cheese swimming in one of Robin’s Rocking Cajun Pepper Jellies is always a party favorite. So many variations from which to choose – champagne, blackberry, cranberry pecan, lemon… Here’s a different take on this old standby – a round of Farmhouse Dairy’s Chevre cloaked in Althee’s Mayhaw Jelly. The taste combination is sensational! WOW! No wonder the holidays are so happy!
You’re not done yet. Dare I go there? Absolutely! You MUST have a tray of cookies. A mound of huge market cookies, chocolate chips and oatmeal raisin cookies, surrounded by a ring of wedding cookies with pumpkin Ooegy Gooeys, raspberry crumb cake or fig cookies to dance around the outside….. (give me a minute…it takes my breath away.)
We have so many things to be thankful for…Market Days, the world’s best food, incredible music and family and friends to share it with. Happy Thanksgiving!

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

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This Week at the Farmers Market by Charlene LeJeune

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Crispin Shroeder will be playing at the Saturday Covington Farmers Market

Crispin Schroeder will be playing at the Saturday Covington Farmers Market

Hi, friends and happy Tuesday! We’ve got a soothingly beautiful day planned tomorrow so be sure to get out to the Market to enjoy it. Mr. Houston is on the road to recovery and we will hopefully have him back soon.
Chompers BBQ is introducing a festive Christmas Cornbread made with fire roasted poblano and red bell peppers. Try a cup of Nanette’s heartwarming soup and a salad for a quick, nourishing meal; Kandi’s pan-seared salmon salad with green papaya noodles or a lunch from south-of-the-border. Then on to dessert (or perhaps to start with) – chocolatey mint Oreos, crunchy pecan brittle. Frankie makes her brittle thin so it melts in your mouth rather than crack your teeth.
Come Saturday Morning (there I go singing again) Crispin Schroeder will delight us with his tunes from the gazebo beginning at 9:00. So settle in with a fresh cup of coffee and visit with vendors while you await Eric Acquistapace, of Acquistapace’s Covington Supermarket. He will be frying and serving samples of his amazing Cajun Fried Turkey. You may want to order one; it’s the perfect solution to the harried rush of cooking at Thanksgiving which will be here before you know it.
We have a few new vendors in our midst. First, Korean Food – Dong has created authentic Korean fried rice, Korean noodles, and a spicy onion kimchi. He also has several variations of pickled radish. I went home with some fried rice which went very nicely with the baked catfish I made. That small container held a considerable amount because I had enough left over for rice and egg the next morning. Rice and egg is a dish that my mother-in-law used to fix and is one of Mr. Wonderful’s favorites. I haven’t fixed it often because I could never get it quite right. This time, I simply scrambled the eggs, added the fried rice, spooned the mixture into the cups of a large muffin tin, popped it into the oven and in about 10 minutes, I had lovely little rice & egg “muffins”. I didn’t have to worry about seasonings at all; everything was already in the rice.
Please also welcome to our ranks, Enten Farms. Freda’s ducks are sending their eggs just in time for holiday baking. Duck eggs add an incredible richness and fluffiness to cakes and cookies. Whole ducks are also available. Ken Savage is back with lemons and oranges and satsumas! That means grapefruit is not far behind. I know I’m in the minority, but I looove grapefruit! He also has merliton (real Louisiana merliton) and the most beautiful heads of broccoli.
You may get your turkey from Acquistapace’s but you’ll still need side dishes. There’s ground beef (Justin Pitts/Jubilee Farms) and chicken livers (James) for dirty rice. Sweet potatoes – cut them up into bite sized pieces (I don’t bother to peel), coat with some of Althee’s Kumquat Marmalade, and bake for an easy (and a little different) sweet potato dish. Use one of Robin’s pepper jellies, such as lemon, pineapple, or red onion as a glaze for pork roast, broccoli, or green beans. Come to think of it, the kumquat marmalade would make a delicious glaze for duck. Duck a la kumquat anyone?
There’s so much more to the Market – creamed honey, oyster mushrooms, gourmet coffee, freshly squeezed juice, fragrant soaps, Crispin and Acquistapace’s Cajun Fried Turkey – 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

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This Week At The Farmers Market by Charlene LeJeune

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LOLA Deux, LOLA Restaurant's food truck

LOLA Deux, LOLA Restaurant’s food truck

Hi, friends and happy Tuesday! Wednesday is fast approaching and with it, Market Day! Make it a date to come and enjoy the sunshine with us tomorrow. There’ll be some good eats out there along with good music and good friends. You’ll be glad you did.
Mr. Houston and Terese wanted me to let you all know that they are very grateful for your thoughts, prayers and well wishes. He is doing much better. I know he can’t wait to get back; he really enjoys being at the market.
With Three Rivers Festival a distant memory and Thanksgiving close on our heels, we look forward to taking a little break before the “merriment” of the holidays begins. Keenan Knight will be in the gazebo this Saturday making music. So grab a steaming cup of coffee and a couple of big fat cookies and spend the morning with us. Keith and Nealy Frentz and the fabulous Lola Deux Food Truck will be serving their usual deliciousness and you know you don’t want to miss that.
I know it’s still a few weeks away but have you thought about your Thanksgiving meal yet? I didn’t think so. So here are a few suggestions. A break from tradition can find one of Justin Pitts’ pleasantly plump ducks in your turkey pan. They will be ready by Thanksgiving (get your name on one, supply is limited.) Sweet Potatoes glazed with Althee’s Kumquat Marmalade makes a great side dish.
Not the best cook? Let Nanette (Real Food for Real People) fix a healthy version of your normal holiday menu. You just tell her what your family likes and she will build you a scrumptiously healthy meal. Is it really that easy? With the weather turning chilly, Southy’s Soups add a warm comfort to any meal. Order ahead so you can choose your favorite soup – White beans & Greens, Roasted Sweet Potato, Broccoli, Pumpkin… and a fresh bread to enjoy with it. Suzie (Windfield Farms) and Lena (7Grain) have a nice variety from which to choose. Warm it in your oven and serve with Mauthe’s lusciously creamy butter (margarine is not good enough for these breads) or a dollop of Lena’s lemon curd. Yes, it can be that easy.
The girls at Windowsill Pies are planning an Amaretto Pear & Dried Cherry Pie with a leaf lattice topping for the holidays. I know…my mouth is watering too. Kombucha Girl is working on special holiday blends to include cranberry, chocolate chicory bitters and a plum bitters. I’m amazed every time I walk over that way at the ingenuity of these ladies.
Chomper’s BBQ is new to the Saturday market. If you have been enjoying their delicious pulled pork on Wednesday, you will enjoy the opportunity to get a jar of that delightful bbq sauce or one of their meat rubs. I know it’s still early but bbq sauce would certainly solve any issues with leftover turkey (and I’ve heard it’s incredible over vegetables as well!) Leftovers will never be the same again. Don’t just think leftovers, think about that sauce on chicken (James, John) or hamburgers (Justin, Jubilee Farms). Mmmmm. Mmmm.
Since you’re taking a break, you can pick up a dozen eggs and some of Hot Tamale Mama’s cheese grits for Sunday breakfast. Toasted bread, spread with butter and a spoonful of Althee’s mayhaw jelly or splash of Blood River Creamed Honey and you’re in breakfast heaven.
I can never report on everything we have to offer at the market. You’ll have to come and see for yourself. We’ll be here as always, with smiles on, and a bountiful harvest. We’d love to see you.
Lots of love,
Charlene LeJeune
Abundant Life KitchenThe 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

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This Week at the Farmers Market by Charlene LeJeune

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Hi, friends. I know this is a little early today but I think you can handle it.  I thought I’d give you a glimpse of our hoppin’ and poppin’ Wednesday market. Last week vendor tables were brimming with delicious food. Pleasant melodies flowed from the gazebo and all was right with the world – at least during lunch.
I tried Lolly Marie’s chocolate caramel truffles – oh man! And Frankie’s cashew brittle – I think she roasts the cashews first – incredible flavor! What can I say? Dessert should always come first! Rebecca (Spanish R Us) prepared delicious pork and chicken tamales and crispy tacos (sort of a Mexican eggroll). Kandi’s crunchy eggrolls shared space with a luscious pan-seared salmon salad served with either green papaya “noodles” or traditional rice noodles.
This week, along with Jeff’s (Chompers BBQ) slow smoked pulled pork platters, you’ll find pumpkin mashed potatoes and stuffed jalapeno and poblano peppers with a delicious bbq ranch dipping sauce. Nanette’s created another healthy raw salad – an apple/purple cabbage salad that is outstanding! Her white beans and greens soup really hit the spot. If you haven’t visited our Wednesday market, I have two words for you…why not?
The weatherman promises another lovely day on Saturday and I will hold him to it. The magnificent Pot Luck String Band will kick us into gear with some lively tunes from the gazebo. Grab your coffee and start your shopping so you’ll be ready when Robin with her Rockin’ Cajun Pepper Jellies serves Shrimp Remoulade featuring her brand spankin’ new remoulade sauce. (OK, I promised this last week but, oops! Last week’s loss is this week’s gain.) If you’ve tasted her jellies, you know this sauce will be equally great. Take advantage of the milder weather to get your fall garden in. Alton and Sandra have an awesome variety for you. Fix an aromatic cup of Relaxation Blend from our new tea vendor Rosalie Alley Apothecary to enjoy while you bathe in a garden of fragrance with one of Aunt Bee’s soaps .
Two Kids Farm boasted a few cabbages this past week and I for one am hoping for more. John’s table was a study in shades of green with kohlrabi, kale, lettuces, bok choy, Tatsoi. Nick’s sweet potatoes are rich with flavor especially with a little Mauthe’s butter and Herbs & Spices Cinnamon Spice Blend. You’ll find he has string beans, heirloom eggplant, quail eggs and (if you’re lucky) wild caught catfish. Spice up your Asian greens with hot peppers from Brandon and Marietta. Bardwell’s still has tomatoes for possibly another week or two, lovely lipstick peppers, sweet taters and even a few persimmons. Mr. Houston has added broccoli this week to his kale, collards, bell peppers, turnip and mustard greens.
Don’t forget your “must haves” – coffee, raw honey, milk, cheese, eggs, sprouts, and spices. A morning at the market will convince you that all is right with the world – at least in our little Covington Farmers’ Market world. There are no tricks, only treats but you have to be here to enjoy them.

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

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This Week at the Farmers Market by Charlene LeJeune

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Covington Farmers Market - Wednesday & Saturday - Downtown Covington

Covington Farmers Market – Wednesday & Saturday – Downtown Covington

Hi, friends and Happy Tuesday! It’ll be a perfect day tomorrow for lunch at the market. Pull up a chair at a table under the pavilion where you can bask in the comforting aroma of good food or closer to the gazebo where sweet music will massage your stress away. Food choices from tantalizing salads & sandwiches, Tandoori Chicken or the spicy Curry Chicken wrap, crispy traditional Vietnamese egg rolls (pork or shrimp with cream cheese) surround you. And there’s that delightful Noodle Salad (chicken marinated overnight then grilled with lemongrass & served on a bed of rice noodles). Finish with one of Frankie’s pies.
Saturday, Sweet Saturday…I suppose that sounds so good because it’s the perfect ending to the week. Get out early, grab your coffee and take a stroll around the market while you await the melodic tunes of Olga Wilhelmine right around 9:30. Then get ready because it is the third week of the month and that means – Lola Deux! Everywhere you look there will be lots of good food, Popsicles, and Parmesan fries everywhere! Try to save a few; they are excellent added to scrambled eggs.
Alton and Sandra are getting their autumn lineup of garden plants growing. Yes, it’s time to start thinking about planting a fall garden. You’ll also want to visit Tabasco for a few of Grammy’s Chick-a-poo “tea bags”, more commonly known as garden fertilizer.
As I walked around the market last week, doing my shopping, I got an idea for a dish that I call Moroccan Ratatouille. Doesn’t that sound exotic? You’ll need a chicken (James or John). Cut it up as you would normally, then save the legs, wings, back, and thighs in the fridge for another meal. Separate the breast meat from the bone and slice it into chunks. I always like to quickly brown my chicken before adding it to a dish just because the browning makes it look better and also adds a little bit of flavor. The chicken goes into a baking dish or slow cooker. (I personally prefer a cast iron pot.) Next roughly chop onions, banana peppers, okra, eggplant, and tomatoes and add them to your dish. Generously sprinkle with a tablespoon or two of Herbs & Spice’s Moroccan seasoning and a ¼ cup of Robin’s Lemon Pepper Jelly. Mix it all together so all the pieces are well coated with seasoning and bake (or slow cook). Serve over rice. Mmmmm! Mmmmm!
Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about the rest of the chicken. Rub those pieces all over with Herbs & Spice’s BBQ rub and bake. You’ll want to pop some new potatoes (Bardwells) into the oven as well or a few or Nick’s sweet potatoes (Yes! He has them!). A little butter from Mauthe and a sprinkle of Herbs & Spices Ranch Dressing mix (for the potatoes) or Sweet Cinnamon (on the sweet potatoes) and dinner is served. It really couldn’t be easier.
Jessica (Two Kids Farm) tells me that her mom makes mustard green rolls that were a favorite at their table. Brush mustard leaves with a little olive oil (Nuccio’s Garlic sounds good), fold them over, cut out the stem, roll and secure with a toothpick before baking. They don’t take long.
With everything else we have to offer, the Market is the place you need to be. 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 www.covingtonfarmersmarket.org

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This Week at the Farmers Market by Charlene LeJeune

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Market Vendors Susan Tarasova and Liz Bragdon of Kombucha Girl Living Beverages, will serve Vintage Cocktails, Shrub, Bitters and Living Beverages this week at the Covington Farmers Market

Market Vendors Susan Tarasova and Liz Bragdon of Kombucha Girl Living Beverages, will serve Vintage Cocktails, Shrub, Bitters and Living Beverages this week at the Covington Farmers Market

Hi, friends and Happy Wednesday! As I look outside my window, there is a light drizzle in the middle of a sunshiny day! How typical of southern Louisiana!  I think we actually had a cool front come through on Saturday. If you listen carefully, though, it won’t be thunder you’ll hear – it’s the sound of toe-tapping music on the breeze calling you to the Market. It’s lunchtime…It’s a perfect day for a visit to the Market. Don’t miss out on a lovely summer soup and salad. Surely, you hear it too.
Roma will have that sensational Tandoori Chicken platter with rice and raita (a lovely yogurt sauce.) You’ll want to grab frozen curry for later in the week. Perhaps it’s Kandi’s crunchy shrimp with cream cheese egg rolls calling your name – absolutely scrumptious – you’ve got to taste ‘em to believe how good they are. Jeff’s pulled pork speaks for itself – another great idea for later in the week.
It will be another lovely Saturday at the market (I refuse to have anything else). Jon Hebert will get us started with wonderful tunes drifting from the gazebo. Market Vendors Susan Tarasova and Liz Bragdon of Kombucha Girl Living Beverages, will serve Vintage Cocktails, Shrub, Bitters and Living Beverages. Talk to Susan and Liz about the health benefits of Kombucha and water kefir. They’re a treasure trove of knowledge. So grab a cup of coffee and one of Lena’s cinnamon rolls and relax a while with us.
Peaches are still available at the market…think peach pizza. I know, I know – you’re thinking she’s gone wacko again, but give me a minute. Picture one of Lena’s plain pizza rounds or a nice hefty slice of bread (7grain or Windfield Farms), laying there looking very lonely. So in the spirit of cooperation, you give it a generous coating of Mauthe’s cream cheese or one of Farmhouse Dairy’s velvety chevres. Then pile on the peaches – peeled and sliced, of course. Top with a sprinkling (or two) of brown sugar and pop it into a hot oven until it’s bubbly and delicious. Oh BTW, you’ll want to put that on a pan so all that deliciousness doesn’t drip onto the bottom of the oven. While that’s baking, brew a fresh pot of coffee (surely, you remembered to get a bag from Coast Roast.) Voila! Breakfast! Whoa! I feeeel good! Like I knew that I would! You could be singing all day long.
I know that the summer veggies are starting to wind down but there are still tomatoes to be found and squashes to be stuffed. I’ve seen new potatoes on the tables; they are sooo tasty when they are freshly harvested and roasted with a drizzle of Nuccio’s Cajun Olive Oil.  It doesn’t matter what you serve them with – hamburger, roast, chicken, shrimp – and a side salad of tomato & cucumber bathed in Jennifer’s Basil Vinaigrette. Heaven! I’m in heaven! (Sorry, I promise I won’t burst into song again.)
Well, another birthday has come and gone and I don’t really feel any older. Steering clear of mirrors, I make my traditional pledge to eat better – and I do (no, really, I do) – but have you seen the cookie selection at the market? Oh, my goodness! Chocolate chip, wedding cookies, anise cookies, lemon crunchies, fig cookies, sinful almond croissants, oatmeal raisin (actually, they don’t count; aren’t they good for you?). There I go…falling off the wagon already. Ok, so technically I never really got on. Most of the time, I’m pretty good… but there are those times when it’s not visions of sugar plums dancing in my head but the thought of Suzie’s whoppin’ fat market cookies, Nanette’s raw almond bars, or Teresa’s orange almond biscotti. Enough of that, now, or I’ll never make it through the week.
But, it’s not the cookies that drew me to the market or kept me coming back. It’s the vendors and their passion for their products. It’s finding out what plant is suited to your garden or what makes grass finished beef best. It’s learning to add a little orange olive oil to the brownie mix or pineapple pepper jelly on your chicken or bleu cheese dressing to your hamburger. It’s the promise of freshly made cheeses, dressings, salsas, hummus. It’s local produce and fresh eggs, laughter, music, Tabasco’s rousing Cock-A-Doodle-Do…is it Market Day yet?

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

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This Week at the Covington Farmers Market by Charlene LeJeune

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Farmers-Market-clipartHi, friends and Happy Wednesday! I’m sure you’re all excited; after all it is Wednesday Market Day! Get your tasty buds ready for some incredibly delicious food. What will it be this week? Spicy West Indian cuisine, traditional Vietnamese fare, smoky barbecue, delicious wraps, or tacos served with Mexican dirty rice (what a taste sensation that must be)? Better yet, get some of each and treat yourself for the rest of the week.

Start exercising those toes this week ‘cause on Saturday the Black Bottom Bog Stompers will be in the gazebo at 9:30. There’ll be lots of toe-tappin’ music so make sure yours are in shape. Sounds like a great time to me. To top that off, we’ll have Lena Brannon of 7Grain in the demo tent to show you different ways of incorporating her products (whole grains and more) into delicious recipes.

Squash abounds at the market at this time of year and there are lots of varieties from which to choose. So what do you do with it – other than roast it or stuff it? No worries, Melanie (Herbs and Spice) has the perfect seasoning that will tantalize those tastebuds! Take any squash (yellow, Delicata, butternut, Nician) and cut it (them) in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash face down in a baking dish with an inch of water. Bake at 350°F until soft. Turn the squash over (with tongs). Combine a packet of Sweet Cinnamon Sprinkle (Herbs and Spice) with ¼ cup softened butter (Mauthe’s is best) and spread over the top of the squash (don’t forget the cavity). This will be an especially good recipe when acorn squash and pumpkins start appearing.

I did a lot more socializing at the market this past weekend and found out quite a bit (I’ll have to have my granddaughter watch my table more often). Did you know that folks from as far away as Mississippi and Alabama come to our market to buy Trudy’s beautiful Japanese Maples? She has several varieties and is well known (by those who grow them) because her maple trees are not only reasonably priced but they live after they’ve been planted. Impressive, Trudy! You go, girl! I know we have a great market and it’s nice to hear that others find us special as well. Lolly Marie’s chocolates make exquisite gifts for birthdays or thank you’s or just cause you need to feel special (hmmm, I think I feel a birthday coming up). She hand makes them with creamy Belgian chocolate and a variety of melt-in-your-mouth centers.

Our vendors just never quit coming up with ingenious new products. OK, so maybe Althee’s fig preserves and fig jam are not necessarily ingenious (but very tasty) but her tomato jam will have you thinking of ways to use it – perhaps spread half a block of cream cheese (or Farmhouse Dairy’s goat cheese) with the tomato jelly and the other half with one of her pepper jellies. Party time! Ask Althee for a taste; you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Spanish R Us has a coconut flan that is sure to delight. Farmhouse Dairy now offers special cuts of goat meat in addition to their cheeses. Two Kids Farm makes an amazing zucchini bread! Bushwood Farms has a sweet potato marmalade which makes a delicious glaze when spread over a pork loin and baked!

How many more reasons do you need to be at the market each week? My thoughts exactly!

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

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This Week at the Farmers Market by Charlene LeJeune

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From Grow.Farm, click to learn more

From Grow.Farm, click to learn more

Good afternoon, friends, and Happy Wednesday! Is the summer really half gone already? Maybe I should think positively – we have half the summer left to enjoy! I know you’re all ready for another sensational week at the market. Our vendors are all ready too! Come and indulge in a wonderful, satisfying Wednesday lunch with us.

This Saturday, you’ll find yourself tapping your toes to the delightful music of The Low Amps. Enjoy a cup of coffee or kombucha while you munch some of Nanette’s wonderful raw treats. Energized? Now you are ready to shop! This week, market vendor and chef, Austin Smith of Pastazz will prepare samples of small ravioli with parsley and basil oil and rustic tomato sauce. If you haven’t tried his pastas, ravioli, or dinner rolls yet, now is the time. Large ravioli with spinach, cream cheese and yard eggs will be available for sale.

It was soooo good to be back at the Market last weekend! I miss so much when I’m gone. I found that we have two new vendors with (naturally) incredible foods and next weekend we will have a new produce vendor. Robin makes spicy pepper jellies. Now, I know you’re thinking to yourself, how many different ways can you fix pepper jelly (I know ‘cause I was thinking that myself). Amazingly, Robin has lots of flavors ranging from Strawberry Daiquiri to Blackberry Cabernet to Red Onion and lots of ways of cooking with them. She was telling me about using different flavors when grilling, for example, pineapple for grilling chicken or shrimp. It sounds so yummy – it’s on my list for next week. I’m not sure which I’ll choose, though.

I also checked out a new pie vendor, Windowsill Pies. Nicole has some beautiful pies that are very reminiscent of those pies you see on the windowsills in the movies. During the summer, you can choose from Blueberry Lavender Honey to Strawberry Marguerita Chiffon Tart to Passionfruit Raspberry tart. Don’t they sound absolutely too good to be true? You won’t know if you don’t check it out for yourself.

I saw Southy at Nick’s tent on Saturday, surveying the butternut squash.  It is a variety of butternut squash that has a richer flavor. I’ll bet that means Southy will have some delightful cool summer soup this week. The butternut squash got me to thinking about a recipe idea from last year – butternut squash lasagna! Last year, I used this to stuff manicotti with delicious results but a pain in the tushie to prepare. I peeled, seeded and diced the squash, tossed with a little Nuccio’s Cajun olive oil (the Garlic would be great as well) and popped them into a 350° oven to roast until tender. Then I browned the ground pork that I got from Justin. When the meat was browned, I added chopped banana peppers, onion and garlic and cooked it down until the onions were clear. Then mix in the roasted squash. In a casserole dish, put a layer of the squash mixture, next a little grated cheese from Farmhouse Dairy or Mauthe’s Dairy. A layer of lasagna noodles will go next followed by some avocado salsa from Spanish R Us. Repeat those layers one more time, finish with cheese, and bake. Nick, save me some of those squash!

We had such a terrific time this past week and so many great treats to be had. Gee, we’d hate for you to miss out. Don’t just pencil us in…be 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 www.covingtonfarmersmarket.org

 

 

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This Week at the Farmers Market by Charlene LeJeune

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Covington Farmers Market Mascot TobascoHello friends, and Happy 3rd of July!  I hope you’re planning a wonderful celebration! Be sure to stop by for a great lunch. You’ll want to take something home because, after all, you’ll be doing all that grilling and picnicking on the 4th!
On Saturday, we have special treat for you! Watermelon! What can be better at the height of summer than a juicy, delicious slice of homegrown watermelon? Join the Porch Rockers at 9:30 in the gazebo for loads of good music. I am so sorry that I won’t be there to enjoy that.Well, I wasn’t at the market last week since I’ve been visiting my children and grandkids in Kansas. Naturally, my grandkids can come out with some truly amazing observations (they are, after all, mine) and this particular conversation between my 4-year-old grandson, Johnny, and his mother was very enlightening.

Johnny: Mom, I think I’m gonna be a farmer when I grow up. Mom: Oh, really? That’s great! So what are you gonna grow? Johnny: Huh? Mom:  Well, are you gonna grow vegetables or are you gonna have some animals on your farm? Johnny: Oh. I’m gonna grow cookies! (You can tell he’s my grandson, right?)
So now, I’m really a little upset. You know my passion for cookies, and all this time I’ve been buying garden plants from Alton and Sandra and never once (and I mean NEVER) have they had oatmeal-raisin OR chocolate chip OR biscotti OR fluffy wedding cookie plants! I’m putting in my order right now, Alton! I’ll need 3 flats of oatmeal-raisin, 3 flats of biscotti (preferably orange almond) and 2 flats of chocolate chip for this fall and if you can find a couple of those almond macaroon…..

I don’t have to tell you that it’s been a bit on the warm side lately, so here are a few “cool” ideas for cooling off. Why not a homemade smoothie? Pick up a half-gallon of milk or yogurt from Mauthe’s and blend with fresh peaches, plums, or blueberries and ice or just freeze the fruit until semi frozen and blend. Of course, you can always just treat yourself to one of Amanda’s amazing Popsicles. She is always coming up with new flavors with fresh ingredients. A glass of juice straight from the orange could hit the spot as well. Let’s not forget about Flippin’ Amazin’s cream cheese ice cream, made with all fresh ingredients and none of those things no one but a scientist can pronounce.

Last year I was looking for something to make with eggplant that did not include breading and/or frying. Fortunately, Giada was on the Food Network with the perfect quick and easy recipe. I thought some of you may enjoy it; my family did. Most of you know I can’t really follow a recipe all the way through and usually end up improvising so here it is in a nutshell. I just peeled the eggplant, then cut it in half and cubed it. I sautéed it down with onions (a little salt, a little pepper) until it was nicely browned adding sliced pickled garlic (Bushwood Farms) just as it was starting to brown. I sliced a few heirloom tomatoes into bitesize pieces (Nick, John or A.J.) and added them to the pot. While it was “veggin’ out” in the pan, I boiled pasta (Giada used penne but Lena/7Grain has a delicious whole grain pasta). When the eggplant was browned and tomatoes nicely done, I turned off the fire and added one of Nur’s basil pesto containers and mixed it into the eggplant. Then I added the cooked pasta, tossed it all together and topped it with shredded parmesan. WOW! It was delicious and got a lot of rave reviews from my family.

Nick has been fermenting string beans and squash. Since I also ferment veggies (in the form of sauerkraut) I absolutely had to try them. If you haven’t already tried his, make sure you give them a try. The string beans are incredible! Nick used several varieties of very colorful squash and lots of basil in the squash blend – they are sooo good and sooo very good for you!  There really is nothing like a farmers’ market when the veggies are at their peak of flavor and variety. Oh! If only summer could last all year long (OK, maybe not the heat but definitely the veggies). Fresher than this you just can’t find. I can only describe them; you need to come out and see the goodness for yourself.

Lots of love
Charlene LeJeune
Abundant Life Kitchen

Market Hours:  Wednesday, Covington Trailhead, 10am – 2pm;  Saturday, Columbia St (by Justice Center) 8am to Noon. Visit us at www.covingtonfarmersmarket.org

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Winos and Tacos – Eat Local Challenge

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Eat Local Challenge New OrleansWinos and Tacos is proud to serve locally grown proteins, produce and wine.  If you are taking part in the “Eat Local Challenge”, you can dine at Winos and Tacos and stay on the program.  If you haven’t heard of the “Eat Local Challenge”, visit the website at www.eatlocalneworleans.com  or find them on Facebook.  Winos and Tacos is now open for lunch Wed. – Fri. from 11 am until 2 pm, stop in and try the tortas! 321 N. Columbia St.

Why Eating Local Is Important To Health and Community

Louisiana life is wonderful for many reasons, and the variety of food available to us is definitely at the top of the list.  The Covington Farmer’s Market is in full swing with a great variety of produce and local foods.  By shopping locally, you are supporting your community and receiving a product that you can trust, because you know its origins.  Creole tomatoes grow very well here.  Why pay someone in California for your vegetables? Another big topic concerning food these days is genetic modification.  Small local farms follow more sustainable practices and often grow organically by default, whether they are certified or not.  Benefit your health and your community by eating local!

Eat Local Challenge New Orleans 2013