Johnson and Wales demo at farmers market on Saturday
By Sue Davis
For The Salisbury PostWhat’s new at the market this week?
On Saturday morning from 9 to 11 a.m., Kris Reid, a student from Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, will be conducting a cooking demonstration using fresh vegetables and meats from the market.
The demonstrations include cooking information and recipes. Reid promotes local food through farmers market cooking demonstrations, dedicating her time to a non-profit in Charlotte to rebuild its garden and greenhouse spaces, while maintaining her own backyard garden. She is also working with Know Your Farms, a local CSA, to construct weekly recipes based on seasonally available ingredients.
Fruits and vegetables
Correll Farms may have artichokes this week, if the weather cooperates.
All of the produce vendors have a wide variety of local tomatoes, squash, okra, bell peppers, hot and semi-hot pepper varieties, lima beans and butter beans, green beans, October beans, cucumbers, cantaloupes, blueberries, blackberries, peaches and many varieties of eggplants.
Cress Farms has bi-color corn, and the other vendors have Silver King white corn. Sweet corn is an American tradition. Corn is at its best if it is cooked within a day of picking but refrigerating corn as soon as possible after picking preserves flavor. When choosing corn, select ears where the husks are fresh and green without drying. The silk should be golden and fresh looking, the kernels filled out and evenly spaced all the way to the tip. At the farmers market, you will find all of the corn fits this description. When you get corn home, refrigerate in its husks to preserve moisture, and away from strong flavored foods like onions and peppers.
When the growers are asked how to cook corn, three answers are given: Shucked, in a pot; in the microwave; and on the grill.
To cook corn in the microwave, remove just enough of the husk to be sure the ear is free of insect damage then put it directly in the microwave. Cooking times depend on your appliance, so begin at 2 minutes for the first ear and 1 minute more for each additional ear. When the timer goes off, remove the husks and silk and eat.
On the grill can be done in two ways. Both methods recommend soaking the corn for between 10 and 20 minutes. You can wrap the shucked ear in aluminum foil and place on the grill or hot fire for 10 to 15 minutes or you can lay the soaked corn on the grill on medium heat and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes. If the kernels burn slightly, the corn will pick up a smoky flavor. Either way, corn is sweet and flavorful. One suggestion for seasoning, rather than butter and salt, is to add a bit of Old Bay Seasoning instead.
Use leftover corn in Corn Salad made from corn, tomatoes, and cucumbers with a light vinegar-based dressing. Correll Farms has the recipe and all the vegetables needed for the salad.
Flowers, plants and herbs
Lee Ly and Blue Bird Farms have a large selection of flowers which are already in bouquets or available for you to select your colors. Among the flowers to select from are dahlias in many colors, glads, yellow and orange cosmos and zinnias. There may be some day lilies available as well. These fresh cut flowers will stay fresh up to two weeks if you change the water and clip the stems.
Hanging baskets and flowering plants are available from Joyce’s Flowers. The clematis containers are very colorful. They make a nice addition to the front steps or by a mailbox. Dawn’s Greenhouse has late-season tomato plants which will set fruit as long as the temperature is above 70 degrees. These tomatoes are good for those who forgot to plant tomatoes this season.
Breads, pasta, pastries, meats and eggs
The Bread Basket and Posh Pasta has a great selection of breads pies and dessert. Simply Good is always busy with customers picking up cinnamon buns and other goodies for Saturday breakfast. She is using fresh blackberries in pies. She has Italian flat breads topped with onions, tomatoes, spinach and cheeses. These are great for a quick lunch with a salad.
T&D Charolais Beef has a variety of cuts of top quality beef. Wild Turkey Farms has a number of cuts of pork and grass fed beef, chickens and sausage. The Bread Basket and Wild Turkey Farms have fresh eggs.
Try something new
Yard Long Beans are slim green beans that grow up to 36 inches long. They are members of the black-eyed pea family. Select beans that are thin and flexible. Refrigerate in a plastic bag until ready to use. These beans snap easily and when cooked in a pot of water with a little salt have a nutty bean flavor, which is great with an ear of sweet corn. Overcooking will cause them to be mushy. Stir-frying is also a great way to cook them.
The Salisbury Farmers Market is open 7 a.m.-noon, Wednesday and Saturday. It’s located at the corner of South Main and Bank streets in downtown Salisbury.
Sue Davis is a Master Gardener Volunteer for the Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. She and Katherine Jones provide a weekly farmers market update.