Nov

29

2010

Persimmons


Persimmons, “Food of the Gods”

If you bite into a piece of fruit that looks like an orange tomato and your lips pucker because of the bitter taste, you may be chewing on an unripe persimmon. Your reaction would be similar to that of the early settlers of North America.
Those settlers found persimmons inedible until the Native Americans told them the fruit would not be ready to eat until the first frost. The settlers assumed this meant the frost was necessary to improve the taste, but the natives meant the fruit should be left on the tree well into October when it was ripe enough to eat. (read more from Vegetarian Paradise)

Persimmons origins go back to ancient China. Fate intervened in the 1880’s when a United States Commander brought back a native Japanese persimmon variety to Washington, D.C. Now, persimmons are grown in California where hundreds of different varieties flourish. This brightly colored, glossy orange red skinned fruit is an excellent source of vitamin A, a good source of vitamin C, and rich in fiber.

Although there are countless different varieties of persimmons, only two are commercially available. There are distinguishable by their shape.
Hachiya: This type of persimmon makes up approximately 90 percent of the available fruit. It is identifiable by its acorn like shape. This persimmon is tart until it becomes soft ripe.
Fuyu: This persimmon is gaining popularity here as it is in Japan. Similar in color, but looking like a squashed tomato, this variety is smaller, sweeter, and is edible while still firm.

Twin Peaks, Nuefeld, Schelewitz, DeSantis and GBH all have persimmons now.

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Nov

26

2010

Small Business Saturday




The perfect antidote to Black (or gray) Friday is Green or Small Business Saturday. The vendors of the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market are all local small businesses. If you want the easiest way to support small businesses shop at the year round farmers market.

It’s the perfect place for the foodie on your list. But you can also find great gifts for the non-food obsessed as well.

Got a hot pepper aficionado on your gift list? Someone who would appreciate a beautiful plant or great wood working? The cutest knit items for big and small and table top decorations, napkins and table cloths.

It’s also the best place to plan your holiday party menu. Thinking about a cheese platter -Springhill can put one together of their award winning cheeses. Many of the prepared food vendors are also caterers. Think about a platter of Lata’s samosas or a big tray of Mi Fiesta’s tamales. Nellie’s makes a wonder oyster lomi lomi — you can serve it with cocktails, if you don’t eat it on the way home in the car.
Santa Rosa Seafood also has great prepared items -including a lobster cioppino. Smoke and Oak has great soups and utilizes seasonal, local produce.

Three Sisters are back with their fresh wreaths and other holiday decorations.

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Nov

22

2010

The Thankgiving Pop Up Shop




It’s going to be a beautiful day, a perfect for shopping. The produce at the market is grown for taste (not shelf life or shipping) but it is also some of the most beautiful vegetables and fruit you will see anywhere. The regular Wednesday vendors will be joined by some Saturday regulars to provide for all your Thanksgiving needs.

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Nov

19

2010

Thanksgiving at the Market




No matter what your Thanksgiving table looks like the market has it from soup to nuts and everything in between.

This year the acorn squash at Orchard Farm were effected by the late rains. They are the perfect size for individual servings stuffed with whatever your vegan, gluten-free, or carnivore guest might like.

This is the beginning of the citrus season and DeSantis has keffir limes, buddah’s hand and the fruit (tunas) from the prickly pear cactus which they turned into a margarita mix. Twin Peaks has mandarins.

The Patch will have tomatoes,peppers, onions, and green beans (and more) until the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Triple T has great mixed greens and beautiful kabucha
squash in all sizes and colors.

Check out the Ruby Queen Beets at Crescent Moon.
Each of the produce vendors have something unique. Offerings of the Land sells greens they grow from open pollination. You cannot get more local.

If it’s classic mashed potatoes, ask Tom Noble at Armstrong Valley Farm which potato he recommends or the folks at Tommy Boy Farm.

A number of vendors have wonderful sausage including Wednesday vendor Dreamcatcher, selling goat meat sausages.

Don’t forget to order your pies!

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Nov

17

2010

Live Local Crab at Santa Rosa Seafood



Cook ’em up! Or have them cooked on the spot. The crab season is here.

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Nov

15

2010

Thanksgiving Eating and Giving


The Santa Rosa Farmers Market is the place to be for everything for a great Thanksgiving Holiday…not too mention doing some holiday gift shopping as well.

Dominique’s Sweets famous macarons are available in baby bite size – just right with coffee or boxed up as a gift. How can you resist something this cute?

Dominque’s Sweets
Check the web site for order information for pies and other holiday treats

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Nov

12

2010

Rutabagas

Ken Orchard of Orchard Farm shows off beautiful rutabagas.

Rutabagas are often thought of as yellow turnips but actually bear the botanical name Brassica napus and belong to the highly prized family of cruciferous vegetables
learn more including recipes http://www.vegparadise.com/highestperch4.html

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Fall has not only it’s own special vegetables but a few Spring friends such as nettles often sneak in.

“I could list a bunch of recipes, but instead I am going to simply tell you to find any recipe you like that calls for greens, such as spinach or kale. Then, replace those greens with nettles.

Get out your favorite soup, stew, quiche, lasagna, pesto or even spanakopita recipe, and replace the greens in the recipe with nettles.

Kimberly actually made Nettle Spanakopita as a potluck dish at our friends wedding this Spring! It was all eaten up by the time I made it through the food line. 🙁 In case you were wondering, she simply used the recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook and replaced spinach with nettles.

Heck, you can simply steam nettles and serve them as a delicious side dish. Sprinkling some Parmesan cheese on top is really nice.

What about the stings?!?!?!

Good question. Definitely use gloves to transport the nettles to your pan or pot, but as soon as it begins to cook, the sting goes away. The sting quickly dissipates once you steam or cook it.” learn more

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Jim and Dave are back! Saturday markets and the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

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