This morning the Chestertown Farmers Market was busy busy busy! Check out this line for Carl’s Bread:
It stretched all the way to the end of the park! See Terry waving? He’s pretty much where it ends. And you know it’s worth it if people are willing to wait for those scones and cornmeal rolls and cranberry nut loaves. Carl’s BakeHouse. Yes please.
His line crossed directly in front of Anchor Nursery’s stall this morning, which may have impeded your progress to their offerings if you weren’t aware of their presence, but that would have been too bad because then you would have missed the new potatoes! Is there anything better than that first batch of spring spuds? Hotly roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper and your favorite herb, eaten just like that, right out of the oven? Not too much, I’d say. And of course that picture of Anchor’s potatoes was the one that came out blurry, but you can get the idea:
Anchor also featured some really beautiful spinach, which we could not resist, plus strawberries, rhubarb and asparagus, all looking so fresh and delectable it was hard to say no.
As we managed to creep past Carl’s hordes of hungry carb seekers, we got to Colchester, where Theresa was manning the station with her customary good humor and beautiful smile. She had a type of potato called “satina“, a yellow variety which looked quite intriguing, but since we’d picked up a few quarts of potatoes already we had to take a pass…until next week maybe. But there was also some beautiful sugar snap peas to be had, and garlic scapes and early broccoli and so much more. Sugar snap peas are the lazy person’s choice for spring peas, eaten pod and all, with more pea than snow peas. Kevin is actually growing some of these at home!
So, what the heck do you do with all those garlic scapes? (“Scapes” are basically the flower stalk of a garlic plant, which will not produce a flower but rather seed garlic cloves. If you don’t cut them off you risk weakening the remaining garlic plant and diminishing your future crop of garlic heads). I took the liberty of googling this for you and the best site I found was at Serious Eats, which had several great ideas, including making pesto with them or grilling them like asparagus spears. Kevin likes to pickle them, and also will give them a small dice and then sauté them with mushrooms.
Further down the line we stopped to say hello to Bill, who was a little frustrated because the Redman Truck, coming from the farm on Baker’s Lane, had not arrived yet with his supply of asparagus and strawberries for their stand at the Market. He did have some peas though, and they were quite handsome:
I’m not sure there is another early spring vegetable to rival the appeal of fresh sweet peas. And goodness knows there is no more satisfying, if time consuming, job than sitting on the porch on a late spring evening shelling them for supper.
King Mushroom is a stand Kevin cannot often resist, and he ended up with some King Trumpets for our dinner tomorrow night. He thinks that is their house mushroom…
Meanwhile, the basil at Chesapeake Greenhouse was as big as spinach!
Dolce la Vita Farm (which I am not sure is quite the right name, but something like that) had a stall situated basically across from Colchester, with some especially nice looking greens, plus these rosy radishes, just begging to be roasted:
Nothing says spring like a big crop of radishes!
Our Kennedyville neighbors, Dean and Jane, had their maiden voyage at the C’town Market today, and their table of tasty offerings was a picture of good eats. They also were offering their BackYard eggs for sale, which we all know are the best in Kent County, at least the best that we have access too!
That is green garlic in the center, and of course if you grow a lot of garlic you’ve got more garlic scapes.
We have something growing in our garden that I bet you do too:
Lambs quarter! This year I’ve been harvesting the entire young plant, snipping off the root end and sautéing them up with garlic, or adding them at the last minute to the pasta water for a brief boil and tossing the spaghetti with the greens and lots of Parmesan cheese. Delicious, and easy to grow! Cheap too! And the bonus is you are getting your weeding done at the same time you are picking the vegetable for dinner…