Hillsdale Market Gift Guide
It’s the last market of 2014! We’ll have another round of local craft vendors to help you out with any last-minute holiday shopping:
Chris Schwartz – Pottery
Handmade porcelain, stoneware, and raku pottery for the home and garden, including: cups, bowls, plates, bakeware, bug baths, chicken roasters, bottle stoppers and garden heads. Functional elegance for the gardeners and gourmets on your list!
Trilby Wilks - Magdalene Jewelry Design
Necklaces, bracelets and earrings handmade with silver or gold wire and polished stone beads such as: tiger’s eye, turquoise with handmade wires, hawk’s eye, and cracked green quartz.
Betty Wagner - Betty’s Jewelry
Handcrafted earrings, necklaces and bracelets that feature silver, bead, and gemstone. Betty supports other local artisans by including some of their heads or pendants in her work. She will also be selling her self-published Walker's Fitness Log, just in time to track your 2015 New Year's fitness resolutions!
Jerry Harris - Turned Wood
Hillsdale-based wood turner, Jerry Harris, creates delicate tree ornaments, turned bowls, and other gourmet-kitchen-worthy pieces from wood sourced in southwest Portland.
Peace of Soap Company - Artisan Soap
Peace of Soap produces quality, handcrafted soap for Portland area farmers' markets. Their artisan soap is made with certified organic olive and coconut oils and is super-fatted with a generous measure of botanical butters. Their soaps are scented with pure essential oils and contain wild-crafted medicinal herbs, goat and botanical milks, natural waxes, clays, minerals, grain and seeds for texture and color.
Garden Color – Ornaments and Succulents
Garden Color returns each December with their hand cut and painted tree ornaments. These animal and holiday themed cutouts make great gift tags as well. Garden Color will also bring an assortment of small succulents perfect for adding some life to that south-facing windowsill or creating a unique holiday centerpiece.
Put Together a “Taste of the Market” Gift Box
The holiday season is a time to share the foods you love. Some of our vendors create gift boxes of their shelf-stable products to make your holiday shopping easy. The market is also a great place to gather ingredients for a gift box that will impress the cooks and foodies in your life. Check out the following vendors for gift-box-ready products:
Ayers Creek Farm: Gift boxes of their fine preserves, as well as gourmet dried popcorn, beans, frikeh, and polenta.
Blossom Vinegar: Flavored cooking and drinking vinegars using locally sourced fruits and vegetables.
Boyco Honey and Salmon Creek Farm: Two of our vendors offer locally crafted honey in a variety of unique flavors.
Cherry Country: A wide selection of cherry jams, chocolates and more.
Gee Creek Farm: Freshly milled flours, pancake mix, and grains.
Greenville Farms: Hazelnut brittle (the perfect holiday treat that highlights Greenville’s freshly harvested hazelnuts), gift boxes of their jams, nuts, and dried plums, and a few handcrafted items that usually include farm-themed embroidered towels.
Naked Acres Farm: Farm preserves (including pickles and sauces), goat’s milk soap.
Olympic Provisions: Cured salami and gift boxes.
The Smokery: Nothing says “I love you” like a box of Irish smoked Salmon. The Smokery has perfected the art of shipping their delicate and delicious product across the U.S.
Farm Fresh Decorations
A few of our year-round vendors get into the holiday spirit for the December craft markets. Along with a wide assortment of fresh vegetables, Rick Steffen Farm crafts wooden reindeer and other festive decorations for the walkway or tabletop. Fraga Farm will be bringing swag and holiday centerpieces crafted from plant material found on their certified organic farm.
What's Coming to Market?
Hardy greens, blanched cardoons, broccoli, cauliflower, chicory, black radish, carrots, potatoes, parsnips and winter squashes are some of the vegetables available this weekend. Hydroponic tomatoes from Salmon Creek Farm and aquaponically grown herbs and baby greens from guest vendor Live Local. Apples, pears, asian pears, and quince should all be available this Sunday. As for seafood, coho salmon, steamer clams (possibly razor clams) and oysters will be available this week. Fresh caught crab will be available as will marinated anchovies. Carman Ranch, Meadow Harvest, and Pine Mountain Ranch will have a good selection of beef, lamb and other meats this weekend.
Visit our Availability Page for more information and the full list of farmers and vendors coming to the market this Sunday. The page will be updated through Saturday evening. Check our Twitter feed for Sunday morning updates.
The Fat of The Land
The bitter end of the flavor spectrum often gets a bad rap—literary connotations of resentment, coldness, and malevolence don’t help, reinforcing our dismissal of bitterness as unequivocally undesireable in our food and otherwise. While bitter may deserve its reputation as our least-trusted flavor (many poisonous plants contain bitter alkaloids we are conditioned to reject), avoiding all things bitter is like leaving out an entire musical scale, notes that could add poise and complexity to the melody of your meal.
Winter is the season of the chicory, bitter’s eccentric clan of delightfully edible (and delicious) cold-hardy greens. Both Mediterranean natives, Italy is the chicory’s biggest fan, and the country that has most extensively explored the genetic and culinary possibilities of this species. This winter, make like an Italian and cut winter’s sweet, starchy certainty with a sprinkle of rousing bitter greens.
Named for their dense, loaf-shaped heads of tightly packed leaves, sugarloaf is chicory masquerading as lettuce. They have a touch of sweetness—thick midribs and blanched hearts yielding a juicy, bitter crunch that finishes with citrus-like sugar. Their sturdy leaves and palate-cleansing liquor do well dressed in strong flavors like anchovy, mustard, tarragon, or lemon (add a pinch of sugar to your vinaigrettes to tone down the bitter notes). Roughly chopped, sugarloaf stands up to braising or simmering; add to clear broths with vegetables or to white beans in their cooking liquid for a simple, warming meal.
Technically a whole category of chicories, radicchio usually refers to the deeply pigmented, cabbage-headed sort whose burgundy red splash became ubiquitous in salad mixes of the late 90’s. Uncooked radicchio offers stunning visual appeal and robust flavor; heat mellows its bitter notes but also muddies its color. Sliced thinly, raw radicchio accents creamy pasta, gratins, or coleslaw with a splash of bitter red and adds depth to sweet grains like farro or barley. There are few places a tangle of radicchio doesn’t fit, especially in heavy, starch-forward winter.
A member of the endive branch of the chicory tribe, frisée, also known as escarole, is a head of finely cut green leaves whose center begins to self-blanch at maturity (or can be forced to do so more extensively when the head is covered with an overturned bowl). Coral branch of the salad bowl, frisée adds visual texture to lettuce mixes; dressed in nothing but vinaigrette and salt, frisée is an elegant garnish to roasted meat, strong cheeses, or pizza fresh out of the oven.
A type of radicchio, Treviso’s name refers to the region of Italy where this chicory was cultivated to distinction. The contrast of its mild, slightly pithy midrib and sharply bitter, wine-colored leaves has earned Treviso a cult following in European markets. Ranging in form from long and narrow to curled, medusa-head tangles, Treviso leaves are often left whole on the plate to cup a spoonful of salad or add architecture. Cut in half and lightly dressed, Treviso heads braise or grill to tamed perfection. Or, slice into ribbons and toss with caramelized delicata wedges and a sharp vinaigrette for a dish that embodies bitter-sweet.
Not a dandelion at all, dandelion (or Catalogna) chicory bears a strong resemblance to that familiar garden weed. Though some farms do sell true dandelion greens, bundles of large, arrow-headed leaves with light green stems are more likely this looseleaf chicory. Eaten raw, their powerful bitterness suits only the hardiest green eaters. Sautéed, simmered, or creamed, dandelion chicory flavors like an herb, adding tonic, vitamin-dense greenness to even the richest of dishes. Need a simple New Year’s breakfast to strip away the old year in a few cleansing bites? Top garlicky sautéed dandelion chicory with a poached egg, letting the silky yolk coat each purifying bite.
Sarah West is a gardener, eater and admirer of the agricultural arts. She gladly spends her Sundays as assistant manager of the Hillsdale Farmers’ Market, basking in the richness of its producers’ bounty and its community’s energy. Find archives and more at http://thefatofthelandblog.wordpress.com.