What’s up at the MIFM September 23rd? Chef Demo, Podorythmie, Spiders & Pizza!

  • 11:30 Chef Demo with Chef Tracy Green and the Newport High School              Culinary Arts Program Students:   Meet the next generation of chefs and watch as they prepare a creative,  seasonal dish for you to enjoy.
  • On the MusicStage: Podorythmie – French Canadian music with step dance: Watch joyous dancing and listen to infectious rhythms and French song.
  • At the Children’s Table: Amazing Spiders in Your Yard
  • Ciao Pizza Lovers!  Homemade Pizza After Work?

    The idea of making a pizza by scratch is a bit tiresome especially after a long day at the office.  Grand Central Bakery has you covered with ‘U Bake Pizza Dough’.  For the cost of a double tall nonfat latte you can purchase  pizza dough ready to thaw, top and bake.

    Grand Central offers regular and whole wheat (imbued with flax seeds!) shells shaped to a rectangle “ala Serious Pie”.   Top with olive oil, mozzarella, basil and maybe some of the fantastic peppers and tomatoes in season right now and any other favorite toppings.  To have more fun, grill the pizza outdoors using a metal vegetable pan with holes (or foil).  The high heat produces a wonderful crisp crust. For tips & recipes check out U-Bake Pizza .

     

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Free Cake!!

Not only do we have free cake at our birthday party, (if you come a little early, you might hear Mayor Bruce Bassett congratulate our Market board of directors and the whole MI community for supporting our market for the last 5 years,) and a chef demonstration at 11:30, we keep the party going into the night with a food truck round up at Music in the Park! That’s right, folks, you don’t have to cook lunch or dinner if you don’t want to, just leave it to the pros. (I highly recommend the seared ahi tuna from Big Food, either on grilled flatbread or on a bed of rice.)

My market plan is to drag my friend Lauren, who has NEVER BEEN TO THE MARKET (how can that be?  I don’t understand!) out for a little paddle board in the morning, then over to the market for some cake.

5th anniversary cake and berries?

Not sure we’ll have cream, but we will have cake and berries!

She will be so dazzled by the glistening array of fresh produce and delectable delights, she’ll be inspired to plan a week’s worth of menus.  Some juicy tomatoes, nectarines, bright peppers and crunchy snap peas, a little fresh pasta and salmon, some organic meat and chicken, a little crusty bread and organic goat cheese, a few salted caramels and then some aromatic coffee, she’ll find it all.  She’ll be blown away by the Piccola wine in a bag, and Camp Robber jams, and she’ll have to try some of Purdy’s Pickles.  Lauren is an amazing cook, and will likely appreciate the ease of picking up prepared hummus and salsa and granola.  She will, of course, want some beautiful fresh flowers.  Maybe she’ll be so grateful I convinced her to come, she’ll even buy a bouquet for me!

You should bring a friend along tomorrow, too.  We can all meet up for cake! After we fill our market bags and bellies, we can all go home and take a nap, and regroup later at Mercerdale Park for some pizza or veggie quesadillas or gourmet burgers, and listen to Garrett & Westcott (Garrett and Westcott Home) croon the blues. Afterwards, we’ll dance our way home and sleep like well-fed, happy babies.

  • 10:45 – 11:00 Bruce Bassett  Congratulate the MIFM Board  and the community supporting market for the last 5 years
  • 11:00 – 11:15  Recognition to Aljoya as the Golden Apple Sponsor
  • 11:00   to 1:00 or when supplies run out:   Sampling Berry Shortcake until supplies run out (Kari Fisher and Jackie
  • 11:30 – 12:00  Chef Nathan – Salmon over Green Tea Noodles
  • 5:30 – 8:30  MI Food Trucks & Mostly Music in the Park, Come for Dinner & Music

5th Birthday for our Market!

We will be celebrating with a special birthday cake with fresh berries which we will share with everyone at 11AM. Please join us!

This Sunday, August 12, is the 5th anniversary of the Mercer Island Farmers Market. To help us celebrate, our longtime friend and supporter, Chef Nathan Zielski from Lilly’s at Aljoya, will show us how to make his sublime Pacific Rim Salmon with Green Tea Noodles. (I’ve eaten this dish at Lily’s, and it is SO good, you’ll want to stop by and learn his secrets!) 

Garrett & Wescott will be on hand to sing some blues, and at the kids’ table, Judy Witmer will demonstrate how to make very berry ink.

If you haven’t been to our market in a while, be sure to check out some of our newest vendors.  I love the salsa from the Seattle Salsa Guy.  I eat his salsa with a spoon, like gazpacho, or put it on scrambled eggs or grilled chicken.

Because I am currently on a gluten free kick, I’ve had to break my normal routine of starting my market day with a cranberry orange scone from Snohomish Bakery (it’s just temporary, Snohomish! I’ll be back, I promise) and check out alternatives. I used to be one of those uninformed haters who disparaged gluten free bread (“Why bother?”) until I tasted Manini’s. It looks good, it smells even better, but still, I was like a suspicious kid, afraid to even taste it. Silly me! Their gluten-free bread really is delicious, soft and pillowy yet firm enough to stand up to a tomato sandwich.

My friends and I rave about Abu Eden’s hummos. Seriously, everything they sell is delicious, and fresh.  I’m also avoiding caffeine for a while, and I found just the thing to pick me up and soothe my head at Theo Dorre’s Tea: an herbal tisane.  Each week she comes up with a new alchemy from the season’s harvest.  Check out what she has this week.

5th Anniversary Fun at the Market

This Sunday, August 12, is the 5th anniversary of the Mercer Island Farmers Market. To help us celebrate, our longtime friend and supporter, Chef Nathan Zielski from Lilly’s at Aljoya, will show us how to make his sublime Pacific Rim Salmon with Green Tea Noodles. (I’ve eaten this dish at Lily’s, and it is SO good, you’ll want to stop by and learn his secrets!) 

Garrett & Wescott will be on hand to sing some blues, and at the kids’ table, Judy Witmer will demonstrate how to make very berry ink.

If you haven’t been to our market in a while, be sure to check out some of our newest vendors.  I love the salsa from the Seattle Salsa Guy.  I eat his salsa with a spoon, like gazpacho, or put it on scrambled eggs or grilled chicken.

Because I am currently on a gluten free kick, I’ve had to break my normal routine of starting my market day with a cranberry orange scone from Snohomish Bakery (it’s just temporary, Snohomish! I’ll be back, I promise) and check out alternatives. I used to be one of those uninformed haters who disparaged gluten free bread (“Why bother?”) until I tasted Manini’s. It looks good, it smells even better, but still, I was like a suspicious kid, afraid to even taste it. Silly me! Their gluten-free bread really is delicious, soft and pillowy yet firm enough to stand up to a tomato sandwich.

My friends and I rave about Abu Eden’s hummos. Seriously, everything they sell is delicious, and fresh.  I’m also avoiding caffeine for a while, and I found just the thing to pick me up and soothe my head at Theo Dorre’s Tea: an herbal tisane.  Each week she comes up with a new alchemy from the season’s harvest.  Check out what she has this week.

No market this week!

Enjoy the Blue Angels tomorrow, and join us next week as we celebrate our 5th anniversary with Chef Nathan Zielske from Lily’s Restaurant, who will share his recipe and demonstrate how he prepares Pacific Rim salmon with green tea noodle salad.  We have lots of fun in store for you, including berry shortcake for all, so stay tuned for more details.

Chef Demo Today at 11:00

Please join Chef Brock Johnson, from Tom Douglas Restaurants’ Dahlia Lounge, at 11:00 today, as he demonstrates how to prepare seasonal specialties at the Mercer Island Farmers Market.  Expand your cooking repertoire, watch a master at work, or simply taste some excellently prepared fresh food.  Whatever your motivation, come down and check it out.

While you are here, stop and say hello to  our own Diane Larson, from Mercer Island Florist, as she demonstrates how to arrange fresh spring blossoms into original and creative displays. She really is quite magically talented.  You have to see it to believe it!

October 2nd Mercer Island Farmers Market Event Highlights

The Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

The Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

The Mercer Island Farmers Market had the perfect autumn weather for its October 2nd market: 60s and sunny. Our community turned out for our local farmers and for several fun and educational activities: a Power Hour with free coffee; a chef demonstration by chefs from Stopsky’s Delicatessen; the master gardeners; pressing apples at the children’s table; music; and tree distribution by the City.

Power Hour

Helen Martin (left) and Julie Sarkasian, MI Farmers Market board member and treasurer, during the Power Hour at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Helen Martin (left) and Julie Sarkasian, MI Farmers Market board member and treasurer, during the Power Hour at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

We started off the MIFM with free coffee thanks to one of our Power Hours.  These Power Hours are a reward—and a caffeine boost—for the early birds who show up for the first hour of the farmers market.

The October 2nd Power Hour was sponsored by Helen Martin, who many know through her extensive volunteering for various organizations including the Rotary and the Mercer Island Arts Council.

Thank you Helen for sponsoring the event and supporting the Mercer Island Farmers Market.

Chef Demonstration: Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Olive Tapenade by Stopsky’s Delicatessen

Stopsky’s Delicatessen returned to the Mercer Island Farmers Market to do their second chef demo of the 2011 market season. Back in June, executive chef Shane Robinson came to the market to prepare salmon. This time chefs Austin and Michael came to the market to prepare Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Olive Tapenade, which is Stopsky’s take on Israeli salad, a mixture of chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and parsley.

Austin, sous chef at Stopsky's Delicatessen, demonstrating how to use a mandoline to slice shallots during a chef demo at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Austin, sous chef at Stopsky's Delicatessen, demonstrating how to use a mandoline to slice shallots during a chef demo at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Austin did a wonderful job not only explaining and showing how to make the dish, but also discussing basic kitchen techniques and terms. He taught our community about:

  • the importance of keeping your working area and cutting board clean and organized;
  • the pitting of olives using the flat of a chef’s knife;
  • the meaning and value of mis en place—a French culinary term to describe preparing and organizing all of the ingredients for a recipe before beginning to cook; and
  • maybe most importantly, safely using a mandoline, a slicing tool.
The finished Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad and Olive Tapenade by Austin, sous chef at Stopsky's Delicatessen, at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

The finished Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad and Olive Tapenade by Austin, sous chef at Stopsky's Delicatessen, at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Thank you to everyone at Stopsky’s Delicatessen, especially Shane, Kelly, Austin, and Michael, for coming to the MI Farmers Market for the chef demonstration. We hope that you had a great time and that you will come back for a few chef demos next market season.

Children’s Table: Apple Press

Judy Witmer, Mercer Island pre-school teacher and MIFM volunteer, helping a young boy press apples at the children's table at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Judy Witmer, Mercer Island pre-school teacher and MIFM volunteer, helping a young boy press apples at the children's table at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Judy Witmer did it again; she came up with another fun, educational activity for our community’s children. This past Sunday she brought an apple press to the MIFM in order to show how apple cider is made.

Our community’s kids had a great time turning the wheel and pressing the apples as well as tasting the fresh apple cider by Rockridge Orchards, whose booth is just across from the Children’s Table.

Thank you to Judy for doing what seems impossible: week after week coming up with something educational and exciting for our children to do. Thank you as well as Rockridge Orchards for helping make the activity so special.

Master Gardeners

The Master Gardeners answering questions at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

The Master Gardeners answering questions at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

The Master Gardeners were back at the MI Farmers Market for another Sunday of answering our community’s questions about gardening and lawn care. This is a great time to head over to their booth to ask about the best practices for the fall and winter.

We really appreciate the volunteers at the Master Gardeners coming each Sunday to help teach our community.

Music

Jazz Connection playing at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Jazz Connection playing at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

The musical entertainment for the MIFM’s farmers, volunteers, and community was by Jazz Connection.

What really impressed us was how versatile the group was, almost like the Swiss Army knife of sextets. They seemed like a dozen groups in one: sometimes a set was just a duo with a vocalist and a guitar; other sets they were a jazz trio; yet other sets a sextet… At a certain point we just stopped keeping track of the different combinations and just enjoyed the group’s music.

A big “thank you” to the members of Jazz Connection for coming down to the MI Farmers Market on Sunday.

City of Mercer Island Native Tree Distribution Program

City of Mercer Island employees distributing native trees to Mercer Islanders at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

City of Mercer Island employees distributing native trees to Mercer Islanders at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Thanks to a grant from the King Conversation District, the City of Mercer Island has been distributing native tree varieties to Mercer Island residents at the MI Farmers Market. These trees are available to any Mercer Island resident for $5.00 per tree. The types of trees that have been available are Vine mapleWestern red cedar (two-gallon size), and Mountain hemlock.

This coming Sunday, October 9th will be the final day of this program. So this Sunday, be sure to head down to the MIFM to pick up some native trees for your yard.