Sunday, December 13th: Cranberry-Nut Butter Toffee, Holiday Wreaths, Great Gifts, Chocolates (By George!) & Lots of Good Eats

 

Michael E. Marron is a sculptor, jeweler and designer right here in Ballard. He likes to work with sterling, like with this lovely fairy necklace (above) to which my photography does not do justice. Look for Mike with the "Made in Ballard" sign.

 

We all love Pete's Perfect Butter Toffee already, right? I mean, it's perfect, after all, so how could we not love it? But Pete rolled out the big guns for the holidays for us with his special holiday treat: Cranberry-Nut Toffee. This luscious stuff is made with cranberries, as well as cashews, walnuts and pecans. Make sure you get enough for stuffing the stockings, and for your own secret stash.

 

You'll find a nice selection of fresh holiday wreathes, like this one from Harmony Farm, throughout your Ballard Farmers Market. Check with Alm Hill and Growing Things, as well, and Alm Hill has these gorgeous fragrant mantle runners (below), too.

 

 

Every family has its unique holiday food traditions. Mine eats takeout Chinese on Christmas Eve, then lox and bagels for Christmas brunch after opening presents, and then a dinner built around some sort of roast beast or other. If your family shares my family's bagel tradition, some of the best salmon lox around can be found at Loki Fish right here at Ballard Farmers Market. They make lox from sockeye, coho and keta salmon. While Northwesterners may favor the sockeye, folks used to a New York style of lox may want to try the coho or keta, which is similar in lightness and flavor to that nasty farm-raised stuff they use in New York, except Loki's stuff is all wild and local!

 

Tiny's Organic Produce now has many of our favorite winter apples in, like these Braeburns, above, as well as fuji and pink lady apples. They are good anytime, and they make a nutritious stocking stuffer. And I am sure many of you have great Chanukah recipes that call for some good apples, too. (Mmm, latkes with fresh apple sauce!)

 

Since you are likely to be getting too much stuff for your normal supply of bags this week, may we suggest picking up one of these limited edition Ballard Farmers Market holiday gnome bags, either at Venue, just around the corner from the Market on 22nd Avenue NW, where you'll also find lots of great gifts made by local artists, or at the Market Info Desk.

 

George is back with his Chocolates By George! Check out these holiday treats he is making for us right now -- chocolates infused with syrah. Two great tastes that taste great together!

 

Truffles don't just come from Europe. They come from Washington, too. Foraged & Found Edibles has black (above) and white truffles from Washington right now. Ounce for ounce (as that's how they're priced), these beauties are a fraction of the cost of their imported cousins. And while the aficionado may notice a difference, I personally find them plenty enjoyable. Try them shaved with some of Pasteria Lucchese's pappardelle and butter.

 

How about braising some delicious goat shanks from Quilceda Farm for an intimate dinner over the holidays? I love this stuff. If you like lamb, or just want to try the most commonly eaten meat on earth (we Americans are such wusses), stop by Quilceda, 'cuz he's got your goat.

 

Don't forget your furry ones. From Olsen Farms dog chews to Moosedreams' pet products, the Market has you covered. And be sure to stop by Wilson Fish with your canine friend(s) for a little smoked salmon. Above, Apollo waits patiently for his treat. Below, Apollo leaps for salmon (and joy), after which Wilson's David counted his fingers.

 

As always, there is plenty of other good stuff this week at your Ballard Farmers Market. For a fuller accounting of what you’ll find today, click on “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner. However, do keep an open mind today, as our current cold weather may have temporarily knocked out some of the crops currently on the list.