Hots Cakes, by Chef Autumn Martin, is just one of several new or returning vendors you will find at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Autumn may be best known for her tenure as Chocolatier at Theo Chocolate, but she is first and foremost a pastry chef who is a master of cake making. And you can enjoy little tastes of the deliciousness she creates, hot out of your own oven. Just pick up a dozen or so (though I think the official serving size is one) of her little cakes made in heat resistant Mason jars, and pop them in your oven for a warmed-over explosion of lusciousness in your mouth. And if you really need someone else to do all the cooking, you'll want to check out new vendor Cibo Pronto with their fully prepped, frozen entrées made from local, organic ingredients, ready, too, for you to pop in your oven.
Since I seem to be getting off on a "the game is on, and we don't want to friggin' cook, or we'll miss a commercial" kinda slant here, how about taking home one of Deborah's Homemade Pies' sweet or savory pies, eh? The sweet pies are ready to eat, so you can stuff your pie-hole with one of them while you are waiting for the savory pie, like her new Southwestern Pork Pie (above) to bake in the oven. (Seems I am on a bit of a dessert first slant, too, aren't I? I think the official logo for Dessert First! is a fist held in the air, a la Earth First!, only it is holding a cake fork.)
You'll want a lazy salad, too, and for that, stop by Colinwood Farms for some of their amazing spicy winter salad mix. Colinwood really is returning to the Market this week. I know I promised their return two weeks ago, but their truck blew an engine halfway to Ballard from Port Townsend. They spent last weekend picking up a new truck. So today, finally, they return. They should also have some gorgeous mustard greens and kale, some spuds, and other goodness from the Banana Belt of the northern Olympic Peninsula.
How about taking home a pizza that's ready for the oven? 'Zaw Artisan Pizza In The Raw makes take-and-bake pizzas up fresh, right at the Market, from Market-fresh ingredients. And for those of you avoiding pizza because you can't handle the gluten in the crust, 'Zaw offers a gluten-free crust just for you! Oh, a couple other returning folks with stuff for your game day festivities: Pacific Coast Bakery, with an expanded line of yummy baked goods... and do you remember the guy who used to sell his amazing salsa at Ballard Farmers Market years ago? He's back, too!
And cheese. You'll need cheese. Like this incredible Trailhead aged cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery. This stuff is so buttery and delicious, you'll need to get two of three wedges, 'cuz you're gonna eat it all, fast. Mt. Townsend is another of our growing number of wonderful vendors from Port Townsend. Of course, you'll also find great cheese from Estrella, Golden Glen, Samish Bay, and Sea Breeze.
Don't forget the donuts -- delicious, deep-fried dough rings of love, hot and chewy, right out of the fryer, tossed in some cinnamon sugar, just to remind you that the gods did, in fact, create a perfect universe. Be sure to hit up Market Mini Donuts on the 22nd Avenue end of the Market. You'll need a little bag of a dozen per person in your party. (I'm here to help.)
Lest you think we've foregone anything that will actually require you to do any prep work in the kitchen this week, I give you these lovely mixed baby kales from Alm Hill Gardens. Fact is, greens have really made a comeback from farms throughout the Market. Remember this time last year, when we wondered if we would ever see the sun again, let alone fresh greens? Not this year. The trees are already blooming, and the greens are young, tender and sweet.
And remember, your Ballard Farmers Market is still chock full of all sorts of goodness for you to prep in your kitchen to your heart's content -- game be damned. Look for meat, seafood, poultry, cheese, all sorts of fruits and veggies, baked goods, sauces, confections, fresh-cut flowers, plants for the garden, wild mushrooms, and on and on. For a fuller accounting of what you’ll find at the Market today, go to “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner.