Sunday, October 13th: Parsnips, More Wine, Heirloom Apples, Beautiful Squash, Hot Chile Peppers & More!

These organic estate wines come from Wilridge Winery in Madrona. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons. We are thrilled to introduce our newest vendor, Wilridge Winery, from Madrona. Seattle’s original winery, it was founded in 1988 by husband and wife duo, Paul Beveridge and Lysle Wilhelmi. Wilridge Winery is the oldest continuously operated winery in Seattle. The three wines in the photo above are produced from certified organic grapes from their own vineyards in the Yakima Valley. Wilridge wines were a big hit this summer at Wallingford and Madrona Farmers Markets. And now, you can sample their wine before you buy, right here at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Baby parsnips from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! It's parsnip season at your Ballard Farmers Market! Oh, the sweet, rooty autumn deliciousness! Oh, the soups, the mashes, the purees, the root roasts. Oh, the soul-warming local foods of fall. These young beauties are from our buddies at Oxbow Farm over in Carnation, though Colinwood Farms has some already, too.

Heirloom Pittmaston Pineapple apples from Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These heirloom Pittmaston Pineapple apples from Jerzy Boyz can trace their roots all the way back to England in 1785. That was before George Washington was first elected president! It belongs to a family of old russeted English dessert apples that tend to be small, an undesirable quality in today's "bigger is better" mentality. They have a sweet and nutty flavor, though their name, "pineapple", is more likely associated with their appearance than with their flavor.

Rio Grande russet potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And while we are talking about things russeted, which refers to the rough texture of the skin of the fruit or vegetable, hows about these lovely Rio Grande russet potatoes from Olsen Farms. It is just one of the almost two dozen varieties of potatoes they grow in Northeastern Washington. These are, as you might guess, great baking and frying potato, perfect for fall. Stop by Olsen's tents today to learn about the many different varieties of potatoes they offer, their many characteristics, and the uses for which each is best suited.

Bosc pears from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, it was not my intension to start a string of russeted produce going here, but alas, that is what I appear to have done. These Bosc pears from Collins Family Orchards are just plain awesome, and waiting for you to devour them mercilessly!

Fougasse from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A bread for any season, this olive fougasse from Tall Grass Bakery is nothing short of addictive. Whether you go with the big, pretzel-y fougasse that I love slicing down the middle and topping with fresh goat cheese, arugula and a little proscuitto (assuming I don't just inhale it before I get the chance), or the fougasse loaf, which is wonderfully moist and chewy, and full of salty, olive-y, oniony deliciousness that'll keep for a few days in theory, but which is more likely to disappear with a few hours, you are going to get hooked on this lovely, traditional French bread.

Paper Lantern hot chile peppers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Who says you can't grow hot chile peppers on the west side of the Cascades? These very hot Paper Lantern chile peppers are grown in Port Townsend by Colinwood Farms. Mind you, they employ a bit of greenhouse technology in order to bump up the BTUs, since hot peppers require hot weather. They're pretty, but they're not for the timid.

Kabocha winter squash from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kabocha winter squash are perfect food for a cool, fall evening. They are sweet, with a great texture, and you can heat up your whole house roasting them. Then serve them right out of the oven, or make a nice soup with them. Or chunk it up and add it, still warm, to a nice salad. These lovelies are from Gaia's Harmony Farm.

Lamb from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Skagit River Ranch has some of their amazing lamb available now from a fresh harvest. I'm thinking some lamb sounds pretty good sided with some of that kabocha squash, and a little fougasse, eh? Mmm. Lamb.

Cream cheese, apricot, raspberry and apple kolach from Little Prague European Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These traditional kolach pastries have their origins in the Czech Republic, so it makes sense that you can get them from Little Prague European Bakery. They are made using local flour from Shepherd's Grain, and come in a variety of yummy flavors. Above, from the left, you see cream cheeseapricotraspberry and apple.

Hand-forged blue steele pans from Blu Skillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Carbon steel pans are great for searing and caramelizing – and they make fantastic over-easy eggs! They are similar to cast iron, but forged rather than cast. This makes the pans lighter and easier to handle, as well as less porous and quicker to season.  They can take high temperatures, and they can go from stove top, to oven, to table – where they make a beautiful addition!” Sometimes, it is just easier to quote the vendor’s website, you know? Especially when it is as well-written as is the site for Blu Skillet Ironware. Patrick Maher and Caryn Badgett make these gorgeous pans right here in Ballard.

I do most of my cooking on stainless steel pans from Revere Ware. When they were first introduced in 1938, Revere Copper & Brass made a point of referring to them as exhibiting the best of both form and function, and that was important after the Great Depression. After all, if you were going to spend money on cookware, you want it to last, you want it to work, and you want something you can show off to your dinner guests. And today, as we limp our way out of the Great Recession (because even though it was, in fact, a depression, apparently it is not cool anymore to actually call it that), things are no different. We want quality, form and function. Blu Skillet gives us just that. I have been putting one of their 10″ pans through its paces for a couple of months now, cooking everything from halibut to corned beef hash in it, and it works great. It is getting more seasoned with ever use. It browns and sears great. It cleans easily. And best of all, it is made right here. Yup, one more thing you don’t need Corporate America to do for you anymore! Booyah!

There is plenty more local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.

Please remember bring your own bags every Sunday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, please take note of our new green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Ballard Farmers Market, and please make an effort to use them correctly. Each container has what’s okay to put in it pictured right on the lid. Please do not put the wrong materials in, because that drives up the cost of recycling and composting, and it can result in the entire container being sent instead to a landfill. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.