I've got the Andy Williams Christmas Album playing on the iTunes, and that can only mean it is time for our annual Winter Solstice, Chanukah, Festivus, Zappadan, Kwanzaa, Yule, and, of course, Christmas Ballard Farmers Market Blog Holiday Extravaganza! So deck the halls with one of these giant, natural wreaths from Alm Hill Gardens, and sing along with Andy, cuz it's time to get our holidaze on, good people of Ballard!
"So hoopdeedoo, and dickory dock, and don't forget to hang up your suck, cuz just exactly at 12-o'clock, he'll be coming down the chimney, down!" And to get you further in the holiday spirit, our buddy, Chef Jason Stoneburner from Stoneburner and Bastille will perform an Eat Local For The Holidays cooking demonstration today at noon!
"It's the most wonderful time of the year (ding, dong, ding, dong)." And yule need a nice roast beast for your holiday table to help ring in the season. Perhaps one of these lovely, freshly smoked holiday hams from Olsen Farms will hit the spot. Or maybe a nice leg of lamb, or a beef rib roast, will do the job.
And if you set some of these gorgeous Beauregard sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms on your holiday table, you will hit a high note with your guests that could very well send the kind of chills up and down their spines that we all get when Andy Williams hits those high notes when he sings, O Holy Night.
"It's Christmas time pretty baby, and the snow is falling down..." Sing it, Elvis! And what could be sweeter than listening to An Elvis Christmas while enjoying some caramelized cipollini onions from Colinwood Farm atop some of their delicata or blue hubbard winter squash, eh?
"Uh-hubba-hubba, uh, here comes Santa Claus..." I think only Bruce Springsteen's version of this song even comes close to Elvis's. It's that Delta Blues influence that makes it so much fun! And Santa will be quite please with you for setting out a nice plate of sautéed kale from Kirsop Farm with a nice glass of boozy eggnog. After all, we're one of his last stops here in the Pacific Time Zone, and that means he'll be all bound up on cookies and milk, and he'll be ready for some fiber and a cocktail!
"And when those blue snowflakes start falling..." I think Elvis was missing his Pink Lady when he sang those words... his Pink Lady apples, that is, from Collins Family Orchards. And who wouldn't? They're at their peak right now, crisp and sweet. They are like candy, without the big bill from the dentist!
"Don't fill my sock with candy... no bright and shiny toys..." Santa, bring Elvis's baby back to him already. And throw in some of these wonderful organic cranberries from Starvation Alley Farm, too, please!
"It doesn't show signs of stopping, and I brought me some corn for popping..." Just something about the swagger with which Dean Martin signs these word. And let it snow right here on the blog for your Ballard Farmers Market! Oh, and to really crank up the spirit, grab a loaf of stöllen from Snohomish Bakery. This traditional German holiday loaf is as much fun to pronounce as it is to eat, and it comes with its own little coating of snow, in the form of lots of powdered sugar!
"But baby, it's cold outside..." Dean had better break out some of this drinking chocolate from Soulever Chocolates, and the discussion would be over in a heartbeat.
"The snow is snowing, and the wind is blowing, but I can weather the storm. What do I care how it may storm? I've got my love to keep me warm." I think Dean was talking about his dog and his cat in this song. Heck, they come with their own fur coats, after all. So why not treat your best friends with some locally-made with local ingredients raw pet food from Porter's Pride?
"It's the Little Saint Nick (oohoohoohooh)... Run, run, reindeer... (he don't miss no one)..." Yes, the Beach Boys had it right. And you'll have it right with this delicious stocking stuffer. These little sample bottles of sea salt and madrona-smoked sea salt from San Juan Island Sea Salt Company are just you need for those little extra gifts. Oh, and you can cook with it, too!
Okay, like Santa, I've got a lot of ground to cover here, so I will spare you additional quotes from my Joan Stafford, Liberace and two Chimpmunks Christmas albums. (Although Liberace's Twas The Night Before Christmas is an absolute classic!) For me, it just ain't the holidays without steaming up some rutabagas from Boistfort Valley Farm and mashing them with some really good better. Yeah, baby!
This has been an epic fall for wild mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Treat yourself to some of these awesome black trumpet mushrooms, or maybe some yellowfoot chanterelles or hedgehog mushrooms during the holidays!
Not only is there no such thing as too much garlic, but you'll need it for all sorts of holiday dishes. Plus, garlic makes a great stocking stuffer, too. Seriously! Garlic is known as the stinking rose, and who doesn't like roses? Am I right, people? Think of the gourmand on your list for whom you need that little surprise gift. Then visit Jarvis Family Garlic Farm today at your Ballard Farmers Market, and let them introduce you to their wonderful selection of heirloom garlic varieties that will please you, and the recipient of your garlicky gift.
Whether you are poaching them, baking them, saucing them, adding them to salads, or just eating them right off the core, you can't go wrong at the holidays with a bunch of these great Bartlett pears from Martin Family Orchards.
Lest anyone think this post is too Christmas heavy (and really, it's just Christmas music heavy!), check out these special Chanukah-themed pies from Deborah's Homemade Pies. She's got them in peach, pecan and several other flavors, as well as some with snowmen on them, and others with reindeer! Save yourself some work in the kitchen this week, and bring home the best pies in town!
You'll really get in the holiday spirit with some of this Spirited Apple Wine from Finnriver Farm & Cidery. This is their cider taken in a wine cordial direction, then they add a bit of extra bunch that'll make you smile. Just don't plan on driving for a while. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the day!
Let's take one more crack at that holiday gift list of yours. Remember, you will find truly unique gift items, direct from the local artists who created them, right here at your Ballard Farmers Market. Like these stunning necklaces from Gypsy Beaded Creations. Heck, you can actually watch Corrine make some of her pieces right in front of you at the Market! So give a gift with a real person behind it.
And Vern Tator, Woodturner, joins us today for his only pre-holiday visit of the 2014 season. Vern makes these magnificent works of functional art using wood from his own property. He turns, sands and polishes them by hand. And you get to give someone very special a spectacular set of wooden salt and pepper mills, a fantastic wooden salad bowl, a gorgeous wooden rolling pin, heirloom-quality wooden pens, and more!
Finally, we look a week ahead to New Year's Eve. While your Ballard Farmers Market will be open next Sunday, December 28th, for you to stock up to celebrate the coming of a near year, Hama Hama Oysters will be absent. Why not stock up on shucked oysters today? They'll have a freshness date that will carry through the changing of the calendar, and you'll be all set for the big party!
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.