BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘farmers markets

No More Waiting for Asparagus

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Oregon asparagus

Baltimore (well actually Seaford, Del.) asparagus

Baltimore (well actually Seaford, Del.) asparagus

You’ve heard about the rhubarb. Well, asparagus is that other early spring vegetable for which I eagerly await. Its presence marks the start of this abundant season. Maybe I’ll eventually plant my own asparagus bed, like Barbara Kingsolver, but you have to wait three years for the harvest. For now, procuring the green (and sometimes eggplant purple) spears from local farmers will more than do.

Asparagus featured prominently at my beloved old Waverly Farmers Market in Baltimore, which I got to visit when briefly in town for a wedding last weekend. That’s Hannah and I fingering the skinny, almost stringy stalks for sale at the stand run by a farmer from Seaford, Del. But Hannah said they’ve been tough and not that flavorful. Here in Oregon, the spears are mostly sweet and fat. I received deliveries of them from the local organic Sunbow Farm here in Corvallis. Just order $10 of produce and they’ll deliver to your door. Pretty nice when you don’t have a CSA but are out of town for the weekend farmers market.

What do you make with your April and May fresh asparagus? I recommend this “Sesame Noodles with Fresh Asparagus Tips” recipe from Deborah Madison, via Culinate. I added local sauteed shittake mushrooms to the mix. Also substituted flat rice noodles for the Chinese egg ones, but don’t recommend that. And tonight I topped pasta with fresh local fava beans and asparagus, sauteed with leeks and green garlic in olive oil and a chicken broth and lemon juice sauce. Topped with chopped parsley, dill, tarragon and chives from the garden, it made for a light springy meal.

Sesame Noodles with Asparagus

Sesame Noodles with Asparagus

Tonight's lemony asparagus pasta

Tonight's lemony asparagus pasta

Written by baltimoregon

May 4, 2009 at 11:55 pm

Stuff White People Like: Portland

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Portland's downtown Saturday farmers market

Portland's downtown Saturday farmers market.

Pickles for sale at the market. The garlic dills were delish!
What’s not to love about Portland? We got our fix of urban culture this weekend: hip restaurants, a stimulating lit festival (Wordstock), dancing to bhangra/reggaeton/world fusion beats in a converted warehouse club (where we learned in Portland, the cops hardly mind if folks openly smoke joints on the street.)


Still, we miss that East Coast diversity. As perfect as the Portland Farmers Market was, with its artisanal cheeses and breads, rainbow of winter squash, hearty greens, home-cured pickles and soothing herbal teas, it felt, well, somewhat sanitized and white. Baltimore’s two main farmers markets, on the other hand, in Waverly and downtown under the JFX overpass, forge community among the races, classes and cultures that might overwise be oblivious to eachother’s corner of the city. Baltimore has this irrepressible energy that you miss.

At the Holocene club Saturday night, the DJ played “Shake It To The Ground” by Baltimore’s own 15-year-old club queen, Rye-Rye. Ah, memories of shaking it one last time this summer at Artscape. Just read that the Sri Lakan/British MC M.IA. will release a Rye-Rye CD on her new record label. Sweet!

And for all you moms out there, this is “Stuff White People Like.”

Written by baltimoregon

November 10, 2008 at 1:18 am

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