Farmer's Markets

“Each spice has a special day to it. For turmeric it is Sunday, when light drips fat and butter-colored into the bins to be soaked up glowing, when you pray to the nine planets for love and luck.”
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, The Mistress of Spices

Claire CheneyClaire Cheney shares her love of spices wPeppercorns/Sri Lankaith GREAT TASTE listeners in the first part of this week's show.  Claire recently returned from another journey to Asia where she engaged in numerous intimate exchanges of information with sustainable spice growers.  Our visit with Claire will spice up your cooking adding new layers of flavor to favorites like guacamole and enhance your knowledge of cinnammon, saffron, star anise, and other exotic spices.

Her blog, Aromatum, is beautifully written, enchanting and transporting the reader to exotic locales perfumed with the essence of each particular spot.

Ernie HinkleDean GoodaleIt's outdoor Farmers' Market season and the Fairfield version is open from 3:00 pm-6:00 pm Wednesdays, and 8:00 am-1:00 pm on Saturdays at the corner of Court and Grimes in Howard Park.  Distinctive personalities and an amazing variety of food products abound there.  I chatted with a few folks, including 90 years young Ernie Hinkle, but there are plenty more farmers and artisans for you to enjoy. 

Sustainable Farms' Dean Goodale told me, "All the growers here are really excited to see so many spring items springing out of the soil.  I really encourage everyone who shops at the market to get to know all their farmers, ask questions, and tell us how you are using the different types of produce or other items."

For the Farmer's Market near you check out the Local Harvest site.

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Arugula pesto


Turkey sandwichWow, it's Wednesday.  I have been in St. Louis so that's why the LATE notice.  On the way out of town I stopped at Amighetti's, famous for their sandwiches on fresh Italian bread.  I hadn't enjoyed that treat in probably 20 years.

WE ARE AT HY-VEE TONIGHT AT 7:00 PM.  It's the Farm Crawl show with many of our local farmers.  We have vegetable pie, arugula salad, and maybe something else on the menu.  Not too sure, but it's going to be fun as always.  I hope to see you in the Club Room.

If you can't make it, for whatever reason, tune into the Great Taste stream on KRUU at 7:00 pm Wednesday or Friday at 7:00 am.  The Indian Hills Culinary crew will teach you how to make homemade mayo, ranch dressing, and some other declicious delights.



Farmer's Market vendorsJoin us this Wednesday at 7:00 pm on KRUU for our annual Farmer's Market show.  There is a bounty of information about the upcoming market season, and some insights into what delicious varieties of veggies we can expect.  Our participants included Barb Grijalva, Back to the Basics, Claude Nicholson, Sharon's Produce, Kim Keller, Blooming Acres, Dixie and Bob Mettitt, Tenco Tomatoes, Ana Victoria Braun, local market promoter, Steve McLaskey, MUM Organic Farm, and Jan Swinton, Hometown Harvest.

Also, our health coach, Emily Rose Shaw continued her introduction to the GBombs with an introduction to how beans can play a critical role in improving our health.  We had some fun with that topic.

Baker Creek Seed CatalogCrazy fun Wednesday coming up on GREAT TASTE LIVE.  Two shows are on tap at Hy-Vee.  First, at 7:00 pm it's our annual Farmer's Market preview.  The market moves outside in two weeks, and we have some of the key players lined up to tell you what to expect.  At 8:10, the Indian Hills Culinary Crew takes over to cook up some of the dishes they've been working on in class.  It's twice the action this Wednesday because on April 24 the stage will stay dark.  I'll be in sunny California, but back on Thursday, May 2 (this keeps getting more confusing) with our next live show from the Hy-Vee Club Room, featuring Chef Sam Auen of Des Moine's Tacopacalypse cooking up his amazing and uncommon versions of the Mexican staple.

Chef Matt Steigerwald and Great Taste's Kathy DuBoisOn KRUU at 7pm this Wednesday and replayed at 7am on Friday is our show featuring Chef Matt Steigerwald with the Iowa Source's Claudia Mueller and Nina Benjamin.  Matt came down last Wednesday from Mount Vernon where he runs the Lincoln Cafe and Lincoln Wine Bar, two of the most outstanding restaurants in the entire state.  Though the room was packed, it was an intimate experience as Matt shared his vision of what food means to him.  I learned a lot as it was obvious everything he was saying came straight from the heart.  There's plenty of information to digest for every home cook and/or aspiring professional.  Also, he cooked two tasty dishes using Middle Eastern spices-harissa cauliflower, and falafel with a yoghurt, goat cheese and lemon sauce.  Matt's promised to get me the recipes, and provide a list of some of his favorite cookbooks very soon.

  • Wed
    May 30
    7:00 pm -
    8:00 pm
  • Fri
    Jun 01
    7:00 am -
    8:00 am

Farmer's Markets-Fresh Produce in Fresh Air

Fresh greens and berriesWednesdays and Saturdays are my two favorite parts of the week May-October because the outdoor Fairfield Farmer's Market is a fixture at Howard Park.  Going to the market is a multi-dimensional experience.  First, if you don't have a garden of your own, it gives you an intimate opportunity to harmonize with the changing products of the growing season.  Each table is laden with what nature is providing a particular grower at that specific moment.  Then, there is the chance to forge a link between what you eventually will serve to family and friends with the person responsible for growing it.  That human bond adds another dimension to the overall food experience.  Your food becomes traceable-how it is grown, where, by whom, all within the reach of a conversation.