Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Being a Guest Chef at the Farmer's Market

I love our Farmer's Market and I feel that we have a great market for such a little town -- organic vegetables, hormone free beef, pork and chicken, Amish baked goods, and a favorite vendor -- Little Spouse on the Prairie -- who sells jams and pies and vegetables.

I am there each Tuesday afternoon and Saturday morning to pick up fresh produce (and eggs and meat) for the coming days.

Because of my food column in our Saturday paper, Nevada -Fort Scott Herald Tribune, I was the Guest Chef last year during the Tomato Festival. It was a fun time and I was thrilled to be asked to Guest Chef again this year. So last Saturday, armed with garden herbs, my knife, a cutting board, off I went to the Farmer's Market.
It was fun to watch the Amish arrive by horse and buggy. The horses are tethered across the street on the grounds of our historic fort while the Amish sell their wares at the Market.

My table with things I've brought -- olive oil and tarragon vinegar, a glassful of herbs, salt and pepper, my knife and a cutting board.

And so everyone knows . . . that it is a Guest Chef demonstration and that we're not selling anything!

My able assistant and friend Sarah, who was my sous chef and my Vanna White!!! She passed out samples and expertly told about each one for she, too, is a foodie!

She and I went to various vendors and armed with prepared pasta, the herbs, olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper, lemons and the makings for Mary's lemon coleslaw dressing, we brought back product to our station.

And made delicious summer salads . . . .like
Pasta, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and the lemon salad dressing.

Halved cherry tomatoes, lemon salad dressing and Italian seasoning

And a favorite (that I made at home and brought - because they needed to sit before eating) --
gingered cucumbers.

We also fixed a salad of Asian long beans, onion, halved cherry tomatoes, the lemon salad dressing with a hint of curry powder added.

We had a grand time and enjoyed the early morning fog that descended over the market, the fort and the town.

Sarah and I both enjoyed talked to our customers, telling them about the great produce available at the market and what you can do with it.

What pleased both of us is that an early attendee came back -- for she had tasted, then bought, and went home and made the gingered cucumbers and came back to tell us about it!

The lemon salad dressing is really a recipe for Lemon Coleslaw that I got from my friend Mary at One Perfect Bite. It makes a great coleslaw but the dressing is good to0 -- plain or with the addition of fresh basil, dried Italian seasoning, or curry. And added to fresh vegetables or a pasta/vegetable combination.

The cucumbers are good -- like your grandmother's cucumber and onion salad only "up a notch" with the addition of fresh ginger. And we used the cucumber dressing on another pasta salad with vegetables and it was yummy as well.


4 pounds cucumbers
1 cup vinegar (I used Tarragon)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup peeled and finely minced fresh ginger

Slice cucumbers thinly. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, sugar, ginger and salt until sugar has dissolved. Add cucumbers and toss to combine. Let marinate, refrigerated for at least 3 hours.


2 T. sour cream (can be lo fat)
2 t. mayonnaise (can be lo fat)
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
3 T. water
1 Sweet N Low packet

MixItalic all together. This makes enough for one head of cabbage for coleslaw. I added fresh basil or dried Italian seasoning or curry powder. But I also think you could add bleu cheese as well.

It's a great light but creamy dressing.

(From my friend Mary, at One Perfect Bite)

It's Wednesday which means that it's Outdoor Wednesday, so please join Susan at A Southern Daydreamer to see where everyone has been Outdoors this Wednesday!


eileeninmd said...

Looks like a fun day and I love the summer salads. It looks delicious.

Bernideen said...

Oh my - this looks altogether wonderful!

Olive said...

You are obviously a wonderful cook! I will be keeping the lemon recipe. I love anything with lemons. ~~blessings~~olive

Andrea at Opulent Cottage said...

Oh my, I know a celebrity now! I sure wish I could have visited you for your guest chef appearance, how exciting! We're big fans of local food also, and love supporting our farmer's market. This summer we spent an entire week eating only from our market, and it was a fantastic experience. Congratulations on a fun adventure, and thanks for sharing it!
Cheers, Andrea

Southerncook said...

How wonderful that you were asked to be the guest chef again this year. Both recipes sound really good and I have made my copies.


Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Yum! I wish our farmers market could do something like this. You make it look easy. You also have a great scenic place for the market. Ours is in a parking lot of concrete. Not inviting but crowds come.

asunny said...

Yummy! I plan on making the gingered cucumbers and the dressing sounds so good too. The farmer's market sounds enjoyable and how wonderful to get local products and especially meat and eggs (considering recent news about eggs)! Your blog is one of the first one's I go to almost daily, being that your are also a Kansas girl and a foodie.

Pondside said...

What a wonderful day you must have had - the weather looked beautiful. No doubt about it - you're a celebrity, and not just for your afternoon teas!

From the Kitchen said...

I'm going to suggest the "Guest Chef" at the market to our community planner for next season It's a great idea! I see gingered carrots on our table this weekend and Mary's dressing sounds like a delicious alternative to a more calorie-laden cole slaw. What a nice day the marker goers must have had!


D.B. said...

Oh my gosh! Your dishes look and sound amazing! Sounds like it was a wonderful day!

BumbleVee said...

this is a great one.... for all sorts of things from the look of it....

thanks for all the great "salad-y" things to think about..... mmmm.....

Linda said...

I love all the Amish coming to your market and thanks so much for sharing the recipes...I wrote them both down andwill try them soon. We are growing cucumbers and this will be something new to try!

Atticmag said...

How wonderful to participate in the community in such a giving way -- through food. And thanks for the recipe.

Some news: We're staring a Giveaway Friday! link-up party this Fri. 8/27 plus we are giving away a custom backsplash! Please join us. Jane F.