If you are too busy to mark the seasons, then a trip to the Farmer’s Market on Lyndale Avenue is a fun way to slow down and breathe the change in the air. It’s Saturday. The deep colors of the floral bouquets with autumnal grasses and the many colored squash signal that nature’s clock has a steady cycle. Early today the sky was overcast and there was an indefinable scent on the breeze that was Fall. As I walked up to the market stalls, I checked in on Anna and Howard who were leaving for the Mill City Market by the Guthrie Theatre, off of Washington Ave in Minneapolis. Anna showed me a prized bottle of olive oil that she had purchased. It was the same she used for her pesto recipe and told me where to check out the oils and vinegars.
Behind the OJ and breakfast buns vendor stands, there are the purveyors of some really fine goods.
Following Anna’s tip I tried some raspberry vinegar at the first vendor, but it was too acidic for my taste. As I moved passed the chocolate treat vendor I stopped and asked her about how she made her Haystacks, (See the Fanny Farmer Recipe for Coconut Cookies post. In the Midwest these cookies are called Haystacks). She said she wasn’t the baker, but that all the ingredients were from scratch. (Hmmm.)
Next stop, a specialty gourmet olive oil and vinegar and pasta seller, Pastamore, who gave me some bread and a toothpick to sample his wares. All the oils are made in Napa California. The citrus infused olive oil tasted like a fine wine. It carried freshness and sunshine with just the right citric tang. The balsamic vinegars were equally fine and distinctly blended. Pastamore’s smoky barbeque sauce tasted smoky and deep. After each sampling, I thought that these would be fine gifts for my cook friends. The quality was superb. Stuart Kaufman is the vendor and he delivers in Minneapolis.
As I was looking for honey, I stopped at the next vendor who was representing the Minnesota Association of Bee Keeper’s honey. Liesa Helfen and her brother, whose company is called Worker B, were selling honey from many apiaries. I tried a cranberry honey, which had surprisingly pleasant pungent cranberry finish. It truly was delicious. They were also selling their own homemade lotion and lip balms, which contain that wonder stuff bee propolis. I bought some of the lotion after I tried it.
What is bee propolis? “Bees make propolis*, which they use to glue the materials of their hives together, by mixing beeswax and other secretions with resins from the buds of conifer and poplar trees. Those resins have natural germicidal properties.” Retrieved from Dr Andrew Weil September 11, 2010. (For the complete article click on the doctor’s name.)
As I bought honey from them – my standby, Wildflower, from Nicholson’s Natural Honey – the sun came out. Maybe it’s time to try to make something yeasted with honey. (Where’s the bread book?)
Enjoy the fall harvest.
* Please note this is only an informational article not an endorsement to use any products.