Tag Archives: farmer’s market

CNY Food: The Winter Farmer’s Market at Baltimore Woods

2014-11-08 at 10-29-45The Central New York Regional Market is the focal point of area agriculture, but it’s not the only farmer’s market in Syracuse. During the summer, you cannot swing a cat without hitting a market. Downtown Syracuse, Baldwinsville, Skaneateles, Fayetteville, and Cazenovia all host them (among others) during the warm-weather months.

Once the leaves fall off the trees, so do the choices. Cazenovia moves indoors and becomes a monthly operation. The CNY Regional Market moves to an indoor operation spread out over a few buildings. But, that’s about it until May.

Well, it was until this past weekend.

Continue reading CNY Food: The Winter Farmer’s Market at Baltimore Woods

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Visiting The Cazenovia Farmers Market

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Saturday saw us (actually me) wake up way too late to make visit the Central New York Regional Market. If you don’t get there before 9 a.m., parking is a beast and the buildings and aisles are difficult to move around with a four-year-old. By the time I stumbled downstairs at 9:30 a.m., The Kid was well into an episode of The Octonauts with no letup in sight. I suggested that we try the Cazenovia Farmers Market and stop at Side Hill Farmers on the way home to get something grillable for dinner.

From Al Dente HQ in Camillus, Cazenovia is a solid 45-minute drive of interstates, rural highways and suburban stop lights. On this particular Saturday, traffic locked up pretty tightly at the corner of Forman and Albany Streets, slowing our progress. That said, we found on street parking right in front of Cannon/Memorial Park (the names are used interchangeably).

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Our first impression came from the size of the market. It was…small. No more than 20 vendors lined the sidewalk on Albany Street near the park with the enormous cannon monument. The names assembled were among the finest in the CNY food sphere: Zimmer Bakes, Navarino Orchard, Drover Hill Farm, and Gianforte Farm among them. Per square foot, I’m not sure there is a finer assemblage of purveyors in one space in this area. That said, it took me 40 minutes to drive one way and we were there for 15 minutes.

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After walking around the park and taking a lap in the village with The Kid, I stopped back to Navarino for an 8-quart basket of Roma tomatoes that have since been turned into Tom Colicchio’s roasted tomatoes.

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If I lived in Fayetteville or Manlius, I would absolutely, without reservations, return. This is a great little market, perfect for the size of the Madison County village. It reminds me of the Rehoboth Beach, Del. Farmers’ Market that brings together artisans and growers each week. With all of the great farms on the West and Southwest sides of Onondaga County, I wish Camillus would pull one like this together.

Cazenovia should be grateful for what it has. Judging by the crowd at 11 a.m. on Saturday, I think it is.

The Cazenovia Farmers Market is operated by the Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce. It takes place each Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from mid-May to early November at Memorial Park. During the rest of the year, it takes place every third saturday of the month at the American Legion Post 88 at 26 Chenango St. in Cazenovia. Follow them on Facebook.

 

Grocery List: June 1, 2014

2014-06-01 08.33.36It feels like we are entitled to warm weather, after the seemingly endless winter of 2013-14. And while I’m generally against entitlements, I’ll support this one. Unfortunately, this means that people are all too eager to escape the confines of their dwelling and venture outdoors. You all have the right to leave your home, but I would prefer if you did not all converge on the place I am trying to go. In this instance, we need to have a talk about the Central New York Regional Market. If you haven’t made it there recently, here’s what you are missing:

  1. A nearly impassable A Shed
  2. The B Aisle where large women in ill-fitting capri pants stop in the middle of walkways to talk to one another
  3. A terribly claustrophobic C Shed where stopping to buy something is nearly impossible
  4. Choked parking areas

Now, these things happen more often than not during the weeks surrounding Memorial Day, as people venture out to buy plants and flowers for the planting season. With the exception of point number 2, I have become used to all of this. Today, though, my faith in humanity was tested. Because I’m a dolt, I forgot to bring cash with me. This meant that The Kid and I would have to use the M&T Bank drive-thru ATM machine facing Park Street. There was a line of cars, which is expected, but there were also people lined up. Now, I’ve pulled in and waited as people who walked up used the machine. Today, after waiting in line and moving my car to the machine, I came about three feet from running over a 50-something hag in capri pants that walked in front of Honda Pilot. While she was obese, I’m pretty sure that my 2,000 lbs. of Honda steel and plastic would have sustained the lesser amount of damage in that collision, as my car was slowly rolling towards the machine.

She never looked up or at the car as she crossed in my path. I applied the brakes, stopping about one yard short of her enormous capri pant-encased ass, and considered my options:

  1. I could roll my window down and yell, but I didn’t want The Kid learning any new words
  2. I could have continued driving and pinned her into the machine, but that would be a total dick move and likely end in a police report
  3. I could have hit her with the car, but that would have been premeditated and followed by jailtime
  4. I could have done nothing, but if you know me, then you know that wasn’t an option

Instead, I rolled up the windows and laid on the horn. I know she heard it because she jumped, startled by the sound. She may have even soiled the Depends that were hanging out the back of those undersized, short-legged pants. But, she never looked up. She finished her transaction and moved on.

So, dear reader, what can we all learn from this? There are two lessons:

  1. Pedestrians are terrible
  2. Stop at an ATM closer to the house on Saturdays

Meatless Monday: Penne with Swiss Chard and Ricotta

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The idea of organic farms are appealing, particularly the local ones that inhabit stalls at the Central New York Regional Market. Sunburst Farms in Moravia is one that I really like. They have the best green beans at the market. They taste so damn good that I don’t mind nipping the two quarts that I pick up (when they have them…the rain has wrecked their bean crop this year).

Sometimes the people behind the tables are even more interesting the food being sold. The first farm in the C shed — I can’t remember its name — is hipsterific. The man looks a lot like singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne. The woman (his wife) has a wardrobe inspired by the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. True hipster look, where you pair two items that have no business going together — like a football helmet and peasant dress — and pretending that it’s normal. Last weekend, she was wearing cocktail dress, green Army coat and a floppy straw hat. It was great.

Even better is their produce selection. It’s a non-certified organic farm (certification would be so conformist, maaaaaaaan) and their bunches of greens are all $3.50 apiece. I walked away with a massive bunch of swiss chard and two very annoying quarters.

Continue reading Meatless Monday: Penne with Swiss Chard and Ricotta

Al Dente on the Side: CNY Regional Market Pasta Salad

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Saturday morning trips to the Central New York Regional Market started before I was in elementary school. My father would take me for an early morning run so he could get produce for the week. For my efforts as a well-behaved child, I would get popcorn, and the chance to tell my friends that I had popcorn for breakfast.

Vegetables were always a big part of our dinner table. What my grandfather didn’t grow on his land in Geddes (he did basically everything but lettuce, corn, onions and potatoes), we would get at the market.

Continue reading Al Dente on the Side: CNY Regional Market Pasta Salad

Wednesday dinner: Beurre blanc with Flour City Pasta

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One of the joys of our weekly Central New York Regional Market trips is a stop to the Flour City Pasta booth. Jon, who makes the trip out each week, is fun to talk to and there’s always a wide variety of flavors and shapes on the table. Plus, the pasta is just damn good.

IMG_2760We usually buy a half-pound each week for dinner, as it is a perfect portion for the two of us (as previously mentioned, The Kid has Celiac disease and has never had interest in pasta). I tend to go for their orzos, which make for great sides or salads, though their linguine and fettuccine are pretty good. The long pasta is enormous, requiring a spoon to properly twirl and eat.

Each bag of pasta comes along with a recipe, which I usually pass on if the booth is busy. I figure that I can save Jon the extra few seconds of looking things up. This week when I passed on the recipe, Jon insisted that I take the recipe card for the beurre blanc recipe that paired with the ginger lemongrass linguine. Continue reading Wednesday dinner: Beurre blanc with Flour City Pasta

Saturday dinner: Pan-fried shrimp with roasted tomato orzotto

“I feel like this is the last chance.”

There was a forlorn tone to The Wife’s voice as she realized that Saturday evening dinners for the next couple of weeks would likely be in the form of takeout. September means Walk To End Alzheimer’s fundraisers every Saturday and Sunday. My Saturday mornings start sometime between 4 and 6 during Walk season. After shower and nap, I’m not good for much more than giving a delivery address before having to wake up at 6 or so the next morning.

With that in mind, Saturday’s trip to the CNY Regional Market was more than just produce. I was on the hunt for a main dish. One of the cool parts of the market is that more and more animal farms are bringing their beef, pork and other meats for sale. I’ve picked up steaks and bacon, with no complaint. Today, I went in another direction: fish.  Continue reading Saturday dinner: Pan-fried shrimp with roasted tomato orzotto

Meatless Monday: Go Veggies’ lentil burgers

One of the things I love about the CNY Regional Market is the vast variety of vendors.  Vegetables aside, I counted two seafood stands, four cattle or pig farms, two dairy farms, five bakeries and two or three “miscellaneous” type vendors. One of the latter was a stand from Go Veggies, a Buffalo-based cafe that makes vegan food for its diners and for sale.

The Go Veggies story is actually pretty cool. The owner, a native of Sri Lanka, is a computer programmer turned chef, who opened his business in a shared community kitchen. The popularity of his product propelled him into his own space and, later, a cafe on Bryant Street. His business plan includes a booth at the market.

The Wife and I were intrigued by the stand and the sign for carrot burgers. The hook for me, though, was the lentil burgers also for sale. We picked up a package of four for $7, got our cooking instructions (more on that later) and made our way through the building. The ingredients were simple: lentils, carrots, chickpeas, brown rice, and spices. The burgers are packed to about 1/2-inch thick and frozen, separated by sheets of wax paper. Continue reading Meatless Monday: Go Veggies’ lentil burgers