Highlights from Meet Yer Eats 2014

Highlights from Meet Yer Eats 2014

On Labor Day, Market Central hosted its sixth annual Meet Yer Eats Farm Tour, celebrating the work of twelve farms that produce food for the Charlottesville City Market.  Classes, lectures, tours and demonstrations were scheduled to highlight each farm’s unique contribution to our local food system  —  from raising hogs on seventy-five acres of forest land, or using permaculture practices to grow fifty different kinds of vegetables on only five acres, to cheese-makers, who raise and milk their own flock, crafting some of the best cheeses in the region. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn Cooking Classes

Autumn Cooking Classes

Market Central Cooking Classes

Holiday Pies with Lynette Meynig of Family Ties and Pies
November 10, 2014  6:00pm – 8:30pm
$25. Trinity Episcopal Church
Sign up here

Have you ever made your own butter crust? Or used fresh pumpkin to make a perfect holiday pie? In this hands-on class, Lynette Meynig uses delicious and foolproof recipes for three classic holiday pies: pumpkin, sweet potato, and pecan – or a combination pie she calls Harvest Medley. Fee includes all ingredients and homemade pie to take home.

Learn more about Family Ties and Pies:

http://familytiesnpies.com/

https://www.facebook.com/familytiesandpies

Peach, Tomato and Basil Salad

Peach, Tomato and Basil Salad

When I began planning for today’s market demonstration, I was told by some of the Charlottesville City Market vendors that peaches are late this year, and they couldn’t guarantee I would get the kind of sweetness I wanted on market day.  The warning didn’t really worry me, because I knew there were bound to be some ripe peaches, or some other fruit I could substitute in its place.  I like the idea that I may have to improvise and substitute another fruit or vegetable that may not normally be in my usual repertoire.  Adapting a recipe challenges me as a cook and an a eater, and reminds me of the balance between our food system and the food choices we make. 

Thanks to Saunders Brothers Farm and Agriberry for the wonderful peaches;  Sunset View for the most delicious nectarines; Whisper Hill Farm and Frankie Medina for the most beautiful heirloom and strawberry tomatoes;  Little Hat Creek Farm for the fragrant basil; and A Pimento Catering for supplying everything else, including moral support!

Peach, Tomato and Basil Salad
Inspired by the sweetness of ripe peaches and the rich, tangy flavor of tomatoes.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  3. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  4. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  6. 4 large peaches, (about 1 1/2 pound)
  7. 3 large red tomatoes, (about 2 pounds)
  8. 3 large yellow tomatoes, (about 2 pounds)
  9. 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, (about 10 ounces)
  10. 1/4 cups fresh mint leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
Instructions
  1. Step 1
  2. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl; set vinaigrette aside.
  3. Step 2
  4. Halve and pit peaches. Cut halves into quarters. Remove core from stem end of large tomatoes; slice into 1/2-inch rounds.
  5. Step 3
  6. Arrange peaches, tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes on a serving plate. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Coarsely chop mint leaves; add to vinaigrette. Pour over salad, and garnish with mint sprigs.
Adapted from from Martha Stewart
Adapted from from Martha Stewart
Market Central http://marketcentralonline.org/

Creating Art & Jewelry from Recycled Glass

Creating Art & Jewelry from Recycled Glass

The shelves in Diana Branscome’s studio are filled with an array of neatly arranged, empty bottles of different colors and qualities – all awaiting transformation. They come from various sources, including restaurants, friends, and people who appreciate Bombay Sapphire gin almost as much as the artist appreciates its container. There’s a workbench, tools, buckets of glass pieces lying in wait, and a gleaming stainless steel kiln in her studio, located in the Beck-Cohen building in Downtown Charlottesville. Oh, and there’s a hula-hoop, which comes in handy for working out the spinal kinks after sitting at the be14541166186_b9890d5e45_nnch for a while!

Diana Branscome came to Charlottesville from Northern Virginia to attend UVA, and like many graduates, decided to stick around. After earning her law degree, she worked as a legal analyst for nearly a decade, but found that she needed an outlet for her creative energy. Branscome started making jewelry using semi-precious stones, and became interested in working with glass 14558761871_bbd8b29010_nas a medium after a visit to The Glass Palette almost a decade ago – and was hooked. When her employer downsized and phased out her department, Branscome decided the time was right to become a full-time jewelry artist. Her jewelry displays started to include more of her glass work, and eventually the gemstones gave way to glass pieces.  

 Branscome frequently creates commissioned pieces, sometimes using a bottle with special significance — a pendant made f14560872821_1b6ec6d80f_nrom a wine bottle saved from a romantic weekend in Napa, or a centerpiece bowl made from the glass tile remnants from the custom backsplash in a gourmet kitchen.

     14558791881_e22fc751be_nThe process starts by breaking up the bottles into pieces, which is much more labor intensive than you might think. How hard can it be to break a bottle, after all? In order to work with the glass, it needs to be cut, not broken. Branscome uses a tool called a wheeled glass nipper – a hand tool that will cut glass into tiny fragments – which can then be arranged and fused together. To make her signature ‘Ice Bowls’, thousands of these glass fragments are cut by hand, laid out and fired in the kiln to form a disc, and then fired a second time on a mold that will give the finished piece its desired 14375553928_f8f7dc9ef6_nshape.  The finished pieces are beautiful, functional, and unique.

 Branscome Glass can be found at the Charlottesville City Market most Saturday mornings, and many pieces are available for sale at C’ville Arts, an artists’ cooperative on the downtown mall, where Branscome is a working member. Her work can also be found at numerous galleries in Virginia, and at various locations across the US and in Canada, and on her website: branscomeglass.com.

It’s Blueberry Season!

It’s Blueberry Season!

Summer is the height of blueberry season, and these gorgeous, health-packed little berries are ripe and abundant!

Commonly hailed as a “superfood,” blueberries are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Their health benefits have been well-documented, and include cardiovascular benefits, eye-health, whole-body antioxidant support, and cognitive benefits–did you know that studies have indicated blueberries may improve memory, and slow the onset of other cognitive problems associated with aging? 

Take advantage of Virginia’s blueberry season, and come grab some of these little wonders from the market!

Fresh Blueberry Salsa
A great summery way to pack your diet with healthy fresh blueberries, and other goodies!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh blueberries
  2. 1 cup whole blueberries
  3. 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  4. 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or basil
  5. 2 jalapeƱo peppers, seeded and minced
  6. 1 diced red bell pepper
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Toss together all the ingredients, and either serve immediately or cover and chill. Note--for a less spicy salsa, nix the jalapeƱos and throw in some tomatoes instead! Or, for a flavorful twist, try subbing in some fresh mint for the cilantro. Very adaptable, easy, and a great recipe for summer!
Adapted from Southern Living
Adapted from Southern Living
Market Central http://marketcentralonline.org/