Pre-Thanksgiving Post

Getting ready for Thanksgiving in Connecticut and feeling blessed to be able to be with our family.  I am bringing the turkeys for our feast.  These turkeys are locally raised at Harvest Bell Farm here in northeast Ohio and are the BEST turkeys you’ve ever tasted!  To get the holiday season started, I did a little baking.  I made a few of my favorite cranberry nut breads which we usually have on Thanksgiving morning, toasted with a little bit of butter……so good!  Since my sister is a fan of molasses cookies, I made a batch of those for her.  They are truly delicious!  Will be doing some serious menu planning this weekend with my sister, so stay tuned!

Girls’ Night

I spent this beautiful fall like day today prepping for an informal get together with a few girlfriends tomorrow night.  I came to a decision on my menu last night as I was about to fall asleep:).  I always try to serve whatever is in season at the time when I cook. Here is my menu: App-organic local various colored cherry tomatoes, Ciliegini (small fresh mozz), & my fresh basil drizzled with a balsamic, minced garlic and olive oil glaze, mini toast rounds with a smear of organic cream cheese and wild smoked salmon, and a bowl of olives.  Entree: Nimen Ranch (humanely raised, free roaming) pork tenderloins with chimichurri (you’re missing out if you’ve never had chimichurri!), a puree of organic cauliflower with Parmesano Reggiano, oven roasted organic eggplant, summer squash & zucchini (New Leaf Farms) and an organic field greens salad with a homemade balsamic dressing.

Dessert: Organic peach clafoutis which is basically a French custard with fresh seasonal fruit.


Farmers Markets

I go to two farmers markets here in Chagrin Falls, Ohio that I think are very worthwhile.  One is the Geauga Fresh Farmers Market on Chillicothe Road held every Saturday morning from 9-12:00 and the other is North Union Farmers Market held every Sunday morning in the village of Chagrin Falls, from 9-1:00.  Both of these markets have a few, what I consider, real farmers.  I’m learning that some of the vendors at probably any farmers market do not actually grow or raise whatever it is that they are selling!  Some get there produce from places that are far from where I live.  Isn’t the point of the farmers market to buy locally grown food and support our local farmers?

Recently a farmer at one of these markets told me that very few of the vendors actually produce the goods that they sell.  I was shocked!  Crazy, right?  I go to the farmers market to buy locally raised meat and locally grown vegetables and I find out that much of it is not local!  A while back my husband and I were traveling on I-90 in Pennsylvania heading back to Ohio and decided to get off the highway and look for farms that we could perhaps stop at to buy any produce or their own naturally raised meat, and to our surprise we saw a truck from a farm close to where we live in Ohio, who also is at one of these farmer’s markets selling produce as their own……at least that’s how it comes across.  There were cornfields all around so we figured they were buying corn.  Mind you, we were in Pennsylvania!  Very deceiving.

One of the vendors (actual farmers) that I go to weekly at Geauga Fresh Market is Harvest Bell Farm for free range eggs and naturally raised, free roaming pork.  Their pork is superior to any that I’ve had, except for Niman Ranch all natural, humanely raised pork, which I only buy if I can’t get something from Harvest Bell. This farm is so pretty, is family run and is located on Bell Street on the east side of SR-306.  They are always very welcoming when I occasionally go there to pick up eggs if I couldn’t make it to the farmers market that week.

There are 3 vendors (actual farmers) at the North Union Farmer’s Market in Chagrin Falls Village on Sunday mornings that I consistently buy from and they are Birdsong Farm which has beautiful certified organic seasonal vegetables every week, Tea Hills Farms who raises their own chickens, duck, beef, pork and lamb.  I have never had chicken so delicious as this! The meat is far superior to any store bought organically raised chicken that I’ve had.  Also tried their heritage chicken, again, superior!  And the last vendor that I hold in high esteem would be Snake Hill Farm, beautiful certified organic vegetables. These are the authentic farmers selling what they produce and that’s why I go to a farmers market!