All posts tagged: Curb Market Crawl

Curb Market Crawl ~ Roasted Apple Charlotte

I really haven’t done much poking around the curb markets this season. The opportunity to just fly willy-nilly behind the wheel, hoping to chance on some odd roadside farm stand, just didn’t present itself…. I’m a busy guy… I’ve got things to do. But, I did make the effort to stop in at The Tomato House on our way back from a much needed get away at Black Rock Mountain State Park up in Dillard, Georgia. (If you live in Georgia, it is definitely worth the drive. The cabins are spacious – well appointed and comfortable. Tons and tons of hiking trails, breath-taking views, and the park is just up the mountain from the Foxfire Museum [which is a hoot and a half].) …. where was I… Ah, Curb Market. So anyway… I stopped in mainly to grab a jar of sorghum syrup, but passing the entrance – I see a bounty of small lot apples… like 15 different varieties. I had been wanting to do a Charlotte for a couple of weeks, but the apple selection at …

Curb Market Crawl – Back to the Peach (Part 2)

So.. peaches. I never really had a nickname growing up. I don’t know why. I guess my own name was odd enough for the times. I tried calling myself Steve (my middle name) for a while but it never stuck. In the mirror I just didn’t look like a Steve, I didn’t feel like a Steve… and I ended up giggling uncontrollably when people eventually began calling me Steve. I abandoned the whole idea after a time and just stuck to my christian name – Toby, it was memorable enough. My mom’s family is rife with those quirky little terms of endearment that only children can understand… my aunts were Bootsy, Mott and Mutt. There were a heap of JW’s & JV, JR’s and Jr, and an uncle they called Taa…. Gotta love the South. I have a wonderful friend. Actually, I have several, but this one is special. She calls her son Peach… and always has. And it’s not in the Southern ” Be a peach and get me a coca cola” sense.. just peach… …

Curb Market Crawl – Back to the Peach (Part One)

Inevitably, in dealing with local farm markets there’s going to be a couple of repeats in what’s available every season and what I choose to buy. Occasionally, something new pops up… like the parsnips. But more times than not, it’s the same actors in the play every season. Just think of it like a cheesy dinner theater. Peaches are quite possibly my favorite fruit – so I always buy more than is prudent – and that means I bought two large baskets of them… at $8.00 each. In case you’re wondering… that’s a lot of peaches. This year’s variety of choice are Flavor Rich Peaches from R&A Orchards. in Ellijay, GA. Flavor Rich are an early season Cling peach ripening in early may through to mid June in slightly cooler climates. Characterized by dense fuzz, and rich, deep yellow flesh with swatches of blush into the nipple end of the fruit. Since the pit stay well embedded in the fruit, you’ll leave a fair amount attached to the pit when they’re sliced – making this …

Curb Market Crawl – Persnickety Parsnips

I popped in to one the numerous curb farm markets the other day on a mission. My dwarf long pod okra plants are disappointing – as in puny, sickly little plants – and in my head I figured farm market = farmer. I mean, I can grow okra. And over the past four years I’ve become fairly adept at growing well producing, Jack and the Beanstalk tall okra plants…. so I know a thing or two. But these dwarf plants… there’s just no love there. They are barely 8″ tall, and at the rate we’re going, it’ll be October before I see pod one. I wanted some help. Turns out, Farm Market  = Green Grocer and he wasn’t all that much help in that arena except to suggest that maybe I should pull up the dwarfs and  lay in some Clemson Spineless Okra plants (which he happened to have a large shelf full of right by the register). Not a whole lot of help – but I did grudgingly pick up a couple of pots …

Talkin’ Swede (Part 2) – Get in my Belly

Feasting on Neeps… We’ll dispense with all that background stuff from earlier and just get to the goods today. (Head back THIS WAY if you didnt read PART 1) And, while there are a lot of tasty, ingenious ways to prepare swede out there on the internettyweb-o-matic thingy, not everyone is going to be all that keen on eating Neep Crostini, or Candied Swede, or Rutabaga Sorbet… Although, Jane did inadvertently make a Rutabaga Pie quite by accident a couple of Thanksgivings ago when she  reached for the pureed butternut squash and snagged the  mashed rutabagas instead… …it was god-awful. You can read all about it at Bad Pie, Harbinger of Death in a Crust. No, Today were going to concentrate on good things on happy memories and good things to eat. First up – The Basics. The easiest way to introduce yourself to swede is the  way it comes in a can – diced and simmered…. only better than a can, you know. Swede with Butter and Parsley Serves 4 to 6 Ingredients 1 Rutabaga 3 …

Talkin’ Swede (Part 1) Just the Facts, Ma’am

A Cabbage Turnip by any other name… Call it a Swede, a Neep, a Yellow Turnip, Rotabagge, Snadgers, Snarkies or Swedish Turnip, we’re talking the same language. It’s a Rutabaga. Swede is a member of the large Brassica family which includes Turnips, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, and Cabbage. Originally noted in Sweden in the early 1600’s (hence the name Swedish Turnip) it is believed to have originated in Russia as the natural cross-pollination love child between a cabbage and a standard turnip. currently, there are four standard varieties: American Purple Top – Creamy yellow bottom and flesh with (surprise) a Purple top.This is, as the name suggests, an American developed strain with dense, evenly grained flesh and a less sweet note. Commonly the variety used for commercial canning, the Purple Top has a tendency to be slightly astringent or bitter to some non-discerning tastes. When cooked, the swede takes on a deep orange coloration. Joan – Smaller than the American variety, Joan produces sweet and mild roots which do better for eating after a late season …

Curb Market Crawl – Meatier, Meat Sauce

Fennel Dee, Dee… ” I adore thinly shaved fennel tossed with a light olive oil vinaigrette, scattered on a fresh  roasted garlic and white truffle pizza.” … said by – absolutely no one at the Dahlonega Walmart… ever… And I know that because I found  Six – marked down, re-labeled, name changed and marked down again, and a Manager’s Special sticker attached – fennel bulbs at  my local meg-lo-maniacal mart for a whopping 2 bucks… total! Call me crazy – but that’s like finding out your cat makes diamond encrusted, solid gold um.. surprises in the litter box. During my last foray down towards points more cosmopolitan, in places with produce enhancing lighting and pressed green aprons, they were well over $3.00 per bulb! So.. yeah… I was stoked! and I bought 12. Granted – Wally’s isn’t exactly what you’d call a curb market, not by a long shot. But it was just off the main road…. and I did have to drive there…. … and did I mention it was 12? Needless to say – there’s going to be some “fenneling” to …

Navigating the Rut

I know it’s inevitable, we get wrapped up in the day-to-day of our lives and really just stop thinking about certain things. We get up, dress, work, drive… We roam around in a fog doing things automatically… and we make rationalizations for it. That sandwich shop you’ve eaten a turkey on rye every day for the last two weeks – I’m busy, it’s my Go To lunch (and you’ve got a little lettuce on your chin… again…) That you pull on the same yoga pants and sweat shirt when you walk in the door –  they’re my Go To lounge wear (never mind they’re thread-bare and you look like a hobo) That you’ve worn the same suit as long as anyone can remember – It’s classic… and besides, it’s my Go To suit (the padded shoulders do make you look taller) … your go to dinner, you can make with your eyes closed … that go to restaurant, that serves a little bit of everything so no one has to think … the go to market, you instinctively …

Curb Market Crawl – Diggin’ for Gold

Dahlonega = Gold (in case you didn’t know.) Did you know… the gold topped dome of the Georgia State Capital is from Dahlonega Gold? Home of the first major gold rush in the United States, Dahlonega is nestled in the Georgia foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains. As a child breezing through the countryside on family excursions – familiar sights tracked past the car window at 50 mph –  chicken houses, truck farms, cattle and cornfields all tucked away neatly in every little holler and hillock. Even though growing up in Marietta was far from urban sprawl, it was refreshing and peaceful to ride through the country, wondering what was going on down that little valley, or imagining life  among the stacks of out-building and chicken houses that dotted the rolling hills around Dahlonega. That child’s eye view of my now home has always influenced what my adult eye should be seeing. I guess I expected it to always remain the same. Unfortunately, as with so many rural areas, the small farms are disappearing. Where I once …

Curb Market Crawl – Dahlonega Farmers Market

I’m a bad, bad, man… Several years ago, just after I started the Curb Market Crawl, I received an email asking me to plug the Dahlonega Farmers Market. That alone presented a couple of issues: I don’t do requested gratuitous plugs for any business… for any reason.  And, I’m not guaranteed to talk nice about you just because you asked me. For me to talk nice about something, you have to: ONE – have a product I like and regularly buy –                                 or  TWO –  have wowed me in some way with your witty patter and amazing charm –                                or  THREE – have something of an outstanding quality, and people should know about it. (and preferably, all three) On my first trip, there was a woman selling used clothes and someone selling wooden knick-knacks. Okay… possibly an off week… maybe too early in the season. So I marked the calendar to give them another run-through in …