Friday, September 23, 2011

For the Love of Farmer's Markets

Who doesn't love the farmer's market? So many things to see, smell, taste, hear, touch. Yes, every sense can benefit from a trip to the farmer's market. Even your sense of adventure and well-being can be boosted! Especially when you have to worry about every little thing in your food. In our home we have to avoid gluten and soy. Two tricky ingredients that seem to hid out in any packaged food your might come across. So, picking fresh items is always the easiest choice. Besides, our family is lucky to live in the pacific northwest, an area with very diverse food options available (at the right time of year!). Every area has it's own environment and food options, I encourage you to seek them out!

The easiest way to do this is to find out which stands that are actually run by the families that sell the product. When the baker can tell me every ingredient that went into that cookie. The beekeeper can describe the plants his bees frequent. The butcher can tell me the temperament of his animals. Why is this important? I don't need to know these things to gain nourishment from these items. I like to know because it reinserts me into the food cycle. Just because I am not able to cultivate enough food to feed our family (I am happy with growing our own pumpkins) does not mean I am not responsible for how they get to my table. Sourcing foods grown locally, sustainably, and organically creates the market for those items. Thus, making it easier in the future to have better access to them!

Rarely do we go to the market with specific items in mind. (Well, the adults don't. My kids know exactly what items they would like to keep an eye out for.) We love to just wander and see what is new, fresh, and exciting. On this particular overcast Sunday, it was the shellfish that caught our eyes. Plump shrimp, buttery looking scallops, and some solid looking clams. When paired with local wine and served over gluten free pasta, you start to wonder why you would ever look farther than your own "backyard" for amazing food.

2tbsp unsalted butter or substitute (coconut oil is good!)
2tbsp shallot
2 stems scallions
1tbsp garlic
2 bay leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste
about 1/2lbs scallops 
1oz lemon juice
1-2 c white wine (We used a 2008 Silverlake Sauvignon Blanc)
1lb clams
1lb shrimp (precooked, I hate overcooked shrimp)

Using Medium High heat, melt butter/substitute in pan. Add shallots, green onions, garlic, and bay leaves. Sweat until translucent. Salt and Pepper scallops, add to pan; brown tops and bottoms. Deglaze pan with lemon juice, reduce to half. Add wine (don't cover seafood) and bring to boil. Add clams. When shells open, add shrimp. Salt and pepper to taste. If sauce is a little too acidic to your tastes, you can smooth it out by adding a little more butter, until you like it! Serve on bed of pasta. 

Awesome, right? You should see what my kids picked out and was turned into desert. Just a hint: peaches, blueberries, and raspberries...

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