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Posts Tagged ‘st. paul farmers market’

Yes! The Market is still open. In fact, it’s open year round! We made it over there last weekend, Saturday in fact. (They are only open 9-12 on Saturdays). There were four or five vendors lined up, and most of them were selling meat. We picked up some pork and chicken from Otis Family Farm and a few pounds of ground bison from Big Woods Bison. It was about 10 degrees that morning, which really wasn’t too bad considering they winter we’ve had, but the cool thing was that the vendors trucks were turned off and they were able to display their meat on tables just like the produce vendors do all summer. It was silly, but cool. We also followed a sign to a deli across the street where a few more vendors were lined up. They were selling Cave Cheese, Honey, Soap and Apples. We picked up a bag of Honeycrisp and are going through them fast. I think it’s safe to say we’ll be stopping by the market at least once a month to load up on meat and cheese and whatever else might look good. Oh, and did I mention the Ground Bison was two dollars a pound cheaper than the stuff at the store? That’s worth hanging out in the cold.

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Jen asked me a question about the eggs she bought from my favorite farmer, Otis Family Farm, at the St. Paul Farmer’s Market, and I thought it was a good enough question to answer online.

How can you tell if an egg is still fresh?

I’m not sure where I first heard about this, I could have been from my mom, but regardless, I found the answer on about.com and copied it here.

Did you know you can test an egg and get an approximatation of its age? All you need are the eggs and a bowl of cold water.

Gently drop the egg into the bowl of water. If it:

  • sinks to the bottom and stays there, it is about three to six days old.
  • Sinks, but floats at an angle, it’s more than a week old.
  • Sinks, but then stands on end, it’s about two weeks old.
  • Floats, it’s too old and should be discarded.

For a test just to see if the eggs are all right to use, dissolve 2 tablespoons salt in 2 cups cold water, then put the egg in the water. If it sinks, it’s good; if it floats, it’s too old.

Eggs act this way in water because of the air sac present in all eggs. As the egg ages, the air sac gets larger because the egg shell is a semi-permeable membrane. The air sac, when large enough, makes the egg float. Eggs are generally good for about three weeks after you buy them.

And how do you see if an egg is hard cooked? Spin it on a flat surface. If the egg wobbles, it’s fresh because the insides are moving around. If the egg spins smoothly, it’s cooked.

Okay – so according to these guidelines, the above egg should be 3-6 days old. I don’t think so. That egg is at least 3 weeks old. Maybe becuase it’s free-range and nearly organic that it’s still in such good shape. Maybe the trick doesn’t work. Regardless, my egg was still good, so I ate it. Two in fact, and they were awesome.

So, folks, if nothing else, you may have learned something today. I know I did.

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At the farmers market last weekend, my favorite farmer (Otis Family Farm) had a sign at his booth that read, “How about a BLT?”. And then it advertised their specially smoked bacon. Needless to say, we bought some bacon and grabbed tomatoes, lettuce and bread from a neighboring booth, and had the most amazing BLTs for lunch that day. We took a photo of Husbands beautiful crafted layered BLT because it was, really, just beautiful. And then the house smelled like smoked bacon for the rest of the day. Aahhhhh….

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Last weekend, I picked up a pile of tri-color green beans at the farmer’s market. I didn’t want to steam them, which sounded really, really boring and flavorless. Instead, I melted some butter in a skillet, threw in the beans, splashed some soy sauce and sprinkled some crushed red pepper. I stir-fried them until they were caramelized and just beginning to get dark. And they were so good. Salty, and sweet and a little spicy and very tender. I bought another big bag of them this week and can’t wait to do the same thing!

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This is my favorite time of the year. Not because the days are long, the sun is always out, and I live near about 10,000 lakes, but the St. Paul Farmer’s Market is just loaded with goodies. (Don’t get me wrong, the other things are darn nice as well.) I went over to the market on Saturday morning alone, because husband was out of town, and I really, probably bought too much. But the options are endless. Here’s a list of what I carried home:

2 Pork Tenderloins
2 packs of Chicken Breasts
1 pack of Apple Chicken Brats
Rib-eye Steaks
Ground Turkey
Bison Burgers
1/2 dozen Sweet Corn
Baby White Potatoes
Daikon Radish
Fresh Raspberries
Tri-colored Beans
Cauliflower
Fresh Basil
Green Tomatoes

Yep, it’s a lot, and I’m only cooking for two people. Three if you include the 15 pound dog. But the meat will freeze, the basil will become pesto and the rest we’ll just have to eat. Not really a bad problem.

PS: On my drive home, I regretted that I didn’t pick up some of the beautiful tomatoes that were for sale and some fresh mozzerella from Eichtens. With my basil, it would have made for a great snack, sandwich, dinner.

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Sorry, I didn’t take any photos (it was cold), but the St. Paul Farmers Market is alive and well. Actually, it was open all winter, but I made it back there this weekend and loaded up on meat from Otis Family Farm, Cheese from Eichtens, and Hothouse tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes in May? Yippee!!

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