Letter: Coastside Farmers Market field notes


By on Fri, May 15, 2009

I can’t resist saying it - I am in a jam.  A nice gooey, tangy jam.  A gorgeous golden gemmy delight and a  glimmering mess of bright jelly red.

The weather is to blame so lucky me, and lucky some of you around the Holidays as jam season has come early to Lobitos Creek Road. It seems those weird late rains made a mess of the raspberries and banged up the apricots, so I was able to get a passel of both on the cheap, and made jam in the fogbanks these past few evenings.  Apricot and raspberry.  Oh, my. 

I scorched the last batch of apricot while listening to Selected Shorts, which will not surprise my friend Elmer, but rescued it nicely by sauteing up a big ol’ pile of onions with ginger and rice vinegar, adding to the unintentionally carmelized apricots thus transforming the whole magilla into a very tasty chutney which I am looking forward to glazing a spring chicken with any day now. 

Really, I am looking forward to spring in general.  It was supposed to be here a few weeks ago, but seems to have changed places with late winter.

Good news about the cool cool weather is that the green things are seriously dense with deep rich flavor and packed with nutrients, the local ‘chokes are tight, firm and so, so tasty, the peas are wonderful and the selection of coastal strawberries is superb right now. For a couple of weeks there will be quite a few to choose from as many of our smaller Coastside farms have berries in abundance at the moment, but that won’t last -

This week look to the ever reliable Swanton Berry Farm of Davenport for a great selection of the luscious wonders (and incredible jams of their own), berries as big as your palm and as tasty as they look (perfect for dipping in chocolate and wowing the wedding guests) from La Milpa, compare them with the smaller Albion variety that Adriana of Tomaterro boasts, or the Sequioa variety from Green Oaks Creek.  All of them are deeply red and densely flavored with noticeable differences in texture, intensity and tanginess.

Nab a whole flat-full and then pick up a bunch of rhubarb while you can, make yourself a strawberry rhubarb crisp and then send 20 bucks to NPR in honor of Bebop-a-Reebop and your week will be satisifying and complete. It’s pledge week, so you can understand that I am a little distracted.  I can’t help it, but I love to bake during Fresh Air. Hence the problem with those scorched skillets, Elmer.  I’ll be heading to Toque Blanch soon for replacements!

This week, Pacifica’s own Don Rowell trio plays in Half Moon Bay on Saturday, and Fred Mc Carty will bring out your inner Hibernian on Wednesday.  The HEAL Project Garden Club makes its Market Debut this week in Half Moon Bay, and Top Nosh threatens to join the ranks in Pacifica with pies of it’s own, though you are still are your own for the rhubarb type.

Thanks A Bushel and a Bunch -

Erin Tormey
Coastside Farmers Markets