Christmas is but days away and even if you’ve successfully managed to keep your go-big-or-go-home approach to the holiday season off of social media, we all know that your diet this week has basically consisted of pretzels and punch at the office holiday party, followed by Wawa Sizzlis, red and green foil-wrapped peanut butter cups, and wine. Even if you depend on this vicious cycle to fuel your post New Year’s austerity and gym-going promises, it might be time to slow your roll, Santa. Plus, this is the last week of the Headhouse farmers market for the season and Sunday is supposed to be a beautiful, unseasonably warm day. Shake off your winter coat (and your hangover) and head to market for veggies and for local, edible gifts as well.
–Trust Tomatoes No, that’s not a table full of tree ornaments at the Clark Park farmers market. Homestead Gardens has tomatoes. For real. The variety, a hybrid called “trust,” is particularly well-suited to greenhouse growing, so even amidst the snow flurries you can pick up a tomato or two to slice and put on a sandwich with that holiday ham.
–Leeks The most elegant member of the allium family, leeks are refined where onions can be pushy, and potato-leek soup is hearty, nourishing food for cold days. Their long leaves can trap all kinds of grit, however, so be sure to halve them and rinse them well to avoid an unfortunate sand-in-the-teeth moment. Also, most recipes and cooking shows will tell you to use white and light green parts of leeks only. While this is basically true, long leeks often have dark leaves that conceal a tender, light green center once you get past the outer leaves, so really break those suckers down to get the most bang for your buck.
–Tiny Potatoes Grocery store potatoes are pretty homogenous. With the exception of those precious bags of fingerlings or the enormous ones from Idaho, they all tend to be about the same size and shape. Stop by the Livengood Family Farm table at Clark Park and you might find the grocery store potato’s antithesis: Miniature fingrling potatoes. They’re super tiny, as small as (and sometimes smaller) than grapes, which means that they cook almost instantly and you can eat them whole, by the forkful.
–Edible Gifts Headhouse is the perfect place to pack up a handsome hamper as a gift for a gourmand. The selection is ridiculous: salumi from PorcSalt, sausages and other treats from Talula’s Table, Frecon Farms’ hard cider, salted caramels and caneles from Market Day Canele, pickles or preserves from Green Aisle Grocery, a wedge of any of Sue Miller’s fine cheeses from Birchrun Hills Farm, and chocolates by Love Bar or John and Kiras. If you need a more hands-on gift (for a fun guy), pick up a mushroom growing lug from Queen’s Farm. Then, commence with the mushroom log jokes.
Find something great at your local market? Instagram it and tag accordingly: @foobooz #thedirt Headhouse: #HHMkt Clark Park: #ClarkParkMkt