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Playing “Chopped” at the Mt.Shasta Farmer’s Market

Shopping at the farmer’s market is like playing “Chopped” without the time constraints or the cash prizes. If you don’t know, “Chopped” is a television competition show where four chefs are given a basket of random ingredients and must compete against each other to make the best dishes using those ingredients. The contestant chefs have 30 minutes to make a 1st round appetizer, dinner dish and 3rd round dessert. Then, the dishes are judged by a panel of famous chefs. “If your dish doesn’t cut it, you will be Chopped!,” says Ted Allen the show’s host.

Predicting what is available at the market is like opening the “Chopped” basket, because farmers offer seasonal produce. The variety of produce is ever changing depending on the weather and the crops they grow. We know in the cooler weather there will be greens like kale and Swiss chard, root vegetable like beets and carrots. Tomatoes won’t be here until the weather warms. With a multitude of microclimates in Siskiyou County anything can happen. I remember in July in the early 90’s we woke up to snow. Fortunately, it stopped and turned into a pretty nice day for the run, parade and fireworks.

Last Monday, I went to the Mt. Shasta Farmers’ Market and found some Tokyo salad turnips from Homeward Bounty Farms; the closest veggie available to a radish that I was shopping for. Certified organic grower Kate O’Brien told me the greens could be sautéed. I used a tablespoon of butter with one bunch of chopped greens to one farm fresh egg from Rockside Ranch. My breakfast was delicious. I sliced a turnip to add a fresh crispiness to my plate. The raw turnip is sweet and crunchy with a hint of spiciness. They are milder than a French breakfast radish.

From Hunter Orchards, I got a bunch of organic red beets and a bunch of carrots. I sautéed the beautiful beet greens, boiled a couple of beets and juiced the rest of them with carrots. I’ll add the cooked beets to my salads. Sometime I grate fresh beets into a green salad or shredded cabbage, carrots and green onions to make a slaw.

Another favorite is a Sengthong Thai salad. The salad has greens, cabbage, carrots, pickled veggies, with fresh dill and mint. They offer a choice of tofu or chicken. I usually add a handful of Lava Oasis Farms microgreens to the Thai salad, green salads or sandwiches throughout the week. I get the mixed blend that includes sunflower, alfalfa and radish sprout.

There are so many reasons to shop at a farmer’s market, the produce is fresh, because it was probably picked that morning. You are supporting your local farmer and their family. I eat more fresh fruits and veggies, because they taste so good. The Mt. Shasta Farmers’ Market works with Senior Nutrition, WIC and CAL Fresh by matching purchases dollar for dollar up to $20. To find out more go to the market booth. You will discover things that are not sold in stores like the Tokyo salad turnips. Last, but not least, you get to be creative with your menu and play “Chopped!”

The Mt. Shasta Farmer’s Market is located on the 400 block of N. Mount Shasta Blvd, and occurs on Monday afternoons from late spring until mid-autumn from 3:30-6:00pm, rain or shine. For more ideas on what to see and do around Siskiyou, visit here.

Guest blogger Lauri Sturdivant is an artist living the rural life in Far Northern California. She’s interested in how friends and families share their lives over a meal. To read more about Siskiyou recipes, stories and good eateries, visit her blog, the Bill Plate, here.

Shopping at the farmer’s market is like playing “Chopped” without the time constraints or the cash prizes. If you don’t know, “Chopped” is a television competition show where four chefs are given a basket of random ingredients and must compete against each other to make the best dishes using those ingredients. The contestant chefs have 30 minutes to make a 1st round appetizer, dinner dish and 3rd round dessert. Then, the dishes are judged by a panel of famous chefs. “If your dish doesn’t cut it, you will be Chopped!,” says Ted Allen the show’s host.

Predicting what is available at the market is like opening the “Chopped” basket, because farmers offer seasonal produce. The variety of produce is ever changing depending on the weather and the crops they grow. We know in the cooler weather there will be greens like kale and Swiss chard, root vegetable like beets and carrots. Tomatoes won’t be here until the weather warms. With a multitude of microclimates in Siskiyou County anything can happen. I remember in July in the early 90’s we woke up to snow. Fortunately, it stopped and turned into a pretty nice day for the run, parade and fireworks.

Last Monday, I went to the Mt. Shasta Farmers’ Market and found some Tokyo salad turnips from Homeward Bounty Farms; the closest veggie available to a radish that I was shopping for. Certified organic grower Kate O’Brien told me the greens could be sautéed. I used a tablespoon of butter with one bunch of chopped greens to one farm fresh egg from Rockside Ranch. My breakfast was delicious. I sliced a turnip to add a fresh crispiness to my plate. The raw turnip is sweet and crunchy with a hint of spiciness. They are milder than a French breakfast radish.

From Hunter Orchards, I got a bunch of organic red beets and a bunch of carrots. I sautéed the beautiful beet greens, boiled a couple of beets and juiced the rest of them with carrots. I’ll add the cooked beets to my salads. Sometime I grate fresh beets into a green salad or shredded cabbage, carrots and green onions to make a slaw.

Another favorite is a Sengthong Thai salad. The salad has greens, cabbage, carrots, pickled veggies, with fresh dill and mint. They offer a choice of tofu or chicken. I usually add a handful of Lava Oasis Farms microgreens to the Thai salad, green salads or sandwiches throughout the week. I get the mixed blend that includes sunflower, alfalfa and radish sprout.

There are so many reasons to shop at a farmer’s market, the produce is fresh, because it was probably picked that morning. You are supporting your local farmer and their family. I eat more fresh fruits and veggies, because they taste so good. The Mt. Shasta Farmers’ Market works with Senior Nutrition, WIC and CAL Fresh by matching purchases dollar for dollar up to $20. To find out more go to the market booth. You will discover things that are not sold in stores like the Tokyo salad turnips. Last, but not least, you get to be creative with your menu and play “Chopped!”

The Mt. Shasta Farmer’s Market is located on the 400 block of N. Mount Shasta Blvd, and occurs on Monday afternoons from late spring until mid-autumn from 3:30-6:00pm, rain or shine. For more ideas on what to see and do around Siskiyou, visit here.

Guest blogger Lauri Sturdivant is an artist living the rural life in Far Northern California. She’s interested in how friends and families share their lives over a meal. To read more about Siskiyou recipes, stories and good eateries, visit her blog, the Bill Plate, here.