Go west little piggy

18 July 2011 § 9 Comments

This weekend, This Little Piggy herded the grass-fed family and went to Pakatan Farmers’ Market in Upstate New York.

I was determined that for once we did not arrive just as everyone was packing up, and so for the first time in a long while, we made it to a Farmers’ Market before noon. You’d think it would be easy getting two four-and-a-half-year-olds into a car, wouldn’t you? Or perhaps you wouldn’t depending on your knowledge of twin toddlers…

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The market is set in the beautiful rolling hills of Delaware County, NY — the perfect backdrop for the big, round, red barn that provides the focal point for its vendors.

The market grows all the time with new farmstands appearing with each new visit. As well as fresh, locally grown produce and plants, there were crafts – ranging from scarves, soap, jewelry, the obligatory tie-dye (I do wonder if anyone specifically goes out to buy tie-dye) to cute little felt drinks coasters with bears on.

Of course there was the usual array of tempting snacks — ice creams, waffles and several bakeries plying their wares — but one thing struck me as odd: no doughnuts. A farmers’ market without doughnuts? How can that be? That said, the smell of the burnt sugar from the waffle stand more than compensated for the doughnut-free zone.

The Ladies™ were extremely happy petting a tray full of  yellow ducklings. These cuties drew every market attendee under 10 years of age to Lilac’s farmstand. When asked how soft they were to touch, The Ladies™ replied: “softer than a puffy pillow” and “softer than a fluffy cloud.” What more proof do you need?

All the while, Tundra Brewery – rookie brewmasters from Stamford, NY,  kept King Marv happy with their free beer samples and the six-pack he took home.

We bought a pound of grass-fed ground beef from Sap Hollow Farm to make burgers (see recipe below). I spent some time chatting to the very wonderful Shannon Hayes who runs the farm with her husband. She is a writer and farmer and an expert on grass-fed beef. I bought a copy of her book The Grassfed Gourmet because, as a former pescetarian, I needed to brush up on my meat cooking skills. Her book not only offers lots of delicious recipes and advice on how to handle and cook grass-fed meat, but also the simple reasons why you should buy it over the ubiquitous bland, processed, corn-fed variety.

Best beef burger recipe ever below….keep reading…

Other goodies we came away with were fava beans, black raspberries and tiny perfect round plums. The kind duckling lady from Lilac also gave The Ladies™ her last two zucchini flowers.

There you go that burger recipe (from The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook)

Best-Ever Beef Burgers

Makes 4 hamburgers

  • 1½ lb ground beef preferably 80% lean (20% fat)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dried, minced onion
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs

Place the beef in a mixing bowl. Whisk together the egg, oyster sauce, Worcestershire sauce, minced onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Pour over the ground beef; add the bread crumbs. Using your hands, lightly mix all the ingredients together.

Grill or fry over a medium-high heat. Leave the grill uncovered while the burgers cook. 2 ½ minutes on the first side and 3 minutes after flipping will yield a medium burger.

Don’t press the burgers with your spatula while you are cooking – you’ll squeeze out the juices.

Serve in a toasted bun.

Pakatan Farmers’ Market is open from 9am to 2pm every Saturday throughout the summer. Located on Rte 30 just south of Roxbury, NY in Delaware County.

Well worth the trip and not just for the stunning setting.

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