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Tag Archive | "Solon Market"

Fresh Market—the Potato


BLOOM-potatoesThe Muscogee (Creek) consider the potato as a gift from the Creator, given to provide sustenance and to define the new breed of mixed bloods born after the advent of the “others” (white men). The clan of the Muscogee is passed through the mother’s family but, because the “others” belonged to no Muscogee clan, the children born of these mixed marriages had no clan. After much prayer and hardship, the Creator was induced to provide the potato, a food that though underground, could see in every direction—the eyes, when planted, would provide them with food forever—and the White Potato Clan came into being.

Yet potatoes, which originated in the Andean mountain region of South America, are believed by experts to have been cultivated by the Indians for 4000 to 7000 years. This durable vegetable was able to be grown at high altitudes and became a staple of these peoples. They were brought to Europe by Spanish explorers in the early 16th century and used on Spanish ships to prevent scurvy. European governments promoted this nutritious inexpensive foodstuff but much of the public was suspicious of a product that was not mentioned in the Bible and considered it poisonous because it was a member of the Nightshade family. Indeed its poor reputation in Europe led to the belief by many that eating them would cause leprosy.

There is little doubt that this lowly crop had a big role in demographics and population of the United States as well as other countries. During the early 1800s Irish farmers depended almost exclusively on the potato as it was inexpensive to produce and the economy was poor. But this strategy failed when a potato blight (1845-1846) wiped out most of the crop—the Irish Potato Famine was responsible for nearly three quarters of a million deaths and hundreds of thousands fled their country in search of sustenance. Many (including my ancestors) landed in the United States.

The potato, in its natural state, has many healthy qualities. It is a good source of vitamin C, copper, potassium, manganese and dietary fiber. The potato is an important source of B6 vitamins, containing over 20% of our daily value in one cup of baked potato. Vitamin B6 is essential to the production of new cells as well as aiding in neurological activity, our body’s messaging system—specifically cell to cell. Some of these neurotransmitters are; serotonin–lack of serotonin is linked to depression, melatonin, which is needed for a good night’s sleep, epinephrine and norepinephrine—hormones that help us respond to stress, and GABA which is needed for normal brain function. It is best to leave the skin on, as much of its nutritional value is concentrated just under the skin.

Considered by many to be a comfort food, potatoes now enjoy the distinction of being one of the most widely used natural food products throughout the world and Americans love their potatoes! Unfortunately, we tend to negate the food value by adding unhealthy choices or cooking in oils.

Some healthy choices for serving potatoes include baked (without all the cheese, butter and sour cream—try vinegar), lightly fried with a touch of olive oil and steamed or boiled in clear soups. For heart health, keep the salt down to a minimum or use light salt, a more healthy alternative.

The potato is a member of the nightshade family and as such, all green parts of the plant are inedible, including the green parts of the tuber itself. Potatoes should be stored away from sunlight, to prevent the development of toxic compounds such as solanine and chaconine. This toxin affects the nervous system, causing weakness and confusion. These compounds protect the plant from predators and are mostly concentrated in the leaves, stems and fruits.

Potato skins, along with honey have been used as a remedy for burns in India. Burn centers there have experimented with the use of thin outer layers of the skin to protect the burns while healing.

Baked Potato Wedges 

4 baking potatoes, scrubbed and unpeeled

4 T. olive oil

½ to 1 tsp light salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. fresh  chopped rosemary

¼ tsp. pepper (optional)

Cut baking potatoes into wedges (about 6 per potato)  Place in a covered bowl or zippered bag.  Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat.  Bake on cookie sheet in pre-heated 400◦ oven for about 30 minutes, turning half-way through.   Lightly sprinkle with salt if desired.

 

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

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Fresh Market—Broccoli


BLOOM-broccoli‘’I do not like broccoli, and I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it.  And I’m President of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli!’’ George Bush Sr., defending his edict to ban broccoli from the White House and Air Force One.

Within a week, broccoli growers in California, outraged by the comment, shipped ten tons of the vegetable to Washington D.C. where it was donated to local homeless shelters  to feed the hungry.

Bush may have done broccoli a favor in the long run as the ensuing firestorm brought broccoli into the public eye as never before! This manmade member of the cabbage family has had a love-hate relationship with humankind since its conception as early as the first century BCE.  The Romans were enamored with the crop and served it with herbs and wine as well as in cream sauces. Drusius, the son of Roman Emperor Tiberius, loved broccoli so much that he gorged on it (excluding all other foods) for an entire month.  It was only after his father chided him for “living precariously,” that he was induced to give it up.  It was during the Roman Empire that broccoli became a staple of their warriors who believed that it enabled them to gain strength for battles.

Despite its early success, its introduction into England and France in the early 18th century did not fare well.  And although broccoli received its debut in the United States over 200 years ago, it did not obtain favor with the general public until the D’Arrigo brothers, Stephano and Andrea, immigrants from Italy, established The D’Arrigo Brothers Company and created “the brand name Andy Boy, named after Stephano’s two-year-old son, Andrew. They advertised by sponsoring a radio program and featured ads for broccoli on the station. By the 1930s the country was having a love affair with broccoli. People were convinced that broccoli was a newly developed plant”(Wikipedia).

Broccoli is another powerhouse vegetable, rich in vitamin A and beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant which has been found to help protect against cancer and aging.  Because beta-carotene is a fat-soluble vitamin, pairing foods rich in it with fats such as nuts or olive oil can help the body absorb it more readily. A cup of cooked broccoli provides as much calcium as 4 oz. of milk and as much Vitamin C as an orange while weighing in at only 44 calories. Eaten raw, one cup chopped comes in at only 24 calories! Looking to boost your potassium? Need iron? Adding fiber to your diet? All are reasons to put broccoli on the table.

 

Ham and Broccoli Roll-ups

1 Bunch fresh broccoli or 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen broccoli spears, cooked and drained

5 thin slices cooked Ham

½ cup Mayonnaise

3 T. Flour

½ tsp. Salt

1/8 tsp. Pepper

1 ½ cups Milk

1/3 cup grated Parmesan or Cheddar Cheese

Fine dry Bread Crumbs

Wrap ham around broccoli spears.  Place rolls in shallow casserole.  In small saucepan, stir together mayonnaise, flour, salt and pepper.  Gradually stir in milk.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened.  Add cheese, stirring until blended.  Pour sauce over rolls.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Broil 4 or 5 inches from source of heat 2 minutes or until bubbly.  Serves  5.

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

 

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Fresh Market


BLOOM-cucumbersBy Vicky Babcock

 

The Cucumber

The cucumber has been cultivated for over 3,000 years, making it one of the oldest known fruits to be raised for consumption by man.  It has its origins in Nepal and was likely introduced to the rest of Europe by the Greeks or the Romans.  Columbus introduced this member of the squash family to the New World where it thrived.  Indeed, it—along with other squash and root vegetables—was described by William Wood as often being bigger and better than  those grown in his native England.

According to Pliny, the Emperor Tiberius had mobile gardens, which were used as a type of greenhouse to keep him supplied with cucumbers throughout the year. Romans reportedly used cucumbers to treat scorpion bites, bad eyesight and to scare away mice. Wives wishing to have children wore cucumbers around their waists (Wikipedia).

The cucumber fell out of favor along with other uncooked fruits and vegetables in the late 17th century. It was thought that uncooked plants brought on summer diseases and were “fit only for consumption by cows,” a statement that may have led to the appellation of “cowcumber.”

Forget caffeinated beverages, cukes are a good source of B vitamins, providing a boost in energy levels. Often referred to as a superfood, they are known to be one of the best foods for your body’s overall health. Cucumbers are 95 percent water, aiding to keep the body hydrated as well as helping to rid the body of toxins. Much of the vitamins are contained in the skin of the cuke so be sure to consume these natural powerhouses with the skin intact. As with any vegetables consumed raw, be sure to scrub them well before eating.

Cool as a cucumber? Cukes are often about 20 degrees cooler than their surrounding temps. They have been used to treat sunburn and swelling around the eyes and can be pureed to create a lotion for moisturizing and smoothing skin. A slice of cucumber, pressed to the roof of your mouth for 30 seconds will kill bacteria responsible for causing bad breath. Eating cucumber before bed can aid in preventing hangovers and headaches. All in all, a hearty powerhouse to aid in your body’s health. Try our salad for a tasty nutritious treat.

 

Cucumber Salad

1 3-oz. pkg. lime Jello

1 cup boiling water

½ tsp. salt

1 cup salad dressing

½ cup sour cream

1 cup chopped cucumbers

1 T. chopped onions

Stir together first three ingredients; let cool. Mix salad dressing and sour cream. Add cucumbers and onion. Fold into Jello mix. Refrigerate until set.

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

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Dog days at Solon Market


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The scene was utter chaos, with bipeds and quadrupeds jockeying for space in the crowded arena! Nobody was injured. Was it the running of the bulls—a convoluted and devious form of psycho pet gone wild? No, it was Solon Market’s first annual Dog Days Popular Pet Show for Kids and their Pets and a good time was had by all!  A planned leisurely walk around the arena had dogs and kids scattering in every direction.  “There was too much distraction,” explained Vicky Babcock, about the planned event.  “The kids did their best but the dogs just wanted to visit.”  Order was returned and each child had a chance to show off their pooch—or pig.  That’s right—while dogs were the theme of the day, the show was open to all pets and the pig, Tornado, with Alyssa, walked off with the popular vote.

The Popular Pet Show was planned as a benefit to the Humane Society and generated money for the charity.  Luke and his owner, Katherine won the most money raised. Area businesses donated the prizes.  The pet show ran concurrent with Solon Market’s first Pet Expo Saturday. Solon Market plans to bring the event back next year.  “It will be bigger and better,” said Vicky.  “We learned something from this event.  I think everybody had a great time.”

 

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Solon Market Dog Days of Summer


ENT-Solon-Market-Dog-Days-Pet-ExpoMini Pet Expo and Dog Show

Solon Market is hosting its first annual Dog Days of Summer Pet Expo and Dog Show this Saturday, August 17 from 10AM until 1PM. The Popular Pet Show for children and their pets has been rescheduled to coincide with the Expo and begins at 11:20AM. There will be two first prizes, one for popular vote and one for most monies collected for the Humane Society. Each child who enters will win a bag of goodies for their pet. There is no entry fee and no door fee. Line up will be in the barn. Please pre-register for the show with Vicky at 616-696-4227.

Free professional pictures will be provided (via Facebook) from 11:00AM until 12:00PM. Area pet groomers and many pet related businesses are attending to provide information and coupons as well as some free services! Bring your dog to Market for a free gift. For more information, call 616-696-4227.

Solon Market is located at 15185 Algoma Ave., Cedar Springs. Check out their Facebook page and “like” for up-dates. Market hours are from 8:00AM until 1:00PM.

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Fresh Market


BLOOM-RosemaryBy Vicky Babcock

“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.”—William Shakespeare

Rosemary’s long time association with weddings and funerals probably stems from this complex herb’s ability to aid in mental activity—thus rosemary for remembrance. Students in Rome wore wreaths of rosemary to improve their test scores—indeed modern studies seem to support this belief. Studies have indicated that this pungent herb may help in the delay or prevention of Alzhetimer’s or age related memory loss. It is a digestive aid as well. It improves mood, respiratory function and circulation and boosts the immune system. It has anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties. Rosemary was burned as an incense to protect against the plague and later in France during WWII in hospitals to protect against infectious diseases. The herb is an excellent source of iron, and contains about 83 percent RDA per 100 grams of fresh leaves.

Folk stories abound around this herb. It is associated with the Greek goddess Aphrodite, who is said to have worn a drapery of rosemary when she ascended from the sea. The Virgin Mary is said to have spread her cloak over a rosemary bush as she rested and the flowers, once white, took on the blue of the cloak. Thus the bush received its name, “Rose of Mary.”

Rosemary actually gets its name from the Latin Rosmarinus, dew of the sea.

One 16th century belief states that in homes and gardens where rosemary grows in abundance, the woman rules the household. This caused a bit of consternation among the men, who began ripping out rosemary bushes to prove that they, not their wives, ruled the roost. Sorting fact from fiction can be a bit tricky at times, as in the belief that rosemary placed under one’s pillow will prevent nightmares. This indeed may be true as the herb’s scent improves mood. Whatever your beliefs, consider adding fresh rosemary to your supply of culinary herbs. Its unique flavor will surprise and delight you. And tuck a sprig into your lapel as well. It just may keep the thieves—and the witches—away.

Cautionary note: Women who are pregnant are advised against using rosemary in large quantities. Check with your doctor.

Rosemary Pecan Onion Bread

2 cups milk

2 pkg. dry yeast

¾ cup finely chopped onion

2 tsp. salt

½ cup butter

5-6 cups flour

2 T. honey

¾ cup toasted pecan pieces

Vegetable oil cooking spray

2-4 fresh rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped

In small saucepan, combine milk, onion, butter, honey and salt. Cook over medium heat until butter melts. Cool mixture to about 100 degrees (warm to touch, but not hot)  Dissolve yeast in warm mixture.

In a large bowl, combine 5 cups flour and yeast mixture. Stir to form a soft dough.Turn onto floured surface—using additional flour as needed, knead dough until it becomes smooth and elastic, about five minutes. Add pecans and rosemary, kneading to incorporate.

Place dough in a large bowl that has been sprayed with cooking spray—turn once to coat dough. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and punch down. Divide into thirds, shaping each into a round loaf.  Place on lightly greased baking sheets—cover and allow to rise in a warm place 20-25 minutes.

Score tops of bread with a sharp knife to form an x. Lightly brush tops with water—bake in pre-heated 375◦ oven about 25 minutes until golden. Serve warm or cool completely on a wire rack.

 

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

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Fresh market


BLOOM-zucchini-plant

By Vicky Babcock

Got zucchini? Who doesn’t? This prolific and tasty summer fruit is a gardener’s friend—and their worst nightmare. First time growers will brag about their zucchini crop, only to find that they can’t even give it away! Zucchini—botanically the immature fruit of the zucchini flower—is best cooked fresh, retaining its peel. Because of its high water content, it does not lend itself well to freezing or canning—thus creating a problem for consumers with an overabundance of the crop. Indeed, popular folklore warns against leaving your car windows open during zucchini season, lest you come back to find it filled with the troublesome squash. It even has its own national holiday—August 8 is “sneak some zucchini onto your neighbor’s porch day”—an opportunity to share your largess with less fortunate individuals.

Frankly we think the green (and also yellow) squash has gotten a bad rap. We’d like to do what we can to sweeten its reputation. Zucchini is a great source of potassium, providing about 14 percent of your daily requirements in one medium fruit. Fresh fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C providing 58% RDA. Zucchini contains no fat or cholesterol, almost no sodium and one medium fruit contains about 33 calories. Sliced and eaten fresh, zucchini is a dieter’s dream! And the overabundance? Zucchini bread can be cooked and frozen for later use. Or try our recipe for zucchini relish, a flavorful alternative to traditional pickles. Bon appetite!

Zucchini relish

10 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini

3 cups chopped onion

5 tablespoons canning salt

2 red bell peppers, chopped

2 green bell peppers, chopped

3 cups white sugar

3 cups white vinegar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon dry mustard

3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed

½ to1 teaspoon ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Place the zucchini and onion in a large, plastic bowl, and sprinkle with canning salt. Mix. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Drain the zucchini, and rinse well with cool water. Squeeze out excess water. Place the red and green bell pepper, sugar, vinegar, and cornstarch into a large pot. Add the dry mustard, turmeric, celery seed and pepper. Stir to combine; add the drained zucchini. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, sterilize jars and lids. Pack hot relish into sterilized jars, making sure there are no air pockets. Fill jars to ¼ inch from the top. Screw on lids.

Cool. Check seal once cool. Refrigerate any unsealed cans and use within 3 to 6 weeks. Great with brats or hot dogs!

Brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

 

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Lots to enjoy at Solon Market


*N-Solon firefighter event1
Kids and adults alike enjoyed the fun at the Solon Market last weekend, and there is still more to come.
Last Saturday, Solon fire fighters brought their truck to spend some quality time with the kids. They taught them how to use the hose and cooled them off with the spray! There were giveaways for the kids, including Hydrant the fire dog, and toys from a local grocery store, and drawings for the adults. Monica Sanders provided free Zumba to everyone and Mother Nature provided some great weather.
This Saturday’s event is a petting zoo for the kids and Market Giveaways. It looks like Solon Market is the place to be on Saturday mornings! Don’t miss out on the fun at this local farm, craft and flea market located at the Solon Township Hall, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 15185 Algoma Ave. Call 696-1718 for more information or check out their facebook page.
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Fresh Market


By Vicky Babcock

 

Lavender – part two

…with immediacy and intensity, smell activates the memory, allowing our minds to travel freely in time.” – Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume, 1984.

Lavender, the base for most dream pillows, can chase away nightmares and ease stress. It is one of the herbs used in four thieves vinegar, which is believed to have been used in the 1800s to ward off the plague. No wonder this magnificent herb is considered to be good luck!

Lavender likes a sunny spot in well-drained soil. It won’t tolerate wet feet. It is fairly disease resistant and pest resistant—an excellent choice in the garden since the deer will not touch it. If purchasing lavender for culinary purposes, be sure to get organic or culinary lavender. While both the leaves and the buds are fragrant and edible, most of the oils are concentrated in the buds.

Try lavender in the bath, the dryer, your pillow or your dresser drawer. Or try the following recipe—we think you’ll agree it’s a keeper.

*BLOOM-Fresh market lavender lemonbars2

Lavender Lemon Bars

Ingredients: Topping:

¾ cup butter 1 ¾ cups sugar

½ cup confectioners sugar 1/3 cup flour

2 cups flour ½ teaspoon baking soda

½ cup ground almonds 4 eggs

1-2 teaspoons Lavender flowers, crushed

1/3 cup lemon juice

2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon rind

confectioners’ sugar

 

In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and ½ cup powdered sugar. Add the 2 cups flour, almonds, lavender and lemon peel, and beat until crumbly. Pat into an ungreased 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Bake in pre-heated oven 350◦ for 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

Meanwhile, in another small mixing bowl. Combine sugar for topping, flour, baking soda, eggs and lemon juice; beat until frothy.  Pour over HOT crust.  Bake at 350◦ for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on wire rack—dust with powdered sugar.  Refrigerate leftovers.

Brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

 

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Firefighter day at Solon Market


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Summer heat got you down? Come cool off in the spray at Solon Market! Solon Township firefighters will provide a truck for the second annual Fire Event this Saturday, July 13. Kids can get their picture taken with the fire truck and enter a drawing to win Sparky the Fire Dog! There will be activities as well, free treats and a continuation of Solon Market Giveaways throughout the month!

Zumba! Monica Sanders, certified Zumba instructor will provide a free dance class from 11:30 until 12:30. Come join the fun and find out why Zumba is the dance craze that is shaping the Nation!

Solon Market hours are Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 15185 Algoma Ave. Call 696-1718 for more information or check out their facebook page.

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