Updated 2008-10-12 00:57:33 ID=144:3

© 2008 The Romantic Table
©2008 The Romantic Table 2008-10-05 15:21:59:58
©2008 The Romantic Table

Fall squash and pumpkins begins to arrive in the market.

Farmers Market October 4, 2008

The first rains arrived last night, marking a change of Season and the beginning of Fall Produce arriving at the market.

The first rains of the season arrived during the night, but that didn't stop us from going to Farmers Market. The Central Coast has a true Mediterranean climate, a warm dry season, and a cool rainy season. The rains mark the beginning of the cool season when we start to see Fall and Winter produce arriving at the market.

I was intent on buying some more Celebrity tomatoes, so we waited until the sun started to peek through the clouds to start our shopping. We weren't disappointed with the selection of vendors or their luscious produce - and there were several good parking places.

First we went to Atascadero's Graves Creek Jim De Welt's booth. He's the one that's selling fresh Ju Jubes. He also has the Celebrity Tomatoes that we love. We bought enough for a fresh tomato sauce sometime this week. I asked him how much longer would he have these available. "Until the first frost" he told me. Well, I'll cross my fingers and hope that the frost will hold off for a few more weeks.

The showers were still holding off, so we went on to see what other produce changes in the market one week had brought. There were lots of vendors with Fall squash and colder-season vegetables.

We stopped at Elizabeth Kendall's Dos Paso Ranch booth from Cambria. She's the lady with the gorgeous avocados, pumpkins and squash. She carries seventy-five different varieties of squash. She had told me that her best (sweet) cooking pumpkins and squash don't come in until mid-October - especially her favorites: "New England Pie" and "Winter Luxury Pie ." (what interesting names! I can't wait to try them!) I inquired about the progress of the pumpkins -we're craving a good pumpkin soup and don't want to miss out. She told us just a few more weeks and then they''ll be ripe.

©2008 The Romantic Table 2008-10-05 15:30:13:59
©2008 The Romantic Table

Chef Greg Wangard, daughter and Sandra Dimond, Farmer's Market Manager.
Arriving a little later than usual at the market allowed us to meet some other regular customers that we'd normally miss. We happened to see the Farmers Market manager, Sandra Dimond. Ms. Dimond, a ball of energy and enthusiasm, was helping load produce into a hand cart for Chef de Cuisine Greg Wangard of the Morisol Restaurant at The Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach. She introduced us and added that Chef Wangard was one of a number of professional chefs who shop at the Templeton and Los Osos - Baywood Park Farmer's Markets for fresh produce to prepare for their diners. This is a "win-win for the customer-eating the freshest of produce while supporting the local farms!"

As we walked with Ms. Dimond, and Chef Greg, his purchases in tow, another Chef approached. It was his wife, Chef Kelly Wangard, Head Chef at the Paso Robles Inn. She has just revamped the entire menu at the Inn that was the talk of the town. What a fabulous cooking family! We hope to interview both in the future and learn more about their cooking styles.

What a great morning it had been! In spite of the drizzle, we had achieved our "mission" and met a few dynamic people to boot!

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A tip from Sue!

Frying fish is not hard

Frying fish is not hard. The trick is to evenly coat the fish and allow the coating to set and dry a bit before frying. The purpose of the coating is to keep moisture in NOT absorb oil! To minimize oil absorption fry at a temperature between 350F and 400F max