Updated 2009-12-05 23:16:54 ID=564:3

© 2009 The Romantic Table
©2009 The Romantic Table, The weather was nippy at Templeton Farmers Market, but everyone was in good spirits anticipating the upcoming holidays. 2009-12-05 20:42:49:236
©2009 The Romantic Table

The weather was nippy at Templeton Farmers Market, but everyone was in good spirits anticipating the upcoming holidays.

Farmers Market Report December 5, 2009


A Cold Clear Morning Put the Farmers Market Shoppers in the Christmas Spirit- Lots of Goodies Galore!

A late night Friday Christmas outing gave us a later than usual arrival at the Templeton Farmers Market but there were lots of good Christmas goodies and luscious produce to chose from.

After running in to some friends of ours and enjoying some lively conversation we journeyed first to Gary Billington's Sunrise Desert Tropical booth for some of his luscious dates to give as Christmas goodies to some of our relatives.

Gary's background at Cal Poly was in horticulture and he has some of the most unusual beautiful bunch of tropical flowers that we've seen in addition to his tropical date selection. His featured desert flower variety this week are what he calls "Staghorn Ferns" mounted on rustic bases. They sell for $25.00 and would make an excellent "bread and butter" gift.

©2009 The Romantic Table, Gary Billington's Sunrise Desert Tropical 2009-12-05 20:46:11:237
©2009 The Romantic Table

Gary Billington's Sunrise Desert Tropical booth had an unusual and beautiful selection of tropical flowers His featured variety this week are what he calls "Staghorn Ferns"
We bought a few good pounds of each of his Barhi and Medjools dates. I asked him if he knew of a way to package them into a nice gift. He surprised me by offering me one of his two and a half pound gift date boxes. Very nice! This will make a lovely little gift!

Just down from him was the "Big Johns" booth from Santa Maria. I noticed that this booth looked especially vibrant with its colorful vegetable display. In particular, his golden and purple cauliflower looked especially tempting. It's been at least a year since we've had Golden Cauliflower with Pancetta and Penne , and the thought of that and its creamy cheese texture sounded just right for Monday night's dinner. I purchased a nice round head of the golden cauliflower, put it in my bag and preceded on.

Just down from there, I saw Cecil from NPO Organic Pistachios booth, with all types of organically-grown roasted pistachios.They also have unsalted, shelled pistachios as well that could be used in our Pistachio-Almond Herb Pesto. We chatted for awhile, wished her well and went on.

©2009 The Romantic Table, Delicious Winter produce in full color at Big John's Produce booth from Santa Maria 2009-12-05 20:52:49:238
©2009 The Romantic Table

Delicious Winter produce in full color at Big John's Produce booth from Santa Maria
Walking past the Oak Hill Mushrooms booth I wished owner-operator Leah Bailey a Merry Christmas in case I didn't get a chance to say hello again. They have the best organically-raised wild mushrooms and seasonings that are perfect for use in a lot of holiday appetizers and entrees.

Just down from the Oak Hill booth, we went to the Cody Farms booth from Hanford, California. We love their freshly-harvested pecans (at $8.00 per pound)- especially in one of this month's featured recipes Quick Chocolate Pecan Cookies ! After having sampled their pecans in baked goods, I knew I wanted to buy more of them. We purchased three pounds from Rebecca, their saleslady, wished her well and went on.

Next we walked on toward the Kiak Seafoods booth that sells Wild Coho Salmon from Alaska where we saw our friends again( who also had the same idea to have some salmon this week for dinner.)

We purchased what owner-fisherman Barbara calls a "Mr. and Mrs. pack" of her luscious frozen salmon tails, chatted with her about her plans for the holidays and walked on.

Just down a booth or two from the "Wild Salmon" booth, we stopped at the Paso Almonds booth and inquired from Stephan Joyce, their salesman, if he was selling a lot of Almond Brittle etc. for Christmas gifts. He said he just sold a lady ten large packages of the brittle to give as presents. We aren't the only ones thinking of these locally-made foods as little gifts of remembrance.

The last time we were at this Farmers Market we purchased several of their almond-based foods. In particular, we tried their almond butter for ourselves. It is delicious--especially at only $5.00 a jar. Much better than what you can buy in the grocery or health-food stores! We bought another jar for ourselves.

I asked him their schedule for the farmers markets. He told us after Christmas for about three weeks, they go "on vacation" -or a rest of sales to get caught up and re-energized from the busy hectic Christmas sales. They resume their sales about mid to late January at all their farmer markets. So keep that in mind if you're a fan of their products.

By this time we were starting to get loaded down. We had everything we needed- and more. We had a few stops on the way home so we decided to call it a morning and get on to the rest of our errands.

This was a perfect Christmas-time Farmers Market with bands playing, all sorts of food-based goods as well as unusual hand-made crafts available. If you haven't captured the spirit of Christmas yet, a stop at a Farmers Market near you might be just the ticket you need to get a little holiday cheer!

Hope to see you next time!




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A tip from Sue!

If rushed, prepare your ingredients in advance.

If you know you’ll be rushed at cooking time, pre-measure out as many of the ingredients as you can, and arrange them by the cooking order of the recipe.

If it’s going to be more than several minutes before you actually start making the dinner, be sure to cover the perishable ingredients with plastic wrap or place in containers and put them back in the refrigerator to hold until you are ready.