Listen to The Dagger’s Jennifer Bonney discuss her “Everything from Soup to Nuts” column with WAMD DJ Steve Mann live at 7:45 a.m. and again at 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday, May 24. WAMD can be heard on the radio at 970 AM or on the Internet at http://www.khztv.com/radio, and listeners can call in at 410-306-6270.
Aaaahhh…spring! That wonderful time of year when flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and fresh food is in abundance at the Bel Air Farmer’s Market.
I visited the Farmer’s Market twice recently and on both occasions it was chilly and rainy—not ideal weather for this type of outing. However, it did not seem to deter local residents who were out in full force with children and dogs (yes, dogs are allowed!) eyeing up a variety of plants, herbs, produce, meat, eggs, honey and homemade desserts – yum!
The hanging baskets of flowers such as geraniums and Gerber daisies were beautiful and priced right. There was also an assortment of small trees and shrubs like azaleas for sale. It is still a little early in the season for produce, but you could still find fresh mixed greens, tomatoes, asparagus and cucumbers.
Click below to listen to Dagger columnist Jennifer Bonney discuss farmer’s markets and more on WAMD 970AM[audio:http://www.daggerpress.com/wp-content/uploads/052411_DAGGER_FOOD.mp3|titles=052411_DAGGER_FOOD]
Since spring is allergy season for many of us, I picked up some Blueberry honey made by a Baltimore company called “Bees By The Bay”. As the owner explained, the honey does not taste like blueberries, although it is made from a blueberry plant. I’ve heard that if you eat honey that is made from local plants, it can reduce symptoms of seasonal allergies. Worth a try, and it tastes much better than Claritin!
Whole chickens and most cuts of organic beef are sold as well. Desserts included homemade chocolate Easter eggs, every type of pie imaginable, scones, coconut cakes and fruit cobblers.
I would recommend that some entrepreneur open a coffee stand right near the sweets because a piece of pie and a steaming cup of coffee make for a great breakfast. Are you listening Coffee Coffee (my personal favorite coffee shop, located in the Festival at Bel Air)?
One of the vegetables that sold out very quickly was the asparagus, which is in season now. Since it is a vegetable that we eat often in my house, here is a quick and healthy recipe for you to try:
First, choose asparagus that is crisp, not limp. Some people prefer the thinner stalks, but I don’t think it matters much either way. The lower end of the stalk is tough and unedible, so just bend the stalk gently until the end snaps off on its own.
Then you can use a standard vegetable peeler to take off the outer layer, or the “skin”, but this step is not truly necessary, especially if you are feeling a bit lazy. Put the asparagus in a frying pan with just enough water to cover it, and boil until tender but still crisp – probably about 10 minutes. Then drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top.
Season to taste with cracked sea salt and black pepper, even a little squeeze of fresh lemon juice if you wish. Or you can roast it in a bit of olive oil in a baking pan at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. It’s so delicious, even your kids will eat it up!
A full listing of vendors can be found at www.belairfarmersmarket.com.
Bel Air Farmers Market
Saturdays, 7 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Mary Risteau Courthouse
Tuesdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Kelly Ball Field, 502 Boulton Street
Across from Macy’s & Best Buy
Please note that some vendors only accept cash but ATM machines are located within walking distance of the courthouse building.