As I was mulling over menu plans for Christmas dinner Thursday, I got this an email from Bonnie Dodson of Dodson Farms: “Wind gusts up to 42 miles an hour. Wow! Tom is still out there starting the harvest for this weekend.
Dodson Farms participates in the Tsunami Winter Farmers Market in Cooper Young, and Bonnie’s email continued with a tempting list of what will be available Saturday, including cabbages, sweet potatoes, kale, collards, mustard greens, turnip greens, spinach, turnips, cilantro, garden cress and half a dozen heirloom lettuces with charming names such as Lolla Rosa and Australian Yellow Leaf.
Bonnie’s photo of newly dug white potatoes also caught my eye. The potatoes were harvested from a bed in the farm’s high tunnel.
“We weren't sure how a fall planting would fair, but it did well,” Bonnie wrote.
No kidding. I immediately messaged back to order several pounds of potatoes along with two bunches of broccoli rabe, feeling quite pleased that I now have at least two veggie sides in place for my favorite holiday meal of the year.
I’m also confident the rest of the menu will fall in line with products from the market’s other vendors, which include Donnell Century Farms, Bonnie Blue Farm, Shoaf’s Loaf Bakery, McCarter Coffee Company, Cooper Street 20/20 and Flora at Bluebird Farms. Newman Farms also will be on hand selling 15 to 20-pound fresh hams, among other things.
“It’s been a good year for fresh hams,” Rita Newman said, explaining how the hams typically are brined and then baked. Along with the delicious taste, she credits media attention with the ham’s upswing in popularity.
“Google bone-in fresh ham,” she suggested when I asked about recipes. “There is also an easy and good recipe in the December issue of Bon Appetit.”
For the Bon Appetit recipe, called “Roasted Fresh Ham with Citrus and Rye,” click here.
The farmers market is located in the parking lot next to Tsunami restaurant in Cooper-Young and runs all winter long on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.