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July 22, 2014
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Cooking real food from scratch; Avoiding ‘edible food-like substances’

Encouraging people to cook real food from scratch was the author’s mission for many years at the Wayne County Farmers Market.
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By Jane Bollinger

I love farmers’ markets. Not a farmer myself, I nevertheless belong to an organization of farmers who practice sustainable agriculture. I support the blossoming food movement to Buy Fresh Buy Local and the local economies movement to shop locally because I believe that our global economic model is unsustainable based as it is on the unsustainable use of fossil fuel energy. I shop at farmers’ markets because they are a source of real food, which is pretty much the only food I want to eat anymore. For me, real food, grown locally is a starting point for sustainable living.

For nine years every summer Saturday I present cooking demonstrations outdoors at the Wayne County Farmers’ Market. This year—with mixed feelings both of nostalgia and eager anticipation for discovering new summer Saturday projects—I finally hung up my apron and retired. There is one pleasure I will miss, however, and that is introducing people to new and exciting ways of preparing vegetables.

I still remember one Saturday years ago when The Anthill Farm showed up with a large quantity of the prettiest little white turnips (the size of radishes). Sadly they couldn’t sell these little gems because people didn’t know what to do with them. The next week I featured those same turnips by preparing a pureed, creamed soup with the white root of the turnips and stirring in cooked, chopped tender turnip greens (the tops) into the soup. It didn’t hurt that for a second recipe I simply sautéed some thinly sliced turnips in butter. (Most vegetables taste pretty fabulous cooked in butter and sprinkled with a tiny bit of salt.)