Sunday, June 24, 2007

Farmers' Markets

Hello !
I apologize for the lack of posts recently, we have been incredibly busy recently. It is a good problem, but we are having a difficult time keeping production up with the demand from markets! We've been really enjoying the markets and the feedback that we've been getting is truly exciting, inspiring and motivating. Once the website ( is up and running, we're hoping to have a section for food stories and recipes. We'd love to hear what you are cooking and what kind of meals and traditions you share with your friends and loved ones. With that in mind, we would like to share some of the recipes that we use every week at the farmers' markets. But first, some pictures:

More pictures to come.
Below, I've copied a portion of the weekly newsletter that goes out to the Richmond community about their farmers' market. We were highlighted in the newsletter and we included two of our recipes. These recipes were designed and created over many nights of eating laughing and testing with our friends. Thanks everyone! Anytime you use Our Master Sauce, Veggie Crumbles, or Veggie Breakfast Patties in an interesting way with friends and family, we'd love to hear about it. (Even non-FolkFoods product meals, actually, we just like to hear about gatherings and festive meals!)

Come and Meet Shana and Jason, who are new vendors at the Richmond Farmers' Market....
FolkFoods is a small, Burlington-based company owned by Shana Witkin and Jason Frishman. Inspired by cooking and eating together with friends and family, they created FolkFoods to promote healthy fare that tastes great! FolkFoods products include:
* Veggie Crumble: A high protein alternative to ground meat, Veggie Crumble can be used in wide range of dishes. You can try samples of Veggie Crumble in tomato sauce and with taco seasoning at the Richmond Farmers' Market. A 12 oz. bag of Veggie Crumble replaces approximately 1 lb of ground meat.
* Veggie Breakfast Patties: FolkFoods Veggie Breakfast Patties are a healthy addition to breakfast, and make a great sandwich anytime of day. Each ingredient was selected to add both nutrition and flavor.
* Master Sauce: This spicy cooking and condiment sauce adds a unique blend of heat and sweet to any meal. Use it in sauces, wet rubs and marinades, stir-frys, soups, and dressings. It also makes a fabulous hot sauce.

Recipe for the FolkFoods Ruby, Vermont's answer to the traditional Reuben:
2 slices good hearty bread (We use Klinger's Whole Wheat sourdough)
French dressing (We make our own using mayonnaise, ketchup, Dijon mustard, garlic and a dash of FolkFoods Master Sauce) - spread on each bread slice
Thinly sliced local Vermont MacIntosh apples - layered on one slice of bread
Vermont Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded - layered thickly over the apples
2 FolkFoods Veggie Breakfast Patties, pan fried until browned on both sides - placed on top of the cheese
A generous portion of traditionally made, lacto-fermented sauerkraut (We use Flack Family Farm's)
Put the sandwich together, and place on a heated and lightly oiled frying pan. Use another frying pan or sandwich press to weight the sandwich down, and heat until nicely browned. Flip and repeat. Cut and eat!

Recipe for FolkFoods Taco Seasoned Veggie Crumble:
First, make the taco seasoning:
2 tablespoons Chili powder
2 tablespoons Onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 (or more) teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons flour (we use oat flour because it is healthier than wheat flour)
Mix dry ingredients together and stir into:
2 teaspoons Vermont maple syrup
1/4-1/2 cup of your favorite flavored liquid (we've used veggie stock, dark beer, tomato soup, and blended salsa)
Slowly mix taco seasoning into a package of FolkFoods Veggie Crumble until it reaches your desired level of spiciness.

-Jason and Shana

Eat Well. Eat Together.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Guest Writer! Using Master Sauce

Happy Sunday! This morning, I will be testing a new process for the Veggie Breakfast Patties. They are selling really well, and we can't keep up with our current process. I guess that is a good problem, but it is certainly a little stressful. Anyway, I am also hoping to make a HUGE pot of fish stock (Remember stock? There will be a post about all of those kitchen scraps that some of you have been saving and freezing. Very soon. I promise.) I'd also like to write a lot about the markets; they have been wonderfully successful. We've been told that there is a 'buzz' about FolkFoods. So a post and pictures about all of that is on its way.

In lieu of that post, though, I am going to post something that our good friend Jenn wrote for us awhile ago. We are hoping that Jenn will write a regular column once we get the website up and running. She is a creative and adventurous cook who has used and consumed more Master Sauce than anyone, including Shana and I. Her cooking displays how it is a master sauce, rather than just a hot sauce. (Jenn, I have an extra large jar for you, waiting on our dining table!)

How FolkFoods Master Sauce Saved My Culinary Ass

It was a busy time in my life: I had just started graduate school, and I lived 35 minutes outside of town. Food, although it’s always been high on my priority list, had taken a backseat to other things because of schoolwork, the demands of a long commute, and the lack of a nearby grocery. I had become, against my will, a habit-cook. I could prepare a meal on autopilot, as long as I had all the old standby ingredients on hand. Take away my frozen flour tortillas and pre-cooked chicken sausages, and I’d freak. It was a slow change: the slide from culinary adventurer to kitchen bore was almost imperceptible day to day. But one day I realized that I had to break away from the endless variations of leftover-packed quesadillas and uninspired, whatever’s-in-the-fridge pasta sautés. One night, I stared down at my plate of penne with random vegetables in white wine garlic sauce and said, “I can’t eat this stuff anymore.” My partner breathed a sigh of relief. Turns out, he’d come to this epiphany weeks before, but kept his feelings to himself for fear that I’d take offense and stop cooking altogether. “What do we do now?” we asked each other. For a week, we survived on cereal and peanut butter-slathered crackers. And then, that weekend, there was a miracle.

We were throwing a barbeque potluck, and Jason showed up with a small jar of a dark, rich brown something. “I want you guys to taste my newest creation,” he said. “It’s FolkFoods Master Sauce.” He called it “master sauce” because, while it had a spicy kick, the complexity of the flavor made its potential uses much more diverse than your typical hot sauce. After I placed that first tentative dollop on the tip of my tongue, I knew my problems were solved. Jason’s master sauce spun me out of my culinary doldrums. Soon I was putting it in everything from scrambled eggs to vegetable stir-fry. It even resurrected my good old whatever-I-find-in-the-fridge pasta sauté. (I have yet to get bored of my old standby a second time.) So I want to share the miracle with all of you: In an ongoing column, I’m going to share exciting and surprising ways to use FolkFoods master sauce to breathe life into your own cooking.

My first suggestion: Fish! Fish of any kind. (You’re only limited by your geographical location, your own personal taste, your moral stance on industry practices, and environmental and health concerns about fish farming.) I do two things with master sauce to liven up fish dishes: With flaky, thin fish fillets like tilapia, I smother the fillets with about a tablespoon of master sauce each, and then I dredge the fillets in a mix of rice flour and salt. Then I fry them in an oil and butter mix. It’s good with slices of lime on the side. You can use regular flour if you don’t have rice flour; the only difference is that rice flour is lighter and makes for a crispier coating on the fish. With thicker, steaky fish like mahi-mahi, I squeeze some lime juice on the fish and then slather it with master sauce. At this point, I either grill the fish or broil it. Something happens to the master sauce when it’s exposed to the intense dry heat: it gets condensed and extra savory, creating a yummy coating on the outside of the fish. If you happen to think of it, marinating the fish steaks for a little before cooking while will help infuse more of the master sauce flavors into the fish. And by the way, I once heard Mark Bittman, author of the invaluable tome How to Cook Everything, reveal in a radio interview that marinating any meat for longer than 20 minutes is completely unnecessary. So there! Victory for the spontaneous, discombobulated cooks of the world!

(Jason's Note: That isn't actually Jenn. That is another good friend of ours, Rebecca. I wanted to put a picture into this post and fish seemed appropriate. Rebecca and her partner Chapin have helped to organize a local fish share for a few of us, where we get fresh, sustainably grown fish every other week. We are slowly learning to clean and fillet fish. As for now, Chapin gets the patience award; I generally wind up just hacking away. Either way, we have wonderful fish to accompany the Master Sauce!)

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Information about Richmond Farmers' Market

We just got this email about the upcoming Richmond Farmers' Market. I think that it is going to be a really exciting time. (And a completely different experience than the Burlington Market. I will be sharing pictures and writing about sometime this week, I promise.) Anyway, if you have the time and want to come hang out by the river, please come by and say hello!
(And if you come to either the Burlington or Richmond markets, you really should try our Ruby Sandwich. It is the most amazing mixture of flavors.)

ARE YOU READY FOR JUNE 8th? Buy Local, Buy Fresh.

Welcome and celebrate the coming of the summer season at the Richmond Farmers' Market. The Market will be held every Friday starting June 8th through October 12th from 3:00 to 6:30 surrounding the bandstand on beautiful Volunteers Green. Come and meet your Local Growers and Buy Local.

Are you craving fresh local produce and meats? Eugenie Doyle from The Last Resort will bring asparagus, eggs, garlic, and "greens" such as chives. She will also have some jam and pickles and maybe spinach and rhubarb. Ted Sargeant from Still At It Farm will have lettuce, radishes, rhubarb, maple candy, quick bread and creamed honey. Bruce Hennessey and Beth Whiting from Maple Wind Farm will have frozen cuts of grass fed beef and lamb, as well as, organic pastured pork and eggs. They will have summer sausage while supplies last and there will sure to be hamburgers and sausages on the grill. Yum!

Has it been a while since you have had some fresh out-of-the-oven homemade bread, cookies or pie and graced your table with fresh cut flowers? Don't forget, Father's Day is right around the corner. This year the Market will have an even larger variety of fresh local produce, meats, prepared foods, flowers, plants, crafts and entertainment for the whole family. All products available at the Market are locally grown, baked or made.

The following special events are free of charge and are all supported by our local Farmers' Market vendors, businesses, families and agencies.

On June 8th - The opening day of the Richmond Farmers' Market will feature Ted Sargeant's Tractor Day. Hop aboard a kid-friendly vintage tractor. Ted will bring his collection of pedal and garden tractors. Thank you Ted! From 4:00 to 5:00 the talented Kelly King will return to the Market to paint faces. Get a new look with one of her whimsical, artistic creations. Also, tickets for the June 8th charity bingo at the Richmond Elementary School that evening will be on sale. Proceeds will benefit the Community Camp.

On June 15th - The Market will host Vermontica the calf and Dairy Day. Vermontica loves all the attention she will get. Stop by for some free milk and giveaways, thanks to the Department of Agriculture. Vermontica will share the stage from 3:00 to 4:00 with face painter Kelly King. Get a new look with one of her whimsical, artistic creations.

On June 22nd - Bill Myregaard and Joe Carlomagno, aka, Dark Star Duo will join us on stage from 4:30 to 5:30. Dark Star is a talented acoustic duo who play folk and Grateful Dead related songs. In addition they also play tunes from Lowell George, Kingfish, Bob Dylan, and Old And In The Way. You may hear songs such as; Cassidy, China Doll, Willin' and I Shall Be Released. Later on in the season you will again see Bill Myregaard, a member of the Willoughbys; a four piece band playing music from the American landscape. The Richmond Area Business Association is sponsoring this event. Thank you RABA!

On June 29th - The Richmond Farmers' Market will welcome back the ever-popular Rebecca Padula. She is a folk singer/songwriter, with a hint of jazz and will play on stage from 4:30 to 5:30. Her beautiful voice and harmonizing guitar will accompany her and wow the crowd. Attorney David Sunshine and Jon Fath, owner of Toscano Café Bistro are sponsoring this event. Thank you David and Jon!

For further information or questions about the Richmond Farmers' Market, contact Carol Mader at 434-5273 or

Also…………….. We need your help to spread the word about the following special event - "Donate Your "CROP" of Hair at the Richmond Farmers' Market to Benefit Cancer Victims and Research"

July 27th – On stage from 3:00 to 4:30 Denise Barnard and her team of talented hair designers from Bridge Street Hair, Inc. will sponsor a fundraiser for cancer victims and research. Starting at 3:00 they will be donating their time and expertise by giving free haircuts and a new look to those who are willing to donate their long hair (over 8 inches) to Locks of Love and Wigs for Kids. This hair will be used to create hairpieces and be given to those undergoing cancer treatment. If you know anyone willing to donate their long locks, please contact Denise Barnard at 434-2220 to register and schedule a style consultation. After the longer locks have been harvested, they will give free haircuts to the general public, with the cost of the cut and donations going to benefit cancer research.

On stage from 4:45 to 5:30, the HIMS will perform. The HIMS are a 'cutting edge' men's group from Huntington Community Church. The name HIMS was given to the group after first performing on Mother's Day many years ago and means Huntington's Incredible Men Singers. Let your hair down and enjoy the harmony.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Burlington Farmers' Market

Good Evening! I hope your day went well (and if you are in Vermont that you didn't get too wet in the thunderstorm!)

We finished unpacking the truck right before the storm came and were able to sit on the porch and watch the lightning. We were able to watch it right until the big monsoon-like droplets of rain began to blow us over and into the house.

Anyway, we are tired. Tired and happy actually. This was our second time at the Burlington Farmers' Market and it was a fantastic success! We had a lot of fun and talked to some great people and sold a lot of stuff.

If we spoke to you today, please let us know, getting feedback from people really helps us to stay motivated. Also, we would love to hear how people are cooking up their Master Sauce, Veggie Breakfast Patties and Veggie Crumble. Sharing food and stories is somewhat of a passion of ours. We will eventually be offering recipes here, our website ( - right now it is in need of some serious work) and at our market table. I will also post some great pictures from last week when we had a ton of helpers for our grand opening at the market. (Thanks everyone!)

I am too tired to write more right now, but once again, thanks to everyone who bought sampled or even smiled at us today. Eat well and eat together!