Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Eating Omily: To Bake or Not to Bake? Get to Your Farmers' Market Either Way!

I know I get excited about things I find at the Farmers' Market at least once a month, but seriously, you'll want to sit down. This is big. At the Farmers' Market, on Fridays, at the Hot Bread Kitchen stall, I found...Marzipan Stolen!!!!

Are you not squealing with delight? You should be! Stolen is a German Christmas sweet, a yeasty bread filled with candied and/or soaked in brandy fruits, sometimes nuts, and a core of sweet, sticky marzipan! Sometimes it's topped with a glaze or icing, and sometimes it's just given a generous coating of powdered sugar. Either way, it's rich, moist, and perfect with coffee in the morning. Or, you know, anytime...
These stolens are the real deal: the marzipan was made from scratch, starting with raw shelled almonds, the fruits were soaked in brandy in small batches, and careful research went into making sure the recipe was authentic to the German tradition. This is some delicious pastry, and you do not want to miss it! At $15 a pop, it may seem like a lot for a fairly small loaf, but stolen is rich. I'm crazy about it, but I still can't eat more than three or four slender slices at one go. It'll easily last you till Christmas if you get one the day after tomorrow, and if you know what's good for you, you'll buy two and freeze one for the New Year!

Maybe you're not the type to buy a pre-made treat. Maybe you'd rather make your own Christmas cookies and sweets. Don't forget that you can get flour, butter, eggs, milk, cream, honey, and maple syrup all in your Farmers' Market! If you're making cookies, or another treat that doesn't rise much, whole wheat flour will provide your family with fiber to help stabilize your blood sugar, and extra nutrients without changing the taste or texture of your favorite recipes. Whole wheat flour also has less gluten per cup than all purpose, because the other parts of the grain are left in, and dilute it. Just sub it in wherever all purpose flour is called for! Farmers' Market eggs will give you whites that beat up stiffer faster, and rich, golden yolks with better flavor and color than anything you'll find at the grocery store, and the butter? Once you try it, you'll never go back.

What else is going on at the Farmers' Market these days? Heads-up! Next week might be your last chance for fresh fish...I bought half a pound of smoked blue fish today for a quick, easy, delicious dinner: the fish is hot smoked, so it's already cooked! All I need is toast, and perhaps something creamy to serve it with, and a vegetable! There may be a fish monger willing to stay out to brave the colder months, but catches will be slim, and attendance tends to drop in the Winter. I have yet to have a fish monger tell me they'll be around to get us through the lean months. Enjoy it while you can!

While you're out, you can do some Christmas shopping at the Holiday Market right next door to the Farmers' Market in Union Square, take the train uptown to enjoy some holiday windows, the Rockefeller Christmas tree, and baby snow leopards at the Central Park Zoo! I love this city...

AND, if you're looking for something to do this weekend, come see me perform on silks as part of Big Sky's Holiday Circus Cabaret! I'll be performing in the 4:00pm show this Saturday at Big Sky Works, on Wythe by N14th Street in Williamsburg, $15 at the door. You can go from there straight out to Galapagos Art Space to see the Nutcracker Circus Suite! I won't be performing in that one, but I absolutely won't be missing it!
Light and Love and Happy Holidays! Spread Christmas cheer by buying what you need from those who need your business!

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