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Farmers market fare

By Staff | Jun 11, 2010

Lisa Roslansky of Lisa's Lil' Bake Shop, offers a taste sample to a customer. At right are assistant Rhonda Whitehouse and partner Harold Theesfeld, who was selling his organic vegetables.

SPIRIT LAKE -June 6 was the opening day of the Lakes Area Farmers Market, held at the Dickinson County Fairgrounds.

This year, they have more vendors than ever before with a total 32 booths.

The Lakes Area Market is a great place to find anything, from hand-made jewelry and crafted items, organic produce and eggs, fresh baked goods, fresh flower arrangements and live plants.

Each week, visitors register to win a market basket filled with items donated by vendors.

Special events and cooking demonstrations are scheduled during market hours throughout the season.

Farmers market cook Carrie Wheeler, of Wheeler Breads, sells a variety of artisan-style bread.

Several vendors were asked what they enjoy most about being a part of a local farmers market. Aside from replies, each submitted a favorite recipe, many of which can be made with the produce available at any local market.

Feels like home

Lisa Roslansky is a first time vendor at the market. Lisa owns and operates “Lisa’s Lil’ Bake Shop.”

“I am looking forward to this adventure,” she said about opening day. “Ever since I was a little girl helping Mom and Grandma I have always enjoyed baking. I love to share good food; good conversation over a cup of coffee and the farmers market was just that.

“It feels like home being surrounded by farmers, bakers and entrepreneurs that all have one common goal, to bring the best quality product to the people.”

Her recipe submission goes best with angel cakes, Roslansky said, whether scratch, from a box, or store-bought.

Fresh peach dessert

1 quart of milk

1 cup of sugar

2 beaten eggs

Cook over medium low heat until mixture cats spoon and set aside to cool.

Dissolve 2 envelopes of Knox gelatin in 1/2 cup of cold water. Add to the above mixture and let finish cooling.

Break one whole angel food cake into 2-inch pieces and place into a 9-by-13-inch glass pan.

Slice 3 cups of fresh peaches and fold into cooked mixture.

Fold 1 8-ounce tub of Cool Whip into cooked mixture.

Spread mixture over angel food cake and refrigerate overnight.

Chopped nuts or maraschino cherries may be sprinkled on top before serving.

Healthy environment

Pat Jones has had a presence at market for several years. She travels from her home near Sibley, in Osceola County. Along with a variety of vegetables, she makes fresh jam and jelly. Jones said she loves the atmosphere of the market.

” People emit such a healthy energy in this environment,” Jones said. “I love to share ideas with other vendors and meet new people.”

Jones said she encourages others to use the fresh spinach, now in season, in one of her favorite recipes.

Chicken Florentine

1 pound of fresh spinach steamed and the liquid pressed out

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast

4 cloves of garlic minced

1/2 cup of heavy cream

1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese

Lightly brown chicken breast in olive oil. Remove chicken from skillet. Saute the garlic for 1 minute then add cream, spinach and cheese. Spread the mixture on the bottom of pan, put chicken breasts on top. Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes or until chicken breast are done. Serve chicken breasts with spinach mixture on top.

Enjoys people-watching

Bonnie Gross is another veteran vender. A.K.A. the “Cookie Lady,” she said she is also a people-watcher and the market gives her a chance to do just that.

“I have trouble getting around due to a disability,” Gross said. “Coming to the market gets me out of the house and allows me to do something for others, while generating some income for my family.”

Gross shared a recipe for one of her most popular sellers at the market.

Puppy chow

12-ounce box Crispix cereal

1/2 cup butter

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup chocolate chips

1 pound powdered sugar

In medium microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, peanut butter and chocolate chips and microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring once during cooking, until mixture is melted and smooth.

Place the cereal in another large bowl and pour the melted mixture over the cereal. Stir until the cereal is thoroughly coated. Pour the powdered sugar into a large brown paper grocery sack. Pour the coated cereal into the powdered sugar and shake until it is well covered with the sugar. Pour the cereal onto wax paper to cool and dry. Store in tightly covered containers at room temperature.

Likes self-employment

Marisa Sidles is going on her third year at the market, driving in from Terril, in Dickinson County. Sidles and her creative nature have thrived in the market atmosphere. She is able to show off her abilities as a graphic artist advertising her line of Dry Rubs and Seasonings.

“I love to come here and am able to share this experience with my mother,” Sidles said. “I like to visit with others who are self-employed.”

Creole-seasoned potatoes mix

Mix 1 tablespoon of Creole seasoning with hash browns or fried potatoes to make them sweet and salty. This is also great mixed with flour for fried fish or shrimp, Sidles said.

Has opened doors

Nick and Carrie Wheeler attend the market from just over the border in Lakefield, Minn. Nick Wheeler is an artisan bread baker and Carrie Wheeler, an accountant. They spend their weekends apart, she attending the Lakes Area market and he attending the Sioux City Market.

Nick Wheeler said there is a huge difference in the two communities. In Spirit Lake, he explained, there are a lot of vendors with a wide variety of products, but these are more like hobbyists.

On the other hand in Sioux City, he continued, most of the vendors do it for a living and have hundreds of pounds of produce every day.

“The farmer’s markets have opened up a door to me that would not have been otherwise possible due to state regulations. To start a bakery from scratch, as in any new business, costs a lot of money and a lot of communication and working with the state to make sure that food codes are all met. When one makes products for a farmers market, the baked good regulation is severely less and it leaves the door open for anyone with enough ambition and motivation to make a living.

“Some of the greatest products in the world are at the farmers markets.”

French baguette

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cups water

1/2 teaspoon active dried yeast

1/4 teaspoon salt

Prepare your ingredients and place in order into mixing bowl – water, yeast, flour and salt.

Mix thoroughly, until dough is consistent, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.

Place dough in covered bowl or Tupperware for approximately 30 to 45 minutes or until dough has tripled in size.

Roll the dough into an elongated shape to resemble a baguette. Then place on baking sheet making sure that the seam is on the underside.

Preheat your oven to 390 degrees.

Cover the dough with a damp towel, or with plastic wrap, and allow to rise 20 to 40 minutes or until it has doubled in size.

Score the loaf by gently slicing down the long way of the loaf at an angle about four times. Place baking sheet in the oven and allow to bake 25 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool to approximately 90 degrees, or about 30 minutes, to slice the loaf. If sliced too early, the loaf will clump up and shred. At 90 degrees it is safe to serve with a meal and still be “fresh from the oven.”

The Lakes Area market season runs through mid-October. Vending times are 7 a.m. to noon Saturdays; 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Wednesdays; and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Contact Robyn Kruger by e-mail at rangerob@hictorytech.net.

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