Archive for July, 2013

More Markets

July 22, 2013

Had time to explore a couple more markets this weekend, starting with the Fremont Sunday Market. This was only my second time at this market in spite of six years of living in Seattle, and I thought there was going to be more in the way of produce (like a typical farmers market). Of course, nothing in Fremont is typical and the market consists mainly of random antiques plus quite a few food trucks. You can guess which area I was more interested in.

I started with Clover, which is basically just a lady who makes really awesome pastries and sells them at markets (no retail shop). I chose the vanilla shortbread and the lemon tart and had no regrets:

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For such a small operation, I have to say I was pretty impressed. Nothing was dry, nor was it goopy – in other words, perfect texture. She also had a matcha/red bean tart which I sampled and would recommend. It just goes to show, it’s not the size of the kitchen that matters, but the amount of butter you use.

Speaking of butter, the next booth I tried was called All About Cookies. Again, the lady running the booth made all the cookies – and there were a lot. For a gal like me, her tupperware bins of every different kind of cookie signified that if Fremont isn’t actually the center of the universe, it’s pretty close to heaven.

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I got the chocolate oatmeal (above) and the peanut butter chocolate chip.  This lady obviously does know all about cookies, at least, it tasted like she did.  Again, very nice texture (not too crunchy but they held together nicely), very fresh, and with plenty of butter. I want to try every flavor!

Last stop, something a little lighter. In my quest for produce, I ended up back at the Capitol Hill market because it’s close to home.  There, I discovered the Six Strawberries Ice Pops stand, which makes gourmet popsicles with flavors like  “strawberry rhubarb pie” and PB&J. I went with the Rainier Cherry flavor:

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Perfect for a sunny day! The cherry flavor was a bit subtle, but the pop wasn’t watery or overly sweet. I’ll be trying more flavors in the near future. All in all, a successful day in the dessert world (yes, I got my produce too).

Issaquah Farmers Market

July 7, 2013

Continuing my quest to explore as many Seattle-area farmers markets as possible this summer, I stopped by the Issaquah market to check out my friend’s ice cream stand – one of the few I’ve encountered at any market. First off, let me say that I was overwhelmed by the size and scope of this market. There were a dozen lunch stands, and more produce and flower booths than I could count. And pony rides. But I took some deep breaths and dove in, buying meats, salad greens, cherries… and an apron (I had always wanted one). Finally I took a time out for ice cream:

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That’s Kelly, scooping her homemade Cosmic Creamery ice cream – today’s flavors were cherry-chocolate, vanilla, raspberry-rhubarb sorbet, and something called breakfast ice cream. Curious, I sampled the latter. Turns out it’s a coffee base with bits of bacon… and it’s surprisingly enjoyable! But I went for something a little tamer – a mix of the vanilla and the sorbet – heaven in a cup!

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Naturally, I couldn’t stop with just one dessert, especially since Kelly’s stand was just a few feet away from Sun Spot Mini Donuts. Drawn by the aroma of fried dough (one thing I could never resist), I stopped to watch the donut-making process:

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There wasn’t even a choice – I had to have them. The donuts come in bags of seven, and I could have eaten 10 bags (but held myself to one, which I even shared with a friend). Served up crispy and so hot you have to let them cool down, they shake powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar over the bag. For sure the best fried dough I have EVER had the pleasure to scarf down. Mmmmmm. Respect the mini donut!

Farmers Market Round One

July 1, 2013

Last summer I made the rounds of various ice cream parlors when the weather turned nice. This summer, I want to focus on farmers markets, and I’m especially interested in booths selling small-time, niche sweets. To start things off, I visited the U-district farmers market. After buying bags of salad mix and those yummy peas, I sought out some desserts. I started with the Little Prague European Bakery, which is based in West Seattle but has booths at a couple different markets. I selected the poppyseed kolach and the cinnamon roll, and the kind lady working the booth threw in a rhubarb bar for free.

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The kolach I did not particularly love, but that’s fine because it was experimental (I was a little skeptical about the amount of poppy seed paste involved). The rhubarb bar was just okay – topping was excellent (good balance of tart and sweet, leaning to the tart side of things), but the cake part was mushy and lacking flavor. I would have preferred a shortbread base. The cinnamon roll saved the day. Flakey, strongly flavored, and not lacking in fat, it was everything a simple cinnamon roll should be. On to the next booth, with was Jonboy Caramels.

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They specialize in just a few particular caramels: flour de sel and toasted coconut are the mainstays with a few other rotating flavors (this week was absinth, which I hated). Jonboy operates out of a small kitchen in Ballard (no retail space) and sells their candy through various outlets. The caramels are not cheap (what at the market is, really?) and at $9 for a box of 12 I had very high expectations. Which were met. I passed on the fleur de sel (I don’t like salty candy) but tore through the toasted coconut ones. Rich, not too sticky, and highly addictive – these make a great gift. For yourself.