Final Sara Hardy Farmers Market of the Year

The fall chill is settling in up north in Michigan. Today was a cold misty rainy day for the final outdoor Sara Hardy Farmers Market in Traverse City. Despite the cold and rain, the market was still filled with vendors with an abundance of products and a crowd of shoppers enjoying the beautiful fall crops along with other products from baked goods, to honey and maple syrup, cheese and butter and homemade soaps and beauty products. With so much to offer it is sad to see the market come to an end, but we take solace in knowing that many of the vendors will be moving to the indoor market on Saturdays at the Grand Traverse Commons.

I love the fall crops. Today in my 9 Bean Rows CSA bag I found potatoes, onions, broccoli, acorn squash and carrots along with the usual greens, eggs and bread. I also picked up some cherry tomatoes sweet enough to compete with the Halloween candy. Another vendor at the Sara Hardy Farmers Market had a great deal on MacIntosh apples for the last market so I bought a peck of apples. I am looking forward to making and canning some applesauce.  Even when I get to North Carolina I will still be able to enjoy the taste of these deliciously sweet and tangy Michigan apples! Continue reading

Chicken Masala with Chickpeas and Chard

Before the newly college graduated daughter came home to visit she emailed me a few recipes she wanted to try cooking with me during her upcoming visit. Needless to say, I was thrilled to see she was taking an interest in learning to cook. Looking through the recipes, I was intrigued with the chicken and potato curry dish. It called for garam masala which I had heard of but really had no idea what it was. If the college grad wanted to try it, I was certainly game. So off I went to Whole Foods in search of spices. Whenever I need spices, I like to go to a store that sells in bulk. In addition to being able to buy quantities which I will be able to use in just a few months, it is also significantly less expensive. On this particular trip I bought the garam masala, turmeric, and ground coriander for less than a dollar combined compared to the three to five dollars I would pay per bottle of spice.

Spices

Oh, that garam masala. My new love. It is everything I ever dreamed of all in one spice mix. Although there are infinite variations of garam masala some of the most common ingredients are cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg. The mix from Whole Foods smelled strongly of these spices. The sauce made with this just filled my mouth with warmth, comfort, love. The version we made originally used chicken and potatoes and cream, not exactly eating light! While I loved the flavor profile, I knew I could lighten it up with vegetables and chickpeas in place of the potatoes and yogurt instead of cream. This new version was perfect. This recipe is full of vegetables and very low in fat. All the fabulous taste without out the diet demons! Continue reading