Friday, August 12, 2011

'Chef in the Market 'Tackles Okra

Durham Farmers' Market welcomes a new Chef in the Market this week. Katie Coleman, founder of Durham Spirits Company and instructor at The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham's culinary program, will take on a perennially misunderstood and under-appreciated vegetable -- OKRA.  The timing for her okra demonstration couldn't be better; late August and September are the prime okra season.

Okra, the seed pod of a beautiful hibiscus like flower, thought to have originated in West Africa and traveled to North America during the slave trade. The flowers bloom in a whirl at the top of the plant. In the South, okra plants thrive in the hot, dry and humid weather.  By the end of September, many farmers will have okra plants that are 6-8 feet tall and require ladders for picking.  The plants will keep producing until the first frost which usually happens in mid-October. 

Chef in the Market begins at 10am on the Central Lawn. Kate Coleman will be demonstrating 3 okra recipes: Sauteed Corn and Okra with Bacon & Goat Cheese, Grilled Okra with Yogurt Dipping Sauce and Simply Sauteed Okra.

Construction Update
Construction next to the Farmers' Market parking lot on Morris Street has begun.  For the next 12 months or so, Morris Ridge, a 5 story, mixed used development will be built. Throughout the construction, the parking lot will remain open during the Market hours. One of the paths down to the Market will be closed for the time being, but the path at the north end of the lot (with the stairs) will remain open.  Additionally, in the next couple of weeks, there will be some road construction on Hunt Street between Morris and Foster. The road won't be closed but expect delays from time to time.

Fresh This Week
Fruit: Apples, Pears, Figs,Table Grapes, Watermelon, Cantelope, Sprite Melon, Peaches - freestone!, Blueberries    
Vegetables:   Pumpkins, Winter squash, Arugula, Beans, Longbeans, Beets, Butterbeans, Cabbage, Cherry Tomatoes, Corn, Collards,  Cucumbers,  Dandelion Greens, Edamame, Eggplant, Garlic,  Herbs (Basil, Cilantro Oregano, Parsley, Dill, Chives, Mint),  Kale, Lambs Quarter, Leeks, Lettuce,  Okra, Onions, Pea Shoots, Peppers (sweet, hot, Padron), Potatoes, Purple Hull Peas, Salad Mix, Shallots, Swiss Chard,  Summer Squash,  Tomatillos, Tomatoes (red and green),  Zucchini
Flowers:  Agrostemma, Asiatic Lillies, Campanula, Dahlia, Gomphrena, Gladiolus, Lisianthus, Snap Dragon, Sunflowers, Tuber Rose, Zinnia
Meats: Beef, Bison, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevon, Lamb, Pork
And: Honey, Chicken and Duck Eggs, Flour, Yellow & White Cornmeal, Grits, Pecans, Wines, Fresh and Aged Goats and Cows Milk Cheeses, Baked Goods, Pasta, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves, Wool, Landscaping Plants

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