Ocean Beach Farmers’ Market 11/25

I recently returned from a visit to San Diego where I spent Thanksgiving with my aunt and several cousins. Before I headed down south, I researched Farmers’ Markets in the area that we might be able to visit. I found an evening market in Ocean Beach that sounded pretty good so I proposed the idea of a visit the eve before Thanksgiving to the gang. “Sounds good” was the reply.  And, so it was that we headed out on the eve before Thanksgiving to explore the Ocean Beach Farmers\’ Market.

The first thing we saw as we approached the market was the llamas. If you’ve got little folks with you, who are under 75 lbs & 4 ft tall, they can take a llama ride. We didn’t have anyone who fit that description. But, there were some little folks who did and they were already taking a ride  so we spent a few minutes watching them before we headed out to explore the rest of the market. Like so many of the evening markets, this one has a festive atmosphere, like that of a street fair. There was a wonderful mix of things to see, to taste, to smell, to touch, and to hear.

There definitely was some incredible produce to choose from, we bought some green beans, baby carrots and baby chard. We also tasted humus from a vendor who had so many choices you could get full by just tasting. As we wandered along, I saw a sign for tamales, which I love. But, then I saw they also had something called a chili relleno taco. OK, even though we were going out to dinner, I said to myself, I have to try this. It was sooooooo yummy. I’m still thinking about that taco and hoping that I’ll get another chance to try one again.
We stopped several times to listen to various musicians and chat with vendors offering samples to taste. Half way down the block we marveled at the people gathered around the mini donut booth. We didn’t try any but from the length of the line they must be a favorite. My cousin ventured down a little side street lined with artisans with hand crafted items. She bought a beautiful hand crocheted hat that was her favorite color.

If you looking for a great way to spend an evening in San Diego check out the Ocean Beach Farmers’ Market. I know I’ll be headed back next trip down that way.

Seckel Pears

These little beauties are Seckel Pears. They look like baby pears and are wonderful eaten out of hand.  Or, you can slice them and serve with a young Manchengo cheese, they also poach or roast well, in combination, with white wine, honey and spices. Then there’s always the combination of pears and chocolate. Who could say no to that? If your taste buds haven’t tried Seckels’, perhaps, you should treat them to some.

Leftover turkey? How about a Pot-au-Feu?

Photography: Randy Mayor

The day after Thanksgiving is the perfect time to start thinking of making some turkey soup. A few years ago I ran across a recipe for a Turkey Pot-au-Feu. This is not your typical turkey noodle soup. In fact, it doesn’t even have noodles. Pot-au-Feu is a simple French dish of meat and vegetables simmered together. This version has lots of wonderful fresh winter veggies, from the Farmers’ Market, combined with tender chunks of leftover turkey, all floating in a rich broth. The finishing touch, fresh picked thyme from the garden. I love serving this with a hot crusty loaf of garlic Asiago bread and a glass of wine. This is the perfect after Thanksgiving dish.

Turkey Pot-au-Feu

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

1 cup quartered crimini mushrooms

½ cup chopped carrot

½ cup chopped leek

½ cup chopped peeled rutabaga

½ cup chopped peeled turnips

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

½ cup dry white wine

4 cups fat-free, less sodium chicken broth (or homemade turkey broth)

2 cups leftover cooked turkey, chopped (light and dark meat)

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

½ teaspoon salt

Dash of black pepper

Fresh thyme sprigs

1.  Heat 1 ½ teaspoons oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes or until golden. Remove mushrooms from pan.

2.  Heat 1 ½ teaspoons oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add carrot and next 4 ingredients (carrot through garlic); sauté 5 minutes. Add wine, and cook until reduced to ¼ cup (about 1 minute). Add mushrooms, broth, turkey, chopped thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Garnish with thyme sprigs.

Serves 6 (1 cup size servings)

What to shop for at the Farmers’ Market:

½ lb crimini mushrooms

1 medium carrot

1  medium leek

1 rutabaga

1 turnip


fresh thyme

Brandied Cranberries

fresh cranberries

Brandied Cranberries

This is an unusual way to cook your holiday cranberries but I really love the way they look and taste.

1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries

1 ½  cups sugar

1/3  to 1 /2  cup brandy

1 Tablespoons finely shredded orange zest

1.  Preheat oven to 325. Discard any soft or decayed cranberries.

2.  Mix cranberries, sugar, brandy to taste, and orange zest in an 8 or 9-in square baking dish. Bake, uncovered, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 1 to 1/14 hours, stirring occasionally.

Make ahead: Cover and chill.

Pumpkin Pie: My Favorite Recipe

If you have read my “Who is Annie?” page you know I have been eating naturally for most of my life. I also have have been collecting, and receiving cookbooks as gifts, for most of my adult life, which is quite a while. Like most cooks, I have favorites. Favorite books and favorite recipes.  This recipe for pumpkin pie comes from an old favorite,  a 1971 paperback edition of, The New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook, by Jean Hewitt. My copy has been well used over the years. Favorite pages, have come away from the binding, and many of them are stained with splatters. The pages are yellowed, some dogeared or torn. It’s old and worn but still has much to give. At this time of sharing, I would like to share this favorite with you.

Look for one of those nice little “Sugar Baby” pumpkins at the Farmers’ Market. They’re perfect for pumpkin pie.

Oh No, I Missed This Weekend’s Farmers’ Market!

For all of you, who like me, had scheduled a weekend away and missed your chance to shop at the Farmers’ Market, there are still a few opportunities open to us before Thanksgiving, this Thursday. There are markets scheduled for the first part of this week. Here are a few that are scheduled in the Sacramento region. Addresses and more information for these locations can be found on the Blogroll on this page.  If you’re not from the Sacramento region you can check the Blogroll on this page  for a listing of Farmer’s Markets in surrounding regions. If I don’t have  a link listing that covers your area, Google, Yahoo or Bing search Farmers’ Markets and, please let me know what areas I need to add to the Blogroll.


Roseville: Fountains Shopping Center

8:30 to 1


Auburn DeWitt Center

10:30 to 1:30

Davis Farmers Market

Noon to 6