Westminster Farmers’ Market Report from Maple Heights Farm
More Ketchup Trials Give Me Better BBQ Sauce and Simple Catalina Dressing
Vegetables, Goat Cheese, Cheddars and Goudas, Beef, Pork, Artisan Breads (including Gluten-Free), free-range eggs, herbs, crafts and everything you could hope to find at a farmers’ market. We are in full swing and the market is as busy as it ever gets. Stop by for an iced coffee and a donut as you wander through the booths. Talk to our local farmers about their production methods. Watch the children run and play and blow bubbles (or bring your own to do the same). Take in a puppet show or a blacksmithing demonstration. I don’t think there is a better, or less expensive way to entertain yourself on a Friday afternoon!
Entertainment this week at Westminster Farmers' Market…
Entertainment by Gayle Craig who is a singer/songwriter from Ashburnham. She is also a member a Westboro based band called Fine by Friday! We also welcome the musical talent of Kevin Jones!
Stop by for another delightful puppet show at 6:00 from Button Box Theatre!
And don't forget to visit Robert Phillips for another informative blacksmithing demonstration.
More Ketchup Trials…
As some of you know, I don’t choose to eat corn syrup. Some of you also know that in October of 2008 we tried to go without corn syrup for a month (October ends will Halloween and my children would be having a corn-syrup fest at the end of our attempt). It was not possible. It was in just about EVERY processed food we ate (and even then, we didn’t eat too much in the way of processed food). Some of those foods we were not willing to part with. Ketchup was one of them. Some of you also know that I made my own Ketchup a while back. The recipe makes a really big batch. I gave away a jar of it to someone, and the spices to make it to someone else. That was probably almost three months ago. We are just now coming to the end of that first batch, so I decided to try another batch, but smaller. I know I can buy organic ketchup which is usually free of corn syrup, but the name brands that I have tried just didn’t have the right flavor. They were okay, but I don’t want to settle for that. Here is my latest recipe:
10 lbs ripe tomatoes
1 large red onion
1 cup apple cider vinegar (stock up on all the vinegars for summer sauces)
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp allspice
¼ tsp grated nutmeg (grate it yourself for great flavor)
1 tsp baking soda
Finely chop tomatoes and onions. In a saucepan, cook them over a moderate heat for 30 minutes until soft. Remove from the heat and force the mixture through a strainer (I used the kind that is like a screen), getting as much pulp through as possible. Mixture will be thin. Pour strained mixture back into the saucepan and reheat. Stir in the vinegar, sugar, salt, spices and baking soda. Simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours until thick, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate for up to one month (mine lasted much longer).
I cut this recipe in half and it was fine. I think I would even cut it in half again. I did not use fresh tomatoes because the farmers’ market just doesn’t have the cooking tomatoes that I am looking for (yet). I have two jars of last summer’s canned tomatoes that I am saving for pizza, so I used cans of red-pack brand tomatoes.
We use this in our BBQ sauce and also make Catalina dressing (for Sydney’s favorite pasta salad) and it is great to have three more food items in our house that are corn-syrup free! Note though, in the Catalina recipe, it calls for Worcestershire sauce. In my house, we consider this a whole food (and there is no way I’m planning to start fermenting anchovies to make it). Making ketchup is super easy and well worth the small effort. The recipe is very forgiving and makes your house smell so good. The Catalina dressing was super simple also. We just added the ingredients to a blender and gave it a whirrrr. We did stock up on every conceivable kind of vinegar so we can make these sauces and dressings without having to go to the store (a trip to the store is usually more than a half hour round trip for us – much longer than throwing together the Catalina). As for the BBQ sauce, it’s a little more involved, but once you experiment with your own recipes, there really isn’t a bottled type that will be good enough for you (again, you will need to be stocked on vinegars).
Visit the Westminster Farmers’ Market on facebook to get my ridiculously simple and unbelievably delicious goat cheese recipe!
Visit our Westminster Farmers’ Market website…
The Westminster Farmers’ Market website is being updated with vendors for the 2010 season. www.WestminsterFarmersMarket.com. Visit for ideas on how you can help the farmers’ market, participate as a vendor, or get information on our schedule for the season. Visit us at
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