My son had just one disappointment at the first Wednesday night of this season’s Mt. Lebanon Lions Farmers Market last week.
The new vendor Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream was not there.
But it was just “not yet.”
So said market co-organizer Deanna Bartelme, at her Wood Street Bread Co. stand at the entrance to the market in the parking lot of Mt. Lebanon United Lutheran Church at 975 Washington Road.
She said that the new local artisanal ice cream maker — run by former Salt of the Earth chef Chad Townsend and his wife, Lauren — will be at the market in two weeks, once it has ice cream to sell.
Other new vendors were there, as were my family’s old friends.
My son got his usual treat of a Tim’s Shaved Ice, then cadged a few strawberry samples from Frank Zibritosky of Paul’s Orchard.
It was almost impossible to resist the aroma of the steak burgers grilling at Logan Family Farm, and chicken and ribs glistened on the blackened grates at Bad Azz BBQ.
Even this early in the season – this market was one of many that opened last week – there was a lot of produce to pick from, and we wound up buying some mixed greens, strawberries (from Frank and from Rob Schilling at Sand Hill Berries) and some asparagus, as well as some of the Ohio City Pasta ravioli that we like so much that we have made Wednesdays – market nights – “Ravioli Night” at our house.
So I told a friend who was visiting the market for the first time with his three boys, each of whom also had a shaved ice.
We really like this farmers market, which runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through October. We also really like the Mt. Lebanon Uptown Farmers Market, which opened May 16 and runs from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays through Oct. And we like to go to other farmers markets.
If you’re a market fan, you can find both of them and 120 others, near and far, on my annual list and interactive map that published in the Post-Gazette last Wednesday, too: www.post-gazette.com/2015farmersmarkets.
JUNE 10 UPDATE: Another new vendor started at the Mt. Lebanon Lions Farmers Market tonight: Katherine’s Dried Spiced Apples. Katherine Vojtko, of Dry Run Road in Monongahela, peels, cores, slices and dehydrates apples and flavors them with everything from cinnamon to red curry mix.
Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best. If you don’t have time to make a pie or a cobbler, you can transform your rhubarb into this easy dessert, from a yellowed old cookbook that my late mom gave me. You can halve the recipe if need be. Spoon the saucy rhubarb over good-quality vanilla ice cream.
2 pounds rhubarb
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Discard leaves and root ends of rhubarb. Scrub stalks and remove discolored portions, but do not peel. Cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces. Combine sugar and water in saucepan and bring to boiling. Reduce heat and add rhubarb. Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Serve warm or cold. Makes 6 servings.
— “The New Parents’ Magazine Family Cookbook: Family Tested Recipes and Cooking Guide for Good Eating and Good Health” by Blanche M. Stover (1974 edition).
See you at the markets!