I think we can all agree spring weather cannot come soon enough. (Spring, do you hear us?)
I certainly am craving a sunshiny day that brings warmth along with its golden rays. And I am so ready to stuff my heavy jacket away in storage.
The long winter also has me longing for street food. Kind of an odd craving, I know. It most likely is not just about enjoying locally-made, hand-held food while perusing the farmers market or the latest art fair. It is also about walking around with my eyes free to take in the tasty offerings instead of scouting out the next step for hidden icy layers. It is also about being free to move my hand to my mouth to enjoy these offerings free of bulky Michelin Man layers of clothing. Can’t you just imagine it?
Since my food craving won’t wait for the weather, the other day I decided to make a Banh Mi sandwich. The Banh Mi sandwich is traditional street food in Vietnam.
The sandwich is served on a baguette and typically layered with pork, pickled vegetables and fresh cilantro. I didn’t have any pork on hand, so I decided to hard boil some eggs for a vegetarian version. I also whipped up a spicy mayonnaise and quick pickled some carrots and red onions.
Layered on a freshly-baked baguette (a must) it was just the street food fix I needed.
Fresh snow may have been falling while I enjoyed my sandwich, but I did enjoy the sun reflecting off that bright white. Standing close to large kitchen window, I thought I even felt a little hint of warmth.
Banh Mi Sandwich with Egg
Quick Pickled Carrots Red Onions
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 carrots peeled in long shreds (use a peeler to make the shreds)
1/2 a large red onion, halved and sliced thinly into moon shapes
Recipe bold intro: Spicy Mayonnaise
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoon hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 large baguette loaf, cut into fourths and sliced in half
4 hard-boiled eggs, thinly sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup lettuce greens
16 cilantro sprigs
Hot chili sauce (optional)
To pickle vegetables: Place vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and salt in a medium bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Toss carrots and onions in liquid, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to three days.
To make mayonnaise: Stir all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill until ready to use. Can be made one day ahead.
To assemble sandwiches: Slather spicy mayonnaise on both the bottom and top of the inside of the baguette. Lay greens and then tomato slices on each baguette. Top with eggs, pickled vegetables and cilantro sprigs. Sprinkle with extra hot chili sauce, if you so desire.
A group of local urban farmers are taking their business direct to the shining glass towers of downtown Vancouver this summer with a farm market food cart at Robson Square and farm-to-office delivery of weekly baskets of fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers and honey.
Fresh Cart is a partnership between the farmers and the successful Re-Up BBQ, which recently graduated from food cart status to bricks-and-mortar business but still holds a food cart permit on Robson Street. The new cart will sell Re-Up bacon, as well as fruit and vegetables, farm preserves, salads prepared by Maenam Thai restaurant, local honey, fresh ice cream and artisanal sodas made from local fruit and herb syrups.
Electronic Arts is the first big business to sign on to the food basket program with 30-plus employees prepared to spend $40 a week for 17 weeks of locally grown food. The farmers are still in negotiations with a half-dozen other businesses that hope to meet the minimum 30-member threshold.
Nine local urban and peri-urban farms â€” ranging from just one-third of an acre up to seven acres â€” have formed a business co-operative and plan to operate a pooled warehouse and distribution system. By using hired staff to prep, package and deliver their products, the farmers will be able to double their production, according to farmer Emi Do.
FarmCity Co-opâ€™s new business model will serve 300 food basket customers through the growing season and should gross close to $250,000, up from a collective $75,000 last year. The group received a $25,000 grant from the Vancity enviroFund to implement their plan.
By hiring staff dedicated to the warehouse and delivery functions, the farmers will spend more time on the land and put more acreage under crops. Independent urban farmers typically spend at least one day each week doing deliveries and usually one more at a farmers market.
â€œAt the height of the growing season there is a huge demand for the farmersâ€™ products, but there isnâ€™t time to get all the work done in the field as well as take care of the direct marketing, sales and distribution function,â€� said Do. â€œGetting food to the consumers has been a huge time suck.â€�
The farmers have literally torn a page from the book All The Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming, written by the three farmer-members of the Saanich Organics Co-op on Vancouver Island.
â€œWe bought their book and studied it and we are borrowing a lot of their ideas and learning from some of their mistakes,â€� she said.
By controlling all the points on the value chain from harvest to wholesale, distribution and retail, the farmers will control the price of their products and avoid the markup typically extracted each time a product changes hands.
â€œThis isnâ€™t really a new model for farm business,â€� said Do. â€œThis is what farmers used to do when there were a lot more small-scale farmers. It went away with the growth of larger agri-business.â€�
Puddin’, a comfort food purveyor usually found at Eastern Market, has expanded to include a food truck.
The truck will dispense gumbo and po’ boys from Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Puddin’ will still be outside the Rumsey Aquatic Center near Eastern Market on the weekends. Track the truck’s movements on Twitter.
Michael Bonczar wants to dispel any preconceived notions right off the bat for those who think they know the bread baking business.
“The bread business is not for the faint of heart,” said Bonczar, owner of Bet’a Bread Bakery Deli.
Since opening his business in April 2010, Bonczar is up with the roosters baking before many of us are out of bed. In situations when he had as many as 400 loaves of bread to prepare for a farmers’ market, there have been nights when he arrived at his store at 10 p.m., in order to have everything baked and ready to go by 5 or 5:30 a.m.
“With those farmers’ markets, sometimes a large quantity of bread had to leave at a very early time,” said Bonczar.
From June through November, he sells his bread and sweet treats, which can include lemon-ginger scones, at the Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Dallas, Hometown, Abington, and Tunkhannock farmer’s markets, and at an assortment of wine festivals.
The farmers’ market circuit has helped him to grow his business, and now that he has more time on his hands during the “off season,” Bonczar is working on bringing some of the farm fresh products to his customers at Bet’a Bread.
“I’m having a lot of success with the farmers’ markets…, so I’m trying to bring some of that into the store,” he said.
“We try to bring a little bit of that action people seems to enjoy – the locally made, hand-crafted, small batch type products. They compliment the bread.”
One of the connections he made at a farmers’ market was with “Quails R-Us…Plus!” owner Rick Franciosa, of Honesdale, and has been showcasing many of his products of farm fresh local chicken, brown eggs, quail, quail eggs, rabbit, Guinea Hen, lamb, goat, pork, turkey and partridge at Bet’a Bread on Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. since Dec. 7.
“He (Rick) brings his coolers on Saturdays…I’m very open to trying new things. You get a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread and some of his eggs and you make some French toast. Watch out! My crusty loaves make a great complement to a meal,” Bonczar said.
Franciosa noted he and his wife, Linda strive to raise animals in a more natural and humane environment, thus yielding a better tasting, healthier product. His products are all natural, antibiotic and hormone free, offering customers a “true Farm-to-Table experience.”
“We became acquainted with each other’s products at various farmers markets. In my opinion we are both in the same boat: we are artisans…creating special products and working from our hearts more than our wallets …,” said Franciosa.
“Teaming up in some way seemed logical. Our customer bases are similar in the way that they are comprised of people who ‘go the extra mile’ to buy unique, high quality, local products. Allowing me to ‘set-up’ there on Saturdays, along with having other local products there, complements Michael’s Artisan breads and sandwiches nicely; creating, for lack of a better word, a mini “farmers” market for all our customers to have access to different local products in one convenient location, while hopefully boosting all our sales.”
During his visits to Bet’a Bread, Franciosa chats with customers and answers questions they may have regarding his products. One of the main questions, he said, is “about how we raise our animals.”
He added, “In a nutshell: This is a small family farm that cares about the animals and the products we ultimately produce from them.”
Bonczar said the reaction from his customers has been positive, and he also carries locally-produced honey and jam to complement the bread he creates.
Burnham and Highbridge events calendar unveiled for 2014
3:06pm Tuesday 4th February 2014 in Somerset
By Kirsty James
Ian Jefferies, business and tourism manager for Burnham Information and Rescue Support (BIARS)
MUSIC festivals, sports fundraisers and street parties are all on the list of exciting events planned for Burnham and Highbridge this year.
Ian Jefferies, business and tourism manager for Burnham Information and Rescue Support (BIARS), gathered together almost 30 event organisers at a meeting at Burnham’s BAY Centre to create a fun-packed calendar.
He told the Weekly News: “The aim was to make sure we minimise date clashes and that we work together as a town for events.
“This is a great way for people to see they’re not alone and realise there is help out there to organise events. Hopefully this will encourage more people to get involved.
“Everyone can help each other out to create a diverse list of events. The chamber of commerce, town team and project coach are all on hand to promote them and ensure they are a success.
“This is a great way of fundraising too. Lots of people are looking for events to fundraise at, so any charities which would like to link up with an event should get in touch.”
The next event will be at a fundraiser by the Friends of Burnham Hospital at Highbridge Community Hall on February 8 at 7.30pm.
Other events include themes weekends, farmers markets, Food Festivals and for the first time – a history enactment weekend in Highbridge in August.
Events this month include a fundraising Geocaching trail at Southwell House on February 23 and a farmers market in Burnham High Street on February 28.
For more information email email@example.com.
The winery and restaurant is a popular wedding and function venue.
A boutique winery and a local farmers’ market in Oratia, Waitakere, is for sale as a going concern business and freehold property for the first time since it was developed from an apple orchard.
“Artisan Wines is a fully functioning and award-winning vineyard,” says David Savery, of NAI Harcourts Henderson who, with Julie Couper, of NAI Harcourts Albany, is selling the 4.32ha property and business by tender closing on February 26.
“It comes complete with a cellar door facility, a restaurant, a substantial and popular farmers’ market with covered stalls and resource consent in place to build a much larger function centre.”
Savery says Artisan Wines was the first to gain organic grape certification in West Auckland and has gained a reputation for its organic wines.
“Its award-winning wines are made and bottled locally at a contract facility from grapes grown on site and in Marlborough, and the wine is sold domestically and offshore.
“Among its many awards over the past 10 years are medals for its sauvignon, syrah, chardonnay and pinot gris. Its syrah 2010 vintage, for instance, won silver at last year’s Royal Easter Show wine awards, pure silver at the Romeo Bragato Awards 2013 and a bronze at the NZ International Wine Show 2013.”
Also in 2013, Artisan’s chardonnay won silver at the London International Wine Challenge 2013, bronze at the NZ International Wine Show 2013, pure bronze at the Romeo Bragato Wine Awards 2013 and a Four Stars Sam Kim Wine Orbit in May.
“Selling wine is only one string to Artisan’s income bow,” Savery says. The picturesque vineyard in the Oratia Valley, 25 minutes by car from Auckland’s central business district, is also a popular wedding and function venue and there is room to build a large homestead on site.
The restaurant seats 40 people inside and an extensive outdoor dining area can accommodate up to 100 with on-site parking for up to 200 vehicles depending on the season. There is also a small meeting room for private and corporate functions which caters for 10 at a time.
At present it is a lunchtime restaurant six days a week and is also open on Friday nights. The cellar door is open seven days and a farmers’ market is hosted on Saturday mornings.
For larger indoor weddings, there is the opportunity to have the function in a marquee with table seating for up to 70, using the restaurant/cellar door facility as the bar.
Owners Rex and Maria Sunde say a larger, purpose-built conference and function building would enable a new owner to run many more weddings and functions than they can currently accommodate. They turn away many bookings each year because they can only offer smaller functions.
“People do get married outdoors in the vineyard itself, or in the farmers’ market area, but it is weather dependent and very seasonal,” says Maria Sunde.
“It’s a really lovely rural location in the foothills of the Waitakere ranges and makes for great wedding photos among the grapevines.”
She says there are many ways to increase the property’s income.
“The farmers’ market area is only used on Saturday mornings or for weddings, but space could be used for outdoor movies or food and wine festivals – like the very successful Dallies in the Valley event we ran two years in a row, 2012 and 2013.
“For concerts, there are grassy banks in the vineyard where people could take a picnic basket and buy their wine on site.”
With both on and off premises fully licensed the Sundes are able to sell wine by the bottle or glass for consumption on or off the premises.
The Sundes bought the site as bare land in 2005 and planted the vineyard, producing their first vintage in 2007. Rex Sunde is a qualified viticulturist and worked for some years at Nobilo Wines in Huapai. They established a cellar door facility for wine tasting, then provided platters of finger food on request and finally opened the restaurant because of demand.
“People kept asking us to provide food with their wine and it went from there,” Maria Sunde says.
The farmers’ market was their next venture. It has a coffee shed and permanent stalls in a horseshoe with grassed area, offering 32 under-cover stalls. They also provide live music every Saturday morning.
The market was an instant success and runs summer and winter and has its regular followers as well as visitors.
“The first time we opened we estimated we had 5000 people and neither us, nor the stall holders were prepared,” says Maria Sunde.
“Everything sold out in 15 minutes. These days it’s steadier but it has proved very popular and all our stalls are occupied every week.”
Warner Robins — and Houston County — is a great place to land for affordable things to do with your family that include festivals, events, activities, dining, hotels and more.
Year-round listings of the latest happenings and entertainment are online or in printed materials available at the two Convention Visitor Bureaus in the north and south ends of the county.
Resolve in 2014 to become familiar with all that there is to do here locally and support it. Youll find car shows, food festivals, rodeos, museums, fishing, golf, sports of all kinds for all ages, small specialty group events, planes and trains shows, farmers markets, fine arts and crafts shows, live entertainment, flower shows, ballet and even an ol time jamboree thats been going on for decades.
Check out www.warnerrobinsvisitorscenter.com or call 478-922-5100 in Warner Robins, or go to www.perryga.com or call 478-988-8000 in Perry to tap in to the resources available to keep you informed and up to date. And call those phone numbers to add your event to the newsletters and websites.
Be a tourist in your own hometown this year and spread the word about what a superior Museum of Aviation, fairground facility, house museum and so much more there is to share with your children as they grow up in this unique community.
So with that in mind, your community International City Farmers Market is back into full swing each Thursday from 1 p.m. to dusk at the corner of Watson Boulevard and Maple Street at Perkins Field.
The market is a great resource for seasonal produce; pasture raised beef, chicken and pork; fresh eggs; honey; fresh baked goods; handcrafted goods and unexpected fun. Visit www.InternationalCityFM.org for more visitor and vendor information.
And be looking for special events from the market in 2014 including cooking classes and contests and maybe even a community garden.
Ed Grisamore, Telegraph columnist and author of several books on the lives of well known personalities and legendary local establishments, such as Macons NuWay Hotdog Stand (the second oldest in the country), launches his next four-week class Writing Your Autobiography.
The course is designed to teach you how to write your personal and family memoir in a step-by-step approach to tweaking and organizing your thoughts. The series extends through January and is held at Trinity United Methodist Church, 129 S. Houston Road, Warner Robins. Cost is $75 per person or $100 for two members of the same family.
The Central Georgia Genealogical Society presents Mapping the Past during its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. on Jan. 14 at Flint Energies, 900 Ga. 96 in Warner Robins. The program will research using maps and land records to navigate family histories.
Guests are welcome and can learn more by calling 478-987-7260 or visiting www.cggs.org.
Marsha Priest Buzzell is executive director of the Warner Robins Convention Visitors Bureau. Contact her at 478-922-5100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOOD lovers will be able to experience two new festivals in Barton next year – following the last farmers’ market.
North Lincolnshire Council is set to trial two food festivals in Barton to replace the farmers’ market – one in the town centre and one on the Ropewalk Promenade.
The last market in Barton took place on December 14, which was a special Christmas market.
Councillor Liz Redfern, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “After the two markets have been trialled, a decision will be made on which of the different locations will benefit the town the most.
“By holding a regular food festival in Barton, we can bring in new traders and offer much more choice to shoppers and encourage shoppers to buy from local businesses.
“We will try the two new locations and see which one works best and how it meets the needs of both local people and businesses and see which they prefer.”
At last month’s Barton Town Council meeting, Councillor Paul Vickers confirmed the monthly farmers’ market would end in December.
Mr Vickers said this would be reviewed again in 2015.
The Barton Tourism Partnership held a small food festival on Barton’s waterfront in September, which attracted around 3,000 people.
New food truck vendors will not be welcomed to Turlock any time soon, following the City Council’s decision on Tuesday to extend a temporary freeze on issuing new mobile food facility permits.
At their last meeting of the year, the City Council voted unanimously to extend the halt on the issuance of mobile food facility permits for a period of 10 months and 15 days. In November, the City issued a 45-day moratorium that saw the immediate freezing of any new food truck permits, which was set to expire on Dec. 27. With the approaching deadline and with the City not much closer to a final decision on whether or not food trucks will be allowed in the downtown area, the Council opted to extend the moratorium while discussions continue.
In the Dec. 5 Planning Commission workshop, the majority of the public opinion voiced during the meeting was against allowing the mobile food trucks in the downtown core, which runs primarily down Main Street from Palm to Lander Avenue.
The Turlock Downtown Property Owners’ Association has made it clear during several public meetings on the matter that they would like to have food trucks prohibited from the downtown core, except during special events such as the Downtown Christmas Parade or Turlock Farmers Market.
TDPOA Administrative Assistant Dana McGarry has voiced that food trucks should only be temporarily allowed for such special events and not permanent structures in the downtown scene. Many members of the TDPOA, according to McGarry, have cited “unfair business advantages” as the main reason why the mobile facilities should not be allowed in the downtown, primarily noting a 42-per square foot extra tax placed on downtown business owners that goes toward the maintenance of downtown – a benefit that mobile food vendors are not required to pay, yet “reap the benefits of.”
Other matters such as parking have come about, as food truck Vida-Vital owner Christopher Shaun – who prompted the discussion after requesting a food truck permit to be located on Main Street – will be located in an empty parking lot. Shaun has noted that parking will not be an issue, as his truck would only take a portion of the parking lot, where he has full permission to be by the property owner. He also noted that his customers at Vida-Vital would only be there for 10-15 minutes each, as the nature of food trucks is to “grab and go.”
Although the City opted to extend the moratorium, Shaun continued to fight for his cause, saying that he is beginning to feel like a “poster child” for the issue.
“At first I thought this was about if we could keep it fair,” said Shaun. “Now I’m starting to wonder if it’s just becoming a barking issue. Now people are bringing up issues of parking, which I’ve said is not going to be an issue. I just feel like if it was a member of the TDPOA that was coming forward with this idea, of bringing a food truck to the downtown, then we wouldn’t be going through this right now. I’m starting to feel like a poster child now.”
Shaun’s business, Vida-Vital, was grandfathered in by the City in November, and is expected to soon be operating on Main Street across from Dustbowl Brewery. His food truck will offer healthy alternatives, including smoothies, fruit bowls, crepes and tapioca pearl tea.
“We’re extending the moratorium to have ample time for discussion,” said City Councilman Steven Nascimento. “I think it would be unfair to issue permits while we move forward with this process.”
According to City Planning Director Debbie Whitmore, the decision is not expected to take the full 10 months and 15 days. City staff is expected to bring forth a zoning ordinance amendment to the Planning Commission meeting in January 2014. Following the planning commission’s decision, the issue is expected to be brought to the City Council again by March 11, with a new amendment fully in place by April 24.
SOUTHFIELD — Once a staple of major metropolitan area downtowns, food trucks are a relatively new phenomenon in the suburbs, with Ferndale having started approvals for them outside the Rustbelt marketplacea few years ago, and with Royal Oak holding periodic – and very popular – food truck rallies inside the Farmers Market.
Why, even Burton Elementary School, located in Huntington Woods and a part of the Berkley School District, held a food truck rally as a benefit event.
Now Detroit Pommes in Southfield has received a $10,000 grant from the Michigaqn Economic Development Corporation’s 2013 Mobile Cuisine Startup Program. The one-time grant has matching funds of $25,750 from the start up, according to a press release.
So when could the City of Southfield be expected to join in the phenomenon? The answer is soon, very soon.
The city, along with the City Centre Advisory Board, the Southfield Chamber of Commerce and Arbor Lofts is presenting what is being billed as the first annual Southfield Food Truck Rally on Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 4-9 p.m.
Promising “tasty treats and good eats,” the rally is timed to entice both those just getting out of work in the city and those returning home to Southfield after a long day elsewhere.
Also strategic is the location, at 20300 CivicCenter Drive, in the SouthfieldCity Centre. Specifically, the rally is l
ocated in the parking lot of Arbor Lofts at the corner of Central Park Boulevard and Civic Center Drive
Also the location for the city’s lunch and listen concert series, by holding the rally in what is called the City Centre, the city is expected to continue efforts to build what the city and other entities hope will become a walkable central area to live and visit, do business, shop and eat.
The strategic location is virtually across the street from the Civic Center complex, with the Arbor Lofts acknowledged as a cornerstone for new development in the area, with massive changes in store for 2014 for Evergreen Road, which fronts drives through the City Centre.