21 Sep2009

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We were driving almost haphazardly through Northern New England, and you might have spotted us anywhere from the Maine coast to the mountains in Vermont. We stopped at this Saturday market, which I suspect is one of many similar farmer’s markets in large towns all throughout Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. It was relatively small, with just 15-20 vendors, but the items on offer were wonderful. There was a real honesty to the market, as most of the vendors were the farmers themselves, or the folks who had baked the muffins, cakes, pies, etc. The weather had started to turn a little chilly, and there was probably only another week or two of tomatoes, corn and other summer vegetables. There were the beginnings of fall squashes, cabbages, apples, pears and other cooler weather produce as well… Even the stunning blooms displayed in the picture up top already scream fall oranges, burgundies, yellows, etc.

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It was around breakfast time, on a cold, wet morning, and I couldn’t resist this stunning looking, freshly baked blueberry muffin, with sugar sprinkled on top. With a cup of coffee or tea, this was just amazing. The blueberries were fresh, squishy and tasty. The muffin was redolent with butter and the muffin top was nicely crusty/crisp while the interior was moist and delicious.

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It was early when we got to the market, and the foul weather must have thinned the crowds, but it was clear that almost everyone knew everyone else at the market, kids in strollers, dogs on leashes and folks in rain gear stopped at many of the stalls to pick up their week’s supply of meat, vegetables, fruit and some baked goods.

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The last of the summer’s corn crop, of which we would have purchased a dozen ears if we had access to a kitchen! :(

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Trays of gorgeous green and red tomatoes, raised outdoors, not in greenhouses.

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This photo doesn’t do the herbs justice, but these were amongst the largest and healthiest bunches of rosemary and mint I have ever seen!

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A carrot, raisin and nut muffin for $1 that was simply superb.

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Beautiful late summer raspberries, at a stall that also had an incredible selection of homemade jams and preserves, as well as beautiful flower arrangements.

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Of course we couldn’t pass up a peach jam filled muffin as well. :)

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Corn stalks and pumpkins, an early harbinger of Halloween and other fall traditions… I don’t have photos, but there was a stall selling all organic pork products. Another with venison and other game. And yet another with beef and lamb. Several vendors had a beautiful selection of vegetables, another had 6 kinds of melons… Fantastic. The summer produce in New England was wonderful to behold, but the crisp mornings in early September were a reminder of the changing seasons, and the need of early settlers in this region to preserve and store food items to make it through the long winter ahead.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Thel from Florida says:

    Simply Wow pictures! Thank you very kindly MM.

    Sep 21, 2009 | 10:12 am

     
  2. Cristina Gray says:

    Wow! Muffins . . . so yummy-looking.

    Sep 21, 2009 | 10:49 am

     
  3. Divina says:

    They have gorgeous farms and there’s enough space to really move. I hope Salcedo market will have a bigger space too.

    Sep 21, 2009 | 10:53 am

     
  4. millet says:

    you had me at the blueberry muffin!

    Sep 21, 2009 | 11:41 am

     
  5. betty q. says:

    New England or Maine blueberries…national pride of Maine! That blueberry muffin looks like the famous Jordan Marsh muffin! I just wish you cut it in half, MM so I could see the interior. If it is bursting with blueberries and has a bluish tinge, I can give you a recipe similar to it …not found on the web!

    Sep 21, 2009 | 1:28 pm

     
  6. izang says:

    hi betty q, would you mind sharing it anyway?…hihihi…thanks in advance….

    Sep 21, 2009 | 1:40 pm

     
  7. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Awesome pictures. How I wish we could get them large and fresh blueberries here in Cebu.

    One trick I learned from my mentors, when dealing with blueberries, is to coat them first with flour and drop them just before you pop the muffins in the oven. This way you will have them floating all over the muffin rather than having them all in the bottom

    Sep 21, 2009 | 2:41 pm

     
  8. Joyce says:

    lovely lovely pictures of the flowers, the colors are just popping out

    Sep 21, 2009 | 4:51 pm

     
  9. silly lolo says:

    Yes BettyQ, muffin recipe please! Blueberries are just the bestest! Heck, I might even try baking as long as an instant muffin mix is involved!

    Sep 21, 2009 | 6:36 pm

     
  10. marissewalangkaparis says:

    The blue berry muffins looook so good……

    Sep 21, 2009 | 7:09 pm

     
  11. chinachix says:

    the flowers are gorgeous, the muffins look positively delish!

    Sep 21, 2009 | 7:14 pm

     
  12. Marketfan says:

    this post eloquently describes the changing of the season…in Manila today, its summer in the morning and rainy season in the afternoon..

    i saw some local blueberries over at the Lung Center weekend market yesterday..do you think this will be good for making blueberry muffins?

    Sep 21, 2009 | 8:01 pm

     
  13. psychomom says:

    don’t you just love the changing seasons and the changing food choices that go with it? just looking at the pictures….hay how relaxing. glad you had a good time MM!

    Sep 21, 2009 | 8:20 pm

     
  14. Marketman says:

    Marketfan, the local blueberries have really thick skins, so they aren’t as good in muffins as their western relatives. They are best used in cooked sauces or jam, but lose some of their flavor I think…

    Sep 21, 2009 | 8:52 pm

     
  15. betty q. says:

    Funny, Market Fan!!! …”summer in the morning…” It’s the same over here!

    Glad to see you are up and about, Silly Lolo! And yes, I have done what you have asked me to do. It didn’t bounce back so they must have gotten it! Anyway, how can I refuse a Silly Lolo request?!? So here is my version of that muffin!

    First, the mufffin tin: I used my pliers to fold UP the rim of the muffin tin so I have a rim like a cookie sheet. See MM’s muffin…it has a square top? So when the batter rises, it touches the next muffin and gets square-ish! Buy the extral large muffin liners. I prefer to use muffin liners.

    Make your batter:

    2 cups APF…I use 1 cup all purpose flour and 1 cup oats. You can also use 1 cup APF and 1 cup whole wheat flour.
    1/3 cup melted butter or you can go all the way to 1/2 cup butter
    1 cup light brown sugar or 1/2 cup granulated and 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 cup creme fraiche or 1 cup plain, natural yoghurt preferably Balkan style
    1 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 tsp. baking soda
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. lemon zest
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 1/2 cups blueberries…I prefer to use frozen!
    some TURBINADO sugar or raw sugar

    Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and soda together in a bowl. Then, melt the butter and the sugar(the light brown sugar) together in a pot over medium heat. Add the eggs to the creme fresh or yoghurt. Blend well and add the melted brown sugar/butter mixture to it. Add vanilla and lemon zest. Stir in the oats if you are using them. I prefer oats since I like oatmeal and always have oats than whole wheat flour (which I only use for pizza dough). Fold the dry ingredients to the lqiuid mixture. DO NOT OVERMIX! Just until they are moistened. Then fold in the frozen blueberries. Scoop them into the muffin tins. Sprinkle with the raw sugar. Bake 375 degrees for about 25 mi nutes.

    If I have leftover oatmeal, I use that, too.

    Except for the creme fraiche, this is a much healthier muffin …lots of fibre! I need FIBER

    Sep 22, 2009 | 2:25 am

     
  16. betty q. says:

    Hay, naku!…cut off again! …Anyway, if you need fibre Silly Lolo…this is muffin is for us!

    OK…guys you might think this is a yucky mmuffin just by looking at the ingredients. But trust me on this one, too! This is by far, the BESTEST Blueberry muffin I have ever made. I am going picking again for the last of the blueberries this season and they will be frozen for this mufffin…

    Sep 22, 2009 | 2:31 am

     
  17. betty q. says:

    sorry forgot …you might need to double the recipe Silly Lolo and Izang if you are going to use the extra large muffin liners for the really large muffins!

    Sep 22, 2009 | 2:34 am

     
  18. sister says:

    Maine blueberries- tiny and flavourful- are available at Costco in frozen bags packed by Wyler. Blueberries lose their flavour very quickly but frozen is okay for muffins and pies- do not defrost before using. We made pies in July with freshly picked Maine blueberries purchased for $10. a pint and it took 3 pints to make a 9 ” pie but it was divine.

    Sep 22, 2009 | 4:38 am

     
  19. UpstateNewYorker says:

    MM, I can relate to your story because I am a big supporter of our local Farmers’ Market. I regularly take my weekly visit, which is every Saturday downtown where I live. They have exactly the same goodies and stuff, vegetables are all fresh, in good spirits. In fact this last Saturday, I bought a bunch of mix late summer and early fall flowers, and three pots of mums, all fall colors. They have exactly the same stuff like the ones you have feautured here. They also have the Grand Glorious Garage Sale and I spotted this beautiful ceramic tea pot that’s never been used and in great shape. I haggled the price for $3 instead of $4. Lucky I am. Have you been to Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY? They have the best pumpkin/apple fest at the lake near Otesaga Hotel. They have giant pumpkin regattas. I hope someday you also visit us here in Upstate NY. We also have a lot of museums and places to see. If you do, don’t forget to let your readers know and maybe visit Howe Caverns. Please google if you would like to. Thanks for your time. I enjoy reading your posts eventhough I am somewhat a newbie fan.

    Sep 22, 2009 | 8:03 am

     
  20. Quillene says:

    Good morning betty q!

    Thank you for sharing that blueberry recipe.

    I just want to know a good sub for raw sugar. Thank you. :)

    God bless!

    Sep 22, 2009 | 9:26 am

     
  21. betty q. says:

    Quillene: Magandang umaga to you as well! ..oops…it is nightime here now!

    The turbinado or raw sugar crystals is just for aethetics. That is if you want the muffin to look exactky like the picture up above. I want a crunchy top and moist muffin interior. So the top, …if you don’t have the raw sugar crystals, ordinary granulated suagr will do. Sometimes I sprinkle cinnamon sugar for the top.

    Another fall treat you might want to try, Quillene is Pumpkin (Calabaza) loaf…just like Starbuck’s.

    Sep 22, 2009 | 10:08 am

     
  22. Quillene says:

    Wow! What a sneaky way to get my pamangkins to eat their veggies… Would you have a loose leaf recipe in one of your tupperwares you can share if you are not too busy? :)

    Inggit ako. I love the colors and fruits available there stateside during fall and MM’s post has got me nostalgic…

    Sep 22, 2009 | 12:08 pm

     
  23. Marketfan says:

    Thanks Betty Q. I will try making the blueberry muffins but unless I find some of the frozen blueberries similar to what sister said are available in Costco (will try S&R), I will have to settle for the dried Kirkland blueberries (also from Costco) which I still have in the pantry. I know they will not be “oozing” and will not be as yummy-looking as in the photo above but they will do for now.

    Sep 22, 2009 | 12:39 pm

     
  24. Lilibeth says:

    Hi Betty Q. Just wanted to ask which kind of oats should we use – old fashioned or instant? Thank you so much for the recipe.

    Sep 23, 2009 | 1:36 am

     
  25. kurzhaar says:

    Marketman, I am surprised to read that there was a vendor selling “venison and other game”. The sale of wild game is illegal in the US (long story behind that quirk).

    Sep 23, 2009 | 2:59 am

     
  26. betty q. says:

    Marketfan: Somehow dried blueberries doesn’t cut it! It just reminds me of the Blueberry muffin mix. Can you get Baguio strawberries? That would work too, even canned peaches just pat dry with paper towels and coarsely chop. Almond extract with peaches would go well! or evn fruit cocktail and call it TUTTi-FRUITTI muffin! (say that 10 times!….mwahahaha!).

    Lilibeth: if you want a slight chewiness, then use the old fashioned rolled oats (healthier too). Otherwise, the quick oats works just the same!

    Sep 23, 2009 | 5:01 am

     
  27. Marketman says:

    kurzhaar, then I must have been mistaken, could it be farm raised venison and pheasant, etc.? Or is that not likely? Will try to go back and see if I have a photo of the booth. But he definitely had dried venison jerky, venison in several cuts of meat, etc. kurzhaar, just checked a photo of the table, it is “Farm Raised Venison” from Red Deer? So I suspect all the meats on offer were farm raised. Then essentially it isn’t “game” then… right?

    Sep 23, 2009 | 6:53 am

     
  28. Mom-Friday says:

    hi MM, posted a comment yesterday and today but it did not appear…so trying it again: i can only imagine what a great morning you had with all these fresh produce and muffins! :) and to BETTY Q: I saved your blueberry muffin and plan to try it soon, but don’t have fresh ones here, so would the canned Comstock blueberry compote do for this recipe?

    Sep 23, 2009 | 11:38 am

     
  29. betty q. says:

    MF: Can you get frozen ones? If you want to use the compote, here is what I would suggest…make the muffin but add a bit more lemon zest. if the compote is not thick enough, thicken it a bit with cornstrach. Then when the muffins are baked, cut a hole in the middle , save the tops! Pipe the compote in the hole and top with the muffin hole top.

    Sep 23, 2009 | 12:12 pm

     
  30. kurzhaar says:

    Farm-raised venison is mostly imported from NZ although I think there are small producers in Vermont and Texas. This is usually red deer (not native to the Americas). Chinese Ring-neck Pheasant is raised in many states (and is wild in several, but NOT in New England where pheasant “hunts” are put-and-take exercises. Various quail species are also farm-raised.

    As you might guess, farm-raised “game” isn’t much like wild game. However, I do know from a lot of experience that not everyone has a taste for “real” (wild) game, and I suppose that even farm-raised venison and such is a change for most people. :)

    Personally, I love game (the real thing). Elk is superb meat. As is wild goose…nothing at all like domesticated goose. The positive thing I see in eating wild game is that first you have got to get it (as in, “first catch your rabbit”), and this isn’t just walking out of a supermarket with a plastic-wrapped package of anonymous factory-raised (ick!!!!) meat. Secondly the creature has at least lived a natural (though not necessarily an “easy”) life. And game is tasty, although probably an acquired taste especially if one are used to commercial bland meats. I am always amazed at people who don’t blink an eye at eating a fast-food burger and yet cringe to think of eating, say, a wild cottontail.

    Hmm. Reminds me that I have a chunk of elk in my freezer that needs to be eaten.

    Sep 23, 2009 | 12:19 pm

     
  31. Mom-Friday says:

    thank you BettyQ! :)

    Sep 25, 2009 | 7:02 pm

     
  32. Maria Isabel Rodrigo says:

    beautiful countryside bounty

    Mar 31, 2011 | 10:17 am

     
 

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