Wednesday, May 26th: Alm Hill Gardens Returns; Chef Amy McCray from Eva Cooks; and Strawberries?!!

Chef Amy McCray of Eva Restaurant performing a cooking demonstration at Wallingford Farmers Market in 2009. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We are counting on Chef Amy McCray of Eva Restaurant in Tangletown to bring us some culinary, if not actual, sunshine this afternoon, as she performs another of her fun and informative cooking demonstrations at 4 p.m. Above, we see Amy in warmer, sunnier times last summer. For now, we can learn some great cooking ideas from Amy, and then we can warm up our kitchens with them!

Loyal Wallingford cooking demo fans brave a cyclone to learn from Seattle's top chefs. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Of course, we know the hearty folk of Wallingford care more about great food than they do about a little rain… or as was the case last week, a lot of rain — indeed, a cyclone. The crowd that came to learn from Chef Rachel Yang of Joule hung on every word, disregarding the torrential downpour and damaging winds. Our hats are off not only to all those who stuck through one of the worst storms in Market history — the second most powerful May storm in Washington history, in fact — but we also salute Chef Rachel Yang for battling through it all, too, with her trademark warm personality, while the footprint under the tent kept getting smaller and smaller due to rising water.

Samuele Lucchese with the wonderful, handmade pastas, sauces and desserts he and wife Sara make. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One casualty of last week’s storm was Pasteria Lucchese, whose brand new canopy was wrecked by the storm right before the Market opened. Sam pressed his old canopy back into service, and they are back today with their magnificent handmade pastas, delicious sauces, and tantalizing desserts.

Purslane from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alm Hill Gardens also returns to your Wallingford Farmers Market today. Our chilly spring left them short of crops for opening day, but they are good to go this week. How about some delicious, crunchy purslane — not to be confused with Lois Lane, of course. This delicately flavored, refreshing green is a true spring treat. Try it tossed with some pine nuts, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Yum!

Purple radishes from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spring is radish season — all kinds of radishes. Like these purple radishes from Full Circle Farm. Full Circle has several beautiful, tangy radishes right now for you to enjoy straight or in salads. They vary in flavor and spiciness, but they are all wonderful. So add a variety of color and flavor to your next salad, or just eat them with butter and some truffle salt. Yeah, baby!

Honey butter from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Golden Glen Creamery, the only small dairy in Washington that is making butter for retail sale, has added a new honey-flavored butter to its lineup. Stop by and pick some up, along with your milk, cream and cheese for the week!

Organic asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for asparagus? Alvarez Organic Farms has you covered. Asparagus was one of those Eastern Washington crops set back by a late April freeze this year, but it is back with a vengeance now. I am told that the bit of a curl to the asparagus stalks is caused in part by the April freeze. You learn something new every day, eh?

Green sweet onions from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stoney Plains always has a terrific selection of great produce for your table. And their stacks of green sweet onions are always a photographer’s delight. Um, they’re good on salads and roasted with asparagus, too.

First of the season strawberries from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And I promised you strawberries. Well, here they are. Yup, this is not a file photo — these are from 2010. Tiny’s has the first strawberries, theirs miraculously dodging the Eastern Washington freeze that set back so many other farms. Their good luck is our good fortune. Grab some early, though, as they are likely to sell out fast.

There is still plenty of other stuff just waiting for you at your Wallingford Farmers Market this week. For a full accounting of what you will find, click on “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner.

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