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Posted on June 26, 2017 at 3:19 PM by Jenn Conlee
I chopped up my cruciferous veggies, and added some sliced squash and zucchini from Allen's Farm. Then, I threw it all into a skillet— mixed in a little coconut oil, grass-fed butter, juice of one-and-a-half lemons, minced garlic, sea salt, ground pepper—and voila!
And my, my—was I ever so excited when I cut into my candy cane beets. I had no idea they would live up to their name, the insides so whimsical and hypnotizing with their red-and-white swirls. Using a mandolin, I sliced them pretty thinly, drizzled them in olive oil, sprinkled them with salt and pepper—and baked them at 400º for about 25 minutes (flipping frequently and making sure they didn't burn). In my opinion, beet chips taste even better than potato chips and make for a great guilt-free snack. I also picked up some golden and red varieties to make later in the week. I'm told to also expect beets again in a couple months. That's the beauty of the market. You start to learn about what's in season and I've discovered there's always something new to bring home.
My next stop was Gourmet & Easy, Go Lebaneasy! The friendly mother-daughter duo immediately greeted me with huge smiles and a warm welcome as I walked up to their tent. It didn't take long to sell me on their hummus made fresh the night before using chickpeas, lemon, garlic, and tahini.
After tasting one of their samples, I knew it would make the perfect appetizer to serve for our family get-together the following day. I'd much rather spend $5 on locally-made hummus than purchase any brand in the grocery store. I also picked up some of their delicious multi-grain pita chips which made the perfect combo deal.
Owner Hoda Hamze tells me the idea behind her company started with a desire to create healthy food that's full of flavor. She realizes most people want to eat better but don't necessarily have the time to cook that way. That's where she comes in. Her goal is to show food can be both delicious and nutritious. The inspiration for the flavors in her cooking comes from her heritage. After moving from Lebanon to Yorktown, she found herself nostalgic for many of the authentic and traditional dishes of her home country.
While I was quickly loading up on goodies for myself, I passed the FiDough Handmade Dog Treats tent and knew I had to stop. My pups would never forgive me if I came home without something for them. There were so many dog-approved flavors to choose from—cheese, peanut butter, pumpkin, and beef—it was tough to pick just one. So.... I picked up two different kinds.
I opted for the Sweet Potato Chips (dehydrated sweet potatoes) and Cheezy Apples. All three dogs inhaled them as soon as I divvied them up. Luckily, you can see above that I (barely) got photographic evidence.
Teresa Smith is the owner and head baker for the company. You only have to spend five minutes with her to tell she is passionate about animals. She even makes gluten-free goodies for dogs with dietary restrictions. And I love that she has the option to buy your treats packaged in cute little boxes. They would be perfect, thoughtful gifts for the dog-lovers in your life!
MEAD - ALCOHOL MADE OF HONEY!
So, it turns out Mead has been around for thousands of years. Looks like someone (ahem... me) is a little late to the party! A quick bit of research turned up an interesting fact. Mead was actually the drink of the Golden Age in ancient Greece, and the word for drunk was apparently “honey-intoxicated.” I also read that you shouldn't confuse mead with wine! This drink may be alcoholic, but it’s made from fermented honey, not grapes. Melo Lion Meadery is located right here in York County (Seaford), the same company that owns Zeb’s Bees. Zeb Johnston also sells his honey most Saturdays, at the same tent, so you can pick up a little of both.
I bought a bottle of the Cherry Mead and was surprised it wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet at all. Don't get me wrong, you definitely taste the honey, but I didn't find it overpowering. The flavor is unique and perfect for hot, summer nights. I plan to try their signature Sunshine Daydream version next. It's gluten-free and made from Clover Honey. I'm curious if it’s much different from those infused with the fruits and spices. Other variations include blackberry and strawberry. Coastal Virginia Magazine actually did a recent write-up on Zeb and his sweet success. If for some reason you miss the market, you can also purchase bottles of the mead at Umi Sushi, across the street. I’m embarrassed to admit that I also bought an espresso brownie from Sweet Temptations by Teresa to eat with my wine and gobbled it up so quickly, I forgot to take a picture first. That was hands down one of the best brownies I've ever tasted! Well, that sums up my trip to Yorktown Market Days. I’d call it a definite success and I've been back several times since I first wrote this post. Each visit, I discover a new product, vegetable, or work of art. Last week, I even picked up an arrangement of gorgeous sunflowers!
I love supporting local and regional businesses and artisans. I still haven't been able to catch VA Blue Crab Co. on a day when I have cash, but you'd better believe their lump crab meat is on my wish list. I also have my eye on Dream Ridge Meats of Williamsburg which sells grass and grain-fed beef and pork. I may just have to do a cookout post next! Stay tuned.
Tag(s): Yorktown Market Days, Special Event, Riverwalk Landing