Shopping at Market- Helpful Hints

1. Bring small bills

Bringing small bills makes your transactions go faster. The market does offer use of a credit card machine, located at the Market Information kiosk. Credit and debit cards can be swiped to get market money that is accepted by all vendors.

2. Bring your own bags

You can bring your own shopping bag, maybe more than one. You may end up going home with more food than they anticipated.

3. Consider leaving Fido home

The Downtown Marquette Farmers Market is licensed as a food establishment, this allows customers to taste the food from a cooking demonstration. Therefore, dogs are not permitted in the plaza area of the market due to health department regulations. We do understand there are those who look forward to visiting the market when they walk their four legged family member on Saturday mornings. The Downtown Development Authority has created a doggie tie-up area on the west end of the market, beyond the bike racks. We ask that you only utilize this area if your dog is friendly and will be OK left on its own while you shop.  Service animals are allowed in the market area.

4. Think Seasonally

We live in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Our growing season is short.  We do have produce to purchase all market season long though.  Look at the market as a chance to get to know the seasonality of U.P. produce and taste new, delicious, and healthy foods. If you see something you don’t recognize ask the farmer. They enjoy talking about their products and can make suggestion on how to use/cook their produce. You can also stop at the Market Information tent. We can help identify products and find recipes. In fact, there are new recipes available every week so feel free to stop by any time to see what’s on file.

5. Plan ahead… but also be spontaneous

If you visit the market each week, you’ll have some idea of what to expect the next week. So do a little loose meal planning. It will help minimize wasting produce that you bought on a whim. That said, if strawberries come in a little early and surprise you at market, grab them while you can!

6. Dress comfortably

It’s an outdoor market and we are open every Sat. May 25- December 14, 2019. We are open regardless of the weather. All of the vendors work very hard all season preparing for each week to have product for the market, so dress as needed and come shop, have fun and eat delicious food.

7. Be mindful

There are a lot of fun things to look at or watch at the farmers market. There are also curbs, strollers, cords for electricity, tent poles… Enjoy the scenery and energy of the market but be mindful as well. We want to avoid all accidents. Should there be an accident, go to the Market Information kiosk for help (also for complaints/suggestions).

8. Try walking or biking to the market

Lots of people travel from quite a distance to attend the market and have to park. Even with all the parking around us, enough people attend market that parking gets tight. If possible, consider walking or bicycling to the market. Get your exercise, healthy food, and fun all at once! Also, remember parking is available on Main St., on the east side of the Marquette Commons.

9. Come early for popular items

If you wait all year for upper peninsula grown strawberries you better get up early when they come into season. Popular items with a short season sell out fast. There also might not be as much available at the beginning and end of an items particular growing season. Coming early ensures you get the products you want…instead of just what’s left.

10. Make it a family affair

The market is a wonderful family event. Bringing your children to market encourages healthy eating and teaches them about the seasonality of food. Letting a child pick one food that the family will eat that week helps include them in family decision making. Classes, food demonstrations, music, and recipes also add to the market experience. Watch the website and Facebook for details about upcoming events at the market.

featured recipe

Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato Sandwich


 

Now that we are in the middle of August, there is an urgency to enjoy the waning days of the summer weather. So who wants to spend a lot of time indoors for meal prep. There is also the delight of locally grown, vine-ripe tomatoes now in season. We wait so many months to be able to savor the true taste of tomatoes. Enjoy the best of summer with an easy meal prep by making a Bacon-Lettuce-Tomato Sandwich supper. Fabulous bread is available at the market from Marquette Baking Company, 3 farmer vendors sell delicious, small farm raised bacon: Seeds & Spores Family Farm, Case Country Farm, Ever Yielding Acres.  Most of the produce farmers have a selection of crispy greens. We have had a pesto demonstration in the past at the market, a little pesto spread on the bread will add an additional zip to your sandwich. If you prefer, use mayonnaise.  With a quick pickle recipe, you can have your pickles sitting in their brine while the bacon cooks in the oven (our summer temperatures have been cool enough that having the oven on will not make the kitchen uncomfortable) and have a fresh summer meal within an hour. Here is a link to a quick pickle recipe http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/252053/quick-pickles/ Here is a suggestion, cook extra bacon on Sunday for breakfast and save some of the prepared bacon for this quick weeknight meal.  Then you are just slicing and toasting the bread, slicing the tomatoes and piling on the bacon. Include an iced coffee to finish off your meal with locally roasted coffee from U.P. North Roast or Dancing Crane Coffee. I spent more time than I imagined I would reading up on bacon cooking. Of all the writing about the best way to cook bacon that I read, I agree with  who writes a blog called The Spruce, about the best way to cook bacon. I appreciate that he provides the why along with his suggestions and that he advocates to retain and use the fat that is rendered from cooking the bacon. When you buy your meat from local farmers you are getting the best meat and even the fat tastes delicious. What follows is from his blog:

Of all the ways you can cook bacon — including on a skillet or griddle, in the microwave, or even in a deep-fryer — it turns out that the very best way of all is to bake it in the oven. Bacon is fatty, so it needs to be cooked slowly, at a low temperature, so that most (but not all) of the fat renders away while leaving the finished product crispy and golden brown. And you can try to do that in a skillet or a griddle, but there are a couple of problems.
One, an average skillet isn’t wide enough to accommodate whole slices of bacon. They’ll just crowd each other and end up sticking together. But even if your skillet or griddle is extra-wide (or you decide to cut your bacon in half), you’re still cooking the bacon from below, which is more likely to cause it to scorch. So it turns out crumbly rather than crispy. You’re also going to have to flip it so that both sides of the bacon are cooked. Flipping bacon isn’t a major challenge, but I think we can agree that having to flip your bacon is more difficult than NOT having to flip it. Plus, cooking bacon on the stove top uses up one of your burners (or maybe two if you’re using one of those double-burner griddles), which means you have less room for making your eggs or home fries or Hollandaise sauce or even just boiling water to make coffee. Finally, cooking bacon on the stove top is messy — bacon fat is going to spatter all over the place, maybe onto you.
Any one of these — the fact that it’s easier, that it frees up space on your stove top and is a lot less messy — would be reason enough to cook your bacon in the oven. But it so happens that those are only side benefits because bacon cooked in the oven is the best bacon you’ll ever have. The oven cooks it evenly so that it comes out crispy and, yes, perfect.

Do NOT Preheat Your Oven!

So here are the steps. But let me first give you a heads-up that the most important part of this technique is putting the bacon into a cold oven. Don’t preheat! Starting with a cold oven ensures that the bacon will cook slowly like it needs to.

  1. Arrange the bacon slices on a sheet pan and place the pan on the center rack of a cold oven. (Try not to stretch the slices out. Just gently drape the bacon across the pan.) Close the oven door. Turn the oven on to 400°F. Walk away.
  2. Come back 17 to 20 minutes later. As soon as the bacon is golden brown, but not excessively crisp, it’s done. The exact time will depend on the thickness of the bacon slices, and also on how quickly your oven reaches the target temperature.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the bacon to a second sheet pan (or a plate or dish) lined with paper towels to absorb any excess fat.

REMEMBER: Don’t preheat the oven! Make sure the oven is cold when you put the bacon in. Also, keep your eye on the bacon during the final few minutes of cooking to make sure that it doesn’t burn. Another thing: Remove the cooked bacon from the hot pan right away. If you leave it in the pan too long, the heat from the pan and the hot bacon fat will continue cooking it.

Another Benefit: Bacon Butter!

One of the lovely consequences of cooking bacon this way is that the bacon fat renders off beautifully. I’ll pour the hot bacon fat into a heat-proof ramekin and save it in the fridge for other uses.

And by “other uses” I mean everything. I’ll sauté with it, cook eggs with it, bake cookies with it — seriously, anywhere I might use butter, I’ll use bacon butter. I’ll even spread it on toast, and although I’ve never tried this, I have a feeling a peanut butter and bacon butter sandwich would be kind of divine.

You’ll notice that since the fat doesn’t burn while you cook the bacon, it’ll be almost transparent when you pour it, and have a lovely, creamy white color once it cools in the fridge.

I used to strain the liquid fat through cheesecloth when I poured it into the ramekin, but I actually don’t mind having little bacon particles in it.

They’ll sink to the bottom in any case.

Truly, sometimes I’m not sure it’s the bacon I’m “making” and the bacon butter is the “byproduct,” or if it’s the other way around.

What About Lining the Pan With Foil?

The question of whether to line the pan with foil has come up occasionally. I don’t use foil when I do my bacon, because I don’t mind washing the pan later, and I find that the sheet of foil can complicate matters when I go to pour off the fat. Plus, that’s a pretty big piece of foil, and maybe it seems a bit wasteful.

Really, the foil is mainly about keeping your sheet pan (relatively) clean. One advantage of this technique, however, is that since we cook the bacon slowly and gently, it really shouldn’t stick.

However, if you find your bacon is sticking, try crumpling up the foil a little before you line the sheet pan with it. The little crumples in the foil will help the cooked bacon lift right off.

https://www.thespruce.com/perfect-oven-cooked-bacon-how-to-995313