What’s Cookin? Smithtown
By Nancy Vallarella
Mother Nature’s Therapy for Foodies
This past Sunday I enjoyed the old-fashioned, feel good experience of shopping at the Kings Park Farmers Market. Inspired by the products available there, I found my mind racing with recipe and menu possibilities. Speaking with the people, who grew the products I purchased, really connected me to the product and the community. I found many treasures and just when I thought the adventure could not get any better …I heard the news:
A Farmers Market will open in the parking area of Nesconset Plaza on Saturday, July 7th.
Nesconset Plaza is located directly across from the Nesconset branch of the Smithtown Library on Smithtown Boulevard. Banners will be sprouting up all over town announcing the details. Now Smithtown residents have the nearby option of shopping for farm fresh goods from a variety of vendors on Saturday and Sunday. There is still room for additional vendors. Vendor applications can be requested by contacting Bernadette Martin at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is not a typical shopping trip. It is not a dreaded task. It is all about slowing down. Shoppers at farmers’ markets engage in conversation more than customers in supermarkets. They are speaking to the people who are selling the product and in many cases, grew it. They are speaking to both neighbors and strangers exchanging information on how to prepare product s and sharing opinions on products. Many people bring their four-legged friends along. Human interaction is bountiful. Forget about making a list. It’s all about inspiration buying.
Getting back to the actual shopping adventure of this past Sunday, I did have a few items in mind but knew it was highly unlikely that I would come home with some tomatoes. Shopping at a farmers’ market is a very seasonal event. Items may not be as readily available as in supermarkets. The half-full side of this is the products that are available have not been stored, iced or shipped. It is as fresh as you can possibly get without growing it yourself. You will probably buy more than you intend but the food keeps well. Past purchased basil (kept in the refrigerator’s vegetable drawer) stayed fresh for nearly three weeks!
Sunday’s haul included the most beautiful and blemish free organic zucchini. After all, I am on a quest to perfect my zucchini spaghetti recipe. The market was rich with lettuces. I chose a bunch of arugula. I am thinking of using that to add a textural and peppery contrast in a rigatoni a la vodka dish. Both veggies were purchased from Thera Farms whose tag line is …Our veggies are so fresh you’ll want to slap them.
The most valued treasure of my shopping adventure, DEET free, natural insect repellent from Saturday’s Soap. Yes, I am terrified that I will be a mosquito banquet this summer. I find great comfort in this product’s natural ingredients and owner Belinda Windbish’s knowledge of application in all the ingredients found in her products made in Lake Ronkonkoma.
Upon recommendation from my new furry friend, Doc Holiday (reference photo) and his master, I will be making future purchases from Coach Farms (goat cheeses and products) and Life is Grruff for my furry best friend.
When visiting the King’s Park Farmers market be sure to visit Branson at the Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard Wine booth. He will graciously offer you a tasting of their products and give you a brief summary of how each is made. Say hi to Krista and Brianne back from college and full of enthusiasm to be at KPFM this summer selling artisan breads, cakes, pies and pastries from The Blue Duck Bakery Café.
There are other vendors selling pasta, seafood, pickles and coffee. Get there early for the best selection. Get there late for the best conversation. For information on scheduled demonstrations and entertainment look up Kings Park Farmers Market on Facebook or sign up for their newsletter at their booth!