To me, there is nothing worse than having to go the grocery store to shop for a meal. And now, with the Napa Farmers’ Market in full swing, I don’t have to. How lucky we are to have a great selection of locally grown and locally made goods right at our fingertips every Tuesday and Saturday morning at the farmers’ market.
Right now, Kiss My Asparagus has lovely fresh asparagus ready to take home to boil, steam, grill or roast. Need some fresh fruit for breakfast? Pick up some juicy strawberries from Kenwood Strawberry Patch, a new vendor at the market. The berries are fragrant and sweet. Shoppers will also find an abundance of just-picked salad greens, onions, leeks, kale and beets thanks to local growers like Big Ranch Farm, Gauchito Hill Farm and Long Meadow Ranch.
Mother’s Day is fast approaching and I plan to do my shopping for brunch at the market. You can pick up everything you need for a great meal for Mom, fresh farm eggs to fruit to pastry. Get your desserts from Annie the Baker, Sweet Pea Bake Shop or Monday Bakery. Because all the market’s bakers are local, everything they bring is super-fresh.
The market’s artisans also have gifts Mom is sure to love. Atlas Peak Pottery has bowls, plates and cute colanders. How pretty would it be to make French toast and serve your farmers’ market strawberries in one of Atlas Peak Pottery’s handcrafted bowls?
If Mom is a “foodie,” take a look at the market’s newest potter, Hipkiss Studios. Its food-inspired bowls and plates are sure to be a hit with Mom. Or pick up some potatoes and carrots at the market, roast them and serve them on Hipkiss platters.
How about a bag that Mom can use to shop at the market? Jessica Rogers Photography has wonderful canvas bags and zip pouches that Mom can fill to the brim with market breads, honeys and nut butters. Each of Jessica’s bags features a local scene of leaves, acorns, trucks or flowers.
One of the market’s coolest new vendors is Le Jardin Violet. You will find this vendor in the Marshall’s Honey booth where she sells edible flowers. These blossoms look lovely on a salad or garnishing a dessert. Your brunch guests, and your Mom, will be impressed with your style.
Now you need a little decoration for the table. Aroma Floral has wreaths and dried-flower arrangements in adorable containers. Muguette Renee’s candles are the perfect finish to the Mother’s Day table. She makes the candles in her shop in downtown Napa.
When you purchase a gift from an artisan at the Napa Farmers’ Market, you are buying a unique, handcrafted item that you won’t find anywhere else. The market’s artisans offer locally made jewelry, lotions, soaps and scrubs in addition to the items mentioned above.
So treat mom to a lovely meal prepared with fresh ingredients from the Napa Farmers’ Market and give her an artisan-made gift she will treasure forever.
My family makes these carrots for holiday dinners and there are never any left.
1 pound carrots, sliced
4 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. chopped chives
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the carrots in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and cook until the carrots are tender. Drain.
Melt the butter in a skillet and add the chives. Cook for about 1 minute to release their fragrance, then add the carrots. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the carrots are hot throughout, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately.