The Napa Farmers Market has really ramped up its educational activities this season. So many wonderful resources are available, and we love sharing them with shoppers of all ages.

The market’s chef demonstrations are a delicious way to learn more about local food. You can see how a culinary pro uses the produce available at the market and learn how to replicate the recipe at home. Demonstrations are also a great way to get your kids involved in meal preparation.

These free cooking demonstrations are invaluable for shoppers who want to “see” before they “try.” All you need is a little time and an open palate when the samples are passed around. Learn some new techniques and kitchen shortcuts from these world-class chefs. Let’s face it: we’re all looking for quick solutions to feed the family.

Some of the topics our chef demonstrations cover:

— How to pickle everything from cucumbers to beets

— Basics of bread baking

— Fermentation tips including how to make kombucha and sauerkraut

— Homemade yogurt

The chef demonstrations start at 11 a.m. and last 30 to 45 minutes. Mark your calendar for these upcoming free demonstrations:

— Saturday, July 23, with chef Mauro Pando of Grace’s Table

— Tuesday, Aug. 16, with chef Levi Mezick of The Harvest Table

Saturday, Aug. 27, bread-shaping with Ryan Moore of Model Bakery

Also join us on the first Tuesday of each month at 9 a.m. for “Shop with the Chef.” Want to know about kohlrabi? Or what to do with all that zucchini? Follow one of Napa Valley’s culinary experts around the market, learning how to select and prepare a variety of seasonal produce as you fill your bags with new treasures.

On Tuesday, July 5, chef Elizabeth Skylar leads the adventure. Space is limited. Sign up the morning of the event at the market’s information booth.

On Saturday, July 9, Napa Animal Shelter will be at the farmers market reminding us that many four-legged fur babies need your love and a forever home. Come meet some of the many creatures waiting to share their love and complete your family. Keep your eyes peeled for the Doggy Parade at the south end of the market highlighting those ready for adoption.

Fresh Corn and Oregano Fritters

It’s corn season at the Napa Farmers Market. In its prime, fresh corn is sweet enough to eat right off the cob. But for a festive side dish, this recipe is a crowd-pleaser and the essence of summer.

4 ears of corn, husks and silk removed

1/4 yellow onion (I like Walla Walla)

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

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1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

Salt and pepper

1 egg, lightly beaten

Olive oil

Crème fraiche or Greek yogurt, optional

Cut kernels from cobs as close to the cob as possible. (I use a sharp knife over a wide bowl.)

Grate the onion on the large holes of a box grater. Dab with paper towels to absorb excess moisture. Add onion to the corn along with the flour, baking powder, 2 tablespoons of the oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and a dash of pepper. Mix, add egg, and mix again.

Add 1/4 inch of olive oil to a skillet. Heat over medium-high but don’t let the oil smoke. For each fritter, drop a heaping tablespoon of the corn mixture into the skillet, spacing the fritters about 1 inch apart. Press down gently with the back of a spatula. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for about 1 minute. Using a slotted spatula or spoon, transfer the fritters to paper towels to drain. Repeat until you have used all the batter.

Place fritters on a warm platter and sprinkle the remaining oregano on top. Add a dollop of crème fraiche if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 12 to 16.

Karen Schuppert is a seasonal chef and Napa Farmers Market board member.

The Napa Farmers Market takes place on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., May through October, in the parking lot of the South Napa Century Center, 195 Gasser Drive, Napa. The third Tuesday of every month is Seniors’ Day at the market, with some vendors offering discounts to shoppers 65 and older. Ask about participating vendors at the information booth. For more market information and a schedule of upcoming events, visit NapaFarmersMarket.org or visit the market on Facebook.

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