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Sample unique apples at farmers’ market

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What do we think about as Thanksgiving weekend approaches? Food, food, food, of course.

On Thanksgiving weekend, not only is the Clover Valley Farmers’ Market a great place to find the best foods for your special meal, but also look for seasonal decorations and take the opportunity to meet and visit with friends.

This Saturday (Oct. 7), the Rainy River District Agri-Food Education ladies (commonly known as the “Ag-Awareness” crew) will be making their fall trek to the farmers’ market.

This year, they’ll have apples: apples to taste, apple recipes to try, and lots of information about using apples. They also will have handouts about all kinds of apples, but their samples will be the ones you may not see so commonly on supermarket shelves.

The Rainy River District Agri-Food Education group is a branch of Ontario Agri-food Education—a registered charity with a mission to build awareness and understanding of the importance of an agriculture and food system.

Lowey’s Produce will have some of the traditional apple varieties available. They include Jerseymac (an excellent eating apple that keeps well); Idared (a firm, tart apple, very good fresh or baked); and Cortland (a large apple that is good for salads as it resists browning).

What is Thanksgiving dinner without pie? Apple and pumpkin pies are fresh and home-baked each week at the farmers’ market. Nighswander Baking has a wide assortment of pies, including some that are sugar-free.

Apples are included at the Homemade in Burriss booth. Here, Sheri Stamarski has fruit and cream pies, and also a huge shelf of preserves. Try her apple jelly this weekend.

Brenda McDowell of Mine Centre has lots of ways to try apples in her preserve collection, such as apple butters, and crabapple and apple jellies. Her pepper jellies are all cooked with a bit of homemade apple juice.

Freshly-bottled are hot pepper, sweet pepper, and jalapeno jellies—each great to use with a bit of cream cheese on a cracker for entertaining this weekend.

Tracy Houghton, with the Epicure Selections product line, will join the market crew this Saturday, where she’ll be sampling two fruit dips to use with those apples you’ll be taking home.

Epicure Selections has no additives or preservatives added to their products and many are guaranteed to be gluten-free. Houghton also will be introducing a new wine jelly line—great for holiday giving.

If you are entertaining this weekend, there are lots of wonderful, local foods at the market.

Locally-produced beef and elk, freshly-dug potatoes, melt-in-your mouth perogies, colourful squash, tender cabbage and cabbage rolls, crunchy carrots, home-baked breads, and pickles are the basics you need to cook up a Thanksgiving feast.

They are all at the farmers’ market. And, free-range eggs, local sausage, and cinnamon rolls for a tasty company brunch.

Feeling adventuresome? Try some seasonal flavour with roasted tenderloin of elk (recipes available) or a roast of wild boar.

Colourful squash, gourds, and pumpkins of all sizes are striking when used for seasonal decorating. Use of corn stalks and straw bales will help you fashion outdoor displays.

Beeswax candles will help set the mood on these ever-earlier evenings.

Pumpkins used for Thanksgiving decoration now can easily be transformed into Jack-o’-lanterns for Hallowe’en.

Hot coffee is always on at the market kitchen. Order their lunch “special” and enjoy the pleasant fall weather.

Next week, plan to meet the folks from the Fine Line Art Gallery at the market and learn what’s new on the local arts scene.

Remember to invite Ontario products home this week!

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