April 7th, 2010 by Amanda Jane Simcoe – Comments (3)
At my house, the countdown usually starts around late February. The holidays are long over, we’re sick of the cold dreary weather; and we’re ready for the days when the pool is open and the gardens are growing an abundance of delicious herbs and veggies destined for my kitchen. This is the time when I begin to peruse the seed catalogs, and peek out the window into the back yard, wondering which of last years plants have made it through the winter to feed us again.
Last year was quite the project. 800 square feet of Herbs and Veggie beds were built and planted, and we had figured that after that, this year would make for a much simpler spring setup. Yeah right! In addition to the extra 200 square feet of beds we decided to put in this year, we’ve jumped right into the long-discussed project of raising our own chickens and ducks (for eggs, not meat) in the garden. So this week (most of) our girls will be moving from their brooders in our living room into their new permanent residence in the back garden, in the hopes that by summer’s end we will have fresh eggs.
So what I’m sure you are thinking, is one to do if turning their own little plot of mid-town into a mini-farmyard just isn’t feasible? Simple. Utilize the amazing number of local growers and producers from all over Oklahoma, who bring their delicious, fresh fare right here to Tulsa, several times a week.
Beginning this Saturday, April 10th the newly expanded Cherry Street Farmer’s Market will be kicking off it’s 2010 season. Music, garden plants, spring veggies, eggs, dairy & cheese, spices, baked goods and delicious prepared foods will be available to welcome the Market season back to town (for complete vendor info, visit http://www.cherrystreetfarmersmarket.com/).
* Beginning April 13th- Broken Arrow’s Market on Main 4:30pm-8:00pm on Tuesdays and 8:00am-1:00pm on Saturdays
* Beginning April 15th- Pearl Farmer’s Market (Centennial Park, 6th & Peoria)4:00pm-7:00pm on Thursdays
* Beginning May 5th – Brookside Farmer’s Market (NE corner of 41st & Peoria) 8am-Noon
* Beginning in May, the Downtown Farmer’s Market runs from 10:30am – 2:00 pm on Tuesdays (located on the William’s Green)
* Beginning in May, the North Tulsa Farmers Market will run from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm on Wednesday (TCC NE Campus)
* Beginning in June from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm on Saturdays (Newsome Community Farm, 2620 E 56th St N, Tulsa)
Like the MANY other Tulsa area Farmer’s Market devotees, I have long been awaiting the warm morning and afternoon trips to pick up my favorite products from vendors. Mushrooms, garlic, peppers, organic produce, meat and delicious prepared foods. I love cooking with the season, and with the ever-changing selection of products reaching their peak throughout the warm months. I often hear people ask however, “What do I do with these things once I have purchased them?”
To answer this question in far greater depth than could be done in a single blog post, I have decided this year to allocate the vast majority of my own cooking classes this season to this very topic: Eating fresh, locally grown food. Whether it comes from your back yard, a local CoOp or Farmer’s Market; there are so many delicious (and often healthy) dishes that can be prepared from your weekly finds. All you need is a little creativity, and perhaps a stash of recipes for just that sort of grocery basket. I will be working with several of the local producers to put together some great seasonal dishes based on the currently available local produce and meat.
The first class will be held on April the 28th. The exact menus will be determined closer to the class date. Here is my Spring/Summer lineup thus far:
April 28th – Farmer’s Market: Springtime Selections
We will discuss the local springtime produce that is available at the various Tulsa area markets, why it is beneficial to buy locally, what you might want to grow at home for yourself (this is planting time!) and what you can make with the variety of items offered each week.
May 6th – Pizza Party!
Learn how easy it is to make fresh Pizza dough from scratch! We’ll use fresh herbs, local cheeses and meats and create some fantastic pizzas you can make at home.
May 19 Farmer’s Market: Soups & Salads
Simple fresh soups & salads perfect for weeknight meals or weekend lunches.
June 10th Farmer’s Market: Springing into Summer
As the growing season is now in full swing, there will be lots of new herbs, fruits and veggies becoming available. We’ll create fresh delicious dishes that are light and summery, perfect for dinner al fresco!
June 24th Garden Grocery Shopping
One of my favorite things to do in the summer is plan my menu from my back yard. It’s a fun challenge to wander through the yard and put together a list of ingredients based on what is growing at the time. It sure makes my Grocery store list a lot smaller! In this class we will use many common ingredients found in home gardens, so if you are exercising your green thumb this year, this class is for you!
All above listed classes are held at The Stock Pot (on 41st between Sheridan and Memorial) from 6:30-8:30 pm and are $45 per person.
For our complete class schedule, visit the Stock Pot website at www.thestockpots.com or call 627-1146.
About Chef Amanda Jane Simcoe:
Amanda Simcoe is a chef and food connoisseur. She absolutely loves good food and appreciates the art of cooking and trying new things. Amanda is the Director of Cooking School at the Stock Pot where she regularly teaches cooking classes. Also known as “The Cheese Wench,” she knows most everything there is to know about cheese. She loves using fresh ingredients and has a huge garden where she grows much of her own produce. Amanda also enjoys making beer at home and cooking elaborate meals.