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Toledo Farmers Market

Market Report for May 10th

May 17, 2013
By Dawn Troutner - Toledo Market Master , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

What a great market night, no SNOW. There were 8 vendors at the Toledo Farmers' Market on Friday night. A large crowd strolled and scanned the tables before making their purchases.

Those eight vendors included Kristi, Devon, Daryl, Dale, Chuck, Ginger, Dawn, Cheryl, and Deb with her homemade scarves.

Other items available were asparagus, rhubarb, radishes, green onions, moral mushrooms, bakery, popcorn, jams, jellies, dried herbs, fresh catnip, cabbage plants, perennial plants, eggs, and ceramics to name a few.

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Flowers were planted by kids that came through the market. They were then encouraged to give them to their Mothers for Mothers Day.

Be sure to mark your calendars this market season and come out to the Toledo Farmers' Market on Friday nights from 5-7.

The rhubarb is beautiful this spring. With all the rain it is very crisp and bright red.

Rhubarb is a prolific and vivid springtime fruit. Its flavor is much more tart making it ideal company for sugar in sweet dishes like crisps and pies, from which it gets its second name, "pie plant."

The most popular thing to do with rhubarb is baking or jam making. But most don't realize that the puckery-tart fruitiness makes a good companion to pork and poultry. T

here are basically two types of rhubarb found at markets. There is the older traditional variety with thicker, greener stalks and the more intensely colored, slender stalked variety. The deep red stalks certainly make for brighter more attractive dishes.

But the concentrated color indicates concentrated tartness, and the greener stalks have a nicely balanced, mellow flavor.

Which ever stalks you prefer, the stalks should be heavy and crisp with taut, shiny skin.

Wash the stalks well and trim off the dry ends and leaves. Then store in loose plastic in the crisper drawer.

Rhubarb leaves contain both oxalic acid and more potent, unidentified toxin, so trimming and discarding them is very important. When preparing the rhubarb it is tempting to peel the fibrous skin. Stop, resist it, the skin holds lots of color and flavor.

Did you know rhubarb dipped in honey or sugar is a simple snack?

When you cook rhubarb two things happen.

The juices thicken, and it falls apart into fraying shreds of translucent fibers. Heavily cooked rhubarb has the perfect jellied consistency for jams, chutneys, and compotes.

Quick heat yields tender but cohesive rhubarb pieces with rich flavor and a natural glossy sheen.

Rhubarb stalks are highly nutritious, containing loads of calcium, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, and whole host of antioxidants.

You're in luck if you are a rhubarb nut. There is a Rhubarb Festival held in Lanesboro, Minn.

This festival is on Saturday June 1, 2013 from 110 a.m. - 3 p.m. And it's free. There is a rhubarb tasting contest and rhubarb games for kids and adults, such as Rhubarb Stalk Throwing. The Rhubarb sisters will entertain the crowd, along with the Rutabaga Brothers. They even have a Rhubarb Fashion Show.

And if you want to lecture on rhubarb there is a Rhubarb Rant Speakers Corner. It sounds like a lot of Rhubarb fun.

If any of you attend be sure to stop by my table at the Toledo Farmers' Market and tell me all about it. See you at market.



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