In addition to feasting, the year-end holiday season is traditionally the time for gifts. Family get-togethers, office parties, neighborly gatherings, whatever the occasion, Central Farm Markets has you covered. Check out the online Holiday Brochure, with over twenty pages of great ideas including detailed information about where and when vendors will be at the markets throughout the end of the year.
But there is far more at the markets than the ideas that make it into our Holiday Brochure. Consider putting together a basket (or reusable market bag) full of goodies such as sauces, salsas, and condiments made from fruits and vegetables from the vendors’ farms and orchards. Or how about a hand-crafted plate or cutting board from a market artisan to be filled with farmstead cheeses and hand-crafted cured meats? My favorite go-to gifts from the markets include knitting kits from Kiparoo Farm Studio, hand-made soaps and unique teas. For festive libations, consider regionally produced wine, cider, beer and distilled spirits. If you are unsure of what to get, market gift certificates that can be used at any of the Central Farm Markets locations and never expire cover your bases, or tuck one into the basket along with the goodies.
Shopping at the markets also comes in handy when having to cook larger amounts of food. Meat purveyors offer custom orders, larger cuts, and items such as fresh turkey not commonly found throughout the year. Seasonal desserts, pies and cakes abound with our bakers.
Cooking for a crowd doesn’t have to be a cause for panic. Here’s a simple, yet delicious idea for a seafood stew that can be made with all ingredients purchased at the markets and cooked within minutes, leaving you plenty of time to spend with family and friends instead of in the kitchen.
- 3 pounds of assorted seafood (clams, shrimp, mussels, fish, lobster, scallops)
- 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- ½ cup thinly sliced fennel bulb
- 1 cup diced tomatoes (a box of cherry tomatoes will also do)
- 1 bottle Bloody Mary mix (I use Toigo Orchards’ Birth of Pain)
- 2 cups white wine (a craft IPA also works well)
- 2 cups broth
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Baguette or crusty bread
- Clean and prepare all seafood items—scrubbing, de-veining, and cutting fish into 1” squares.
- In a stock pot, sauté olive oil, onion, fennel and tomato until onion becomes translucent.
- Add seafood and liquids. Bring to a simmer until clams and mussels open, fish, shrimp and scallops turn opaque. Serve with crusty bread.