We finally made it to the Mineral Point Market

This weekend was a really good food weekend.  We finally made it to the Mineral Point Farmers’ Market.  We’ve been meaning to get there and with an invitation to meet Leslie and Keith for egg croissants.  Leslie and Keith  write a lot about food and drink in Southwestern Wisconsin on their beautifully photographed blog, Driftless Appetite which I had found a couple of weeks ago when I was searching for information about Café Ellie.

After years of attending the Farmers’ Market on the Square in Madison and more recently doing some regular shopping at the West Side Community Market, the market at Mineral Point is positively tiny.  But it has everything you could want in terms of seasonal produce and more.  We didn’t need much in the way of vegetables with our meals planned for the weekend taking our CSA share and garden produce into account as well as limited refrigeration, but I was really happy with what I saw particularly at Shooting Star Farm.  They grew the same Jimmy Nardello peppers that I grow.  They also had lemon cucumbers which I’ve never had before.  They don’t really look like a cucumber on the outside, being yellow and shorter than standard cucumbers.  They have a nice, slightly citrusy flavor to them and they made it into both our breakfast and our dinner today.  I also bought some Hook’s Cheddar Cheese with which we were already familiar and some Lonesome Stone Organic Pancake Mix from River Valley Seed and Grain.  I’m not a person who would normally buy pancake mix, but the woman selling the mix was making tiny pancakes on a camp stove and we had some and they were good.  And the ingredient list sure meets my standards for pancakes.  “Iowa County hard red winter wheat and winter rye, baking powder and salt.”  Yep, that’s all.  Then add an egg and milk.  Besides that the egg sandwiches also being cooked at the market were amazing.  These ingredient choices for these made to order sandwiches this particular week were onions, chard, bacon or sausage, and feta or 3-cheese blend.  I had bacon, onions and chard in mine.  Deron had onions and sausage.  I think all the ingredients were from market vendors and whipped up right in front of us on a two burner Coleman stove.  After a bit more chatting and getting introduced around by Leslie, we headed over to the farm to get some stuff done out there.  We had reservations for dinner at Café Ellie at 7 p.m., so at least we were looking forward to a reward.  The menu at Café Ellie was completely different than two weeks before, but equally imaginative.  In both cases I think we could have picked what we were having by closing our eyes and pointing at an entrée on the menu and we would have been happy with what we ordered.  Last time, we ordered the cheese plate appetizer, entrees and split a dessert and this time, we didn’t order an appetizer, but still split a dessert.  I’m sure we’ll go back there again and again.  I can’t wait to see what they do with autumn vegetables.

We don’t have any refrigeration or plumbing at the farm and that makes cooking a bit more challenging.  I packed the cooler before we let home with the intent to buy cheese at the farmers’ market and to  make migas for breakfast this morning.  While I’m not much of a measurer when cooking, and especially since I had nothing with which to measure, migas went together with two chorizo sausages, a couple of corn torillas, red onion (because that’s what we have from Primrose right now) a couple of Jimmy Nardello sweet peppers and half a Joe Parker hot pepper, chopped tomato and grated cheddar and sour cream for a garnish.  With a tortilla and a salad of tomato, lemon cucumber and a little more red onion which was dressed only with a little olive oil, freshly ground pepper and sea salt, it was a tasty breakfast that fueled us for most of the day.  We got a lot done today and the shack is definitely more livable now that we have a futon and a used kitchen cabinet and section of counter “installed” in there.

Grilled Salmon with a bunch of local stuff

Tonight when we got home, we made grilled salmon with a balsamic vinegar glaze, roasted red potatoes with red onion and garlic and a salad that included a VERY ripe tomato, red onion, more of the Joe Parker hot pepper, a lemon cucumber and tomatillos that we picked this evening when we got home.  I made a balsamic vinaigrette to go with it to tie it in with the grilled salmon.

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