There are just three more weeks for shopping at the Waxahachie Downtown Farmers Market this season. Look for fall fruits, vegetables and greens. We have lots of summer produce available as well. Check out the crafters and their handmade jewelry, toys, beauty and health products. Since the market closes soon consider purchasing gift items for later. You will want to stock up on all the canned goods, salsas, jams, jellies, pickles, beets, fruits, herbal vinegars, and local honey ready to pass on as holiday gifts or open later when the weather is cooler and enjoy a taste of summer from the market. Be sure to take home some fresh baked goods. In addition to jalapeno bread there are lots of sweet breads, pastries, cookies, fried pies and some sugar free treats.
If you are a gardener, now is the time to get your cool weather seeds and seedlings into the ground. Stop by the Ellis County Master Gardener booth for timely tips on planting cool weather flowers. Fall is a great time to set out perennial herbs, lettuce, spinach, kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, radishes, carrots and turnips. Pull out all the dead vegetable plants and recycle to the compost heap. Fall is also an ideal time to plant trees as the roots have time to become established without competition from leaf development.
With pie pumpkins for sale at the market you may want to try making your next pumpkin pie using fresh pumpkin pulp. Here are some helpful hints.
•For cooking choose small, sweet varieties with a thick flesh.
•Choose pumpkins that feel solid and heavy for the size. The skin should be hard with no cracks, blemishes or soft spots.
•Pumpkins will keep for a month or longer if stored in a cool, dry place. Once cut, the pieces should be wrapped tightly in plastic, refrigerated and used within 3 to 4 days.
•The greatest challenge to cooking a pumpkin is cutting it open. Steady the pumpkin on a thick towel. •Very carefully insert a large, heavy knife near the stem and cut down through the curved side. Turn and repeat on the other side. Scrape out the seeds and fibrous strings. Save the seeds for roasting.
•Place the pumpkin halves in a roasting pan, cut side down, in one inch of water. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until a knife can be easily inserted into the flesh, about 45 minutes.
•Let cool then remove the pulp from the shell and puree in a blender or food processor or with a food mill.
You are now ready to bake a pie or make pumpkin bread using your favorite recipe.
The Waxahachie Downtown Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is located at 410 South Rogers Street, across from city hall. Our last market day is Oct. 31 so be sure to come by soon.